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  • Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

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    Old 12-12-2002, 10:36 AM   #1
    rgraf8
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    Post Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

    Has anyone read the book "Healing Back Pain, The Mind Body Connection" by Dr. John Sarno? The book came to me highly recommended and I was wondering if anyone else has any experience with the concepts.

     
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    Old 12-12-2002, 11:17 AM   #2
    ChristinaD
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    Never read it but does it help? What is your experience with back pain and the book?

    Christina
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    27 years old
    1993: T1 to L1 fusion due to scoliosis at age 17
    2000: Tore and ruptured L4 L5 & L5 S1-it finally got better after about a year. Did really well for about a year.
    June 2002: Had a relapse and tore/ruptured disc again.
    Now I'm 14 months into it and the pain is still there.
    Can't deal with it anymore so I'm having a discectomy in Sept. Hoping and praying that it takes care of my problems!!

     
    Old 12-12-2002, 11:46 AM   #3
    chitrick
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    rgraf8,

    Hi...Although I have not read the book, I have heard of it. I'm a firm believer that our minds and attitudes have powerful healing powers. A prime example is two female relatives of mine. One is my 63 year old sister-in-law. She is as normal as anybody, healthwise. Yet, her doctor has her on 30 prescribed medications a day. Don't even ask me what they are all for. For all I know (or care), is they are all placibos. But she (my sis-in-law) is convinced that she needs every single one of these stupid medications. The other is my 90 year old aunt. Every morning, she takes a half of a pill for blood pressure. That is it! That's all she's ever taken, other than an ocassional antibiotic or aspirin.

    So...is my 90 year old aunt really that much healthier than my 63 year old sister in law? I seriously doubt it. But her attitude is so superior.

    When it comes to something like the back, I do believe that it all depends on the actual physical condition of the area. Some things just aren't going to be fixed without surgical intervention, no matter how positive minded you are. When surgery becomes a must, I strongly believe that our minds have a lot to do with the progress of our recovery. But I would never follow anybody who tried to tell me that surgery can ALWAYS be avoided. I fell into that trap with a chiropractor, who sucked my savings, while doing nothing but aggrevating a condition that only surgery could correct.

    So I think the key is "compromise" in the way we view the issue. Good Luck!

     
    Old 12-12-2002, 12:10 PM   #4
    rgraf8
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    I just started to read the book, but in a nutshell, it seems to suggest that most back pain is the result of psychological issues and not structural problems. Essentially, there may be issues we don't want to deal with so the body creates pain to distract us. From what I've gotten through, it seems fascinating and I wonder if anyone has gained relief. I've been suffering from shoulder pain and neck pain for years but it's gotten much worse over the past few months to the point of causing arm and hand numbness, upper back pain, etc. I'm currently being treated by a physical therapist for other issues who does not believe I have any structural damage.

     
    Old 12-12-2002, 01:15 PM   #5
    Telzey
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    I started reading this book, but then I got to the section where he talks about "repressed memories" re-surfacing. "Repressed memory therapy" was a fad in the 90s where a lot of therapists made huge amounts of money convincing people who had neuroses that it was due to repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse, and even generating these "memories" in many people who believed them and became estranged from their families.

    Since then there have been many studies demonstrating that false memories are easy to induce in suggestible subjects, and debunking the theory of "repressed memories."

    After reading the chapter in Sarno's book taking "repressed memories" seriously, I had a hard time believing anything else he said... although in general I agree the mind-body connection is more important than most people think.

    The unfortunate thing is that many of us with back pain were told it was all in our heads... just because those medical practitioners were not good enough to diagnose the problem. For four years I went to various practioners, some of which told me my problem was psychological. And then I went to a spine specialist, who ordered an MRI, and the proof was there in black and white that I had a torn disk. A physical problem after all.

    So for all those reasons, I would caution people who read Sarno's book not to believe everything in it. It may help some people; if so, great! But I believe that Sarno's ideas don't apply to the majority of people with back pain.

    Telzey
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    Annular tear L5-S1 diagnosed 5/02 via MRI
    IDET 12/2/02
    1/26/03 Posterior disc prolapse occurs after sitting too long after walking. Causes new pain down left leg.
    3/1/03 Leg pain reduced with exercises from the book "Treat Your Own Back" by Robin McKenzie.
    3/9/03 Severe, new buttock and thigh pain and numbness starts.
    3/25/03 Used McKenzie techniques to treat buttock and thigh pain -- pain reduced
    4/4/03 Started physical therapy
    5/8/03 Still worse than pre-IDET, but showing slow improvement with PT, McKenzie exercises, yoga, and Hanna Somatics exercises
    5/30/03 PT suggests buttock and thigh pain may be from facet joint
    7/6/03 Still worse than pre-IDET due to leg and thigh pain and numbness, and have become so inactive I can't tell whether back pain is better. Can't stand for any length of time, can't walk long, run at all, or do any aerobic activity. I regret agreeing to the IDET and wish I had had more patience with the natural healing process of my disc!

     
    Old 04-19-2004, 05:56 PM   #6
    L4-L5-S1
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    Re: Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

    Dr. Segil, In L.A. suggested I read it......

    It is absolutely a valuable adjunct for anyone in chronic pain.........

    No question that chronic pain has a psychological component to it...................

    Dr. Sarno's viewpoint can result in a reduction in your perception of pain and for some a complete cure....

    In order for it to work, you must buy into its concepts completely.

    Its non-invasive and really can't hurt to try it.....

