Repudiating the Structural Diagnosis

by Ken Malloy

Dr. Sarno uses big words.

I suppose after working with him for over a decade, I’ve gotten used to it. He still uses words that I don’t know and I really don’t mind admitting that to him. I’d rather learn than pretend so I come right out with a matter-of-fact: ”Dr. Sarno, I don’t know what that word means.” Being the great teacher that his is, he’s always ready to explain.

Repudiate was one of those words. It’s a great word that means “to deny the truth or validity of”. And, it fits perfectly with one of the key steps in learning what Dr. Sarno is teaching, as in:

Repudiate the Structural Diagnosis

This means that if you were told that there is a structural cause for your pain, and you’ve been examined by your doctor who has ruled out serious disease, then you must come to see that there is no structural basis for your pain. This is critical for Dr. Sarno’s program to work.

And, what of the X-ray or MRI that shows a structural “problem”?  Well, according to Dr. Sarno, structural conditions like disk abnormalities don’t cause pain!

For me, getting past the physical diagnosis was tough.  I saw an orthopedist who told me that a posterior facet syndrome was the cause of my pain.  I’m not even going to bother telling you what that is. Because I’m going to suggest that you do with your structural diagnosis what I did with mine…

Don’t think about it!

Dr. Sarno asserts that structural changes to the spine occur as part of the normal aging process. The lower disk of the human spine often shows signs of significant degeneration by age nineteen!

And, I like to remember the independent research where 43% of a random sampling of people with no pain showed significant disk abnormalities. Why don’t their herniated disks cause them pain?

But my favorite is taking note of the pattern of the pain.

It’s common for TMS to come and go. TMS will get better and worse depending of a number of psychological factors. Sometimes it will go away completely and then come back with a vengeance.

So, if the cause of the pain is related to a spinal abnormality, why would the pain come and go or get better or worse?  It wouldn’t.

Here’s what I said to myself, over the over again:

“There is nothing wrong with my back.”

And, if you can’t get the image of a disk abnormality out of your mind then stop trying!

Just remember, there are millions of people walking around with no pain oblivious to the fact that they have herniated, bulging and ruptured disks. Of course, if they had an X-ray or MRI and found out, they’d probably develop chronic pain.

And, the cause would be TMS.