Healing Back Pain
About Healing Back Pain
In Healing Back Pain, Dr. Sarno investigates back pain and explores possible underlying causes. While many Americans believe that their back pain is caused by strenuous activity or injury, Sarno says, "This pervasive concept of the vulnerability of the back, of ease of injury, is nothing less than a medical catastrophe for the American public, which how has an army of semi disabled men and women whose lives are significantly restricted by the fear of doing further damage or bringing on the dreaded pain again." (Source) The book outlines why so many Americans suffer from chronic and debilitating pain, as well as offering a solution to chronic pain.
Although the primary focus of the book is on back pain, Dr. Sarno does address several other areas such as shoulder, leg, buttocks, and foot pain. Sarno does not address other manifestations or equivalents of TMS in this book.
As of July 2014, Healing Back Pain has been translated into Dutch, German, Japanese, Croatian, Hebrew, Spanish, Romanian, Korean, Greek, Bulgarian, Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, and French.
Table of Contents
- The Manifestations of TMS
- The Psychology of TMS
- The Physiology of TMS
- The Treatment of TMS
- The Traditional (Conventional) Diagnoses
- The Traditional (Conventional) Treatments
- Mind and Body
The treatment method Dr. Sarno lays out in this book is based on two principles. The first is that knowledge and education are the cure of TMS, and the second is "the ability to act on that knowledge and thereby change the brain's behavior."
- Think Psychologically: In essence this process consists of thinking of possible psychological or emotional issues going on, instead of physical causes, when a person is experiencing pain. Dr. Sarno stresses the importance of recognizing what emotional factors are contributing to the pain.
- Talk to Your Brain: In this method individuals tell their brain that they know what is going on, i.e. that the pain is caused by repressed emotions, and to stop creating pain to avoid experiencing the unwanted emotions. Sarno states "What one is doing is consciously taking charge instead of feeling the helpless, intimidated victim, which is so common in people with this syndrome."
- Resume Physical Activity: According to Sarno, resuming all physical activity (exercise, bending, lifting, etc.) is key to breaking the fear cycle that feeds the pain syndrome. Resuming physical activity consists of accepting that there is no structural damage, and understanding that the activity will not harm you.
- Discontinue All Physical Treatment: Sarno states "The principle is that one must renounce any structural explanation either for the pain or its cure." Engaging in physical treatment, i.e. massage therapy, physical therapy, or taking pain medications, continues the believe that there is a structural problem and physical treatment will cure it. Sarno very strongly declares that the cause of TMS is psychological and therefore must be treated in a psychological manner.
- Review the Daily Reminders: These reminders consist of several thoughts and phrases that help an individual accept the diagnosis.
- Small Group Follow-Up Meetings: In these meetings individuals meet with others going through the treatment, and discuss their progress. Sarno found that these meetings help people accept the diagnosis and begin the process of making psychological connections to their pain and their emotions.
- Psychotherapy: Dr. Sarno states that 95% of his patients go through this program and do not need psychotherapy, however a small portion of individuals do need this type of help in order to get better. Sarno suggests that the difference is a result of slightly higher levels of anxiety, anger, or other repressed feelings.
Reviews of Healing Back Pain
There are 406 Amazon.com Customer Reviews, in which former chronic pain sufferers review Healing Back Pain and explain how it helped heal their chronic pain.
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