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GracefulOne 07-30-2007 06:20 PM

Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
OK, I'm really reaching I ask my physical therapist husband who is sitting on the couch eating a bowl of spaghetti..."Do you think my pain is all in my head?"

I was just doing research online and found this Dr. Sarno guy...has published several books titled "Healing Back Pain" and "The Mind Body Prescription," amoung others.

Dr. Sarno's basic tenant is if you don't let the pain control your life and give in to it it will go away...that it is pscyhosomatic basically... I am 6 months post surgical from a 2 level this pain is all in my head...if I stop going to PT and to doctors appointments it will get better? Hey...I'd be down with freeing up about two days every week not going to therapy or finagling appointments...

So said husband responds, "Um, yeah pain can be in stress can make you feel worse (which in my case it does) but if managing pain was as easy as not thinking about it don't you think Pain Mangament would be a pretty easy thing."

So...what are your thoughts...anyone with the "back pain in your head" after your fusion or refusion or hemilaminectomy? Is buying this book and reading it going to get rid of my pain?

pattihabs 07-30-2007 07:30 PM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
hi:D , i also bought the same book. i read it and wondered the same thing. i tried to do what he suggested and it did not work for me. i understand that when you keep urself busy, the pain lessens(for me anyway) but it dosen't lessen to the point where i can stop taking the meds. and, it adds alot of stress. i tried sooo hard to fight the pain and it wins all the time. i'm too tired to fight anymore. i guess some people can have pain that has no real cause except that it is in their minds but unfortunately, most of us, the pain is real. the added stress of life, job, kids, hubby( do not help the pain at all. i have been fighting it since 2000 when i got hurt. each neck surgury i had made it worse. i tried soo hard to do self healing to get rid of the pain. nope, didn't work for me.:mad: i will burn the anyway, it sucks and i hope your pain feels better, patti:)

GracefulOne 07-30-2007 07:45 PM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?

Thanks for responding...I haven't yet invested my $17.92 in the book...or one of the many others on this subject...I could probably go in our basement and find 12 books about the subject that my husband has held on to from college...

I guess like you I'm tired as well...

I believe in the old adage, "If it sounds to good to be true, it most likely is."

I concur, stress from work, family, etc. only compounds our bodies response to pain, but last I heard the only way to get rid of stress was by dying...

Have you found ways to manage your stress that have positively correlated in pain relief?

pattihabs 07-30-2007 08:03 PM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
hi:wave: , i like your, anyway, the methadone has worked best for me. i have tried many different narcs, shots,pt, ot, psyco therapy:dizzy: , ect. next month, i will be trying the spinal cord stimulator. as far as the stress, i am on cymbalta. 120mg a day, the max and i didn't think it heled but at one point i went off it and i didn't tell my hubby and kids for awhile and they begged me to go back on it because i became soo irritable. so i guess it did make a difference. i do think you have to give it more time though. mine was c spine. not sure what yours is but my doc did say it takes a good year to heal. i wish i never had any of them:confused: . i'm worse now then when i started:( . well, i hope you feel better real soon and good luck, patti:bouncing: ps. i love these little funny guys:jester:

GracefulOne 07-30-2007 08:10 PM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
Hello again my dear Patti,

I'm on Cymbalta as well...I was on 120mg but dropped to 60mg about 2 months ago in anticipation of trying to concieve...I honestly think the Cymbalta was helping with my nerve pain at the 120mg because I do notice I'm in a little more pain than I was at that level. In addition, I think I haven't had as much of the sciatic type symptoms as I would have had being on it...

I've heard alot of good things about the Meth but as you said, it's hard to take stuff like that and even think about trying to conceive...

Well cheers to you and your cute little hoppy things! Thanks so much for listening and corresponding with me.

kitson 07-30-2007 09:51 PM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
I recently read "The Mind Body Prescription" and just picked up "Healing Back Pain" from the library. I want to read the second one before I decide or make a comment.

On another note, similar book, "Back Sense" by Ronald D. Siegel, Michael H Urdang, Douglas R. Johnson had some similar info. It also discusses some different kinds of exercises and some kinds of mediation.

In my case, the pain is real, but stress or reduction of stress can be a factor in the amount of pain. So at least some part of its all in your head has some validity.

As far as your question about what works for reducing stress, there is a whole gambit of holistic/new age stuff out there. Some of them base, such as yoga, are partially based on breathing and meditation. Biofeedback is a more recent way to reduce stress. A large part of it is relaxation. Find something that works for you. "Body Sense" has a short section on walking meditation that is intriguing to me. I intend to try it once I can walk for more than 5 - 8 minutes at a time. This reminds me of some of the Chinese martial arts exercises.

Check out your library, both for the books and also look at some of the books on meditation based programs. The library should have videos as well as books.