    L4-L5-S1

     
    Old 04-19-2004, 07:58 PM   #7
    carol632
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    Re: Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

    [COLOR=Sienna][SIZE=3][FONT=Palatino Linotype]Yes, chronic pain has a psychological aspect to it....only it's the other way around. First you get the pain, then you get the psychological problems.
    I have heard enough of "its all in your head" to last me a lifetime.

    Carol[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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    Old 04-19-2004, 08:34 PM   #8
    L4-L5-S1
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    Re: Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

    Carol,

    It's not an issue of what came first the pain then the psychological issues or vice versa...................

    Sarno does not suggest its all in your head... He absolutely acknowledges the real pain we all feel.......

    What Sarno suggests is that your perception of pain can be moderated by your mental approach........

    You owe it to yourself to at least read his book........

    It can't hurt and may quite possibly improve your situation....

    L4-L5-S1

     
    Old 04-19-2004, 08:37 PM   #9
    injured betty
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    Re: Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

    I think that it is 50/50. And I also believe that if you think posititively, you can overcome all but *central pain*.

    I spent hours today in the back and chronic pain section of a huge book store and read excerpts out of a lot of books. One thing that ran through all of them when it came to back was EXERCISE. I don't know how mnay times I have read that on these boards and others.

    I think that if a person has a positive attitude, and exercises, then a lot of pain can be overcome unless it deals with the central nervous system.

     
    Old 04-19-2004, 09:35 PM   #10
    Mart7
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    Re: Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

    [QUOTE=carol632][COLOR=Sienna][SIZE=3][FONT=Palatino Linotype]Yes, chronic pain has a psychological aspect to it....only it's the other way around. First you get the pain, then you get the psychological problems.
    I have heard enough of "its all in your head" to last me a lifetime.

    Carol[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

    I agree Carol; this is a little off subject with the back issue. But when I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus in 1997 I got all caught in the belief that "it was all in my head" and I could control my symptoms without conventional medication. I researched a "natural" regiment and unfornately ended up in the hospital with severe nephritis (kidney inflammation). I have always been one who has stayed in good physical condition, eating right (regular yoga and walking). But, unfortunately; the reality is there are conditions that require medical intervention and I tried every conservative approach while living in so much pain that I could barely walk prior to having my microdiscectomy in 1999. I realize every person needs to look at their own situation individually; but now I realize I lived in pain for so long when it took a very basic procedure and I left the hospital in less pain and walking better than I had in the months prior. Now I am dealing with DDD, a collapsed disc and a herniated disc at the S1 level; and am so frustrated; because again that old guilt creeps in ... that "What am I doing wrong?", when I have tried for so long to do everything right. Anyway, sorry for being so longwinded.. but I completely agree with you ...I have enough with "it's all in my head", to last a lifetime!
    -MJ

    Last edited by Mart7; 04-19-2004 at 09:59 PM.

     
    Old 04-20-2004, 12:04 AM   #11
    standingman
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    Re: Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

    Guidelines problems with my original post. But the gist is that my own view is Sarno probably is accurate for some folks, but that his case is enormously overstated.

    Standingman

    Last edited by standingman; 04-20-2004 at 08:02 AM. Reason: Please carefully read, know and follow the Healthboards.com Policies and Guidelines. Click on FAQ at the top left of this page. Thank you!

     
    Old 04-20-2004, 04:35 AM   #12
    Krysv
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    Re: Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

    I agree with Telzey. I started to read it but when it started talking about repressed memories and that EVERYTHING is in your head, I just had to put it down. It all sounds like quack talk to me. There is a chat board for Sarno's followers and I checked it out. They are VERY pushy about NOT going to doctor's. That's what really turned me off to it. This is all just my opinion though. Good luck!

    Krys
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    Old 04-20-2004, 07:05 AM   #13
    Amy R.
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    Re: Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

    My back doesn't hurt b/c of repressed memories, or b/c of how I perceive it, or b/c of negative attitudes. It hurts b/c of malfunctions of my facets, si joint, and disc that happened on January 16, 2003. That's that! And no visualization/relaxation/focusing/attitude adjustment will repair those facets, si, or two discs. If I get rid of the pain...THEN the depression will be gone. Not the other way around.

     
    Old 04-20-2004, 07:18 AM   #14
    ItHurts!
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    Re: Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

    Back pain changes you in ways nothing else could. And the effects it has over your way of thinking probably last your whole life, even if the problem is completely fixed. I am still shakin up months after my last major flair up and even though i dont have major pain now (about a 1, sometimes a 2) i am still very worried and depressed about the whole thing. This sarno fella maybe right in connecting the 2 but no mind trick has an effect over that initial pain of injury or re-injury. That is very real and a real cause of concern for me and many others.

     
    Old 04-20-2004, 12:19 PM   #15
    Mart7
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    Re: Dr. John Sarno & Healing Back Pain

    [QUOTE=ItHurts!]Back pain changes you in ways nothing else could. And the effects it has over your way of thinking probably last your whole life, even if the problem is completely fixed. I am still shakin up months after my last major flair up and even though i dont have major pain now (about a 1, sometimes a 2) i am still very worried and depressed about the whole thing. This sarno fella maybe right in connecting the 2 but no mind trick has an effect over that initial pain of injury or re-injury. That is very real and a real cause of concern for me and many others. [/QUOTE]

    I agree. I think we all know all to well that we carry much of our stress in our necks and backs and the importance of being in touch with what our bodies are telling us; however it is important that we get medical attention of back problems; especially when nerves are involved. Personally, I went the "natural" route and ended up the worse for it. I am sure there are people that the Sarno approach works wonderfully for; but personally I am not one of them.
    -MJ

     
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