Customer Reviews of Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection
Dr. Sarno's insights are profound!
After 20 years of excrutiating back pain, I'm curred. As I was reading Dr. Sarno's book I found myself identifying with his patients and with his diagnosis. I read the book very closely, trying not to miss any details and applying his recovery techniques as I'm reading and my back pain started subsiding before I finished the book. I still had to work with his suggested techniques another week before I had my pain completely under my conscious control. I also had severe foot pain from plantar facitis and had stopped running three years ago, but thanks to Dr. Sarno's book, I have no more foot pain and have resumed my running program. I have been seen by many medical doctors for years for my problems and none could ever help me. I was on the verge of getting surgury for my feet and am so glad I didn't do that. I now realize that I must deal with the emotional issues as they arise every day in my life no matter how insignificant they may seem, but to continue in the same old attitude of denial and subjugation of my rightful feelings can only bring me more of the same, pain and misery directed at my own body from my subconscious mind. I am a believer in Dr. Sarno's theories. Thanks so much for your wonderful book.
I think this book will be most helpful for people who have been suffering with back pain for a long period of time (months to years). Most back pain lasts only a short time, and if it persists, you probably either have a really serious medical problem (that is usually obvious) or there are psychological factors involved.
If you've been through the conventional medical system with your back pain for a long time with no satisfaction, have had many physical treatments (such as heat, massage, manipulation, etc.) with no relief, AND have had serious back pain issues ruled out, then I say it would be well worth your while to at least check out this book. While there are true physical causes of back pain that are not psychological, this book will make you think about any stress related issues that could be a part of your pain. Other self-help books I liked include Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff. Good luck!
Still doing great after five years!
I like to check in every now and then with my progress and I have to say that since reading this book and implementing its suggestions in 1999, I have been free of back pain for five years. I NEVER take it for granted. I biked 35 miles just today without so much as a twinge. I had suffered with back pain for ten years after being attacked by a combative patient at work (I was a psych nurse) so it was pretty much a miracle to stumble on Dr. Sarno's book and his theories. I'm an incredibly practical person who tends to pooh-pooh a lot of holistic medicine, but these theories are based on common sense. If I ever feel even a twinge of discomfort, usually re-reading the Prologue is enough to make me better. Thank you, Dr. Sarno, for changing my life!
If your back hurts, buy this book... now.
I have suffered from chronic back pain for the last 13 years, after having pain from powerlifting and being diagnosed with a ruptured L5-S1 disk. I also have a spina bifida occulta in my sacrum.
In those 13 years I have tried chiropractic therapy, stretching, exercises, heat, ice, nutritional supplements, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, special chairs and shoes, facet joint injections, physical therapy, anti-depressants, surgery (laminectomy in 1991), scar-removal procedure (2 yrs ago), and even daily high dose narcotic painkiller for over a year. The pain ALWAYS came back. It even started spreading to my hips and right shoulder over the past 2 yrs.
I found this book about a month ago when I woke up in pain yet again, even though I had been stretching and exercising every day. There was no logical reason for the pain, and that's when I decided to figure out what was really going on.
I found this book by Dr. Sarno and over the past month, the pain has gone away completely. I have never felt better.
Once you understand how the brain and nervous system function, you can begin to take control of the situation.
For those suffering back (or any other) pain, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I would recommend reading this book before going on to Sarno's "Mind-Body Prescription". I don't think I would have understood the info. in "MBP" as readily if I haven't read "Healing Back Pain" first. Read them both though.
Once you are pain-free, you will again see the world as your oyster.
If you're like me and thousands (millions?) of others who suffer from back pain and other ailments (e.g., sciatica, "tennis elbow", even frequent urination and skin rashes), this book is a literal lifesaver.
I first learned about Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), the name Dr. Sarno gave to this condition, in 1999 when Dr. Sarno appeared on Larry King Live. At that time, I had been suffering from chronic low back pain for a decade. I first developed it my junior year in college and had back pain off and on since. Because I was a military officer at the time when it was most severe, I was afforded exceptional healthcare and offered every possible treatment at the U.S. government's expense. However, no amount of treatment - physical therapy, chiropractic care, exercising/stretching, acupuncture, etc. - could free me of my debilitating pain. That is, until I discovered Dr. Sarno's diagnosis.
By the time I read Dr. Sarno's book, I had every known type of imagery done to determine the root of my low back pain - MRI, CT, X-ray, etc. Still, nothing was conclusive, so once I learned through Dr. Sarno's book the pain could simply be a phyiscal reaction to emotional pain, the diagnosis made perfect sense to me and was easy to believe. Within days of reading the book, I was cured. Amazing.
Unfortunately, I still have bouts with TMS, sometimes severe bouts. As such, I continue to seek out a permanent cure for my problem. Dr. Sarno's book helped me put the pain in perspective and regain control of my life. However, it has not been able to rid me of TMS all together. He suggests psychotherapy if TMS persists, but I live in South Korea and do not have that as an option. Nonetheless, I am at least relieved to know I haven't caused any real injury to my back. I can thus go about my business and simply manage the pain as it arrives. Thank you, Dr. Sarno, thank you.
Incidentally, before I close, I should mention many people rave about Fred Amir's book "Rapid Recovery from Back Pain". I too have that book, but I have not found it that helpful (see my review). Regardless, whatever answers you seek beyond this book, don't do so until you've started here. Dr. Sarno's book is the foundation for any further help you may seek.
REVIEW UPDATE: 15 JANUARY 2004
I am writing to reaffirm how wonderful this book truly is. I am very happy to report I have had literally no back pain in nearly two years now. None. My treatment? Nothing other than reading Dr. Sarno's book. That's it. Please, folks, do yourself a favor. Give this book a try. I exaggerate not when I say that reading this paperback alone can free you of pain forever. I'm living proof.