Moldova 07-31-2007 08:05 AM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
Jay, i read all his books and i posted couple of times here about it while ago. If you want, you can find threds on this boards.
He is a wonderful Doctor who worked on tough cases, spinal injures, and people after that fully recovered and went back to normal lives.
I strongly believe in mind-body healing. Didn't you meet people whose glass is always full or the ones whose glass is half empty? Did you notice the difference?
Half empty type are always sick: they make a tragedy if they catch a simple cold, they constantly complain about little things. And do feel misarable because of this attitude.

Half full even with serious health issues have an attitude - could be worse and they don't really like to complain. Because they still enjoy little things in this life. And they do feel better than the type #1.

But this is not about everybody: many peole do have physicological problems. For example not many of us know that depression can physically hurt. People believe this is physical pain, but it is not. Doctor treats the cause of this pain - depression and person does not feel pain anymore.
With spinal problems everything is different. Chronic pain in most cases here is not in a head, it is so real and sometimes brings spirits down no matter how much you try .

I enjoyed his books, gives you hope. And i do believe that a lot of surgeries could be avoided if people would read his books before they go: his idea based on years of experiense is - learn how to deal with stress, learn how to relax, understand that herniations, DDD, bulges, stenosis are normal condition for the spine for all of us when we pass age 25 and that those conditions are not permanent, comes and goes and in most cases no surgery required... And how stress affects our pain and bodies...
I read them twice already - really good for your mind and definately you learn a lot from it.

caszyman 07-31-2007 08:37 AM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
After canceling my daughter's first fusion surgery someone mentioned Dr. Sarno's books. We both read these. We agree that there is good information in the books. Just didn't work in the case of my then 15 year old daughter's case. She was born with spondylolisthesis and these ideas couldn't change the structural deformities she was born with. But we did give them a try. We tried everything we could for a girl that age before agreeing to a fusion.

I certainly hope his ideas work for you. Anything to avoid surgery is wonderful! cas

GracefulOne 07-31-2007 12:26 PM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
Thank you everyone for your responses...I will research the previous threads and see if they can sway me to pick up these texts. Duh...I have a library near my house...why spend the money at Barnes & Noble? That way no pain (in the wallet).

I have an eval with a collegue of my husbands, a physical therapist that specializes in chronic pain, fibromyalgia, etc. I know that he does "Cranio-Sacral" Therapy, which I've had a good response to in the past. I'm hoping that I will learn a strategy or two to help me with not letting my body bounce between my Sympathetic Nervous System and my Parasympathetic Nervous System...and who knows...according to my husband and his collegues this guy works miracles!

I the glass half emtpy or half's hard...I would say I'm one who teeters between both...When I get really down I think back to what my father went through with his fight of bone cancer and know things could always be worse...I try to put a smile on when I'd rather be crying...I try not to let those around me know that I'm biggest feat was my Wedding Day two months ago...I was so worried I'd not make it through the day but I sucked it up and tried to savor it... of that tangent...the one thing I question is the basic tenant of these books (from what I've reviewed) is to stop thinking, doing, going to the doctor, etc. Well I'm not exactly comfortable with that considering I'm only 6 months out of fusion surgery.

In addition, having conducted clinical experiements in the past, I've realized there is a great difference between anecdotal evidence and statistical significance.

All said, if it gives me hope or even one strategy to learn to cope with my situation I guess it's worth a try.

Baybreeze 07-31-2007 04:28 PM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
I havent read that book, but have read some similar. I've tried other things for stress in years past also, that never did anything for any pains I had, though. I tried everything imaginable for my back pains before I knew what it was and just got worse & worse over 3 1/2 years. Came to find out I had alot going on that would never have been cured or helped by anything but surgery. But I have read on plenty medical sites that some pain (especially muscle related) can be indeed caused by stress and/or depression or can make it I guess it all depends on your individual situation. For myself, I've had some severe stress in my past, but back then, I never got pain due to it (except maybe headaches..LOL). Now later in life when I know how to deal with stress and I dont get all depresssed & just learned to brush things off.....I ended up with so much pain but thankfully all my testing found the answers for my pains and I was treated.

kitson 08-02-2007 09:25 AM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
[QUOTE=GracefulOne;3128978].... Duh...I have a library near my house...why spend the money at Barnes & Noble? .....[/QUOTE]

I did a search for "Green Bay, Wi" and found Brown County library. I assume this is your local library. Then, I went and checked the Brown County library card catalog; they have the two books by Sarno you asked about.

They also have "Back Sense".

It looks like if the branch nearest you does not have a copy; you can request the book and it will be shipped to your local branch. Of course you will need a library card first. Which you can apply for online.

GracefulOne 08-02-2007 12:08 PM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?

How thoughtful of you! of the branches is near my home - a few miles away...and I do have a library card! I plan on going online and searching like you did and putting them on reserve if they are out on loan...that way I'll have first stab at them when they are back in!

