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26 Medical Professionals, and then.. Dr. Sarno

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by LindenSwole, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. LindenSwole

    LindenSwole Peer Supporter

    October of 2015 I sustained a serious shoulder injury - torn labrum, torn rotator cuff, torn articular cartilage in the glenoid. I had surgery in April of 2016 and the recovery went awesome.

    July of 2016 an incredibly stressful event at work happened. The first week of August I suddenly developed tendonitis in my right knee - was told to take NSAID's and rest it. Two weeks later, the day after the tendonitis went away, I developed sciatica in my right leg. This was really scary because I had never had nerve pain before - the shooting sensation and the cold and hot. This went away after 2 weeks. I got medically cleared for all activity after shoulder rehab and the next day after finishing a workout my upper back started to tighten; it was trigger point city. A couple of weeks after that the sides of my neck and upper traps started to have a deep, deep pain.

    This continued for a few weeks until late October. I had been struggling at work performance-wise most of the year - I'm used to being a Top salesperson at my company so it became incredibly stressful to become average if not slightly below average. I closed two huge contracts around October 20th and my pain vanished mysteriously. October 30th I was out with my daughter and I could feel my upper traps getting "dry." I leaned over to pick something up and my upper trap spasm'd and all of the trigger points I had loaded across my upper back came back with a vengeance. This started the trend of seeing doctors and specialists every few days for months on end. I had...

    - Regular docs
    - Cervical Spine MRI
    - Cervical Spine X-Ray
    - Thoracic Outlet Syndrome nerve block
    - 20+ chiro visits
    - 20+ massages
    - 8 rolfing sessions
    - Physiatrists, Sports docs, Orthos, Neuros, Spine doctors, etc
    - 10 Physical therapists
    - Fascial Strain Counterstrain
    - Cranio-Sacral Therapy

    I continued to workout through this and my symptoms would drastically drop by 80 or 90% during the workout. As soon as it ended I would get stressed about how much pain I was in. I continued to struggle at work and essentially spend large parts of my day researching injuries to various muscles, structures, ligaments, posture, neck injuries, facets, discs, etc. All of these doctors and specialists were baffled. My pain moved ALL THE TIME: Traps, rhomboids, sides of the neck, mid traps, etc. I had a fear I tore my rhomboids because they were so locked up and just simply wouldn't work.

    I went and saw the head physician of the University of Washington Huskies to inquire about nerve entrapments. She examined me and noted the substantially increased muscle tone up and down my back. She asked me how my stress level was - I fought this and kept saying it was a structural problem and she kept countering with this being stress and anxiety. She gave me some trigger point injections and prescribed a muscle relaxer and told me if these gave no relief she would want me to consider SSRI's. She sent me to a massage therapist and recommended acupuncture to relax.

    I never put two and two together as I don't think of myself as a stressed out person. I then traveled to Montana still seeking a structural problem - the nerve doctor there said I had really inconsistent symptoms but said my paraspinal muscles were obviously stuck in spasm, particularly on my right side. He also ultrasounded my neck and said my long thoracic nerve was trapped at the exit of the middle scalene. He treated this and told me to be incredibly gentle with it for a month.

    I picked up Dr. Sarno's book on day 30 and it was like reading a journal of my life for the previous year. The knee tendonitis, the sciatica, the constant back pain, etc. I think of myself as a really good husband and a great dad to my 3 year old but certainly over the last few months I have had moments where I get incredibly frustrated - throwing things and yelling. It isn't like me at all. I'd research on my phone different injuries right when I woke up and right when I went to bed; I'd get mad that I stopped riding my motorcycle, lifting weights, doing CrossFit. Essentially anything physical I did before this started I had completely stopped. Back in 2002 I lost about 100lbs as I wanted a new and healthy life; now I couldn't workout and it was absolutely crushing.

    I start internalizing what Sarno is saying and I fit this perfectly. I'm highly data-driven so it's been a total mind-f*ck - I am only a week removed from reading it and my back pain is probably 85% gone at this point. The upper trapezius pain is bad - both sides are very sensitive to the touch but the right side especially. Where my mind drifts into thinking this is related to that long thoracic nerve entrapment the Montana doctor noted is because the upper trapezius is a compensation for a weak serratus anterior (connected to the long thoracic nerve); then I also think about how no other doctor found that and how Dr Sarno notes that these little nerve entrapments and such are common in most people.

    The day after I read started Healing Back Pain I jumped right back into full CrossFit workouts and rode my motorcycle for 2 hours. I've started writing every day again and trying to be much more open about things that bother me. I discontinued physical therapy and acupuncture and I start psychotherapy next week to try and figure out what exactly I am so mad about. When I sit in a chair or lay in my hammock and say to myself "this is your brain playing those tricks" my stiff traps feel like they are melting - it's a really weird sensation.

    I had a tough believing I had some frail body that was suseptible to pain and dysfunction all the time - the TMS diagnosis is so much for plausible. It is certainly a battle, though. If you'd like, you're welcome to checkout my blogs in the last week at LindenSwole.com.

    Thanks for reading :)
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    WOW! AMAZING SUCCESS STORY POST! I'll checkout your blog this weekend--thanks for sharing!
    LindenSwole likes this.
  3. Celayne

    Celayne Well known member

    You have an awesome story! I can certainly relate to the constant doctor and body work visits until Dr. Sarno appears in one's life. I will check out your blog.
    LindenSwole likes this.
  4. tmrsi

    tmrsi New Member

    This is an amazing success story - ive also been diagnosed with TOS and am wondering how you're holding up years later!

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