Customer Reviews for

Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection

Average Rating 4
( 55 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

changed my life

What can I say that everyone here already has? Protruding L5, couldn't sit at work, sit in the car without pain. Then the lists of couldn'ts just kept growing. This book was recommended by my doctor, read it in a couple hours and decided to change my way of thinking....
What can I say that everyone here already has? Protruding L5, couldn't sit at work, sit in the car without pain. Then the lists of couldn'ts just kept growing. This book was recommended by my doctor, read it in a couple hours and decided to change my way of thinking. It works! I sit all day at work, I drive, I ski, I go to spinning, I can do anything! If it starts to creep back in, I become aware of my stress levels, talk to myself, breathe, mediatate, and it's gone. Please have an open mind and get this book!

posted by kgs72 on March 23, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Find me a conrolled trial that proves it works.

This book is about back pain having psychological causes. The treatment? Just recognizing this and telling your body to stop it. I think that this is a good theory but we really need some proof to back this up, I mean you wouldn't want to undergo a cancer treatment o...
This book is about back pain having psychological causes. The treatment? Just recognizing this and telling your body to stop it. I think that this is a good theory but we really need some proof to back this up, I mean you wouldn't want to undergo a cancer treatment or take a medication unitl its been proven to work, would you? So why should you settle for anything less with back pain treatments- unless you just want to make this author even richer! If you ask any doctor how treatments are proven to be effective, they will say it is through controlled trials. In this case, it would be a study where one group used Dr. Sarnos's treatment and another group used no treatment. If the treatment group has less back pain than the control group that got no treatment, then the treamtent is said to work and have benefits. I challenge any reader to find me a controlled study, anywhere, that this treatment works. Having searched huge medical databases such as Medline, let me save you some time- there aren't any. Therefore, there isn't a shred of medical proof that this treatment really works although it was a smooth move to get him on 20/20. You expect no less proof for the drugs or surgery you might have, so use this same logic with your back pain treatments. Of course you will see testimonials that this book cured people's back pain. Any treatment will always have its share of believers whether it be sleeping under pyramids or wearing magnetic shoe inserts. Just check out any other back pain book and you will find its positive reviews every time, no matter how strange the treatment- a true testament to the power of belief. I recommend you save your time and hard earned money and check out books with treatments that have been proven in controlled trials such as "The Multifidus Back Pain Solution" or "The Relaxation Response."

posted by Anonymous on September 18, 2002

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    changed my life

    What can I say that everyone here already has? Protruding L5, couldn't sit at work, sit in the car without pain. Then the lists of couldn'ts just kept growing. This book was recommended by my doctor, read it in a couple hours and decided to change my way of thinking. It works! I sit all day at work, I drive, I ski, I go to spinning, I can do anything! If it starts to creep back in, I become aware of my stress levels, talk to myself, breathe, mediatate, and it's gone. Please have an open mind and get this book!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Worth a look.

    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. <BR/><BR/>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!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2007

    This book changed my life...

    I had chronic lower back pain for about five years. During that time, I sought treatment from chiropractors and MD's. Additionally, my mother and brother are both disabled because of back pain. After reading this book, the pain started to subside and now I can say I'm pain free! I highly recommend this book to anyone that suffers chronic back pain.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2007

    More for long-term, chronic back pain.

    Don't buy this book if you have had back pain less than a couple of months or so. Studies clearly show that the majority of people with back pain get better in a month or two- regardless of what kind of treatment they get- its just the nature of back pain. On the other hand, if you're a long-term, chronic back pain sufferer, and have tried many different kinds of back pain treatments without relief, then this book will definitely be worth your while to read. There are definitely links between back pain and psychological issues according to the literature and this is an area that could be well worth your time exploring.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    READ THIS BEFORE TAKING MORE MEDICINE FOR PAIN!

    This book offers very well presented information into the "real" reasons for back pain as expressed by John Sarno.
    It provides solid information into the instinctive responses our body goes through during physical and/or emotional stimulus (either positive or negative)and the process into pain.
    Highly recommended.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    I think that anybody with chronic back pain should consider read

    I think that anybody with chronic back pain should consider reading this book.

    The author's approach is somewhat unique, and I was a bit skeptical at first, but as I read it and considered his ideas, believe it or not, my back pain began to lessen.

