dogvet posted: I wish my husband had considered medical hypnotherapy 14 years ago when his back pain started and he was functional. He is now on the downhill deconditioned slide but seeing incredible results with medical hypnosis. I was not aware of this therapy until several months ago. It is approved by the AMA and has an EXTREMELY high success rate for pain patients - dramatically improving quality of life and decreasing hopelessness. I googled "medical hypnosis" and some of the towns close to me and called several people until I called one that I "clicked" with - it's worth a try and often far less expensive than traditional therapists with far greater results. We have found that a two hour medical hypnosis session is equivalent to 10 regular therapy appointments in effectiveness and my husband has the ability to control his pain just by self-hypnosis. You don't need any special skills to accomplish this and you don't need to be afraid that anyone will brainwash you or make you dance the funky chicken like stage hyponotists. THIS WORKS!!! You need to know that my husband is a nurse and a tremendous skeptic with "alternative" treatments, but the results convinced him. He can't wait to see his hypnotherapist now because he feels so good afterward - he has been able to deal with some long-term painful issues as well - something he has never faced before. Please don't automatically discount this therapy - look at what they say on WebMD first!
Am so happy that the medical hypnosis worked for him. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me. Guess my body and mind aren't connected enough or too broken to fix. Whatever, it is I gave it a good try, but it didn't help at all and neither did acupuncture that so many people say worked for them. It may have to do with the fact that I have multiple pain stiumli from FMS and a damaged S1 nerve root. Tell him to keep up the good work and let us know how he is doing in a while. That is great that it worked for him. That is the good thing with medicine, things are always changing and someday maybe other things will be developed that will help all pain sufferers. Teresa
I am a bit confused. You also posted under "Discogram" that your husband had an artificial disc implanted with very good results. You had only mentioned pain as a symptom prior to surgery. I thought the pain was fixed by the surgery and implant, but I must have misunderstood.
I have never personally used medical hypnotherapy, but have known people who did, they did not get long lasting pain relief at all, and were not able to decrease their pain meds. I am glad to hear it works for some folks. I think that is true of many therapies, they help some people and not others.
Hello Annette, Thanks for your reply. Before the artificial disc, my husband had terrible shooting pains down his leg. The artificial disc elevated the disc height and replaced the torn disc tissue that was leaking inflammatory mediators onto the nerves. The pain that remained is chronic - they have told him that the pain nerves don't know how to do anything else since they've been constantly firing for 14 years. He's since had a neurostimulator implanted in his spine which helps about 25% - pain people and their families will do anything to ease their suffering. The hypnotherapy has not allowed him to decrease meds, but it takes care of the remaining horrible pain that the meds won't touch and gives him not only more quality of life, but a tool to use instead of reaching for another pain med - more personal empowerment which increases his self-esteem.
Thank you very much for your reply, Teresa. When you have been suffering with your loved one for many years and something actually works for a change, one wants to shout it from the rooftops to see if it helps others. I really hope you find that something to help you someday. I wanted to let you know about a website called www.restministries.org started by a woman with RA and run from her home office - even if you are not religious, this site has a lot of pain links and books that are helpful for dealing with the emotional aftermath. Best hope and luck to you, Teresa! Judy
Thank you so much. I will look at it this weekend hopefully, if not, will do first of the week. Glad things are working out for you guys. Know you have been through a lot and its time for some relief. Keep us posted on how he is doing. Teresa
Hi dogvet, this is a little off subject but you mentioned that your husband had a artificial disc put in to replace a torn disc, I had an MRI last October that showed a torn disc at L4-5 and I have been getting some very bad pain from it. The medication helps for now but I'm afraid that it won't work forever...you mentioned the terrible shooting pains down his leg which I get also, more on the left side the same side the disc is torn at...could you explain to me a little more about the disc leaking inflammatory mediators onto the nerves and what this is, that is the mediators. Maybe this would give me a better idea of what may be going on with me and how far I should proceed, this is if I might should seek surgery or not...thanks if you know any more info that might could help me...futurexboy...
When tissue is torn, the body makes chemicals that promote inflammation to try to draw cells to the area to help clear up the dead tissue. They leak out of the torn disc and inflame the nerves that surround the disc. I absolutely, wholeheartedly believe that artificial disc replacement is the way to go compared to the fusion. I would recommend that you find out who is the best surgeon around for you. If you want to find out about the procedure, there is a site called www.artificialdisc.com that explains what to expect. When my husband went through the clinical trial, all of the people who had remained active despite their pain or who had just suffered the injury within a short period of time did extremely well, were able to drastically reduce meds and return to work.
In agreeing with all of the facts that dogvet just made, you also need to gather information about what can and does go wrong with these surgeries. For many of us who have had back surgery of one kind or another, there is something called failed back surgery syndrome where the surgery actually makes the pain worse. Being one of those unlucky people, just want you to be aware that not all back surgery goes well and you have a chance of making it even worse. My surgeon adamantly stated that he had done nothing wrong (strange, why would he even bring something like that up when I wasn't thinking it), so it should have turned out and helped me get back to work, right? Wrong. I was never pain free, in fact the day of the surgery was the most painful and just a preview of what was to come. Had I known then before the surgery that sometimes just waiting it out and letting the discs heal no matter if it takes 4 or more months would give better results, I would have not opted for surgery. However, I was told that he could "fix" my pain and I would be back to work in 6 weeks or less. That was six years ago and am now permanently disabled as direct result of the failed surgery. Now you may not be one of the unlucky and hope if you choose the surgery it turns out 100% good, but want you to do your own research carefully so you can be very knowledgeable about every aspect of the surgery before you decide on having it.. Good luck and hoping you have less pain no matter which option you choose. Teresa
Good point, Teresa - thank you. My husband was one of the lucky ones that had a fair outcome but is now classed as failed back surgery syndrome because the overall pain never stopped, just the shooting pains down his leg. They also have minimally invasive techniques that will cauterize the torn area from inside the disc using a laparoscopic technique and laser. I searched "minimally invasive laser spine surgery" and got some good information. There is also an interesting one www.avoidtheknife.com which may be appropriate for someone like you. Best wishes to you all in your struggle with pain.
You are very correct. Just like any doctor or therapist, you sometimes have to keep searching for one that works for you. I think that so many pain patients are sucked into psychological and physical dependence on taking a pill to relieve their suffering (understandably so) that many times alternative methods that work and have no side effects are not even tried first. Good luck to you all in finding your path through the pain - you are not alone out there even when you feel that you are!
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
The opinions expressed in WebMD Communities are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Communities are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider Communities as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.