The Best Books About Back Pain

Back pain books abound in the marketplace. The same is true, to a lesser extent, for neck pain books. With so many options, how do you know which read is the best for you? Never fear, I have reviewed 9 of them in detail. Some are books about exercise; others may help you understand your pain.

So before you line up at the register at your local bookseller's, check this list. If you find a back pain book you like, you can purchase it online. (That may not be as fun as browsing a bookstore, but it is more convenient.) Either way, my list of back pain books may help you pick out a gift or find that perfect weekend read.

A woman experiencing back pain.
Tom Merton / Getty Images

Back Pain Understood

Back Pain Understood is a concisely written handbook of nearly all types of back pain. It provides a pleasant reading experience and has many clarifying illustrations. It is both a reference manual and the type of book you would read from cover to cover. The author does a good job of representing both medical and holistic approaches to back pain.


Yoga for Osteoporosis

A book to keep on your shelf for the long term, Yoga for Osteoporosis provides a comprehensive look at osteoporosis from a medical perspective. It is written by an MD specializing in physical medicine and a certified Anusara yoga instructor. The book is loaded with facts, figures and research results, which provide the basis for the excellent bone-building yoga program presented at the end. The yoga program is suitable for nearly all levels.


T-Tapp - Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes

T-Tapp is a very popular exercise program developed by internationally known fitness consultant, Teresa Tapp. According to Ms. Tapp, the method takes a "rehabilitative approach to fitness". T-Tapp combines alignment principles, aerobics, toning and stretching into a whole body workout. Ms. Tapp likely incorporated mind-body fitness concepts (i.e. Pilates and CAM therapies) into her system, as well.


Pelvic Power

Pelvic Power provides a holistic way to address muscle imbalances and body awareness. Though not specifically written with back pain in mind, many of the exercises are said to successfully address it. Pelvic Power focuses on the strength and flexibility of the pelvic floor muscles as a foundation for a balanced, easy, integrated body posture. The use of this book requires attention to detail and concentration.


The Multifidus Back Pain Solution

The Multifidus Back Pain Solution, by Jim Johnson, P.T. offers an exercise program for chronic back pain sufferers. The program is based on evidence that one specific back muscle, the multifidus, plays a role in almost all non-neurological back pain. Because the book is written by a licensed allied health professional, it offers excellent background information as to why the program works, as well as how consumers can arm themselves with knowledge about back pain treatments.


Understanding Pain from the American Academy of Neurology

Understanding Pain covers the topic of pain management for all types of pain, including, but not limited to, back and neck pain. Although it is pretty dense, I highly recommend it as a guide to help you manage your decision-making about treatments for chronic back pain or neck pain. It's written by a specialist in the field and published by a prestigious medical association, and it provides a thorough introduction to pain medicine.


Pain Free

Pete Egoscue, having suffered a debilitating hamstring injury while in the Marine Corps, was told by doctors there was nothing to be done for his pain. A defiant Egoscue took to the exploration of movement to heal his injury. He then began to train others.

While his methods enjoy tremendous popularity, his claims are not backed by clinical trial evidence and are unconventional. Egoscue had undergraduate training in athletics, along with a degree in Political Science.

Although Mr. Egoscue states otherwise, it is best to get checked by your doctor before starting this or any exercise program to address chronic pain.


The Body Broken

The Body Broken is the true story of one woman's experience with chronic neck pain. Due to a very bad accident at age 19 in which she fractured a vertebra in her neck, author Lynne Greenberg has spent a good part of her life navigating through the medical, family, social, and personal mazes all chronic pain sufferers must confront. A professor of literature, Greenberg presents her story and the valuable lessons she gleaned in a combination novel/practical autobiography. In The Body Broken, she is a friend, an artist, an example for other pain sufferers, and a source of possible solutions for managing every aspect of pain.


Healing Pain

I can only imagine what it must be like to share tea with my doctor. I think of how amazing it would be to be in the presence of a medical professional who does not ignore the emotional or spiritual aspects of my pain, nor its extenuating life circumstances -- to spend time with a person who is equally versed in, as well as committed to, the healing of the technical aspects of my pain as they are the nature of my suffering. Dr. Ann Berger is such a doctor. Her book, Healing Pain, is an opportunity for a virtual visit.

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