Killing Pain With a Mix of Remedies


he Chronic Pain Solution: The Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing the Best of Alternative and Conventional Medicine," by Dr. James N. Dillard, with Leigh Ann Hirschman. Bantam Books, $24.95.

With millions of American suffering from chronic pain, Dr. Dillard has put together a balanced plan that combines the best of Western medicine and gentler alternative therapies.

From a rather unusual vantage point as a medical doctor, acupuncturist and chiropractor (before he became a physician), he approaches pain with compassion and hope.

"Chronic pain does more than hurt," wrote Dr. Dillon, a pain specialist on the medical faculty at Columbia and at the University Pain Center in Manhattan. "It takes control over the way you live."

All too often, he adds, the treatment process itself only intensifies pain's grip. "Lunch breaks spent on the phone with the insurance company, meetings missed because the specialist is running late."

Dr. Dillard addresses all forms of pain and peripheral neuropathies like nerve disorders caused by diabetes. While he agrees that conventional painkillers help, his book is devoted to getting pain under control with as few drugs as possible, or none at all, and it includes details of what he describes as a "pain-control diet."