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marymmmellen's avatar

Does anyone have experience with Dr Sarno's healing back pain methods?

Asked by marymmmellen (32points) April 13th, 2010

My husband has had intense back pain for two years . He has had a whole bunch of tests done and the Doctors haven’t found any thing wrong..they say it is muscular pain. He has tried every thing to get some relief and is on a crazy concoction of narcotics and muscle relaxers. Recently I was told about Dr John Sarno book healing back pain. My question is is any one familiar with Dr Sarnos TMS treatment. Also thoughts on the mind body connection .

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7 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I had a ruptured L5-S1 disc removed 25 years ago and it solved the problem. Many of the back problems come from bad posture or bad lifting technique. Correcting those structural issues may help your husbands problem. I have heard of people getting relief from accupuncture, but have no direct experience with it.

Pandora's avatar

First, thing I have to ask is how old is your mattress. A year back I started to have back pain. I figured since the mattress seemed fine it wasn’t the problem. I finally gave in and bought a new one and in a few short weeks my back was better.
Second thing is he needs to do back strengthening exercises. Get one of those big balls you balance on. Its great for balancing your core muscles plus as an added bonus they are great to stretch on. Have him stretch before and after he uses the ball for balancing. There are many examples on line for stengthening his body core without injury.
Now my husband use to go see a chiropractor for his back and it would only work for a while. I had him do stretches for 5 minutes before bed and 5 minutes in the morning before getting out of bed. I had read somewhere that you need to loosen your muscles before sleep so they could properly relax and stretching in the morning helps to warm them up. He didn’t like it at first but after the first week he noticed his back pain was gone.
He’s been fine ever since. Whenever it flares up again, he starts it all over again. Of course the new bed has helped a lot as well. Hope this helps.

marymmmellen's avatar

Our mattress is less then a year old ,He has tried stretches and strengthening exercises and they seem to make him hurt more he has done PT and has had acupuncture. He has a disc test done and they said his discs are all good .I feel maybe it is internal organs or something mental he has had a MRI and it ruled out everything else..My daughters girl scout leader recommended this book by Dr John Sarno ,she and her husband swear by it that it cured their pain

gailcalled's avatar

I read Sarno’s book and got really excited. Then I discovered that his ideas about unexpressed or stored anger was useful but only as an adjunct to yoga stretches and a serious walking program.

Don’t cheat, don’t stop when you feel better. They should be part of your daily routine, like flossing and brushing.

Much back pain is physiological but triggered by stored tension that likes the soft tissue around your spine. Some people get colitis, irritable bowel, TMJ and migraines.

@marymmmellen: Has your husband seen a really good Physical Therapist to teach him routines that will work for him? He’ll need a script from his doctor.

marymmmellen's avatar

THANK you . I do not think he has been to a really good pt yet . In the past when he went they treated him delicately thinking it was a spinal injury now that is ruled out he is waiting for approval from insurance to see another one for more vigorous treatment . I feel it will be a problem for him trying to stick with any thing being he is a quick fix kinda guy but I also feel when he sees results he may stick with it, ,also with the positive cheer leading of his supportive wife.

gailcalled's avatar

@marymmmellen: Remind him of what it is like to be stuck in bed, able only to crawl to the toilet and thinking he is dying if he should happen to sneeze.

Another useful tide-me-over is an elastic back support that you can adjust and fiddle with and also wear under your clothes.

stranger423's avatar

If the doctors say there is nothing wrong with his back: that it is muscular, then read Dr Sarno’s latest book “The Divided Mind”.

Following his book has cured me of 95% of my long-term RSI come Fibromyalgia (which included excruciating back pain) in under a month. I have got my life back, and am too lazy to heal myself of the minuscule trace of pain that remains. I’m sorry to say this, but ignore the advice about beds, bending, stretching, acupuncture, elastic back supports, and in my case also chiropractors, rheumatolgists, osteopaths, masseuses, homoeopathy, different diets, drugs, exercise and many more: they might give some short-term release, but the problem is different – your husband probably has a strong health body.

He probably has emotions that are threatening to burst out.

If your husband is at all a people-pleaser or a perfectionist, or if for some reason he has trouble feeling and expressing his “negative” emotions now, or in the past, then he must read Dr Sarno.

(Although in my opinion, an ideologically compatible and better book on the subject is Scott Brady and William Proctor’s “Pain Free for Life”. Although the cover art could do with a little marketing skill.)

Good luck. The brain fights like crazy to keep its strategy of distraction.

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