A Course on Back Pain

25 Mar

I’ve recently stumbled upon a course that’s going to be available to treat pain caused by Tension Myositis Syndrome.

The online class isn’t yet available to the public, but I was able to receive a sneak preview of what to expect. The premise of Sarno’s work is that our subconscious minds create physical pain when we’re under certain stressors. Because the mind is responsible for all types of pain, this isn’t surprising or unexpected.

In fact, it makes sense. Once you can tap into the part of your brain responsible for sending the pain signal, you’re on your way to healing. Whether the injury is sports related, mattress related, or not really an injury at all, the brain is involved in the pain process.

By learning how the subconscious works and how the pain signals are sent, we become empowered to take control.

In the last article we discussed the connection of how stress causes back pain. After the field has been established—meaning the learning has taken place—the participant is ready for the next step. Many, however, experience relief just after understanding the mechanism by which pain occurs.

It’s worth mentioning that people prone to this type of pain are not just athletes, but anyone who is achievement oriented. People who feel a lot of pressure to perform.

Once the athlete understand the process by which pain works in the brain, they move on. The course establishes this through an impressive series of modules and lessons that use a lot of statistics, real outcomes and video presentation.

I didn’t experience the entire course, but that gives you an idea. The remainder of the class are exercises and self-assessments performed by the student. They are designed to root out some of the notions or previously held beliefs that block our access to communicate with our brains.

If we are hung up on keeping up appearances, for instance, we need to get to what’s underneath that thought. The appearance concept is shallow and not truly meaningful. It’s rooted in fear, which prevents athletes from being in the zone. It must be uprooted to make progress.

If you liked this article, let us know! To take the course, eventually you’ll be able to enroll here.

Stress and Back Pain

7 Mar

Before getting started, I recommend the reading of The Divided Mind. It will elucidate some of the concepts covered here about emotion, pain and physical connections to our brains.

We left off on the last installment by posing some unanswered questions about how athletes can overcome physical pain that would put most of us in bed for rest of the day. Little is known about how they do it, but the more we can learn, the more we can benefit. While achieving athletic stardom may not be in the future of any of the readers of this blog, greatness can be.

Your own personal greatness can mean anything you want. If you suffer the combination of stress and back pain, your own greatness might be jogging.

If you have a demanding job or take on a lot of responsibilities in your family, at school or at work, TMS could affect you. It comes from unexpressed or repressed anger from the subconscious. I mention it, because it manifests in the way of pain when we try to do sports.

The obvious conclusion we draw is that the sport itself is responsible for the pain. If the sport is the cause, why don’t professional athletes get worse when they play through the pain?

As you probably guessed, the pain can be stopped by interfering with the way the mind sends pain signals to the body. It doesn’t matter what kind of pain it is. Tibetan monks do amazing things with their minds through their bodies. Master meditation experts have been known to have surgery without anesthesia because they know how to control pain. It’s all about emotions, observation and sensation.

Mastering pain is about mastering the brain. Learn more at mindbodyschool.com.

Pain in your Head?

4 Mar

If you’re familiar with Dr. Sarno and back pain treatments that he offered, you’ll have an idea of where this is going. He treated TMS Pain (Tension Myoneural Syndrome) by going straight to the source: the mind. Read more about this at TMS Wiki.

Professional athletes have what seems to be a mysterious ability to ignore pain—or at least perform near optimally while experiencing pain. While little is known about the inside secrets of the psychology and coaching involved in emotionally overcoming pain, we do know that pain is a warning sensation. It’s designed to protect us from harm.

When the brain detects tissue damage or the potential for future tissue damage, it sends a pain response to the threatened area. Sometimes that signal is so strong that the pain is unbearable and crippling. Anyone who has thrown out their back or neck knows how insane the pain can be. Sometimes it lingers, and for no reason.

The sports medicine doctors tell us that nothing is really wrong mechanically. They advise that we probably need to focus on some particular exercises to improve the situation and eliminate the pain. The problem is somehow not truly physical and can be worked out on our own.

In other instances, an MRI will reveal a slipped disk or herniated vertebrae of the spine. This can cause intense pain, but implies that exercise and sports activities are too be avoided rather than embraced. If the problem is physical, so is the solution.

The difference in these two types of pain are that one seems to have an explainable physical cause, the other doesn’t really. In sports, athletes seem to be able to work around either. Why is that?

They are emotionally overcoming pain, but it can’t simply be by being tough. We have all certainly tried to tough it out through pain, but often that makes the symptoms worse, not better.

There’s something emotional going on with pain. All types of pain. And in some cases, it’s mind over matter, which is shown by so many athletes. The seed that remains elusive to most of is the how, not the what.

Bring the Pain!

19 Feb

NecPhilly! Your source for everything sports medical, sports injuries and sports psychology. If you want to know the secrets for how athletes heal so quickly from injuries and are able to perform in spite of extreme back or neck pain, you’ve come to the right place.

At NecPhilly, we look at sports from a different angle. How they do it and how we can all benefit. If your reaction to all of the Lance Armstrong problems was more along the lines of why don’t we all have access to that stuff instead of lynch him, I’m with you.

Aside from drugs and medication, sports psychology presents a huge area for study of the average person. By applying the personal growth and self-actualization concepts used by professional athletes, we can all realize a greater personal potential. We can heal back pain and we can be our truest selves.

Here we won’t study the stats and scores and trades and speculation. We’ll study the ways in which the self-help approach to sports can make us all super-human in our way—whatever desire that may be.

Sports medicine is a thriving industry and physical therapists as well as sports medical specialists have carved out significant chunk of the cases in the past ten years. We know back pain is limiting. We also know that effective treatment shouldn’t include surgery and opiates. I know many people that will head straight to their sports medicine guy and avoid primary care physicians altogether if they believe the pain to be physical or activity induced.

In addition, the personal and emotional aspects of performing at a star-level can benefit us at home and at work. What does it mean to be in the zone mentally? We can work through these things and experience flow if we know our own values and live through them instead of through someone else’s expectations of us.