Herniated disc programming, also commonly called conditioning, can be the actual cause of pain and disability instead of structural pathology. Chronic pain is often a conditioned response unto itself and always involves programmed behaviors and experiences regardless of causation.
People who are diagnosed with herniated discs are virtually universally programmed to expect pain. It is no surprise when pain occurs, even when there was no pain prior to diagnosis. We find the subject of conditioning to be both very interesting and very relevant to chronic pain sufferers. Therefore, we share our research on the subject in order to help patients to recover when more traditional methods of medical and complementary medical care fail.
This mindbody medicine essay details the power of conditioned responses in herniated disc patients and how programming is a major symptomatic exacerbator, as well as a possible primary cause of pain.
What is Herniated Disc Programming?
Programming, or conditioning, is when a person expects a particular outcome to occur due to a circumstance, activity or behavior. In herniated disc patients, conditioned behaviors can become tyrannical limiters of living normally. We regularly see many patients who are in horrific pain and often disabled, but not due to any structural pathology. Instead, they are victims of powerful conditioning syndromes that have created endless lists of prohibitions in their lives. Programming can exist due to many factors:
First, the average educated person knows the fearsome reputation held by herniated discs as a terrible source of pain. While inaccurate scientifically, the popular perception of herniated disc as being inherently painful is almost universally embraced. In this regard, society plays a role in herniated disc programming.
Next, the diagnosis of a herniated disc creates a very powerful nocebo reaction and entails programmed fear and anxiety itself. This nocebo is often worsened by illogical advice about what patients should and should not do by their care providers. In this regard, doctors play a major role in herniated disc programming.
Finally, the patient is most responsible for much of their programming over time. Patients might fear or expect pain during a particularly circumstance or activity due to any of the factors above or due to their own experience (coincidental or not). They soon develop a long list of behaviors and circumstances they deem to be responsible for creating pain. Most of these listed items tend to be completely incidental to pain and are in no way actually structurally responsible.
Herniated Disc Programming Consequences
There are horrific consequences to the typical conditioning suffered by people with long-term herniated disc pain issues:
People tend to deteriorate physically due to the inability to participate in fitness activities. Patients often become obese, develop diabetes and various metabolic and general health disorders. The damage done to the body can become a permanent wellness threat.
Many patients can not work or attend to personal responsibilities, such as family needs. These losses create psychoemotional and financial hardships for the patient and their surrounding support base of friends and relatives.
Patients miss out on significant moments in life because of fear. If the fear was justified, this would be understandable, but in most cases, the fear associated with conditioning is illogical, since the pain does not occur due to any structural issue, but instead is a direct product of the mindbody conditioning/expectation process.
Eventually, the prohibitions become more challenging to living normally than the pain itself, even if these prohibitions are effective in warding off major flare-ups of acute pain. This is logical given that in most patients the pain serves a primary gain psychological need, which is eventually replaced by the prohibitions, fear and anxiety.
Herniated Disc Conditioning and Deprogramming
We wrote our initial report on back pain conditioning on the original Cure Back Pain.Org website more than 15 years ago. The article received lots of attention in its early days, but has largely been forgotten by mainstream medicine, since the concepts presented here undermine medical profitability to a huge degree. This is another way to say that the business side of medicine will seek to destroy the truth of clinical practice and scientific knowledge, since these honorable facets of the industry threaten the monetary aspirations of greedy soulless caregivers. While this sounds too terrible to be true, it is absolute and indisputable fact… If you are interested in the fascinating role played by programming, we still recommend this article as a very good source of research material.
You can break the conditioning process by learning the facts of herniated discs. Knowledge can set any patient free from the limitations imposed on their physical abilities by their own fearful mind. Knowledge can also equally effectively dispel the nocebo effect of a herniated disc diagnosis and the incorrect societal view of herniated discs as inherently pathological spinal issues.
It is for this reason that we continue to recommend knowledge therapy practices for all patients with chronic pain and particularly for those who have been told that a herniated disc is responsible for their suffering. In most cases, a cure will result when the knowledge therapy path is followed to completion, which stands in stark contrast to the highly ineffective and dangerous herniated disc treatments which fail daily in the traditional medical care system.