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Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  746 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Dr. John E. Sarno is a medical pioneer whose program has helped thousands of thousands of people overcome their back conditions--without or drugs or dangerous surgery. Now, using his grounbreaking research into TMS (Tension Mytostis Syndrome), Dr. Sarno goes one step further: after identifyig stress and other psychological factors in back pain, he demonstrates how many of ...more
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Published March 15th 2001 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 1991)
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CHANGED MY LIFE! I have written this on so many sites now since reading this. In short, I am a long time sufferer of low back pain. Pain runs down the leg and all over the core area. Had surgery at age 19 in 2002. All my love of sports and competing was ruined. Angry most of the time and when I'm not, I am in pain and wishing something would change my life. I have done surgery, PT, Tensunit, Injections, Massages, Trainers, Creams, More pills than any person in life should ever take... I have don ...more
Bahar Amiri
مشکل کمر درد اکنون بسیار شایع شده است و دنیا به یک راه حل اساسی نیاز
دارد .این مسئله ای نیست که بتوان آن را نادیده گرفت
شاید باور کردنش سخت باشد! شاید کمردرد غول بی شاخ و دم و شکست ناپذیر این زمونه باشد که درمان اون یک خوابی بیش نیست ولی آقای دکتر سارنو در این کتاب به شرح یک روش ابداعی می پردازد که براساس “ارتباط متقابل ذهن و جسم” پایه ریزی شده است. وقتی صحبت از ذهن می شود منظور همان انرژی نامحدود است که قادر است بر تمام بیماریها و دردها غلبه کند البته چون این قدرت بالقوه هستش و باید آن را به کار
I'm guessing people will have mixed feelings about this, but I felt this book helped me.

It does drag on (as many people have noted).

It does show it's age in some of its comments (Page 68 is TMS worldwide, and basically assuming the entire African continent does not experience this issue or stress comes to mind - yeah, 1980s early 90s clueless much? A better statement might have been about work environment culture rather than just lumping continents and ethnic groups).

This book isn't just about b
Last summer I went through a lot of emotional stress that kept increasing, and somewhere along the way I developed a mild back pain that I thought was caused by bad sitting positions. During the peak of that stress that back pain returned with a vengeance and I spent a week unable to sit or stand properly. I took increasingly strong pain medication but nothing seem to work. Someone who knew of emotional troubles around that time recommended this book to me, and it worked immediately. Before I ha ...more
The idea that deeply repressed anger can cause physical tension, resulting in not only back pain but digestive and sinus problems and headaches....yes, I can get behind that.
However, I agree with the other reviewers here who have said the book is too vague and repetitive. OK...Doc, so yes, I am tense, stressed out, and anxious and my back hurts like H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks, but what specifically am I supposed to do about it?
That said, it is nice to see a medical professional actually doing
First I will say that if this booked worked for you then, more power to you! I am a big believer in his premise that tension can result in physical pain manifesting itself in various forms. With that said, the other 180 pages of this book consisted of Dr. Sarno complaining that most people don't believe him and the medical profession discounts his discoveries. His proof consists of stories from his patients and how he cured them and leaves out anything based on facts. Instead, he uses phrases li ...more
This book gave me the tools to save myself from the chronic pain that was destroying my quality of life. I'd recommend it to everyone who has chronic pain of any form. Deal with this component of the pain to find what damage or issues is left, so it can then be dealt with appropriately is what I've told my loved ones. Might be surprised just how much is related to this issue! I was willing to do ANYTHING to quit hurting... come to find out what I needed to do was read even if it wasn't with an o ...more
Deirdre Keating
I don't suffer from back pain, thankfully, but the ideas here apply to several forms of cronic pain. Interesting theory that I might dismiss if I didn't know of so many people who felt it helped them.
I got about 3/4 through this book and then moved and never picked it back up. However, the last 1/4 of the book are examples of diagnoses with Sarno's comments on its relevance to TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome). I gave the book 4 stars b/c I thought the last 1/4 was a bit redundant.

Sarno has many years of medical practice under his belt. And, thankfully, he has gone beyond textbooks and rote exercises and linked the conditions of the mind with back-pain. I do like how he has made this link. I
This book should be required reading for every US citizen.

