Back Pain Enigma
The back pain enigma is a larger than life concern for patients and doctors alike. Back pain is a huge industry the world over and one of the most profitable types of medical specialty. The range of dorsopathy care providers is astronomical with traditional, alternative and complementary caregivers helping patients cope with their chronic and often severe pain. Back pain care generally falls into the category of "physical medicine" which is ironic, since the source of symptoms is rarely physical and the pain rarely requires any type of medicine...
The back pain enigma is a conundrum which has really only become a major issue in healthcare over the past 60 years. Prior to this, there is little mention of chronic back pain in the medical literature. However, there were many conditions which time and testing have proven to be less than sound in their diagnostic accuracy. These conditions ranged from rheumatism to hysteria and were virtually epidemic concerns in their respective times. Back pain is THE epidemic of today... Just as with most mistaken diagnoses of the past, ongoing and treatment-resistant back pain is usually psychosomatic. However, the current trend in back care is to treat it as structural, according to the ludicrous Cartesian medical tradition.
The big problem is the actual word psychosomatic. Most doctors are not even sure what defines a psychosomatic condition and they certainly have no idea how to treat them if they actually come across one in practice. Patients are often put off by the term, since to them, it may imply that their pain is not real. This is a matter of simply being uneducated on the real definition of the term. A psychosomatic condition is 100% real and experienced fully in the body. The pain is no less than symptoms caused by a verifiable structural source and the only difference is the fact that the pain is produced by a psycho-emotional process, not an anatomical one.
The irony of this all is that the majority of health issues plaguing modern medicine (much like those which have plagued medicine for millennia) are indeed psychosomatic. This encompasses all the conditions which are so commonly diagnosed, but seldom cured, by ANY medical or complementary care plan including: fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ/TMD, gastrointestinal concerns and headaches. Medicine has theorized that there are structural issues responsible for all these conditions, yet doctors are unable to cure the problems, even using a battery of seemingly appropriate treatments. This should be no surprise, since these unenlightened therapies are never going to succeed, as they are targeting the wrong source of symptom altogether... They are simply aimed at scapegoats which are blamed for the pain mistakenly, rather than the actual and verifiable source which exists in the subconscious mind. Doctors will virtually always choose to blame a scapegoat issue which can be seen, rather than an emotional concern which can not be detailed using an x-ray, MRI or CT scan. This is the fatal flaw of modern healthcare and the reason for the epidemic of chronic back pain.
Doctors understand that the primary imperative of the body is to heal and heal it will, despite all but the most catastrophic injury and disease. As a society, we love to credit lasting pain with any even remotely logical connection, regardless of how insignificant or distant it may be. Personally, I get letters from patients daily which blame their back pain on illogical and innocent reasons such as: opening a stuck window 12 years ago, slipping on ice over 2 decades before and spraining a knee playing soccer over 40 years prior. It is nonsensical to believe that these issues are responsible for crippling back pain decades later.
Patients write to me occasionally saying something to the effect of...
"You are wrong. I saw the herniated disc on the MRI. It is really there."
"I really have degenerative disc disease. I saw the x-rays myself."
"My arthritis is real. My doctor proved it to me with some test".
My answer is universally the same...
"Yes. Of course you saw it. It is there. However, the structural issue is simply not responsible for you pain. In fact, there is no evidence that degenerative disc disease, herniated discs or spinal osteoarthritis cause any symptoms inherently. Furthermore, we all have these conditions in our spines. Most of us do not even know it, since they do not cause symptoms. Ask your doctor. They have these issues, as well..."
Here is the bottom line. You can go on blaming the pain on... (insert diagnosis here) or you can wise up. If the pain were actually from that diagnosis, how come the multitude of doctors and treatments you tried have not helped? Remember that the mind and body work together to create all conditions of health and disease and this is for sure, although it can not be documented on some pretty medical imaging test. To deny this is to doom yourself to a life of suffering, while accepting the possibility that everything you have been told about back pain may be a sham is the beginning of a new lease on good health.
Sensei Adam Rostocki speaks with the authority of a person who suffered with chronic back pain for 18 years. Sensei Rostocki is the author of popular self help book, "Cure Back Pain Forever" (ISBN 1-59971-997-5). His interactive [http://www.cure-back-pain.org]Back Pain website provides honest and understandable dorsopathy information about a vast array of topics.
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