Mind Over Back Pain: A Radically New Approach to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Back Pain Info

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This is the book that has given thousands of sufferers new
hope--a gentle, effective way to find real relief from back pain,
without painkillers, without surgery, without spending days on end in
bed.

Dr. John Sarno's revolutionary approach to back pain is
based on his discovery that tension is the underlying cause of most back
problems--leading to an often unrecognized condition called Tension
Mytosis Syndrome. In this book--the first to explain the
psychophysiology, manifestations, and treatment of TMS--you'll find
clear steps, sensible advice, and simple illustrations to help you find
relief, prevent future pain...and live life fully once again.


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Reviews for Mind Over Back Pain: A Radically New Approach to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Back Pain:

2

May 19, 2011

This book was recommended to me by a few people, one a coworker whose friend refers to it as a "bible" for back-pain sufferers. I'm a little on the fence on this one, and offer the following:

The book was copyrighted in 1982, and some of the author's assertions have since been proven incorrect. For example, he insists with frequency that we all know ulcers are caused by stress, & implies that physicians sweep that fact under the rug because they are uncomfortable with all things This book was recommended to me by a few people, one a coworker whose friend refers to it as a "bible" for back-pain sufferers. I'm a little on the fence on this one, and offer the following:

The book was copyrighted in 1982, and some of the author's assertions have since been proven incorrect. For example, he insists with frequency that we all know ulcers are caused by stress, & implies that physicians sweep that fact under the rug because they are uncomfortable with all things psychological. We now know that ulcers are often caused by bacteria. So, you have to read with the understanding that some of the information is obsolete. I'm also not sure the stress that causes psychosomatic illness is shrewd enough to change outlets once it is unmasked. Sort of creates the mental image of a cockroach running from light: it doesn't really go away, just finds another niche.

I had the sense, more than once, that the author didn't really have all that much to say; he quoted some statistics, outlined a few case histories, but spent a lot of time repeating himself.

I don't disagree with his position that any type of pain can be a result of stress, and I'm sure back pain ranks right up there. But if you're looking for a magic solution, you won't find it here. Sarno seems to believe that simply accepting that he's right will solve most of your problem, the remainder to be addressed by the standard treatment of analgesics and physical therapy.

It's an interesting read, and certainly not without merit. Perhaps the most important piece to take away is that the mind plays a key role in illness, and should always be recognized and respected.
...more
4

Jul 22, 2014

I really wanted to give this book 3.5 stars. I found his ideas and theories to be spot on. He described me exactly and found myself and Anthony in its pages. I am a naturally intense person and tension and anxiety are my constant companions. I can pick out exactly what was happening in my life at certain times when my back would "go out". I could never understand how my stress levels would trigger my back but they did. As I look back on my last year and the emotional strains on both Anthony and I really wanted to give this book 3.5 stars. I found his ideas and theories to be spot on. He described me exactly and found myself and Anthony in its pages. I am a naturally intense person and tension and anxiety are my constant companions. I can pick out exactly what was happening in my life at certain times when my back would "go out". I could never understand how my stress levels would trigger my back but they did. As I look back on my last year and the emotional strains on both Anthony and I its no wonder my back went crazy. But what I don't understand and wish he described in more detail was exactly HOW to implement this knowledge. Is it merely just acknowledging the fact that it all starts in my mind, and that I can stop the pain?

How can this knowledge bring relief to Anthony? I don't know really. And that is why I wished I could give this book 3.5. I feel a little lost as to where to go next with it all. ...more
4

Aug 20, 2017

How to heal back pain with actually no healing at all

Everybody with back or muscle pain should at least give a try to this book. Unorthodox and promising concept of mind body connection.
5

Dec 09, 2016

As a back pain sufferer, I think he hit the nail on the head. I was told I had bulging disks. The real underlying pain is tension based. If the diagnosis had been, you have no real structural issue and need an outlet for tension, the pain would never have doubled. This man is brilliant and I thank God for this book.
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perfect health review ...more
1

May 06, 2019

In this book, the author/ doctor basically uses her on hypothesis regarding the origination point of back pain. Her hypothesis is called. Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), according to the author, was discovered after seeing patients who had the same spinal malformations, but responded differently to pain. These patients, either had no pain, moderate pain or high levels of pain. TMS, basis it's suppositions around the fact that it any pain is caused it is originating in the muscles, because they In this book, the author/ doctor basically uses her on hypothesis regarding the origination point of back pain. Her hypothesis is called. Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), according to the author, was discovered after seeing patients who had the same spinal malformations, but responded differently to pain. These patients, either had no pain, moderate pain or high levels of pain. TMS, basis it's suppositions around the fact that it any pain is caused it is originating in the muscles, because they are not getting enough oxygen. Readers are encouraged to take vacations and "...great themselves to psycotherpy... ."

