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Back Sense: A Revolutionary Approach to Halting the Cycle of Chronic Back Pain Paperback – April 9, 2002


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Back Sense: A Revolutionary Approach to Halting the Cycle of Chronic Back Pain + The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (April 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767905814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767905817
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

About 50 million Americans suffer back pain every year, and chronic back pain disables 1 in 40 adults. Back Sense takes a different approach, contending that most chronic back pain is caused not by a damaged spine, but by stress, muscle tension, and inactivity. The aim is to help you reclaim your life and decrease your pain.

The spine might be damaged initially, but it usually heals on its own, the authors assert. After that, stress causes muscle tightness, which results in continued pain. Traditional treatments don't work because they treat the spine, not the stress. The solution: understand your own symptoms and pain, learn to resume full activity, and work with your negative emotions to prevent them from derailing your recuperation.

Part 1 of Back Sense helps you evaluate your own case and determine whether you have warning signs of a serious injury or disease (in which case you must get medical attention), understand the mind-body connection, and examine how stress may be causing your chronic pain. Part 2 teaches you how to bring full physical activity back into your life and manage your negative emotions.

The authors--two of whom relieved chronic back pain with this very program--do not want you to baby your body or limit your life to protect your back. Rather, they contend that "being careful actually appears to be harmful." They explain that "as long as you are trying to get rid of pain, you stay preoccupied with it," creating more tension, and by avoiding "risky" movements, you lose muscle conditioning, making you vulnerable to additional injury. The book takes you through a process of gradually incorporating more exercise and tracking your reactions. The style is simple and friendly, and the book has many plan charts, logs, and other helpful tools. --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Both clinical psychologist Ronald D. Siegel and market research consultant Michael H. Urdang have suffered from chronic back pain. They learned to treat their pain by using a new system of integrative medicine (a combination of East and West) and by staying physically active. In Back Sense: A Revolutionary Approach to Halting the Cycle of Chronic Back Pain, Siegel and Urdang team up with physician Douglas R. Johnson, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, to dispel misunderstandings by both sufferers and medical practitioners about the cause and treatment of back pain, based on their extensive research and success in treating thousands of patients. Agent, Ira Silverberg, Donadio & Olson.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Ronald D. Siegel, Psy.D., is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, where he has taught for over 30 years. He is a longtime student of mindfulness meditation and serves on the Board of Directors and faculty of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He teaches internationally about mindfulness and psychotherapy and mind/body treatment, has worked for many years in community mental health with inner city children and families, and maintains a private clinical practice in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Dr. Siegel is coauthor of the self-treatment guide Back Sense, which integrates Western and Eastern approaches for treating chronic back pain; coeditor of the critically acclaimed book for professionals, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy; author of the step-by-step, comprehensive guide for general audiences, The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems; coeditor of the professional volume, Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy: Deepening Mindfulness in Clinical Practice; and coauthor of the new guide for clinicians, Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy.

Customer Reviews

The book was easy to read and very simply laid out.
"garons"
If you read and re-read this book, letting it sink in,you will be on your way towards better back health.
A Reader
I recommend this book for anyone who has ever suffered from neck or back related pain.
Peter H Hames

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By D. Russell Lyman, Ph.D. on September 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I was a skeptic. After many years of spending thousands of dollars and countless hours with medical doctors and chiropractors, I could not believe that changing the way I thought about my pain could help me conquer the crippling spasms that had wracked my life for nearly 20 years. I had tried special exercises, surgical consults, CAT scans, and powerful medications- nothing could take away those episodes that left me in agony, tilting to one side as if severely wounded. These spasms attacked me repeatedly, leaving me incapacitated for weeks and months.
What I discovered through the Back Sense approach, was that the cure lay in three areas: The first, and most important, is the awareness that I should not fear the pain as something that was about to cripple me as it had done in the past. Nor should I react by favoring my back or avoiding normal activities that I worried might have strained it in the past. Finally, root causes of the pain invariably were in how I managed my own feelings, especially stress, worry, and sometimes anger.
I am now free of spasms, and no longer worry about my back. I urge you to read this book.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey B. Leland on October 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have had mild to moderate, with occasional severe, back pain for many years. Generally, the pain started when I was in graduate school. I thought that the long hours of sitting in class, reading and studying was damaging my "weak" back.
After reading this book, I started to realize how much stress was a major factor in my back pain. Just before I read the book I was visiting my chiropractor every week and getting a massage a couple times a month. I loved the treatments, but I was getting increasingly concerned that I had a serious problem with my back that was going to disable me, sooner, rather than later.
After finishing Backsense, I have stopped stressing about every twinge, tight muscle or pain in my back---and the pain has been much less and less frequent! I now enjoy my gym activities and play time with my children, knowing that my back is strong and healthy.
Backsense gave me a better understanding and confidence in the strength and durability of my back. It was easy to read and understand. Anyone searching for relief from back pain should read this book.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jane Birch on January 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After a fall, I suffered from chronic leg pain for a period of 20 months before finding this book. For 20 months I spent countless hours seeing doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, message therapists, and other health practitioners, including acupuncture. I was desperate to get well. I had made progress, but I still felt it very difficult to walk or move normally--I was still in essence "crippled," and I feared my life might never been normal again. Then I found this remarkable book. In the period of time it took me to read the first few chapters, I knew what the authors were suggesting would work for me. I was able to immediately implement the principles. I got up from where I was reading and began to walk completely normally for the first time in over a year and a half. Soon thereafter, I found myself bounding up stairs and skipping with joy. Three months later, I'm still doing great. I'm so happy to be "Free At Last!" If you suffer from chronic back, neck, or leg pain, I urge you to read this book. It may not have the same effect on you, but you have nothing to lose but your pain!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alfred Farabi on August 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
I encourage people with back problems to read and take to heart the contents of this book. The three authors bring different perspectives to the issue--psychological, emotional, physical--and in my judgment they have given a tremendous gift to the public.

The book assumes some of the same principles that John Sarno does in his work (in fact, Siegel had been one of Sarno's patients), but their book is more of a self-help manual that speaks directly to the sufferer. (I've also read Sarno's books, and, though valuable, I think Back Sense is a better book.)

The book saved me from much suffering. It helped me to realize (both consciously and emotionally) that my own back pain was not structural but muscular--the result of stress and negativity. Back Sense then takes readers step by step through ways of regarding their pain, of dealing with it through exercise, and ultimately of conquering it. This can be a long process (it took me over a year), but the authors don't promise quick panaceas or the immediate cessation of pain (as Sarno does).

The only element in the book that I would improve would be the exercise sections. I took the advice of the authors and exercised despite the pain, but it wasn't until I began to do yoga that the pain stopped. My guess is that in future editions of the book that the authors will add many more stretching exercises to the pain reduction regimen.

In all, I cannot say enough positive about this book. I only wish that the contents of it could be spread around more so that many other back sufferers could benefit from it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Dillon VINE VOICE on January 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Unlike most of what we are told by friends, family, and doctors, our back pain is not what we think. Ronald Siegel, Psy.D. et al. offers a new approach to our pain through research and his own personal experience.
The book describes the way in which we have been taught about back pain and I was surprised at how often I felt as though he were writing exactly what I had experienced. The book looks at research done on sufferers of back pain and by the end of it you have a whole new outlook on what has been causing your pain and, most importantly, a new way to work with that pain.
If you suffer from back issues, I hope you buy this book. Be ready for a new way to approach your back pain but I believe, through my own experience, you will be pleasantly surprised. Good luck!
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