The Song of Our Scars: The Untold Story of Pain

Category: Book
By (author): Warraich, Haider
  HEALTH & FITNESS / Health Care Issues
  MEDICAL / Pain Medicine
  SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Human Anatomy & Physiology
Publisher: Basic Books
Published: April 2022
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 9.55in x 6.35in x 1.35in
Our Price:
$ 38.00
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A doctor's personal and unsparing account of how modern medicine's failure to understand pain has made care less effective

In The Song of Our Scars, physician Haider Warraich offers a bold reexamination of the nature of pain, not as a simple physical sensation, but as a cultural experience.

Warraich, himself a sufferer of chronic pain, considers the ways our notions of pain have been shaped not just by science but by politics and power, by whose suffering mattered and whose didn't. He weaves a provocative history from the Renaissance, when pain transformed into a medical issue, through the racial legacy of pain tolerance, to the opiate epidemics of both the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, to the cutting edge of present-day pain science. The conclusion is clear: only by reckoning with both pain's complicated history and its biology can today's doctors adequately treat their patients' suffering.

Trenchant and deeply felt, The Song of Our Scars is an indictment of a broken system and a plea for a more holistic understanding of the human body. 
Review Quote*"What Warraich says in The Song of Our Scars about early-twenty-first-century medicine's explosion in opioid use holds true of the hegemony of the pain score: it has ‘erased whatever little we knew about the nature of suffering,' and by stripping out the nuances of pain studies, it also ‘exaggerate[s] the biases that lead to vulnerable people's agony going unattended.'"-Laura Kolbe, New York Review of Books
Review Quote*"A fascinating tour of the biology and neuroscience of pain…[Warraich] blasts the US medical system for lacking empathy and time to devote to patients, as well as for being too siloed, insufficiently committed to social justice and too swayed by pharmaceutical marketing."-Anna Nowogrodzki, Nature
Review Quote*"Warraich writes vividly and well… he carefully and incisively analyzes the persistence of racial and gender differences in medical imagery and treatment of pain… Warraich's tour de force is a fine introduction."
 -Marcia L. Meldrum, Science
Review Quote*"Warraich's push to change the way we talk about pain and prescribe treatment is compelling… The Song of Our Scars balances history against narrative examples from Warraich's experiences a patient and physician to provide an engaging and thought-provoking approach to a difficult topic. Ultimately, it's a very satisfying read and hard to put down, and when one does, the book stays with you in the questions it poses and the subtle shift it makes in the reader's understanding of pain and its treatment."--Shelby Smoak, New York Journal of Books
Review Quote*"Warraich's fascinating, informative, and very personal narrative remains an invaluable, thought-provoking call to arms to rethink our relationship with this nebulous human experience."
 -Emily Cataneo, Undark
Review Quote*"Warraich's 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… A must read."-Library Journal
Review Quote*"[A] fascinating meditation... Warraich makes a convincing case for a deeper understanding of pain and a 'truly person oriented' healthcare system."-Publishers Weekly
Review Quote*"In a wide-ranging overview, the author draws on scientific and medical studies, his work at the Pain Management Center of Brigham and Women's Hospital, and his clinical practice to examine the history, physiology, biology, and treatment of pain… A clear and timely examination of the complexities of pain."-Kirkus
Review Quote*"In this insightful and humane book about pain, suffering and survival, Warraich once again braids history and personal history to confront questions both ancient and contemporary. It is a marvelous read."-Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies