A Review of Louis Gifford Aches and Pains by Professor Paul J Watson PhD FCSP

Louis Gifford Aches and Pains
CNS Press Falmouth UK
ISBN 978 0 9533423 5 8

A Review: Paul J Watson PhD FCSP, Emeritus Professor of Pain Management and Rehabilitation, University of Leicester, UK. November 2014.

Most people reading this review will be familiar with the work of Louis Gifford who died in February 2014. Over many years Louis delivered a number of courses and these form the basis of these three volumes. I must declare that Louis was a friend who I admired greatly as a clinician, author and teacher so this review may lack some objectivity; however, both the author and the potential reader deserve a fair review so I will try my best.
This final publication from Louis Gifford is presented in a boxed set of three volumes: Aches and Pains, The Nerve Root, and Graded Exposure and Case Histories. This is a difficult series of books to review because they defy a traditional classification. They are part autobiography, part literature review with a focus on teaching through the use of the author’s own professional experience with clinical examples. Throughout the books the reader is impressed with the sense of wonder Louis had in the phenomenon of pain, how this presented itself clinically and how the patient’s presentation and response to treatment could be interpreted and understood through an in-depth appraisal of the research literature. The books are written in the author’s own witty and idiosyncratic style which I find easy to read, rather like chatting to an old friend, but those who want a dry and studious book may find the style frustrating but I encourage them to persevere; it will be worth it. The tone is frequently opinionated and outspoken about the short comings of the professions and approaches used in the management of pain especially chronic pain, although there are occasional apologies for this there is no doubting the author’s irritation at the lack of critical thinking which attends the management of many painful conditions.
A traditional review would criticise the series for not using the most up to date references throughout the book to illustrate the many fundamental points made. This would be erroneous and misses the point of much of the book which is a reflection of the journey Louis took to come to his understanding of pain through his learning and clinical practice. Instead he encourages the reader to “read what I’ve read”. This does not make his conclusions and his interpretation any less valid, most of the references cited are seminal in our understanding of the current theories of pain. In taking this approach he invites us to see if we too would reach the same conclusions with this information and states early on in the book that the work represents his understanding of the literature and he ask us to “feel free to challenge it and offer an alternative explanation”. In doing so it is a call to use this as a basis for understanding and a stimulus to better our own knowledge and understanding rather than to accept something as the given dogma.
Personally I found the first two books the most satisfying maybe because I, like Louis have a deep and unending fascination with the neurophysiology of pain in all its guises. This is not, mercifully for the casual reader, a complex discourse full of detailed descriptions of neurotransmitters, brain areas and detailed neurophysiology, it is described with a lightness of touch which few authors can achieve. This is peppered with case histories to illustrate points which clinicians will find very close to home and will recognise in many of their own patients. It lets the reader understand that pain is a dynamic, ever changing process which evolves into a complex phenomenon and, I hope, will stop people seeing acute injury pain and chronic pain as two completely separate entities. Louis has tried to bring together the neurophysiology, psychology, behavioural and immune responses together with the social environment within which the pain is interpreted and shows how these alter the presentation in clinic and how a better understanding can make us more effective clinicians.
It is in this section that Louis expounds further on his Mature Organism Model of chronic pain which was a seminal advance in the understanding of pain for many physiotherapists. With the passage of time since the original model was published more information has come to light which helps to support the model and to develop it further. In conversations with Louis he always considered this a work in progress which was unlikely to ever be complete.
The third volume is increasingly clinical and gives much space to case histories to explain and illustrate clinical applications which come from the author’s vast experience. This is likely to be the section many physiotherapists will enjoy reading – how we can put much of the learning into clinical practice. It includes Louis “shopping basket approach” to patient management which puts rehabilitation at the forefront of the whole of patient management and presents a model of clinical reasoning which demands a broad mix of skills without declaring one is a ………. insert your guru/dogma of choice in here….. therapist, the focus instead is on the patient, their presenting problems, their social circumstances, psychological needs and the ultimate rehabilitation aim; from this stand point one chooses what is appropriate for the individual.
Some will argue that there is a lack of reference to some of the more recent developments in the management such as more focused use of screening, the recent developments in the use of values driven rehabilitation approaches and mindfulness in chronic pain programmes but to me these are to be forgiven.
Minor niggles are an occasional repetition of information from one section to another and a lack of indexing making it hard to find information quickly. I am not sure the poetry and song lyrics contribute to the chapters but these are examples of the idiosyncrasies of the author, I am sure in a lecture he would make them seem perfectly in place. There are incomplete sections which were not completed before Louis became unable to continue, the sections are completed by his wife Philippa suggesting what Louis would have written; this adds a poignancy to the books.
I found these books eminently readable and I have read all 450,000 words with ease and found greater clarity in them than in many other textbooks on the subject. Even though the books are aimed primarily at physiotherapists I would recommend these to all clinicians from all professions. For students and people new to the study of chronic pain it gives a context for the current views of pain and synthesises a vast area which one could not hope to cover as quickly as one will by reading this series. The books are a testament to the intelligence, wit and charm of the author and represent a fitting final tribute to an excellent teacher and communicator.

