Unorthodox Solution To Back Pain

Back pain is a chronic and uncomfortable affliction of the modern era, when we sit too much us use our muscles too infrequently. There are many solutions to back pain, including stretching, core strengthening, modification of things like beds and chairs, or simply painkillers. However, one doctor, John Sarno, claimed that back pain was all in the mind, and that he could reduce it through mental exercises.

Most doctors and fellow professors consider Dr. Sarno a quack and don’t speak about him or his methods, but a great deal of his patients swear by his teachings. The doctor himself was fond of telling people that 80% of his patients were totally cured after following his methods, a claim that has been disputed by many colleagues, who rightly point out that he never did any research or studies to get those percentages.

However, before you dismiss him as well, we should note that some of Dr. Sarno’s theories are now being proved by science. There is sometimes an emotional connection to back pain, and some theorize that this could be the brain trying to distract us from negative emotions. This theory, coupled with the fact that often lower back pain treatments are ineffective or even further harmful, is shocking in how much it illuminates our ignorance about the human brain.

It’s unclear whether Dr. Sarno’s theories will ever be completely validated, or, more likely, whether he hit upon a grain of truth within a bunch of other contributing factors. However, for those suffering from chronic back pain, this may be another avenue to explore.