This past week, I've read all of Sarno's books. He is a medical doctor (was...he's retired and I think passed away by now) in New York. He states that most neck and back pain is caused from tension in the subconscious mind. As strange as that may sound at first, I think there's some valid points.
He states that most people that have neck and back pain think it's caused by an injury to something structural in their spine. Yet the MRI, CT scans, examination procedures never correlate with their pain. In many cases, I have found this to be true. I can't tell you how many patients have had pain in their backs radiating down into their LEFT leg and the MRI comes back as a herniated disc on the RIGHT...and it's not even near a nerve nor part of the spine that goes down the leg...yet they still have surgery. The surgery fails and they wonder why. Also, patients can't ever recall an injury that happened. This is a clue that not all pains are caused by something structural.
Another interesting part of these books is that he talks about how the doctors' treatment determines the diagnosis rather than the other way around. I know, I know, people in Camarillo think that every doctor diagnoses you first and then you get the appropriate treatment for that diagnosis...but for neck and back pain, I'm sorry to tell you that if you go to a MD (Sarno was an MD), the treatment is already planned out. You're going to get an x-ray, told it was a muscle spasm and get muscle relaxers, pain killers and anti-inflammatories. Done. It's just the way it is. It's not the way it should be, but it is.
Lastly, I thought it was interesting regarding the success rates he proclaims. The side note of this is that he feels that only 10-20% of people with the diagnosis are willing to accept his diagnosis. I thought this was fascinating because even the best doctors can diagnose you correctly, but it's the patients that have to be willing to accept the doctors' recommendations to get better. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. True.
I've been a chiropractor in Camarillo for over 20 years and have found that when there's a structural cause of a person's pain, structural treatments need to be employed. Many people I feel do have emotional components to their pain and for those people, they would benefit from reading his books.