As someone with chronic pain from a bad back and who has a scientific background:
1) I've been on vacation many times, my spinal malformations keep getting worse and my pain levels keep rising.
2) There are well know and documented studies that the sensation of pain is partly due to a persons pain threshold and partly due to genetics.
3) One of the first things you learn in science is that Correlation does equal Causation! ...more
4

Dec 10, 2018

Despite being almost 30 years old this book has a lot of wisdom in it that is very applicable to any person currently experiencing back or neck pain. Everyone should have to read this before they even consider an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon....
My only issue is with his slightly cavalier attitude towards narcotics, but I think his perspective makes sense based on when he was writing this.
5

Mar 13, 2019

Dr. Sarno is the original psychological pain connection study doctor, and I believe this is his original book. There are several. I read this to help me study and get through my Curable app program.
Stalled now by other illness, but this is marvelous stuff. Very heady!!! (Pun intended)
I’m sure part of my problem is MFS.
0

Jan 16, 2018

I thought Dr. Sarno's approach to pain was interesting. I wished there might have been a little more detail. As a person who has been suffering with back pain for many many years it gave me some hope. Unfortunately Dr. Sarno passed away in 2017 so I will not be able to have a consultation with him.
3

Jul 13, 2017

Eh. I was told to check out Dr. Sarno's books because I've had back surgery at a young age (18) and haven't had full recovery since. I think some of his ideas are spot on. Pain and tension do manifest themselves in your body/physical world. The major shortcoming of this book is he doesn't explain how to treat TMS, or any exercises he has felt personally useful for dealing with his TMS.
4

Jan 04, 2019

Interesting, if a little dated. The central point is that back pain is usually more an issue of stress and muscle tension than of any structural abnormality. It still seems relevant today. I'm curious if the people I know who suffer from back pain would benefit from reading.
5

Sep 22, 2017

Great Read for Anyone Suffering

This condition of chronic back pain, cannot be addressed enough. I cannot thank Dr Sarno enough for providing science based evudence for esoteric wisdom.
4

Jul 25, 2017

This really makes a lot of sense when you think about it. I'm intrigued and ready to learn more!
5

Nov 05, 2017

Great book for anyone struggling with back pain. It seems a little new agey but it’s definitely worth reading.
5

Nov 10, 2019

Awesome! Saved me more than once from surgery! When no doctor can give you an answer, Dr. Sarno has one. You need to think outside the box.
5

Sep 08, 2019

Reading this book has significantly reduced 18yrs of chronic pain. This book is dated though. I suggest reading his newer book.
3

Aug 08, 2017

The ideology that he proposes of tension being the primary cause of neck/shoulder/back pain is a logical and necessary stance against the traditional medical diagnoses. TMS represents the subconscious tension from our personal lives that has manifested itself into a localized chronic body pain. It's even further perpetuated by personality traits, leading to the distinction of "psychophysiologic" pain.

I think we probably all know that the more we burden ourselves with heavy thoughts, the more The ideology that he proposes of tension being the primary cause of neck/shoulder/back pain is a logical and necessary stance against the traditional medical diagnoses. TMS represents the subconscious tension from our personal lives that has manifested itself into a localized chronic body pain. It's even further perpetuated by personality traits, leading to the distinction of "psychophysiologic" pain.

I think we probably all know that the more we burden ourselves with heavy thoughts, the more prone we are to stress, in this case, bodily stress. This book gives you that "aha!" moment confirming what you've probably already known and felt. That is, the mind is strong enough to control the body's feelings. I am now more confident that I can control my own back pain by realizing the source(s) of my tension, and that it's up to me to make it go away.

Though I gained this understanding early in the book, I started to feel like I couldn't wait to finish because Dr. Sarno began to drag on with redundant examples, causing the book to go on 1/3 longer than it needed too. "Patients were feeling pain for years", "They were diagnosed incorrectly", "I diagnosed them with TMS", "The ones who believed me got better...the rest didn't", "Type A's experience it more." And over and over and over with the repetitive examples that seemed to indulge his ego for "solving the mystery."

