1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

«pinched nerve»

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by mbo, Mar 6, 2023.

  1. mbo

    mbo Well known member

    I wonder if the concept «pinched/entrapped nerve» as supposed cause of pain is always a (very popular!) myth, or just when the pain is chronic/persistent

    Click here to view this on Vimeo

  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can't remember if someone ever told me this during the twenty years I suffered from debilitating neck spasms, but they probably did because it was a popular diagnosis at the time (and the spasms went away almost overnight thanks to eventually doing the work). However, I can tell you about my bike crash - a case in which the medical experts told me I had a broken femur. Which I did.

    Kind of not the same, but I believe that the same principles apply.

    It was 2008 (I was 57), bicycling downhill at speed and turning left, with my husband some yards behind me, when my bike skidded out on small gravel, and my left hip took the full force of the fall (my husband said my head never hit the ground). My pain level was high - not screaming bad by any means (I suspect that childbirth is much worse) but I feel like my pain threshold has always been pretty high, so I knew that I'd done something bad. I immediately started catastrophizing. Waiting in the ER, I was in a lot of pain, my BP was high, and I was completely overcome with anxiety about being bedridden. The instant that the ER doc came back with my x-rays and said that they could pin up the femur and have me on crutches in two days, my pain level plummeted. Right there. And it never went back up. I refused the opioids they offered and asked for ibuprofen to take the edge off. After surgery the next morning, every time someone came around demanding a number for my pain level, I would tell them "I've had cramps worse than this, just keep the ibuprofen coming". I refused to fill the opioid Rx, instead adhering to an approved ibuprofen/acetaminophen regimen for a week or so, and called it good. And it was good. I did everything I was told, to the letter of course) (Right? Perfectionist!) and I really was using crutches the day after the surgery, including stairs. I was mobile enough that I could use the toilet and take showers on my own (this was a big part of the catastrophizing), and I healed from both the break and the surgery with no problems at the shortest end of the expected time period.

    Mind you - this was THREE YEARS before I discovered Dr. Sarno and this work. I had been aware since my twenties about how my anxiety made symptoms worse, and I was able to help myself a bit in really bad moments, but symptoms kept escalating as I first passed 40, then 50, and came to a crisis in 2011 at age 60. Dr. Sarno filled in the missing pieces (as did the SEP, Claire Weekes, and Alan Gordon), allowing me to achieve better health than I'd had for at least twenty years "before Sarno" in spite of being past middle age.

    So what's the point of this story in relation to a diagnosis of pinched nerves? It's all about where pain is really generated. It does not originate from the location of the pain. It never has, it never will, and that's what people need to accept. It is generated by the brain, and it can be generated by the brain at whatever level, or location, that the brain decides is needed. A "pinched nerve" is meaningless, imo - do people even receive that diagnosis anymore from more recently-educated doctors and physios?

    The point to my story is that I had a broken bone in my hip joint - a so-called "real" injury, which no one is going to say should not produce so-called "legitimate" pain. And yet - and yet, even then, with a broken hip, for crying out loud, the level of my pain was completely connected to the story that my freaked-out fear brain (which is part of the TMS mechanism) was telling me about the consequences of the injury. My initial panic response went away when my rational brain was able to celebrate that the prognosis turned out to be straightforward and manageable.

    Funny side note: as soon as my hip pain receded, I suddenly became aware that the underside of my arm just below the elbow was hurting. I pushed up my sleeve to find that the skin had been scraped raw by the gravel even through my shirt, and it was oozing all over the place. My survival brain obviously knew where I needed to focus, which was to protect the broken bone. To me it's obvious that as soon as my brain felt like the broken hip was going to be safely taken care of, it was willing to reduce the pain at the hip (it's not like it went away, of course - I still needed a reminder not to move it) and make a "decision" to send pain to my less-injured arm so I could get that taken care of as well.

    It's a perfect example of the proof that our brains are completely in charge of all sensations. It's the TMS mechanism in action. And it's all connected.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2023
    MWsunin12 and TG957 like this.
  3. woggles823

    woggles823 Newcomer

    Hi Jan! Thanks so much for this post. I have a follow up question for you.

    First, between Dec 2021 and April 2023, I took a TMS approach and successfully healed Long COVID, as well as chronic plantar fasciitis and tendonitis. I was walking/hiking without limitation!

    Then I stubbed my pinky toe very badly at the beginning of July 2023. It continue to hurt, so I went in and got an xray, and they found a small fracture in the toe. I am now 7 weeks out, and the healing time for bones is supposed to be 6-8 weeks. I have been wearing a surgical shoe to protect it. The pain has lessened over that time.

    However, I can tell that I am starting to go down a TMS path with it. It has become very sensitive (like I put a sock on for the first time and this irritated it, even though I know rationally that the sock is not damaging it).

    The difficult part is that online in all the TMS wiki posts, and posts from Dr Stracks etc, people/TMS Drs say that broken/fractured bones are not TMS, and that we need to just let them heal.

    I would love your thoughts.

    Thank you!
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    My thoughts are in the story I already related above about my hip fracture. I understood, several years before I came across TMS theory, that our ability to heal ourselves is very powerful, and it all depends on having a constructive mindset and visualizing recovery.

    In other words, it's up to you to whether you are willing to control your primitive fearful TMS mechanism.

    Have you noticed my tagline?

    I Know how my brain creates symptoms; I Believe my body is healthy; I have Faith that I can heal myself.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2023
    MWsunin12 and TG957 like this.
  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sarno pointed out something in HBP that I remembered every time I caught my mind drifting back to their 'pinched nerve' thing.
    "If pressure is applied to a nerve for any amount of time, NUMBNESS is what would occur, not pain."
    I once fell asleep on a toilet.. I was EXHAUSTED and though I only needed to Pee, I sat down lest I fall over...peed like a girl.
    I woke up some time, maybe 1/2 hour later? I had fallen asleep and I could not willfully move either leg to get up.. The sciatic nerves having been pressed on by my bodyweight against the seat had literally 'failed' being deprived of oxygen/blood flow for all that time. It was weird staring at my own legs and being unable to move them.
    I finally pushed off on the water closet and fell forward unable to stand.
    It was embarrassing, it was uncomfortable, but it felt NOTHING like TMS pain and it went away in 2-3 minutes.

    So...when the MD's would talk about pinched nerves, remembering what Sarno said coupled with my own experience, it was easy to dismiss that as an old wives tale. It's oxygen debt....MILD oxygen debt, because if it was major, I'd be trapped every time I sat down.
    MWsunin12, backhand and JanAtheCPA like this.

Share This Page