Thank you so much for your thoughtfullness!


tsohl 08-02-2007 07:37 PM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
Hello graceful one,

I was going to suggest the library, also. I bought the first book and was sorry I spent the money. I suppose the theory could work for some, but I think he's talking more about situational back pain rather than something that is structural.

I noticed you had two surgeries prior to the fusion. I am in the process of choosing a surgeon based on the procedure. 5 have told me that I must have a fusion as I have a spondylolisthesis at L4-L5 and spinal stenosis that causes sciatic pain that keeps me from being able to walk or stand for longer than 5 minutes. One is willing to try a laminectomy without a fusion. I wondered if you were in a similar situation and/or why you had the fusion. Did you have your surgeries i Green Bay??


:wave: Tsohl

GracefulOne 08-02-2007 08:30 PM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
I agree that the books are more for the 'I hurt my back but anticipate getting better without medical help' type of situation. I'm still willing to skim through a few and just see what they have to offer.


Yes, I had all my surgeries in Green Bay.

I talked to my husband about your situation - he's a physical therapist and he said it depends how sever your spondilothesis is...he said that in his experience if the slippage is greater than 50% most spine care providers would recommend the fusion. If it's less, you may do ok without the fusion at this point as it is such a permanent procedure.

I ended up slipping as I was walking in to work one day - didn't report it to anyone as I thought I just had a sore back...take some Advil and go to the chiropractor a few times and I'll be fine...well big suprise for me as it continued for about a month and by then it was too late to report it. Shortly after that month, I then ended up snow blowing my driveway and slipped on ice...that was the end of me! After not being able to deal with the pain anymore I was referred to a pain management physician who did several epidurals and facet injections. I had minimal response to the injections and then had radio frequency ablation to burn the nerves. After not having relief with that, I was referred to a neurosurgon who finally did an MRI and found I had 2 herniations - L4/5 and L5/S1.

During all of the above I had been working with my now husband doing therapy - we had just started dating about a month before it all happend. I was lucky that he would take me in the office after hours and do stim and ultrasound - he scored me a tens unit to try for a few weeks but none of it made a difference.

I had 2 hemilamenectomies - I felt great after the first - no pain in my hip or upper buttocks at all for about 3 1/2 weeks. I then started getting the pain back. My neurosurgeon didn't think that my other disc was a problem and at the time of my first surgery did not consider it a surgicle disc, but then as the pain continued he decided to do another laminectomy. After the 2nd I had minimal relief from the pain - continued along and about a month later I finally told him I think there is something wrong again. Another MRI and he found I had reherniated both levels. He really didn't want to do a fusion based on my age, but, there wasn't another option as basically my discs were not supporting my spine in those two levels. His OR Nurse also had a hand in talking him into it because she was concerned that I would end up with neuropathy if I didn't have it done. I had the two level fusion this past January 30th so I'm just 6 months out in recovery.

Good luck with figuring out what to do. My only hope is to be out of pain in the future - I hope it's possible!


Sage48 08-05-2007 06:45 AM

Re: Has Anyone Read: Healing Back Pain or The Mind Body Prescription by Dr. Sarno?
So sorry that you have had such problems at a young age. Falls are sooooo horrible, in what they can do to our bodies. (I also fell almost 5 yrs. ago..)..I have not read the books you have mentioned, but will be going to the libraray this week to see if my local one has them on the shelves. I do believe that stress can cause pain...not just in an "injured" area... When one hurts ones back, the thought process is to find a doctor, then make sure he's the right kind of doctor, then make sure that we get the proper type of xrays, MRI, CT, epidurals, PT etc. etc. Getting the referrals and appointments in a timely manner is STRESSFUL. All of this can and does take years. In the meantime, our lives are going on...and we are missing out on so much. That is stressful. We basically are serching for a way to get our old lives back..and it takes years to dicover that it isn't going to happen. Then we melt down for a bit, then we come back...hopefully....and put ourselves and our families back together, in a new manner. It is so hard. I have done the "search" for the right etc. and am now at the point where, it doesn't would be nice to be pain free, but it doesn't matter. I just try to get as close to normal as possible, by whatever means I have...right now, my medications seem to be the best way for me....just so I can enjoy each moment and each matter what I am hoping to do. If I have to take time out and rest because of my back/leg pain...I do...then I go on... I want to enjoy my with my husband at this time in our lives...we have worked soooooo long and hard we deserve to enjoy what is offered to us now. My sister in law said that I have changed...that I used to be so basically I am different... That is true...I told her that basically I don't care about much anymore...just want to live my life and have what fun I can...not stressing out about pain,doctors/treatments etc..if they happen and they work...GREAT...if not...well, I tried. Want to enjoy my family...and life...and that is what I am focusing on. Don't know if it lesssens my pain...but the focus is not on that anyway... Gosh, this doesn't seem to make sense....sorry I rambled on so much... Hope you can figure out what I was trying to say!!!! Thanks for the recommendation on the books!!!


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