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Best Pain Book


New Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2008
  1. Resident [Any Field]
    I know this is probably somewhere in this forum on the pain forum but I just haven't been able to find it.

    I'm a CA-1 interested in going into pain and will be doing my pain rotations in a few months. I am looking for a good book that will give me some basic knowledge and some pics and that is not to awfully long.

    Any suggestions?

    Gern Blansten

    Account on Hold
    15+ Year Member
    Jun 21, 2006
    1. Attending Physician
      I really like "Essential of Pain Medicine and Regional Anesthesia" by Benzon. It may be missing some stuff and is definitely NOT an atlas, but it has a nice approach to commonly seen problems and a good discussion of commonly used drugs, all at a reasonable price ( somewhere under $100 IIRC).
      Brown's Atlas is always good. If you are looking for a regional anesthesia atlas, I suspect some will be coming out soon that are better for ultrasound guided blocks. I wouldn't buy one now that didn't have good ultrasound discussion for each of the blocks. There are good websites that will give you good tips until the texts catch up.

      The regional texts by Hadzic are pretty good, but will benefit from updating to more ultrasound(these are mostly related to regional and acute pain)

      Waldman has a multitude of chronic pain texts. I have been terribly unimpressed by them. Any text by him that has the word "atlas" in it should be avoided. The illustrations are terrible and he rehashes useless stuff over and over in all of his texts, especially the atlases. He does have a 2 volume comprehensive text on pain that is geared towards replacing the original Bonica text as far as depth and breadth of pain practice. It seems to be a pretty good text, although quite pricey (~$250). This set has many of the most renowned authors in the field, but also , unfortunately seems to have a bunch of chapters by Waldman that are retreads of his crappy atlases. Probably overall a good text for the fellow level.

      Raj and Rathmell both have decent texts out there that are geared towards C-arm radiographic imaging in chronic pain. Fenton's image guided Spine Intervention is also pretty good for spine images needed in chronic pain work.

      Cousins and Bridenbaugh's older text Neural Blockade and Pain Management is excellent but in dire need of an update. I believe the last version was '98 or so. It is relevant for acute and chronic pain. If a new one came out today, I would buy it sight unseen. Brown ( of Brown's atlas) has a similar text that is also older and in need of a new edition called Regional Anesthesia and Analgesia. It is not an atlas, but like Cousins and Bridenbaugh's text has good discussion of acute and chronic pain medicine (mostly acute)

      There is also Pain Medicine Secrets which I did not find very helpful since it really is not geared toward the anesthesiology aspect of this topic. It has its good points but overall, I would not recommend it.

      So, if I had to do it all over again, I would get the following:

      Benzon's text(some acute and some chronic)
      Brown's Atlas(some acute and some chronic pain blocks)
      Raj's "Radiographic Imaging for Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management"(mostly Chronic pain)
      Hadzic's "Textbook of Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Management"(Acute pain)
      Waldman's BIG text only if you are a pain fellow

      Those are my personal opinions, however uninformed they may be.
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