    He talks about the mind/body link involving back pain. He attributes ongoing pain to emotional factors, rather than the initial injury. He says that these emotional factors, along with focusing on the pain all the time, keeps your back tense, which keeps it from healing. He advises against back exercises for that same reason: they make you focus too much on your back. He describes personality types that are prone to back pain, which rang a bell with me.

    If you have chronic back pain it's hard not to focus on it, but it becomes a vicious cycle: anticipating the pain, fearing it, dreading it. I think the basic idea is that your body will heal if you're mind would let it. It's empowering to think that you may have some control, rather than being a helpless victim.

    That said, old habits are hard to break, and it takes time to &quot;retrain&quot; your brain. I had my back pain return, and rereading parts of his book inspired me and helped to turn it around again. I think it's an ongoing process. When you consider how long it took you to get to this point, it's not going to happen overnight. But from the success I've had so far, I think there's something to be said for this approach.

    I will say at this point, this book had helped me more than the other books I've read for back pain.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2002

    Find me a conrolled trial that proves it works.

    This book is about back pain having psychological causes. The treatment? Just recognizing this and telling your body to stop it. I think that this is a good theory but we really need some proof to back this up, I mean you wouldn't want to undergo a cancer treatment or take a medication unitl its been proven to work, would you? So why should you settle for anything less with back pain treatments- unless you just want to make this author even richer! If you ask any doctor how treatments are proven to be effective, they will say it is through controlled trials. In this case, it would be a study where one group used Dr. Sarnos's treatment and another group used no treatment. If the treatment group has less back pain than the control group that got no treatment, then the treamtent is said to work and have benefits. I challenge any reader to find me a controlled study, anywhere, that this treatment works. Having searched huge medical databases such as Medline, let me save you some time- there aren't any. Therefore, there isn't a shred of medical proof that this treatment really works although it was a smooth move to get him on 20/20. You expect no less proof for the drugs or surgery you might have, so use this same logic with your back pain treatments. Of course you will see testimonials that this book cured people's back pain. Any treatment will always have its share of believers whether it be sleeping under pyramids or wearing magnetic shoe inserts. Just check out any other back pain book and you will find its positive reviews every time, no matter how strange the treatment- a true testament to the power of belief. I recommend you save your time and hard earned money and check out books with treatments that have been proven in controlled trials such as "The Multifidus Back Pain Solution" or "The Relaxation Response."

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2011

    Did nothing for me

    A good friend of mine who had suffered back probkems, as I do, advised me to read this book. I read it, thought the premise was interesting. but it did absolutely nothing to alleviate my back pain - which confirmed my suspicion that the root cause of many back problems IS joint or disc-related, not muscular like Dr. Sarno suugests.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    Life changing book-Read this before considering any spinal surgery!

    It ia an amazing, life-changing read. Once you can open up your mind and realize that physical pain can manifest itself from unresolved psychological issues, it is quite liberating. It's not as though you need to realize some great psychological scar from childhood...it can be as simple as realizing that an issue or conflict with a co-worker or family member can be triggering physical pain becuase you subconsciously let it. You also don't need to resolve all your problems--but rather simply be open and aware that many common physical ailments can be the result of this subconscious act. It's something you may need to practice and re-read the book if pain should come back but it is quite amaazing to realize that you can control many of the pain issues you experience. Be open to the thought and you'll be very happy with the results!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    This Book Really Helped Me!

    Dr. Sarno uses example after example to convince the reader to overcome skepticism and consider the connection between back pain and the suppression of anger and anxiety. Dr. Sarno's experiences over many years with his numerous patients provide very compelling evidence and made a believer out of me. Two years of chronic back pain ended abruptly when I was about half-way through this book. What more can one say as an endorsement?!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2000

    What's next?

    Sarno's book helped me understand the cause of my back pain, but I was left with no clear steps to take to get rid of the pain. Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain gave me the information and steps I needed to get rid of the pain for good. It would be nice if somehow the two books could be integrated to make it easier for the readers to get all the informatin they need in one book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2014

    Oldie but goodie can change your life 9and your back pain)

    This wondrous book, originally written in the 1980's, shows how all back pain is psychosomatic - in other words, back pain is what our bodies do to distract us from other, more painful things, such as stress, worry, conflict, and so forth. In simple language, the good doctor tells us how to reconnect the mind and the body, and understand that our backs (and knees, and feet, and stomach) are fine - we are just reacting to mental overload.

