Recently, I’ve found myself craving knowledge. I know, this sounds really corny, but it happens to me maybe 1-2 times per year. The past 6 weeks, I decided to take a deep dive into a few books - seven to be precise - and I want to share them with you. They are all very different, but each incredibly helpful for anyone with pelvic pain. I’m going to give them a rating of 0-5, with 5 being a must-read.
The Interstitial Cystitis Solution (Nicole Cozean, PT, DPT, WCS) - A fantastic introduction to interstitial cystitis (IC). Perfect for beginners or loved ones of people with IC. Nicole covers a variety of topics related to IC, like pelvic floor physical therapy, medications, procedures, and diet. The only qualm I have with the nutrition section of the book is that she used the term “nutritionist” rather than “Registered Dietitian” (very different). Other than that, this is a quality read. 5/5
Between The Hips (Megan Rorabeck, PT, DPT, WCS) - Explains everything you need to know about your pelvic floor. Offers an in-depth overview of the pelvic floor anatomy. Every single woman (literally anyone with a vagina) should read this book. I have been urging every woman, young or old, in my life to read this book because it covers what is “normal” in terms of your bladder and bowel habits, how to take care of your vaginal region, what happens during pregnancy, and how to enjoy sex. 4/5
Explain Pain (David Butler, Lorimer Moseley) - This book was referred to me by my IC doc. It was pretty expensive to buy (around $80), so I signed up for a free trial for a website called ‘Scribd’, and was able to read it for free on my phone. The book is definitely unique, as it uses bizarre imagery to depict what the text is talking about (you will understand what I mean when you read it). It does a pretty good job explaining concepts in pain science and is understandable for both health care professionals and patients. 3.5/5
Why Pelvic Pain Hurts (Adriaan Louw, Sandra Hilton, Carolyn Vandyken) - This book came recommended by my pelvic floor physical therapist. It was the simplest read ever. And I don’t mean this in a bad way. Sometimes keeping things simple is the best way to get your point across. And the authors did an excellent job with this. They use tons of metaphors that help you understand the science behind pain. A must-read for anyone with chronic pain. 5/5
The Divided Mind (Dr. John Sarno) - An introduction to Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS). This is basically a book about the mind-body connection and the history of psychosomatic medicine. His theory is that our unconscious mind contains repressed feelings of emotional pain, hurt, sadness, and anger that can be the at the root of physical symptoms. To be completely transparent with you, I have not finished the book yet as I got bored halfway through and moved on to the next book on this list (I do plan to finish this book eventually). 2.5/5
The Meaning of Truth: embrace your truth. create your life. (Nicole Sachs, LCSW) - This book can do wonders for you if you are able to suspend your skepticism. Nicole based her work off of Dr. Sarno’s TMS concept, claiming that she has the cure for chronic pain. Does she actually? You’ll have to read and find out! 4.5/5
The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity (Dr. Nadine Burke Harris) - This book came recommended by a Road To Remission program member. It describes how your childhood experiences/trauma can determine your future health. This book is a very interesting read and explores a point of view you don’t typically think about. 3/5
*Bonus Book* IC 101: It's Not Just A Bladder Disease (J. Osborne, G. Grissom Sandler, A. Sandler) - While this is not a book I read this month (I read it back in July), it is still worth mentioning. It is similar to The Interstitial Cystitis Solution and provides a fantastic overview of IC that every person with the condition needs to read. 5/5
All of these books are worth reading. But, if you are limited on time or money, I'd recommend starting with one or all of the following: The Interstitial Cystitis Solution, IC 101 and Why Pelvic Pain Hurts.
What's next for me? I have Heal Pelvic Pain by Amy Stein, MPT.