What Dr. Sarno (NY University med ctr) has discovered (and mainstream medicine has ignored) is that chronic pain is usually a psychosomatic phenomenon. That means it's real physical pain/tension, caused by the mind.

You're thinking "but I have that old injury/slipped disk/bad posture/etc that explains my pain". That's probably not the reason for the pain. "Slipped disks" are what doctors like to blame pain on when they don't know what els
it really is like a miracle.

I've been dealing with lower back pain for many years now and after a car accident in 2009 it got severe enough to put me on medical leave of absence for about 2 years. I quit my real estate investing career partly bcos of this injury.

last week I came across an article in psychology today.

it basically says for some people with chronic pain the problem is no longer physical. but rather the brain getting stuck
creating the memory of physical pain.. maybe to distract yo
Feb 02, 2008 May rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chronic pain sufferers
Recommended to May by: honey o.
Shelves: non-fiction
i'm giving this book only 3 stars because the form was so poor and very repetitive. sarno spends most of his chapters defending his theory on TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome) and trashing other back pain remedies.
however the content of the book is interesting and might possibly be the cause of the current breakthrough i'm experiencing with my shoulder this week.
his point is basically that most back pain is caused by tension due to repressed emotions. all one has to do to relieve symptoms is to un
Brad Cramer
Interesting book recommended by my chiropractor. At first I thought it was kind of hokey, but the more I read the more I started to buy into the concept that most back pain is caused by suppressed anger and fear. The back pain is the mind's way of giving you something to deal with besides confronting the emotions. I've been having back pain for years and paid my chiropractor way more money that I would like. But since reading the book and using the techniques, when I have had flare ups they are ...more
Laurel Marlantes
No book has changed my life more. I'm amazed and so thankful I was told to read this book. Anyone who has suffered from ANY difficult to diagnosis condition should read this. After 3 years of struggle with numerous doctors and procedures and tests and who knows how much in medical bills, I literally have had zero back pain since reading this book and adopting Dr. Sarnos beliefs. I know I sound like I drank the Koolaid, but its true!! It's weird, and crazy, I know. But its also so awesome and the ...more
Vix Southgate
This book seems to be fleshed out with repetition and case studies. It reads like a sales pitch. I agree that pain and emotion are linked and therefore this book has some benefit, as long as you don't read it as a definitive cure. Mechanical problems are real pain that can cause emotions that can heighten the pain (catch 22). But perhaps being aware of how our emotional state impacts the areas that are already weak, is something worth considering. However this book DOES NOT HEAL BACK PAIN!
Gregg Bell

This book pulled me back from the brink of life-threatening problems. And I'll be the first to admit that the book sounds boring. "Healing Back Pain." Yawn!! I don't remember where I got the book. All I know is I'm glad I did.

The book is nothing as it seems. The second half of the title ("Mind-Body Connection") is really what the book is all about. "Bad backs" are just perhaps the most prevalent form of "recurring and chronic" physical pain, and so Sarno (or perhaps somebody at the publisher) we

Kat Lahr
In this book, Sarno discusses his theory that TMS is a syndrome in which the disorder is benign, because there is nothing physical causes back pain. He goes into length theorizing that any physiological abnormality stems entirely from a person’s emotional process.

I found the book's premise of TMS definitely an interesting diagnosis, theory and concept. Sarno wrote this book hoping to reach younger, more open-minded medical students with his holistic, mind-body treatment of back pain, as well as
I think Dr. Sarno has some good ideas. You can get bogged down with the medical terms (I think).
I did get something out of this book, but feel like for it to truly work, a person suffering from back pain would also need to pay him a visit (or visits). I got the book off so not much was invested! Back pain sufferers, give it a try!
A mind-body connection is certainly within the realm of reason, but the author chooses to use anecdotes and surveys rather than clinical studies to convince the reader of his results. Not very convincing, if you ask me.
I'm pretty sure this book will change my life and ultimately have a larger impact on me than anything I've ever read. When that happens, in 4-6 weeks, I'll go back and up the rating to a 5.
Not for serious back problems

I was referred to this book by two very well-being friends in dealing with my constant back pain. Unfortunately this book did not help me at all. truth be told I did not read the whole book. I made it halfway before I couldn't read it anymore. I understand how this can help people that have muscular problems or unexplained medically back problems. I have verified by numerous drs mechanical problems with discs degenerating and compression of nerve roots. if you have s
I want to give this four stars, but a few things stopped me:

1) I still don't completely understand the process, though I do understand the concept.
2) I haven't put it to practice yet. I actually completely forgot to try.