Good book. Good idea. Just a tad too long to get the point across. Worth reading for people with pain though. ...more
5

Aug 12, 2014

This book was amazing for one simple reason: It provides a logical conclusion as to the cause of pain that millions of people feel every day, and it does so while contradicting the popular diagnosis millions of people are given by medical professionals.

I read this book because I started having back pain about a year ago, and it has gotten to the point where I am not able to do the activities that I love to do. This book offers an alternate viewpoint that could mean a way out. I am now working on This book was amazing for one simple reason: It provides a logical conclusion as to the cause of pain that millions of people feel every day, and it does so while contradicting the popular diagnosis millions of people are given by medical professionals.

I read this book because I started having back pain about a year ago, and it has gotten to the point where I am not able to do the activities that I love to do. This book offers an alternate viewpoint that could mean a way out. I am now working on releasing and dealing with tension in my life as it comes. I am going to physical therapy and avoiding surgery. If you are feeling back pain, you owe it to yourself to read this book with an open mind.

You are stronger than you think. ...more
4

Sep 01, 2010

This is an excellent book about how our emotions and our mind relate to our physiological experience of pain, in particular, back pain in the form of TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome). Sarno's work is similar to Gabor Mate's work, except that, since Sarno is not a psychologist, some of his evaluations of his patients are not as thoroughly analyzed as in Mate's work. Regardless, this is a very accessible book and a definite must-read for anyone with chronic pain - back pain, fibromyalgia, This is an excellent book about how our emotions and our mind relate to our physiological experience of pain, in particular, back pain in the form of TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome). Sarno's work is similar to Gabor Mate's work, except that, since Sarno is not a psychologist, some of his evaluations of his patients are not as thoroughly analyzed as in Mate's work. Regardless, this is a very accessible book and a definite must-read for anyone with chronic pain - back pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, and so on. I'm looking forward to reading Sarno's other, longer books on the relationship between the mind and the body. ...more
3

Oct 15, 2008

daisy, my editor, has been telling me to read this guy's stuff for over half a year. after suffering a severe muscle spasm in my neck and shoulder that muscle relaxants and OTC painkillers stopped responding to, i was put on really heavy narcotics for the pain and my clenched muscles. reading this book put it all into perspective for me. i need to read more of his stuff.... but i felt like this guy was writing this book TO me. his main thesis: my physical pain was a manifestation of mental daisy, my editor, has been telling me to read this guy's stuff for over half a year. after suffering a severe muscle spasm in my neck and shoulder that muscle relaxants and OTC painkillers stopped responding to, i was put on really heavy narcotics for the pain and my clenched muscles. reading this book put it all into perspective for me. i need to read more of his stuff.... but i felt like this guy was writing this book TO me. his main thesis: my physical pain was a manifestation of mental tension. honestly, this was news to me. ...more
4

Feb 24, 2010

No, he's not saying it's all "just in your head". He's saying the causes of some, maybe most, back pain is more psychological than physical, as had been previously believed by science. It's an intriguing explanation, backed up by his years of clinical practice.

I do wish he'd go more in the treatment of this disorder in the book. He mentions a whole program he uses but apparently you have to go to a workshop to get it.
4

May 07, 2016

I read all of Dr. Sarno's books back in the day. After being profoundly disappointed with "traditional" approaches to pain, I've decided to read through his works again, starting at the beginning. His theories are revolutionary, scientific and common sensical. Do yourself a favor & read him if you suffer from back or other types of chronic pain and make up your own mind.
3

Feb 15, 2010

I don't agree with everything Sarno says in this book, but I think the central premise is sound. Psychological tension results in physical tension which results in pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. I also agreed with his assessment of Western medicine, which tends to pathologize everything and cause even more fear, anxiety, and tension in worried patients.
5

Jul 31, 2012

As a back pain sufferer, I think he hit the nail on the head. I was told I had bulging disks. The real underlying pain is tension based. If the diagnosis had been, you have no real structural issue and need an outlet for tension, the pain would never have doubled. This man is brilliant and I thank God for this book.
3

Feb 12, 2010

Recommended by my brother.
I found it to be somewhat dated, but the basic premise resonated with me: stress and tension can produce back pain the same way they can produce an ulcer or a migraine headache.
4

Sep 02, 2012

Extremely helpful in trying to take a different look at how the body works and what it's telling you when in pain. My only disappointment was that he didn't offer much information on his treatments. I believe his following book is more detailed. I'll definitely be reading that next.

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