The piriformis nocebo effect occurs when a person receives a diagnosis of structural abnormality and subsequently develops or suffers exacerbated pain. The nocebo effect is a psychoemotional phenomenon that is proven to exist and is one of the major factors that is responsible for the current crush of chronic pain plaguing the modern medical establishment. Nocebo is a core concept for patients to understand and has therefore become a major educational focus for us at The Cure Back Pain Network. We provide the most detailed coverage on the effects of nocebo, since we have witnessed its powerful health consequences over decades of diverse clinical experience.
This crucial report examines the relevance of nocebo in the symptomology of piriformis pain sufferers.
Piriformis Nocebo Defined
Nocebo is the diametric opposite of placebo. Most people understand that a placebo is a treatment or product that demonstrates no actual efficacy, yet still provides benefits due to the manner in which it is perceived by the mind. In essence, the treatment is basically worthless, but the patient believes in it and therefore gains reward from its application. Any type of product or therapy can act as a placebo, including drugs, chiropractic and even surgery. In fact, some questionable therapies would enjoy no success if it were not for the power of placebo, since this is the only way they can benefit patients!
A nocebo is the flip side of the same card. Instead of providing benefit even though no actual efficacy is present, the nocebo imparts harm even though it is inherently harmless. Once again, the power of nocebo is all in the way the mind is exposed to the effect and how it processes exposure to a specific occurrence. Basically, the patient is damaged psychologically and this has a direct effect on anatomical health as this injury is transferred directly to the anatomy through the mindbody interactions.
Nocebo Effect Mechanism
The mind is certainly the general of the army, while the body is the soldier. The body is important, but the mind directs it in all of its processes directly and indirectly. The conscious mind can enact many anatomical changes in the body, including changes in digestion, heart rate, blood pressure, sexual response and general health. However, the subconscious mind is directly responsible for programming and maintaining all the automatic and autonomic systems of the body, which account for virtually all the functionality that goes on beneath the conscious surface.
When the mind is exposed to information or occurrence that it perceives as negative, the mind can institute changes in the body to reflect its exposure to perceived harm. The mind can enact changes in the anatomy using circulatory vessel constriction causing ischemia, immune system response or reduction or increase of functionality in specific systems of the body or to general health functionality. The weapons which are at the disposal of the subconscious mind are many and varied, explaining why so many different effects can be created from exposure to nocebo effect.
Piriformis Nocebo Consequences
Nocebo is usually imparted when a piriformis patient undergoes testing that identifies a structural abnormality of the placement of the sciatic nerve in relation to the piriformis muscle. They are often told that this structural irregularity is responsible for their pain (in many cases, it is innocent) and that there is nothing that can be done, short of surgery to change the problem. This type of diagnostic evaluation is pure nocebo. Any negative prognosis for any diagnosis will have identical effect, regardless of the validity of such a pronouncement. Doctors know this and many use their words as psychological weapons to gain patient compliance for treatment recommendations.
Luckily, there are few other nocebo opportunities for piriformis pain syndromes, although any diagnosis can be provided in a way to increase nocebo effect and psychoemotional response, including injury, RSI or muscular imbalance.
Once a nocebo occurs, the mind will implement changes in the anatomy that will worsen pain and increase general symptomology. The nocebo effect is documented to not only escalate symptomology, but also perpetuate it past its normal timeline, as well as propagate symptoms illogically throughout other structures in the body (common when patients are told to expect other pains, such as hip, knee and foot issues, due to piriformis disorders).
To summarize the nocebo effect, we are discussing a very real injury to the body caused or worsened exclusively by mindbody influence due to information or occurrence that is perceived to entail structural abnormality or poor future prognosis of any piriformis disorder. While coverage of nocebo is limited here for the sake of space and time, we have written a literal encyclopedia of valuable information on our various websites for patients who are intent on learning more. Please use the site search tool to find “nocebo” and learn everything you can. Taking the time to understand nocebo will prevent the effect from having damning effects on your health and is one of the best strategies that you can include in an overall wellness plan for life.