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Thread: Dr. Sarno - "Mind Over Back Pain," etc.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    9

    Dr. Sarno - "Mind Over Back Pain," etc.

    Hello!

    Had fusion with Harrington Rod 27 years ago for 40-degree S-curve, overall, a lousy experience. Long story--another post.

    Now: pain from neck to knees. No fun! Recently diagnosed with flatback; the rod has popped out of the bottom hook; and am pretty much a textbook case of standard degeneration. Oh ho hum.

    Recently had the standard scoliosis x-rays, a complete MRI study, and will have CT/myelogram in 10 days. Blessed to be covered now by a top surgeon, clearly well-loved on this web site, and generally. Surgeon preliminarily mentioned possibility of more than one surgery.

    Be that as it may, I am wondering if anyone is familiar with the philosophy & writings of another physician, the eminent Dr. John E. Sarno at the Rusk Rehabilitation Institute of NYU Medical Center? Over more than 20 years of dealing with severe back pain patients, he is convinced that much of back pain has origins in mental stress, and apparently he has had a lot of success in freeing people from pain without drugs or surgery.

    Perhaps what I achieve by way of surgery could be enhanced by working with Dr. Sarno? Does anyone have experience with him?

    My best wishes to all,

    Leigh

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,795
    Hi Leigh...

    I'm familiar with Dr. Sarno and his work, and I think he absolutely has something. He's based his work on the fact that many people presenting with chronic back pain have normal xrays and MRIs, and other people, who have no back pain complaints, have obvious disc problems on MRI.

    I actually communicated briefly with Dr. Sarno when his "Healing Back Pain" book was published. He told me that he thought it was unlikely that his method would work for anyone with spinal deformities. I'm not convinced, and think that some components might be helpful. The brain is a fascinating organ.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    Sarno's Book

    I agree with Linda.

    I read that book a long time ago and it was really helpful when I had sciatica 20 years ago. I was under a lot of stress. Nothing was found on my myelogram. It did keep me from getting obsessed with the pain but that was before my lumbar curve doubled and I had severe structural abnormalities with nerve entrapment where my thoracic curve transitioned to my lumbar curve.

    The principles are helpful because stressors can cause all sorts of physical symptons.

    Karen
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    9

    Lightbulb

    Thank you, Linda & Karen, for your responses. Dr. Sarno's office and I have communicated so far only via voicemail back & forth. Busy guy. Once I have CT/myelogram results next week, I am going to email him, providing all the information, and ask if he thinks it would be useful to have a consultation. I will report the results. Would be quite exciting to me if I could reduce or eliminate some of the drugs I take for pain, not to mention the possibility of minimzing how much cutting & carving the surgeon will be doing!

    Yes, our minds are awesomely powerful. I remember my father, a man very much of "the old school" talking about a show on public television with Bill Moyers called "The Mind," or perhaps, "The Brain." My old stodgy father was nonetheless quite impressed & convinced that our consciousness has far more impact on the workings of our body than we had ever imagined. I remember the expression of wonder on his face when he told me about it. I wish I'd seen the show. Keep meaning to see if I can order the video from the pbs.org web site.

    Good wishes!

    Leigh

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,795
    Hi Leigh...

    It's "Healing and the Mind." I'd completely forgotten about it until you mentioned it. It was a fabulous series.

    --Linda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    33
    I know my back bothers me more when I am doing something I don't like/want to do verses when I am engaged in an activity (no matter how physically challenging) that I truly enjoy. Think about it!

    My brother is a master degreed PT and told me my beliefs are in line with what he sees with his own patients.

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