Christmas presents?

I am unashamedly promoting Louis’ book set – they make great Christmas presents! Our courier has advised us that overseas and UK delivery for Christmas is wisely by 19th December ( although we are happy to continue to dispatch over the holiday period).
Louis used to write notes all over every book he ever read – so don’t share, buy or give a copy and write all over it too!

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Thanks to Irene and Glen Hunter from Welbeing CPD and Beck Davison for kindly allowing me to promote Louis’ books at their recent study day in Truro, Cornwall. Thanks for all your support.

Philippa

ORDER VIA PAYPAL BELOW OR CONTACT ME DIRECTLY VIA info@achesandpainsonline.com or 00 44 (0) 1326 312156

Report from ‘Louis Gifford Head, Heart and Hands’ session PhysiotherapyUK 10th October 2104

ThanksSH.PhysioUK.2014.034 to Ian McMillan and Simon Hadley for reporting on Louis’ session at Birmingham on 10th October 2014.

http://www.csp.org.uk/news/2014/10/13/physio-14-speakers-praise-work-louis-gifford-pain-management-pioneer

Heather, Paul and Mick did a great job. Louis would have liked to have shared the platform with his good friends and colleagues. Thanks to all in the audience for your support. I thought we all held it together pretty well – until the end! Philippa x

 

 

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Book for UK delivery £43.00 plus P&P Total £49.50

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Book for Europe delivery £43.00 plus P&P Total £56.00

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Book for Rest of World delivery £43.00 plus P&P Total £62.50

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Fantastic Response to New Book – Louis Gifford Aches and Pains

PPA Book Stand - Birmingham

 

Wow, what a fantastic response to news that Louis Gifford Aches and Pains is now available. Thank you to everybody ( from every continent!) who has placed orders. We are working really hard to get the books dispatched and thank you for your patience! (Philippa, Louis and Mick at PPA stand Birmingham last week – thanks Neil Clark PPA PRO)

Top tip – the books are in a case and to get them out my method is to hold the case on it’s side and push the middle book out first. To return all 3 books inside the case stand the case up, put book 1 and 3 in first and then book 2 between them!
( it is very easy – but confused a few people at conference last week!)

Louis Gifford - Aches and Pains

And we have added an order form – please tell your friends!

Louis Gifford Aches and Pains – Book order form

Thank you for all your support.

Philippa Tindle

Louis Gifford Aches and Pains – New Book Launch – Available Now

louis-book-43

NOW AVAILABLE DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER.  ORDER YOUR COPY NOW

In the summer of 2013 Louis took up his ‘sitting down’ hobby – writing.  With his usual enthusiasm he worked from dawn until dusk and committed all his thoughts, ideas and words to this book. His 3 courses The Clinical Biology of Aches and Pains, The Nerve Root and Graded Exposure are updated and expanded  and finally put to paper. There were hiccups on the way but this project was a joy.  It helped to keep him alive. Louis did a word count in January 2014 – 450,000! A tome – even he was surprised.  But he always wanted his words to be three smaller books that could be easily picked up and held by the reader. Together they make the whole and hopefully link together logically and easily.

