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Anyone suffering from back pain who really wants to recover should read Dr. John Sarno's work. Here's a link to his book: https://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connectio...

I was skeptical at first, but just reading his book and thinking through what he presented healed my lower back pain.

Another Sarno cure checking in. Debilitating "RSI" in wrists/arms and back pain. I tried everything (lots of rest, ergonomic keyboards, cold compresses, NSAIDs, physical therapy), but nothing I did seemed to make any difference. Eventually, after two years of arm pain and half a year of back pain, I read Sarno's book "The Mindbody Prescription". I was very skeptical, but I was desperate. Within a couple of days I felt better, even better after a week, then a month. That was two and a half years ago. Today I have no back pain and I can type all day pain free.

Occasionally I get flare ups where I'll feel a little discomfort in my arms, but reminding me of the lessons within Sarno's books makes it go away within a day at most, and ever since I read Sarno I have never felt that I was in too much pain to work on a computer.

I don't know if Sarno got everything right, but typing this comment without pain proves to me that he is on to something.

Don't suffer for years like I did! If you are interested, I would recommend watching this 20/20 segment with Dr. Sarno: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsR4wydiIBI (13m35s). If you search for "RSI" on Hacker News, there are some great threads in which Sarno's theory is discussed.

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tension_myositis_syndrome

Think of all the physiological responses attributed to nervousness (e.g. before public speaking): muscle tension, raised heart rate, sweating, need to urinate/defecate, insomnia, nausea.

Given that, why are we so convinced that our mind (i.e. our prefrontal cortex, seat of "high level" thinking) _couldn't_ be the cause of persistent inflammatory pain? Do not ideas and stressors persist in our mind, just as pain might?

Sarno's simple thesis is that stress in our daily life could, in fact, be the underlying trigger for inflammatory pain. The mere realization of this, for many people, can resolve chronic pain problems that last years and are resistant to treatments that assume the cause of the issue is structural.

Here's a success story from one of the creators of EtherPad (acquired by Google) on his recovery from wrist pain (diagnosed as RSI) from reading Dr. Sarno's book:


Wait, the process of thinking through the book's contents itself healed the pain?

You need to read the book and his work to understand that bit.

It's not just reading the book. "Reading the book" makes you understand the way the brain works and can induce and "help" sustain "real pain" in places you think it to be. He also makes it clear that the advice "it's all in your mind" is just not going to help and only an insult to the sufferer.

If I understand correctly, he does not exclude physical examinations and advises to go through scans to determine anything serious and attend immediately. For the rest, he outlines the process by which, your brain can trick you into "induce real pain" and sustain real pain.

Any kind of relaxation or - a) reading the book = understanding the process b) relaxation/ meditation which takes away your concentration away c) letting out your aggression on some contact sports etc., can help.

Here's some words on Neuropathic pain, as opposed to nociceptive pain which is what you would feel if someone stuck a fork in your leg, the next day, when I remind you of the fork incident, and you wince, that's an example of neuropathic pain, the same area of the brain lights up either way.


This Amazon review is too perfect:

After months of intense low back pain, I was recommended this book. I read it and thought it made sense. I know our mind is powerful and stress can cause dis-ease. I completely jumped into his program spite the intense pain I endured. After 6 weeks I did not experience any shift in my pain. And, the pain intensified to the point that sometimes I couldn't even stand. I decided to seek medical help. What I found out was that my L5-S1 disc was collapsed and the (almost) bone on bone rubbing was why I was experiencing so much pain.

I wonder why it's at 4.5 stars.

I think that the premise is that it is possible for some people to reduce pain symptoms by reducing inflammation caused by stress. I can't imagine this advice would solve everyone's pain issues, but it might help people who would otherwise become dependent on pain medication or endure unnecessary surgery.

Having read the book, and done the course, the very first thing it tells you to do is visit a doctor to rule out any physical cause for your symptoms. This person it seems skipped that step.

Most pain treatment in the hands of professionals would seek to establish there is no mechanical aspect to the pain, go and see a doctor first, then read books.

Fakespot's score is a decent indicator of the quality of product reviews over at Amazon: http://fakespot.com/product/healing-back-pain-the-mind-body-...

Just curious: What did you learn from that book? I read through it halfways and gave up because I couldn't make sense of it.

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