Healing Back Pain is one of the greatest books ever written about the often undiscovered causes of common chronic back ache. This book was written by Dr. John Sarno and published in 1991, but is still as powerful today as it was when it originally premiered.
The book is the successor to Dr. Sarno’s Mind Over Back Pain, published in 1984. In the time between books, Dr. Sarno had time to revise and clarify many of his theories on TMS. This later literary review of Sarno's work certainly presents his theories in a manner which makes sense to virtually all who read it. The writing is so amazingly straight forward and simple, making it easy to digest and able to be read quickly in one sitting.
Let's take a look at what the book covers and how it is useful.
Tension myositis syndrome is the condition that Dr. Sarno specializes in treating. This mindbody syndrome often chooses back pain as its main manifestation. However, TMS patients may suffer from many other psychologically-induced pain syndromes, besides dorsopathy.
TMS is a physical condition that is caused directly by a psychoemotional process. The actual method used to create the pain is theorized to be chronic oxygen deprivation of the nerves, tendons, ligaments and muscles.
This process is created by the subconscious mind, using the autonomic nervous system as its enforcer. Evidence of this process has been discovered in cells of people with chronic pain of various types, including fibromyalgia.
Healing Back Pain was written specifically to help patients better understand the actual reasons why they have pain and to assist patients in providing a self-managed care plan that can resolve these miserable syndromes for life. Therefore, HBP certainly qualifies as a masterful self-help volume.
Although I have read all the books by Dr. Sarno. I still find Healing Back Pain to be the very best. The book has a certain appeal to chronic back pain patients, since it discusses the condition in a way that we have all experienced. There are many case studies and patient stories that create such a feeling of empathy from the reader.
As I read the book, I found myself saying: “That is me... I had that too... Wow, I am just like this guy…” It is amazing.
I read this book literally every day for months when I was undergoing active knowledge therapy treatment. I mean literally, every day. It became my mantra. I could recite passages from memory. I know so many other patients who did the same thing and achieved similarly positive outcomes from knowledge therapy treatment.
The way the book is set up allows patients to easily find passages they relate to and use these writings as daily reminders about the nature of their suffering. Repeated exposure to the material over time really helps the reader truly understand the teachings and integrate the knowledge deeply into their belief system, which is crucial in order for knowledge therapy to work.
The book cost about $10, but the education it provided is priceless!
Whether you suffer from psychological or physical back pain, or any other type of PIPS, I would highly recommend this book. The information contained in these pages is precious and wonderful. If more healthcare providers would follow some of the suggestions outlined in this book, the chronic back pain epidemic would be a thing of the past.
I would also highly recommend the follow up to this book. The Mindbody Prescription, published in 1998, is a more involved work from Dr. Sarno. This book goes beyond TMS, to describe how the mind can influence many areas of our general health. Don’t miss it.
If you like these writings, then the latest addition to Sarno’s collection is his best to date. The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders is coauthored with 6 fantastic doctors and really expands the view of modern mindbody medicine. This book is more involved reading for true students of the topic and is a much longer read, as well. Once you get through Sarno’s earlier works and still want more, this book will provide you with years of topics to research.