The Best Books on Chronic Pain

One thing that helped me recover from chronic illness was finding different perspectives on health, medicine, and healing that I wasn’t getting from my doctors. Before getting ill, my knowledge of healthy living consisted of: live your life how you want, and if unexplainable symptoms emerge, you go to the doctor for a pill.

So, it came as a shock to me when I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, and there was no pill or medicine I could take to make it better. Not one to let something so simple as a doctor’s distress get me down, I started reading voraciously on the subject. Reading books and blogs of people who had recovered either partially or fully was a huge comfort and inspiration to me. Some of the books also opened up a new world of holistic health for me. If I hadn’t found those complementary paths I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I read more books than I could count on chronic fatigue, chronic pain, chronic illness, auto-immune diseases, and holistic health. Which means I’m going to need more than one blog post to recommend all of my favourites! If you’re looking for your next read on healing, or living better with, chronic pain and Fibromyalgia, here are my top reads on the subject:

1. How To Live Well With Chronic Pain And Illness: A Mindful Guide  

By: Toni Bernhard

My first introduction to Toni’s work was her blog on Psychology Today. As someone who had gotten help from mindfulness meditation, I loved her approach to illness from a Buddhist perspective. This book is aimed at helping people with chronic pain and chronic illness live lives that are fuller, happier, and filled with less suffering. One of my favourite things about practicing yoga was the kindness it helped me show to myself. Toni’s book is oozing with kindness and self-compassion and is a lovely read for anyone interested in Buddhist traditions.

2. The Chronic Pain Solution: Your Personal Path To Pain Relief 

By: Dr. James N. Dillard 

Dr. Dillard is one of the leading pain specialists in the US. Just from the introduction of this book you know this isn’t going to be the typical doctors approach to dealing with chronic pain. This book will help you find a variety of ways to treat your specific pain, and give you insights on how pain affects your body and mind.

3. FibroWHYalgia: Why Rebuilding The Ten Root Causes Of Chronic Illness Restores Chronic Wellness 

By: Susan Ingebretson 

I followed Sue on Twitter for a long time before I read her book, but I wish I would have started it sooner! Sue constantly links wellness to tea, which captures my heart right from the beginning. This guide offers excellent, practical advice for anyone living with fibromyalgia, and is a joy to read.

4. The Highly Sensitive Person  

By: Elaine Aron 

Not about chronic illness or pain specifically, but may help you understand why your bodyis more susceptible to emotional and environmental stressors than others. This book was recommended to me by one of my doctors at a holistic health clinic, and it really helped me to understand why I was so fatigued by things that my peers could handle without any negative effect.

5. The Whole Health Life: How You Can Learn To Get Healthy, Find Balance And Live Better In The Crazy-Busy Modern World the whole health life book

By: Shannon Harvey 

I’ve already about this book in-depth here. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to overhaul their health and lifestyle!

6. Radical Health: A Revolutionary, Step-By-Step Guide To Wellness 

By: James Lilley 

This is a comprehensive book on detoxing, diet, and all things mystery illness. If you haven’t been able to get help from your medical team, and no one can find out what’s wrong with you or how to help you, this is the book for you. James peppers the book with stories of his own recovery from debilitating illness and provides extra resources to help you carve your own path to wellness.

7. Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue And Insomnia 

By: Melissa Reynolds 

The newest addition to my wellness library! I related so much to Melissa’s story as we both began developing chronic illness in our teens - not something many people understand. With research and personal trial and error, Melissa has managed to go from barely surviving to thriving over the course of 7 years. She shares her knowledge in wisdom, as well as her personal journey, in this book.

8. Fibromyalgia Freedom: Your Essential Cookbook And Meal Plan To Relive Pain, Clear Brain Fog, and Fight Fatigue 

By: Kathleen Standafer 

The way to health is through your gut. Kathleen provides simple, fresh, recipes to increase the nutrients your body receives. I’ve only tried a few of the recipes, but I’m impressed so far!

9. Mindful Nutrition 

By: Leni Hurley 

With a basis in Traditional Chinese Medicine, this book covers not only what to eat, but how to eat. If you’re interested in how Eastern medicine can help you heal, I highly recommend this book. I didn’t know much about Traditional Chinese Medicine (other than yin yoga!**link**) before reading this book, and I’m very grateful for the new perspective it’s given me!

10. Yoga For Chronic Pain: 7 Steps To Aid Recovery From Fibromyalgia  

By: Kayla Kurin (yes, my own book is my favourite - a lot of love went into writing it!)

I’ve compiled my personal trial and error along with years of research into yoga, Ayurveda, and psychology to write this step by step guide in how yoga, and yogic wisdom, can help you better manage chronic pain.

Am I missing your favourite book? Let me know in the comments!

My new goal is to read one book a week this year, so I’ll be back with many more recommendations on a variety of subjects ( Recommendations on Chronic Fatigue, Insomnia, and Lyme are already in the works!). Have a request for a topic? Let me know in the comments.

Image by: Quattrostagioni

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