The Song of Our Scars: The Untold Story of Pain

Basic: Perseus. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781541675308. $30. MED
Physician Warraich’s (State of the Heart) very well written book looks at all aspects of acute and chronic pain: its history, its biology, medical treatment and mistreatment, and disparities in pain management and care that stem from racism and other biases. Warraich, who himself has chronic pain, draws from his own experiences in addition to scientific research. His book begins with historical views of pain (how some in earlier eras connected pain to sin; how societies treated and viewed people who were in pain). Warraich also details how paternalistic white medical establishments have often ignored the pain of women and people of color (for instance, the pain of childbirth). He goes on to discuss the biology of pain, including new studies in neurobiology that aim to learn how the environment and the context of pain can change patients’ perception of it; later chapters cover recent studies in alternative ways to treat pain, including hypnosis and exercise. There are also several chapters on the opioid crisis in the United States and the social, commercial, and medical factors that contributed to overprescription of opioids.
VERDICT A must-read for anyone with chronic pain and those in the health professions.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing