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BACK again...

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by JasonC, Jul 3, 2021.

  1. JasonC

    JasonC New Member

    Hi All,

    This will be my third thread that I have posted and I am sad to say my back issue is back again. My previous posts were on the same thing - I healed myself the first time after reading "healing back pain" and then it came back after 6 months. I managed to beat it again and then it came back after a year whilst squatting heavy I felt this really tight/ inflammatory pain in my lower back whilst at the bottom of the movement which caused my back to go into spasm. Again I felt completely lost but was able to heal again and now after 2 years of being pain free (heavy lifting, deadlifts, squats etc. completely fine felt the strongest I have ever felt) it has come BACK!

    This time I was playing football and for no reason at all that same tight/inflammatory pain came on during the game. I took the TMS healing attitude and continued playing even though I felt it pulling me one side and then by the time I was home in the evening I was back to being in a spasm and spent the whole weekend unable to do anything. What was weird is I did not let any fear in I just practised the principles and tried my best to not take any notice of the pain (anyone that has had a back spasm will know that it's near enough impossible to ignore lol) and it was much better by the start of the week. So much so I made myself play the next football match the that week as I felt fine and it came on again! Back into the back spasm for the second weekend.

    I have now quit playing football which is really frustrating and goes against what I practised to heal last time but I cannot keep spending my weekends in a back spasm. I am fine now but my issue is with squatting again I can't seem to be able to stop the pain no matter what I do I still tight in that area and my trunk keeps being distorted to the right side almost like the body wants to protect the left side, and this just makes it difficult to walk, sit etc. I am not squatting heavy or no way near to the level I was before this, but am trying to use this movement as physical therapy as everything else is fine. After squatting, the next day that area in my back really hurts but one thing that really worked for me that last times was still being active and doing the movements I wanted to do. This has last for a few months now.

    I am getting very fed up and in pain and distorted to one side which is always intimidating. I still truly believe and know it is TMS but the knowledge of that doesn't help me anymore. If anyone could share some advice or words of wisdom that would be much appreciated! Sorry for the rant.

    My previous threads with the same issues that I healed from are here:

    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/beat-tms-before-but-has-come-back-or-maybe-injury.17636/#post-93401 (Beat TMS before but has come back or maybe injury?)

    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/completely-healed-now-injured-again.19875/#post-104893 (Completely healed now injured again)

    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Jason,

    Sorry to hear that you are experiencing a TMS relapse. This is very common, and I have had many since my first recovery in 2013. The good news is that, in my experience, it is easier and quicker to get back to a pain-free state with each relapse. My most recent relapse last summer went away in seconds after I realized that my back pain was due to TMS. The mind is very powerful.

    I wrote the following section in my Success Story:

    Dealing with Relapse

    * Accept that it is likely that even after you have eliminated your TMS symptoms you will experience either a relapse of the old symptoms, or a new form of TMS.

    * Remind yourself that overcoming TMS is about recovery, not cure. It is very easy for our brains to fall back into those old neural pathways.

    * When a relapse occurs, stay calm and get back to the basics. Ask yourself why you need a distraction right now.

    * Don't become obsessed with finding the exact reason for your relapse. Go back to reading, journaling, or restart a structured program, if needed, but limit your work on TMS as in the beginning.

    * Don't catastrophize. Having a relapse doesn't mean your recovery has failed, and you will now have these TMS symptoms forever. Remind yourself that you overcame TMS before and you can again.

    Nothing profound in my advice. A relapse just means you have some more work to do, more to learn about yourself. Approach it with curiosity and the knowledge that you have overcome TMS before and can do so again.

    So hang in there and stay hopeful. You can get over what seems like an obstacle, but is really another opportunity to learn more about yourself. Best wishes......
    Aimee88, MWsunin12 and Balsa11 like this.
  3. 444

    444 Peer Supporter

    I’m no expert and you’ve been at this longer than me, but you sound very active is there any chance this could be acute type injury? To me TMSers and non-TMSers still age and we won’t always be able to do the things we use to do at the same level and intensity. If not my other thought was a conditioned response to the activity.
  4. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Muscle spasms can hurt quite a bit but are always temporary
  5. JasonC

    JasonC New Member

    Hi Ellen,

    thanks for your reply and they are really good reminders!

    my only concern is I had the original relapse spasm months ago and I get over the pain again but it seem doing squats or football causes it too come back into a spasm or best case only pain. I am really lost on what to do for this situation as I’m sure ill get over this spasm after a few days but then what? Do I just quit doing what I love because i am forever doomed to be put back into square one?
  6. JasonC

    JasonC New Member

    Sometimes I questioned that but it’s been long enough now that it has to be TMS. So I’m really stuck for what to do next
  7. JasonC

    JasonC New Member

    I agree, but my question is so much about the spasm but how do I get past this new cycle of : spasm > out of spasm > getting active > back into spasm
  8. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    First off, there is nothing I could say that Ellen didn't.... Though I usually go for this one FIRST
    In your case, I might go back to the football day...because now that the conditioning has kicked in, which it has, a good rapid cure would be 'Why did I need a distraction RIGHT then?" . I have found a common pattern.

    example. . My knee starts bugging me during a game. I ignore it. I wake up the next morning and notice it again.I ignore it again. By the end of the day it's really got my attention.Now I know it's TMS.
    Next morning I sit down and have quiet time with a pad and pen and check all of the area's of my life I take for granted are 'OK' (I am always 'OK' when I get TMS)....oops. My GF and I are iffy. I am a little nervous about a job starting in a few days. I was really concerned during the game because I Popped out and grounded out. Maybe I'll get benched??

    So, I go out and run, swing a bat , play catch and anything else I can do to challenge the symptom, all the while focusing on everything I discovered might be less than ideal....all the stuff I was 'OK' with that I am probably not. Is that really what was going on? Only God knows... but the searching and the challenging and open mindedness to the idea are sufficient to stop the TMS.

    can it be this simple? Maybe I am a simpleton, but it's worked for twenty years so far.

    I was a 'book cure' too, but I have learned that this is not just a rehab project;there is maintenance too. Once you get regular with it, it gets a little simpler and your episodes will get shorter !
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your questions assume your pain is caused by your physical activity. If your pain is due to TMS, this is not the case. The cause is psychological. See excellent @Baseball65 post above.

    It is hard to move away from our past beliefs about pain. It hurts when I do this, so I need to stop doing this. This logic works with pain that has a structural cause, but not in the case of TMS. It's counter-intuitive which is why this work can seem difficult at times. But there is no way around doing the psychological inquiry to recover from TMS.
  10. JasonC

    JasonC New Member

    So whilst I am the psychological inquiry etc. Do I continue with squats and the consistent pattern of ending up in a spasm?
    Hope I am making sense
  11. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    If it was me, I wouldn't continue the squats, etc. until you have made progress in your inquiry about the psychological issues at play. But I was never one of those that could challenge that kind of sudden, disabling pain. Someone else may have different advice for you about this.

    And how do you know when you've made progress on the psychological inquiry? For me it's when I experience that "ah-ha" moment when I suddenly realize what has been really bothering me--that thing I needed a distraction from. It rings true.

    I would also spend some time telling myself that there is no physical reason for my pain. "There is no logical reason for me to experience pain when I perform a squat." I have found this Sarno strategy very effective. However, it needs to sound true. You need to believe it, and I suspect you still have some doubt. So maybe work on increasing your belief that you do, in fact, have TMS. This is when I would get out my audio version of Sarno's Healing Back Pain and listen to it on repeat.

    Best wishes to you. Let us know how it goes. You've recovered from chronic pain before and you can do so again.
  12. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    That depends. Sarno said that confidence needed to be built-up in the diagnosis before people did that.
    However, I have had great success going right into painful stuff as I find it oftentimes jars loose stuff, AND directly faces my fears and doubts. Each one of us gets to have our own experience with that one.

    That being said, If it is TMS, which it sounds like, My experience is exactly what Sarno said.. No one has ever caused any damage by running, lifting, throwing on a TMS injury...but many have gone away.
  13. JasonC

    JasonC New Member

    Exactly right! And this is why I feel really lost because the last two times that attitude/approach worked for me. And once I am out of the spasm stage I am fine being active, i can go jog fine, do most other exercises fine like picking up heavy dumbbells for example I can still feel it trying to creep in but with this attitude it will go away after the workout. BUT whenever I get to doing squats or if I play football the pain comes back, I maintain the mentality that there is nothing wrong (and I do truly believe this!) but the next day after sleeping I will be back in the spasm again, in agony and limping. It’s so frustrating I am doing all the psychological stuff as well like I did last time but nothing seems to work! I feel very conflicted in how I move forward on this
  14. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    After reading Sarno, part of my recovery has always been looking for stuff that doesn't maker sense. My shoulder hurts folding laundry and washing dishes, but I can paint for 10 hours pain free and lift weights...stuff like that.

    The fact that you can do some heavy lifting but not others smells strongly of the same type of conditioning.... but only self awareness can set us free. Maybe keep an eye open for those kind of contradictions as you go through your day? Those help reinforce the TMS idea which helps lessen the concern about it being 'structural'.
    444 likes this.
  15. JasonC

    JasonC New Member

    Thank you, I will look out for those types of contradictions as I am aware of them. So once I am over the spasm should I try go again for squatting or not? Baring in mind I went into the spasm the day after squatting I am just unsure how to proceed PHYSICALLY. I under what I need to look out for but what about practically?
  16. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    advice is a dangerous gift, BUT ... I would. Anything that I have avoided because of lingering fears has always come back to me needing to work through it face to face. So, if I were in your situation, I would return to doing it but get rid of all distractions (radio, talking to others, turn phone off etc.) and pay close attention to what goes through my mind before, during, and after.
    Obviously there's some fear....ask yourself WHY? I guess this is a time to be the 'silent watcher' that Buddhists and Eckhart Tolle talk about. "I wonder what my next thought is gonna be?" "What could this fear be protecting me from thinking about?"...there's another string on that right now....https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/back-pain-relieved-via-dr-gwozdz-dr-sarno.22610/#post-129092 (Back pain relieved via Dr Gwozdz & Dr Sarno)

    I never heard of that before, but that is essentially what has fueled my recovery and maintenance. Good questions.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  17. patelios

    patelios New Member

    Hi JasonC and everyone else. I just wanted to see where you are Jason on your recovery.

    Your journey sounds a bit similar to mine, whereby recently football has been giving me the dreaded back twinge 20-30mins in and then lateral shift to the right and spasm from 4-10 days. Anf then repeat. I have looked back on my posts on here and the wonderful responses but I also can see how some threads naturally go quiet. So I just wanted to check in as to where you with your recovery and journey since you were messaging on here. It sounded like you were a bit confused albeit convinced it was TMS so just wanted to get an update.

    I personally felt good playing football again last week, after early Jan didn't go well. But yeah same as you, happened again on the comeback and a week later as I write this, I still have spasm pain and a bit of lateral shift that varies in terms of it's prominence.

    Been writing lots of things down and also convinced TMS is the cause. But am also having an MRI shortly to rule out anything sinister after an xray showed usual 'degeneration'.

    Cheers all
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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