Sarno suggests that some (not all) of our chronic pain is actually a distraction created by the body to help our brain suppress some of our more unacceptable emotions. Sarno indicates that acknowledgement of the repression will relieve the pain, and outlines a plan of acknowledge
Ayaan Pathan
I wanted to find a place to shout out loud about this book and thank god for goodreads now i can do that!

First and foremost Dr. John Sarno is a god and I owe him my life, I would happily die for him. That being said here's my story:

I was diagnosed with DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease) only when i was 19 years of age, and i shook me to my core. I was devastated. The pain, the agony of back ache is beyond what I can describe, living in constant pain and unable to perform daily activities, its hop
Apr 26, 2011 Cball rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with back pain
hmmm. I have no idea what to think of this book. I have "episodes" of severe back pain where I am limited to lying on the floor for days, if not weeks at a time. I've tried PT, MRIs, yoga, weight lifting, you name it, I've done it. So when 2 people from totally separate parts of my life recommended this book to me, I immediately checked it out at the library.

I'm all for whoo-whoo. But this takes the "whoo" to a whole new level. The premise: the back pain is very real (which I definitely knew); h
If you have chronic back pain or any other type of chronic pain or illness, please give this a read. All you have to lose is the price of the book and in turn, you may be able to cure your debilitating suffering. I injured my back in August of 2012. Before the injury I was very active, ran 25-30 miles per week, and practiced hot yoga. My MRI showed a herniated disc, bulging discs, spinal arthritis, and disc degeneration. I spent months in terrible pain, unable to run, sit, drive, or pick up my d ...more
An interesting book. A friend of mine told me this book cured her long-standing back pain issue. Although I don't currently suffer from back pain, I was sufficiently intrigued to want to know more. Dr John E. Sarno identifies a condition he refers to as TMS, which stands for Tension Myositis Syndrome. In a nutshell, Sarno believes that TMS is a condition whereby some physical pain (in this case back pain) is actually caused by the subconscious mind repressing emotions. To overcome the pain, the ...more
Ok. So my back hurts. So does my hamstring. I'm strong and active, but aging. I'm relatively sure there's not that much wrong with me, (an MRI diagnosed tendinitis) but still.... should I take it easy? Should I baby my back and my leg? Should I quit doing all the things that I love to do? I've tried it and when I do, stuff seems to hurt anyway. (That's when people start trying to sell me a new mattress!)

Or should I take Dr. Sarno's advice and try to examine the way my emotions and attitudes mig
This book has a 5 star message but 3 star writing. It's still totally readable, though, so I can heartily recommend this book to anyone with chronic pain. It's not painful to read by any stretch, except that as someone with scientific training, I had to roll my eyes a few times at the sometimes weak delivery of evidence. It doesn't take away from the theory itself -- I tried the technique on myself and found it highly effective.

The general idea is that one can eliminate one's chronic pain simply
Easy quick read. Could have been a lot shorter though. Basically back pain is emotional and we need to tell ourselves that we can handle the emotional pain, not stifle it, and that the pain we feel is emotional. I think there is a lot of validity to it, but like i said, it could have been a lot shorter.
Oriyah Nitkin
This book deserves at least 4 stars, and probably 4 1/2. I read this book some time after suffering a back injury at work, which put me out of commission, and, in conjunction with a number of stressful incidences in my life, kept me out of commission for over a year (not working, restricted physical movement, etc.)
I knew that the pain was severely exacerbated by tension and stress but didn't realize fully what an impact those had on my pain level and functioning. After reading this book, I am al
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“It is perfectly acceptable to have a physical problem in our culture, but people tend to shy away from anything that has to do with the emotions.” 1 likes
“There's nothing like a little physical pain to keep your mind off your emotional problems.” 0 likes
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