I heard about someone (and then more people replied) that read "Healing Back Pain" book by John Sarno  and finally got rid of back pain. However strange it sounds, it seems to work. I didn't finish it yet but I already see the benefits.
> I'm now comfortable suggesting that this approach is overlooked by mainstream medicine to the great detriment of many people suffering chronic illness
If people are interested in this, checkout https://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connectio...
The same day I saw the surgeon to schedule my surgery, I figured what the heck, I'll try anything before I get my back cut open. I went to a great, well-reviewed chiropractor, who gave me a thorough assessment and promised improvements in the next 2 months, such that I would not need surgery. I was very skeptical, but went along with it. Her adjustments and analysis did end up helping me a lot, and alleviated a lot of the pain coming from the sciatic nerve. But more than anything this bought me some time.
During this time, I read Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno . Many people recommended his work to me, but again, I was skeptical. I had an MRI scan showing very real structural damage to my spine and I truly didn't believe that thinking my way out of the pain would help. I read the book anyway, and I swear, the pain began dissipating. I began to adopt a new mindset -- my back is fine, the pain is arising out of my stress and awareness of the injury, not the injury itself-- and it truly worked. It's been over a year now since reading the book, and I feel leaps and bounds better. I'm back to doing the things I love (cycling, lifting weights, running), and I'm about 90% pain free. I still have some off days and I listen closely to my body when they happen. I stretch a lot, don't sit for hours at a time, and do basic mobility work every day -- these are things I want to be doing anyway, but my disc issue is even more impetus to do them.
If you're seriously considering surgery, do yourself a favor and read this book first. If you're anything like me, you'll be wildly surprised and completely grateful you did.
Read "Healing Back Pain: The Mind Body Connection" by Jon Sarno.
I lived with chronic knee pain for over 8 years, and would routinely have "carpal tunnel like symptoms" with my wrists.
Literally within a week of reading that book my knee pain was gone, and my wrists have not had any issues since. My personality type is exactly that described in the book, so it might not work for everyone. But boy howdy it worked for me.
Edit: As it relates to the article - Dr. Sarno attributes most of the pain to your brain and unconscious emotional rage. It sounds kind of quackish, but he lays out excellent explanations of how your brain works against you to cause this chronic pain. I was a skeptical as well (I won't give away spoilers but the treatment plan is HILARIOUSLY simple) but it has really worked for me.
I was skeptical at first, but just reading his book and thinking through what he presented healed my lower back pain.
Besides challenging the mind over matter, this work also challenges the idea of what to believe and pursue when scientific evidence is relatively lacking.
I found some of his advice helpful insofar as it suggests that mindfulness meditation can help ease tension-induced back pain (which I have found to be true for me) and that there is a mental component in overcoming the fear of re-injury and allowing yourself to resume your full range of motion without subconsciously tensing up.
As someone who struggles with anxiety from time to time, I can even believe his statement that he's referred some patients to therapy before attempting to treat their back pain.
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