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Overcoming Back Pain:

Comments - 2001

By Gary F. Zeolla


The following e-mails are commenting on the booklet Overcoming Back Pain. The e-mailers' comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.

>Hi Gary,

I just read your 4-part back story. I'm glad you are better, but I suggest you remember for the future. Back problems are notoriously variable. Some spontaneously heal, but most do not. You find out that you were just given a year or two off. :) <

I'm not sure what you mean by the last sentence. It's been a year since I got over my back pain, and I don't see that changing since there is nothing wrong with my back. And my healing was not "spontaneous." It took a period of over two months to get over my pain completely.

> Sarno is correct about many herniated discs being asymptomatic. If the extrusion happens to go in a direction that misses the nerve roots and spinal cord, it is completely painless. But if it compresses a nerve root or the cord, look out. It will not only cause REAL pain, but it can also damage the nerve.<

Sarno discuss the idea of pinched nerves and gives details on why the idea is not the cause of back pain. A nerve that is "pinched" would not keep firing; it would simply go dead. And my pain was very "real."

> You came close to the solution when you looked into VAX-D (the expensive traction). There are most definitely physiological causes of back pain, the most common being bad discs/nerve compression. The doc who invented VAX-D (Allan Dyer, M.D., of Canada) figured out the best treatment for those disc problems. I figured out how to accomplish the same thing very inexpensively, at least for people with a bit of arm strength.<

Nope. I have already found the solution. But thanks for giving me the name for the traction as I had forgotten it, hence why I didn't mention it in the article. But as I did say, I did try traction, and it did nothing. And I saw no difference between what I tried and the VAX D treatments, other than the cost.

> Sarno's theories are good only for people who do not have serious disc problems. You will realize this some day, most likely, when your back goes out again.< I waited a year before telling my story to be sure that it was not a temporary recovery. And Sarno cites many examples of people who were healed by his treatments years before and for whom the pain has not returned. And what you call "serious disc problems" Sarno would call meaningless.

> I hope it does not happen, but remember me if it does. As you can see from my Users' Reports page, there is a very good chance you will be very glad you did. :)


If by some remote chance my pain does return, I will re-read Sarno's books and do the same thing I did before. I would not waste $3000 on a treatment that I tried and failed with already.

That said, you are correct that some back problems could be caused by some kind physical problems, such as cancer. That is why I put a disclaimer at the bottom of each part of my article telling people to consult their doctor before starting any back pain recovery program.

>Hi, Gary, ... I visited your site on general principles but also looking specifically for any thoughts you had on meditative prayer. I got "sidetracked" by your back pain article (which covered the meditative prayer anyway!).

One of the reasons I was looking for an article on meditative prayer is that I had developed a very stiff neck. (Should I save you the attempt at humor by saying, yes, I already know what a stiff-necked people means Biblically?) My stiff neck had become ridiculous, however, as the stiffness had now spread so far south as to be between my shoulder blades!

So, as I read your article, I began to realize that my neck pain could also be rooted in repressed anger. So, I did as you did and wrote down I guess 43 items that I was still angry about. Things going back to childhood, man! And I prayed over them, and sort of wondered how to "deal" with them. What I ended up doing in the end was making up general explanations for why the other people would have behaved in the way they did, and then basically forgave them for that. That was I suppose around Thursday of last week.

This afternoon, I was lying in bed, and thinking about this list again, and I thought of some of the unfeeling things I had done to some of these people, and I realized that the great bulk of my neck pain is gone. It's completely gone out of my back, and there is just a bit left in my neck, and I'm just noticing it now while typing this. I guess you cannot underestimate the power of suppressed anger in your life!

I neglected on this original list to include present day stresses and suppressed guilt. I'm usually one who experiences guilt in the same "ever before my face" way that King David speaks of in Psalm 51, but prayer might expose some suppressed guilt, and I'm always full of present-day stresses in the career I'm in.

I guess pretty much everyone thinks to attribute neck pain to stress (though for back pain, it would probably never come to mind without people like Dr. Sarno!). So, I knew I needed some relaxation but, even with your troubles and solution known to me, hadn't considered the possibility of repressed anger....

God bless,

I glad my pain article helped you! That's why I wrote it, with the hopes my story might help others. And Sarno does discuss neck pain as well as back pain in his book Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection.

Overcoming Back Pain booklet

Dealing with Health Difficulties
Back Pain: Dealing with Health Difficulties

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