Vadivelu N, Urman R, Hines R, eds. Essentials of Pain Management. Springer 2011, 834 pages, 114 illustrations, $99.00.
Essentials of Pain Management by Drs. Nalini Vadivelu, Richard D. Urman, and Roberta L. Hines is a 834-page detailed text on this subject. The authors are anesthesiologists dealing with the management of the commonest of all symptoms that practitioners deal with on a day-to-day basis. The book is divided into nine parts covering all aspects of a pain management. The book covers the subject broadly and chapters touch on alternative forms of treatment such as acupuncture as well as the psychosocial and psychological aspects of pain. Pharmacology of commonly used drugs is detailed. Their use is explained with diagrams, charts, and tables. These are clear and easy to follow. Most of the chapters will be of particular interests to those in the clinical disciplines, especially in pain management practice. In this regard, the text is detailed, and the authors cover the subject comprehensively. Clear diagrams and photographs are used to show pertinent anatomical detail. These clearly demonstrate the target site/s of the various treatments. Each area of intervention is described under subheadings. These are divided into the anatomy pertinent to the intervention and the technique. These sections are kept short and succinct, but are in enough detail to be comprehensive. Section 6 deals with regional anesthesia techniques and is described in detail. Surface anatomy (with photographs /diagrams) and surface anatomical landmarks relevant to the particular site are shown. Technique and recommended pharmacologic agents are described. Further sections deal with labor pain and its management. Suggested strategies in cancer-related pain is covered. The armamentarium of drugs, blocks, and pain pumps gives the reader a detailed overview of this subject.
Where necessary, radiographic images are provided to illustrate a particular point. A drug formulary of agents used in pain management is provided. Included is a pediatric section, which would prove valuable to those in this field. Rehabilitation of the chronic pain sufferer is included, and the role of a multidisciplinary approach in this task is discussed. Chapters include occupational therapy assessment and nursing perspectives in its arrangement. Many of the chapters end with case scenarios and suggested approaches to their management. Of interest to the Neuroradiology audience would be Chapter 21 which details Principles of ultrasound techniques. This chapter gives a fairly detailed overview of ultrasound techniques in general, but especially in reference to needle guidance. It is, of course, specifically aimed at the technique used in peripheral nerve interventions. Chapter 6 gives a very brief description of diagnostic imaging techniques used in pain management. It is very short and hence not of much value to the Neuroradiology audience.
Generally, the images and diagrams are labeled clearly and legends are suitably descriptive. Compared to other books dealing with this subject it covers this topic broadly but in sections not as comprehensively. Its breadth rather than its depth of detail is what impresses. References are up to date and comprehensive. Overall an excellent book for those contemplating going into or already performing the practice of pain management.