Book & Reviews

Releasing literary pieces with insight from his extensive experience in pain medicine helps Dr. Webster reach thousands of fellow pain physicians with the information they need to provide the best possible care to their pain patients. Below you’ll find his most recent book, including reader reviews.

The Painful Truth: What Chronic Pain Is Really Like and Why It Matters to Each of Us

lynn webster booksChronic pain affects 1 in 3 Americans and exerts more than a $600-billion drain on the economy annually. It is the largest invisible epidemic in the country. Having treated thousands of patients with chronic pain — often when they were at their most vulnerable — Lynn R. Webster, M.D., continues to believe there is hope. Ultimately, a cure for pain will require more research, better therapies, and improved policies. But healing can begin today with a broad-based approach to treatment, including compassionate support from those closest to the ones who are hurting. The Painful Truth is an intimate collection of stories about people living with disabling pain, their attempts to heal, and the challenges that we collectively face in helping them live meaningful lives. As a physician who has treated people with chronic pain for more than thirty years, Dr. Webster reveals the difficulties that patients face in dealing with chronic pain in a society that is often shamefully prejudiced against those who are most in need of our empathy. He shares how such biases also affect medical professionals who treat patients with chronic pain.


  1. Realities of Chronic Pain Expertly, Succinctly, and Understandably Presented! Bravo to Dr. Lynn Webster! By D. Hobbins September 1, 2015
    The Painful Truth is a remarkable book that has the potential to change the way we talk about pain in America. As a nurse practitioner of over thirty years, who has treated thousands of people with chronic pain and/or addiction, I can attest to the truth and incredible insight Dr. Webster’s book articulates about the realities that those with chronic pain deal with every day. The vignettes are reminiscent of the heartbreaking stories I have listened to and the people I have cared for and treated over the years. This book is a great blend of story, research, and experience and I can see it being required reading by all healthcare students, including those in nursing and medical schools. Dr. Webster also addresses the critical challenges we providers face in choosing this area of practice. Indeed, my experience has also been that “the chilling effect” is very real. My hope is that as this book shares the painful truth about chronic pain, readers will heed the clarion call to become changemakers–influencing legislation, decision makers, policy makers, and their fellow citizens. To those with chronic pain who are contemplating reading this book, I firmly believe you will find solace, understanding, and validation in this book.
  2. It helped me understand what those around me who suffer from chronic pain have to deal with! By laurence birkett September 5, 2015
    As I was reading this book, I kept thinking about one of my best friends, Tracy, who suffers from chronic pain, mental illness and addictions. I kept thinking about how much comfort this book will bring her. I kept thinking about how humane and readable this book is, how someone like me who has no medical or scientific background and who is not an English native can enjoy reading this book and learn so much from it.
    I have changed the way I interact with Tracy and the patronizing manner I used to judge people with chronic pain and addictions thanks to Dr Webster.
    Everyone who knows someone with chronic pain should read this book, doctors and lay people alike, so that they understand how a person with chronic pain is systematically stigmatized and vilified. Our society sees chronic pain as the new cancer: it is taboo to talk about and dreadfully misunderstood.
    Thanks to Dr Webster and a handful of people, we are able to get a glimpse into the lives of those who live with chronic pain, what they endure and what course of action is available to them.

Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain: A Guide for Practitioners

Lynn Webster BookPrescription opioids are dangerous in the hands of drug abusers, but they are also beneficial or even lifesaving for millions of people who otherwise would live with chronic pain. Clinicians who prescribe opioids are often caught between their professional obligation to relieve suffering and their desire to avoid contributing to the non-medical consumption of controlled substances.

Primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and other first-contact clinicians are uniquely positioned to make a difference at the beginning of medical treatment. Research indicates that a patient with chronic pain or a substance-abuse disorder is far more likely to seek treatment from a family doctor than from a specialist. That reality creates an opportunity for front-line clinicians to maximize the chances for success when patients begin opioid therapy.

This book was written to help all interested parties (eg, clinicians who treat pain, drug and medical-practice regulators, law-enforcement authorities and pharmacists) to sort out the clinical, regulatory, and ethical issues associated with the prescribing of opioid analgesics and to reduce the risk of medication misuse, abuse, and diversion. The information presented here is based on the work of numerous experts in the fields of pain management and addiction medicine. If knowledge is power, then this information is intended to instill the power and confidence needed for clinicians to safely treat their patients’ pain and restore their dignity and lost quality of life.


  1. A great book for clincians and all others who treat or manage pain. By E. Hall June 18, 2007
    According to Dr. Steven D. Passik, PhD from Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, “this work brings it all together for the practitioner, on the ground, in the clinic, taking care of the complex people in this world with chronic pain. This book provides a know-how to do it safely, avoiding contributing to drug abuse and diversion.” As a former Representative and District Manager for a company that promotes a chronic pain medication, I believe that “Avoiding Opioid Abuse, While Managing Pain” is a book that should be read and utilized by all those faced with the challenge of treating pain. It touches on issues that clinicians struggle with every day, such as: legal issues involved with opioid prescribing, risk factors for opioid abuse and clarifying terms like tolerance, physical dependence, abuse and addiction. Dr. Webster presents the reader with tools which help to assess patients that may be at risk for opioid abuse such as ORT “Opioids Risk Tool” or SOAPP. He also provides insights into how to monitor patients to minimize opioid abuse by looking at outcomes such as: pain relief, psychosocial functioning, side effects of treatment, and addiction related outcomes. Chronic Pain is a growing problem and yet in many cases goes undertreated due to fear and a lack of training, and knowledge from those in the trenches treating such patients. This book fills in those gaps of education and training and provides the practitioner with the know-how and confidence needed to tackle the abuse and diversion associated with prescribing opioids and ensure that the same medications are available for the patients who greatly benefit from them. I enjoyed reading this book and believe that it will give all those treating pain the confidence needed to manage such patients and restore some degree of function to their lives.
  2. Concise and Useful By Kathy Hilsinger Walliser January 11, 2014
    After reading this book, the lead physician ordered 8 so that each of our 4 locations could have a couple ready reference copies.
  3. Helpful in understanding the medical/legal aspects of opiate care. By Brian Buschman December 29, 2010
    As a physician who has practiced more than a small amount in the area of pain management I highly recommend this book. Especially to the resident or new primary care physician who may not be studying pain management specifically but needs to understand proper legal documentation, consent and patters that will trigger or get you jammed up in an audit.
  4. Valuable Resource By A Pain Patient June 28, 2007
    I was delighted to receive the book entitled, “Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain”. Last night, I stayed up and read through the whole book. It is a masterpiece, especially to the layman. Lynn and Beth are to be commended for this outstanding volume. It will be a valuable resource!



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