Do You Struggle With Back Pain?

Most adults in the United States will experience disabling lower back pain at least once in their lives, but their doctors frequently can't find a specific physical cause. In a four-year investigation that followed patients who initially had no lower back pain, Stanford researchers studied their subjects' spines using both disc injection and magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. And they also got to know their research subjects through psychological evaluations. It turned out that psychological factors more accurately predicted who would develop lower back pain than the two diagnostic techniques.

In people both with and without back pain, MRI can detect cracks or tears in the spongy cartilage disc that cushions each unit of the spine. Some doctors also have suggested that if a patient feels pain when fluid is injected into one of the spine's discs in a procedure called discography, the patient will soon develop back pain even if he or she doesn't already feel discomfort. The researchers found that patients with poor coping skills--as measured by psychological testing--or with chronic pain were nearly three times more likely to develop back pain compared to those with neither. A history of disputed workers' compensation claims also predicted future back pain. Meanwhile, a crack in the disc or a "high-intensity zone" seen on MRI was weakly associated with back pain, but the result was not statistically significant. "The structural problems were really overwhelmed by the psychosocial factors.

This study confirms the findings of Dr. John Sarno. He is a psychiatrist who has a greater than 80 percent success rate using mind-body techniques to treat low back patients with the worst type of back pain. His specialty is those who have already had surgery for low back pain and still have it. To me this is one tough group of patients, yet he has a greater than 80 percent success rate using techniques like EFT. He has written a few books on the subject if you struggle in this area. Alternatively though you might want to consider an EFT practitioner in your area if back pain is a challenge for you.

Spine May 15,2004;29(10):1112-7

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