A top neurosurgeon and acclaimed author's unique and highly readable study of the paradox of pain, with fascinating anecdotes on childbirth, migraines, cancer, and more. Medical science has made brilliant discoveries over the last century but as any cancer patient can attest, it has yet to conquer, or even fully comprehend, pain. Beginning with his own battle against severe migraines, and citing numerous case studies of his patients, in Why We Hurt Dr. Frank Vertosick explains how pain evolved, and by highlighting the critical functions it serves, he helps us to understand its value. Well written, expertly researched, and movingly told, each chapter offers an amalgam of medicine, history, anthropology, drama, inspiration, and practical advice on a myriad of pain syndromes, from back pain to angina, arthritis to carpal tunnel syndrome. A skilled writer and compassionate physician, Vertosick believes knowledge is often the first, and best, analgesic, and in Why We Hurt, "he offers fascinating insight into the greatest mystery of all: what it means to be human" (The Seattle Times).