Q & A Library
Help for an Aching Back?
What do you recommend for chronic low back pain?
Answer (Published 5/11/2007)
My first suggestion is that you read one or both books on back pain by Dr. John Sarno, a physician and professor of rehabilitation medicine at New York University. Dr. Sarno believes that most back pain stems from a condition he calls tension myositis syndrome (TMS, myositis means muscle inflammation), a combination of muscle spasm and inflammation stemming from an unbalanced pattern of nerve signals to nearby muscles and interference with their blood supply. Dr. Sarno explains his theory in his books Healing Back Pain: the Mind Body Connection (Warner Books, 1991) and Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain (Warner Books, 1998).
I’m convinced that Dr. Sarno is right and that treatment should be aimed at changing patterns of thinking, feeling and handling stress, all of which have led to the pain. In the meantime, here are some approaches that can bring relief:
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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