26 September 2023

Why Does It Still Hurt?

Start the conversation

Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

By Paul Biegler, Scribe, $35.00.

Paul Biegler is a science journalist, academic and former doctor specialising in emergency medicine, who has been on his own pain journey.

He investigates the true source of chronic pain — our brain’s so-called neuroplasticity — and emerging therapies, including cognitive therapy and graded exercise exposure, that take advantage of that same neuroplasticity to rewire the brain and end the suffering.

As Biegler knows only too well, this doesn’t mean the pain is all in a person’s head. The pain is real, but its meaning is often misunderstood. Chronic pain is the single biggest cause of human suffering. Yet pain that persists for three months or more is often unrelated to any physical injury. So why does it still hurt?

Sub-titled how the power of knowledge can overcome chronic pain, Biegler shines a light on the rigorous new studies — and emotional personal stories — that are changing the way we understand and treat pain.

This book summarises why pain persists — why it still hurts — and what we can do to overcome it.

Research over the last few decades shows that many of us — sufferers of chronic pain and health practitioners alike — are victims of a devilish trick of the nervous system. Where we believe that pain has its root in a damaged body, it is the brain that prolongs the hurting long after the body has healed. This leads to hundreds of billions of dollars being spent each year on treatments that sometimes do nothing and sometimes make matters worse.

This book is about why pain persists — why it still hurts — and what we can do to overcome it.

“I hope the stories in the coming pages, drawn from my interviews with some of the world’s leading pain scientists and with people who have recovered from pain, will go some way to giving you knowledge that is relevant and meaningful to your own decision.”

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.