Dear Dr Schubiner and all of those people who suffer from MBS/TMS,
My name is Matthew and I'm a 24 yr old Radiographer who has suffered chronic lower back pain for more than 4 years.
As I'm sure you all know what a radiographer does. I'm the person that does all your x-rays and CT scans (and MRI).
I believe my job description has been a major hindrance on my back pain for many years. I would see countless people with chronic pain in their necks, shoulders, thoracic spine and lumbar spine (lower back) and see all the pathology involved that conventional medicine considers the sole source of the pain in the patients.
After many years of much pain I somehow stumbled across Dr Sarno's books online and having nothing to lose I began reading them. I couldn't believe how much of a difference they are starting to make. I still have chronic back pain as its a very slow process for me (I have grown up in a family dedicated to the health professions so in a way I have been very 'hardwired' into conventional medicine practices) so I'm still finding difficulty to accept that the 3 bulging discs in my back are completely harmless and are not the reason for my pain.
It is with reading these books and starting programs like this that I am slowly becoming relatively pain free.
I just thought I would share something that I have noticed in my job and certainly does amuse me as it reinforces the ideas put forth about it being a Mind Body Syndrome. As I work very closely with our Radiologists (Doctors who specialise in reading and interpreting medical images) I have noticed a couple of things.
Two examples include:
- After we have finished a facet joint injection (steroids and a long acting anaesthetic) under CT guidance our Doctor will go on to explain that a lot of the time that even though we injected the steroid into the most 'worse' looking facet joint in your lower back it is not necessarily the one that is causing pain. Pretty much what he is implying is that degeneration of a joint almost has no correlation to the pain of the joint (At least in the facet joints??). Some just hurt more than others regardless of the degree of degeneration. I believe this certainly reinforces MBS.
- Another point, I was reading over the Radiologists reports of the CT scans I had done the previous day and in particular I remember this middle aged women experiencing LEFT sided 'sciatica' and shooting pains down the LEFT leg. The report went on to find a bulged disc at L5/S1 only affecting the RIGHT side with a small degree of stenosis (narrowing). The Radiologist could not determine the source of her pain as the disc bulge was only affecting her Right side and not her Left. (She was asymptomatic on her Right side).
In summary I hope this had helped some people believe more in the Mind Body Syndrome. I still find it hard to believe myself being so hardwired to conventional practises due to growing up in a medical family but as I continue to work in Radiography I see more and more cases which backs up my belief in the true power of the mind.
I feel like each time I X-ray somone with chronic back pain that I'm holding onto some powerful secret that they not know of.