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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    very highly recommended

    A fantastic book! One must have a very strong, positive mind for this concept to be effective. I purchased this title, Sarno 20 years ago & it helped immensely. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who suffers from back pain, as well as the other symptoms that are sited in it.

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  • Posted March 20, 2013

    before i was halfway finished with this book i was feeling much

    before i was halfway finished with this book i was feeling much better....what the author has to say makes a lot of sense.....this book was recommended by an acquaintance and, while interested, i didn't pay much attention....a few weeks later this same person mentioned that someone else he knew had also tried it with excellent results, so i decided to give it a try since nothing else worked...........wow! it certainly worked for me!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    Amazing book, brings you to a new level of living! LOVED IT

    Amazing book, brings you to a new level of living! LOVED IT

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    My story

    I realized that this book indirectly or maybe directly caused me to lose my job 9 yrs ago....so I had to read it in an effort to understand how it happened...here is how...

    I started having pain in the tailbone region...while my job was a sit down 8 hr a day deal...i tried to get help because not only did i need my job...but i liked it and was proud to have it....

    After 9 mos of treatment, PT and pain management...i was mentally and physically tired of fighting so hard to deal with it and wondered if time off and chiro treatments would help...

    I took the remaining 9 wks of FMLA and worked on chiro and some PT...and just tried to keep the buttock pain to a minimum...

    Just before I took fmla, my boss had me in his office...i was asking if i could move to a different area of the office with a less stringent emphasis on sitting and computer use...there were at least 3 others who wanted my position...i was willing to give it to someone else before i lost it altogether....

    At this meeting was when my boss wrote the name and author of this book on a post it and said "this book cured my back pain"...not telling me any details on content...he seemed convinced my issues could also be cured...if i just got the book.

    I had thought about it, but had nothing more than his comments to go on....they did not want to do a job switch, which had been done before in that office...i felt no animosity from anyone...i was always praised for good work...had no reason to feel it was personal...

    After the fmla ran out...this same boss told me if i could not come back to work the next day...i could not come back...when i broke down on the phone...i requested a talk with HR...the pain was not resolved...while i thought he was sitting up the meeting...they were typing the letter that would fire me...i was told 9 wks earlier i had to get permission to speak with HR..chain of command they said....i had been there 4 yrs...never had an issue...

    I cried everyday for at least 2 yrs over losing my job...but 9 mos later...i called the radiologist who read my first mri on my lumbar spine...initially i was told it was a cyst on nerve root....but could not cause pain...when i asked him to look at the scan again, he said he was wrong the first time...not a cyst...but a tumor...benign in nature...

    While i appreciate the message of this book and know we have a mind body connection...this book in the wrong readers head can dictate the thinking that took away my option to resign from a job instead of being fired...i have not worked since...tumor removed but pain is still there...

    Many things went wrong for me...but it was definitely my bosses idea that everyone who read this book would be pain free..

    I read it and still believe it's a piece of s#*t



    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2012

    Not that interesting

    It reminds me of Psychology 101 about mind over matter or body in this case. The introduction is lengthy and there is no treatment plan per se of any substance in the body of the book. While I tend to agree with the author's thesis that we ignore emotional issues which cause physical issues, it is not groundbreaking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Gave me my life back!

    Dr. Sarno's life saving book taught me what was going on in my unconscious mind. I was laid up for 2 years before reading this book and within 2 weeks after reading it, I was finally getting better. With in a few months, I was back to doing everything without pain. Thank you Dr. Sarno.

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  • Posted January 19, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    My doctor told me about the book. It has been very effective in relieving my neck/back pain.

    I have purchased extra books for my friends and family!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2006

    Out of pain in 2 weeks - permanent cure

    Doubled over in pain I went hobbling into the local Barnes & Noble and found this book. A quick read and I knew this was my story. I jumped out of bed and got back into my gardening activities immediately and back to a fully active life. Within 2 weeks the pain was gone. It returned intermittently for a while but I have now been pain-free for more than 10 years. I have helped many others through this book. Dr Sarno saved my life.

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