I promised Louis I would publish everything but I do claim all the mistakes.

‘These books have been written with the same spirit and sentiments as my lectures were delivered. I hope you have as much fun reading them as I have had writing them’

Louis Gifford MApplSc FCSP

Chartered Physiotherapist

 


Book for UK delivery £43.00 plus P&P Total £49.50

UK delivery


Book for Europe delivery £43.00 plus P&P Total £56.00

EU delivery


Book for Rest of World delivery £43.00 plus P&P Total £62.50

Rest of World delivery


 

‘Louis Gifford Aches and Pains are truly fantastic. I cannot recall any other textbooks that cover the subject of pain with such an overarching, integrated depth of knowledge, clarity and honesty – a true biopsychosocial masterpiece!’

Steve Robson MCSP

 

‘I think these books are a fitting legacy to Louis and will continue the already huge impact he has made in ensuring that patients all over the world are treated more wisely and with more respect because of the ideas and insights he offers in them. Ideas he gives freely and generously without a hint of self-importance or ego.’

Mick Thacker FCSP

 

(For every book sold a donation will be made to Prostate Cancer UK)

Friday October 10th 2014 – Birmingham. Louis Gifford, head, heart and hands

PLEASE JOIN US AT THE CSP ANNUAL CONGRESS BIRMINGHAM UK

FRIDAY 10th OCTOBER 2014
Venue Room 1.  Time 11.00 – 12.30pm

LOUIS GIFFORD ‘HEAD, HEART and HANDS’

We are delighted that  Heather Muncey FCSP, founder member of the UK Physiotherapy Pain Association (PPA), has agreed to chair this session.

Philippa Tindle BSc BA MCSP – Louis Gifford’s wife and partner, will announce the launch of Louis’ new book  ‘Louis Gifford Aches and Pains’.

http://www.physiotherapyuk.org.uk/presentation/louis-gifford-%E2%80%98head-heart-and-hands%E2%80%99

Precis:
This session will put in to context the work of Louis Gifford and his contribution to physiotherapy pain management. It will examine how the knowledge and practise of the management of pain has changed over the last 20 years and identify the challenges faced in the future through reference to new scientific evidence on the causes of pain and the maintenance of disability in chronic pain and how these might influence clinical practice in future.

With time for a short question and answer session at the end.

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

Louis Gifford Head, heart and hands.

Since Louis’ death in February we have received many, many lovely words about him.  I would like to thank everybody again for taking the time to contact us-it really does help.

Louis had an impact on many peoples’ lives, and so, I was delighted to be asked by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy(CSP) if they could dedicate a morning session to Louis at their annual conference in Birmingham, UK, on October 10th 2014.  Mick Thacker and Paul Watson will be speaking and we hope that you will come.  

We have called the session ‘Louis Gifford Head, heart and hands’.  There is a story behind this.  Louis’ younger brother, Colin Henwood, is a master boatbuilder in Henley upon Thames and has written a beautiful book of that name.  Louis’ neice, Megan Henwood, is about to release her second album, titled, Head, heart and hands.  Megan has written a song for Louis called, ‘Painkiller’. 
We think ‘Head, heart and hands’ describes  the physiotherapy profession in the broadest sense- we hope you do to?

Also, thanks to Adriaan and Collen Louw from the US – who have asked me if they can present, ‘The Louis Gifford lecture’, at their annual conference in June 2014, “… to bring recognition to one of the influential physios of our generation.”  

Check out the ISPI Clinical Pain Conference in 2014 – Minneapolis, MN – June 20-22, 2014  –  www.ispinstitute.com

Finally, Louis Gifford Aches and Pains, the book/s.  I am getting there, hopefully soon!