Back Pain Success Stories #1 – Tried Everything and Desperate

by | Jul 18, 2016

Updated 07/06/2021

Back pain for months, or even years. You just want the pain to stop – to live a normal life.

Therapies and treatments haven’t solved the problem.

You don’t know what to do for the best. So you just keep doing what you know.

It’s not uncommon for back pain to take over someone’s life like this.

Some people, however, find a way to regain control.

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Iain Barker

Gary Chellberg is a family man. In A Life Pain Free: My Story, he describes how 15 years of back pain rendered him unable to do anything other than suffer through his working day.

At home he would lie out flat, trying to ease the pain and recover sufficiently to go through it all again the next day.

The normal family life that he wanted was beyond him.

In desperation, having exhausted all the treatment options and surviving on Ibuprofen, he tried Egoscue postural alignment exercises.

Gary disciplined himself to train every day. The results were life-changing:

“Now, after 2 years (of training) I am totally pain free. I am doing activities I have not done for more than 15 years: home repairs, riding a bike, playing ball with my kids”

Maybe a similar program could help you. Alternatively, you may find another path to getting a healthy back that suits you better.

Either way, the key takeaway from Gary’s success story is the change of mindset that enabled him to overcome his own problem.

Hitting rock bottom, he was ready to try a whole new approach.

Are You Going About It The Wrong Way?

Most of us have been brought up with a kind of binary view of our health.

Sick or well.

Aches and pains are accepted as part of everyday life. But, if a problem is too severe, or has gone on for too long, we get medical help.

As a professional your doctor is expected to diagnose the fault and fix it.

So far, so reasonable. It’s the frame of reference we’ve learned and it works.

Except when it doesn’t.

Bad backs don’t tend to respond well to this approach.

Your GP can’t find anything wrong. When the problem persists (s)he refers you to a physiotherapist or orthopaedic specialist.

More time passes and you’re still in pain. Getting desperate, you might try alternative therapies but nothing hits the spot.

Now you’ve had back pain for months or even years, you’ve tried everything and there’s still no real progress.

Suffering excruciating spasms of back pain, Julianna Raye sought medical help.

In Using Mindfulness Meditation To Heal Chronic Illness, she describes years of ineffective treatments.

“I tried everything: chiropractic, acupuncture, regular cortisone injections, epidural cortisone injections, physical therapy … you name it”

Her life became more and more limited:

“Eventually, when I could no longer sit for more than five minutes at a time, I got desperate”


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Be Open To New Ideas

better way

It was this very desperation that forced Julianna to really open her mind.  To take stock of all the options and find her better way.

She explored a possibility she had long resisted. That the source of her pain was a reaction to stress and anxiety. That a remarkable psychological process, TMS,  was actually causing this very real, very physical back pain.

Like most people, when she first heard this idea she had rejected it. Surely there must be some physical defect causing all this pain!

By now, though, the only conventional treatment option left was surgery, with a far from certain outcome.

So. Julianna tried a program, developed by Dr. John Sarno, designed to stop this unconscious process. Taking this path, she enjoyed a recovery she describes as “miraculous”.

Everyone’s different. We each have a unique genetic inheritance and history. Although suffering back pain for months, or longer, is a common problem, there are many and varied approaches to recovery.

Not all ways are right for all people. The trick is to find the way that’s right for you.

“Effectiveness Is The Measure Of Truth”

Mastering Your HIdden Self  by Serge Kahili King


About Me


Hi, I’m Iain Barker creator of Back Pain Liberation.

I got back pain young and it got worse over time. Like many others in this situation, I saw plenty of doctors and therapists – all to no avail.

Iain Portrait


In the end self-help worked best – it often does for bad backs. Now I train regularly, focus on what works, and don’t get back pain.

My goal is to share what I learned. To help you find a more effective way when treatment doesn’t hit the spot.


The Secret to a Healthy Back

Chronic back pain is a big problem for many people. What to do if you’ve had back pain for months or even years?

Those who make real progress, like Gary and Julianna, start to think a little differently.

Health isn’t the same thing as just not being sick.

It really is a continuum.

Our habits of posture, movement, thinking and feeling have a direct effect on our well-being.

This goes double for backs as they are so susceptible to tension and stress, in all senses of those words.

So, instead of hoping someone else will fix us, we can improve the habitual behaviours that have developed unconsciously throughout our lives.

Work on what is sometimes called the more skilful use of the self.

In this way we can move ourselves along the scale towards a healthy back, so the pain is diminished or even eliminated.

Back Pain for Months – It’s Time for a Fresh Start

As with any health concern, your first stept should be to consult your doctor. Check for any serious medical condition.

But, for many, medical treatment just doesn’t provide the solution they need. Back pain is notoriously difficult to treat in a conventional way.

Often this can mean doing the rounds of ineffective treatments and therapies; suffering back pain for months or even years.

To really move forward, you have let go of any pre-conceptions.

This doesn’t mean abandon common sense.

It means that you should seriously consider the possibility that what works for other people, may just work for you.

That you too could find a better way; a way from the misery of chronic back pain to a better life.

Leaving your comfort zone doesn’t seem to be such a high price to pay when there is so much to gain.





Check Out

the Back Pain Liberation Podcast

Active Release Technique [ART]

Active Release Technique [ART] Tight hip flexor release for lower back pain. Root cause of piriformis syndrome. BPL28 with Heather Pearson

BPL6: Outwitting the Crooked Back Pain Industry

Find out how to outwit the crooked back pain industry and take control of your own well-being with Cathryn Jakobson Ramin.

Causes of Chronic Back Pain [Book Giveaway]

Learn what causes chronic back pain and why it needs to be treated differently to acute pain conditions with Dr. David Hanscom| BPL37 Podcast show notes

Hips and Lower Back Pain

Learn techniques to release tight hips and ease lower back pain. Exercises to avoid with tight hip flexors | BPL43 Podcast show notes

Back Pain at Work [Don’t Overlook This Common Cause]

Back pain at work. Don’t overlook major cause of work related back pain. Tips and tricks to reduce work stress | Podcast BPL34

BPL14: How to Fix a Thrown out Back with Dr Jeremy James

How to Fix a Thrown out Back. Dr Jeremy James says it’s better to get moving straight away. Hear how to fix your thrown out back faster! Podcast show notes.

BPL22: Can a Rib out of Place Cause Back Pain?

Can a rib out of place cause back pain? Listen to Vienna Dunham Schmidt explain release of tight muscles around the ribs. Podcast show notes.

Muscle Knots with Christine Koth

Learn what muscle knots are & the best way to treat tight muscles. Pregnancy back pain and hypermobility. How to test for anterior pelvic tilt | BPL42

BPL8: Moving Stretch with Suzanne Wylde

Moving Stretch creator Suzanne Wylde on back pain self care and stretching for less flexible people, A must-listen if you have an inflexible back. Can emotional stress cause back pain?

How to Handle Stress [for Back Pain Relief]

How to handle unavoidable stress and get out of chronic stress-related back pain. Mindset to break the chronic pain cycle has 3 essential characteristics.

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