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
Dismiss Notice
Our TMS drop-in chat is tomorrow (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern (now on US Standard Time) . It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support, with Enrique as your host. Look for the red Chat flag on top of the menu bar!

Back pain fully gone after 10 years of torture.

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by aidanob10, May 1, 2014.

  1. aidanob10

    aidanob10 New Member

    (after reading this back I felt this might be a little long winded but I don’t know of another way to tell it)

    My back pain suddenly happened one week before my 18th birthday in 2000. I was playing a rugby training match and with no one around me I turned, with the sharp pain that stuck my back I collapsed to my knees. I continued to play in considerable pain and was not overly concerned. I started to go to the physio who gave me breathing exercises and stretches for the pain which was predominantly in my lower back. I did not find any relief from this and found the pain consuming and felt extremely stiff. The pain was constant, it did not subside at any stage. Some times were better than others but there was no relief from it and it made sleeping difficult. I continued to play rugby for two seasons but it was torture and I tried to avoid running if I could. I decided to stop then as I could not deal with the pain or the torment psychologically of feeling like I was in a 90 year body and no one could help.

    The more rest and recovery I did the worse the stiffness got and the pain never improved apart from with drink. The pain spread right down my thighs at this stage. I was able to work and go out but always in awful pain and any innocence you can have left in your late teens early twenties was wiped clean. Life was a struggle; I would go shopping and have to take breaks. I’ve always had a slim athletic build and people would presume I was healthy and fit but sadly in reality my body was screaming inside. Warm days I found the worst and felt that I needed to get out of my skin, luckily I’m from Ireland so these days were rare. I have pulled my hamstrings multiple times putting on socks or getting out of bed.

    The list of treatments I tried before discovering TMS I will list:

    Physio 2000, 8 sessions: Breathing and stretching exercises. Custom made orthotics. No relief.

    Chiropractor 2001, 7 sessions: Cracking my back and joints and told to take Nurofen Plus for the anti-inflammatory effects. Pills helped a bit but no relief.

    Neurosurgeon 2001, 2 visits: Got MRI scan. Small bulge found in the in my lower spine. Doctor told me this was causing my pain but did not know why, he would not perform surgery. My symptoms should go in my late twenties for no reason other than I he seen that before he said. I was 20 years old. I explained the pain is unbearable and ruining my life. He gave me a strengthening exercise program and told me to swim which I did. No change.

    Pain Specialist 2002: (in an office across from the Nuerosurgeon below) He asked me to consider surgery. I told him I was refused but I am willing to try anything, he then agreed surgery was not the option. With him I had three separate Lumbar epidural steroid injections. No relief.

    Neurosurgeon(2) 2003: Went for second opinion. He agreed surgery was not an option and doubted my pain could be that bad with only a small bulge. I told him that the pain was chronic and considerable. He suggested I live with it. Words got heated. He told my parents I had the worst attitude he had come across and to get out of his office. I refused until he gave me some suggestion to how I could improve. He said “do a strengthening exercise program” I said “which one?” he said “any”. Paid him 150€ for 15 minutes and left lost. I found the best recommended program and did that for 6 months no change.

    After this I just tried to swim as much as I could. I watched the TV on my back, slept with a pillow under my stomach and got on with as suggested by Doctor DoLittle. I travelled, I worked in bars, could lift kegs and worked in busy places but the rest of my time was focused on recovery. I could ski and try surf but always felt as if I had a dead weight anchoring down my spine.

    I tried other treatments looking for the answer but to no avail. Yoga, laser therapy (actually felt great after one treatment, but it soon faded the longer I went). In 2008 I went to a really nice physio massage therapist who had me feeling free from pain while walking so I went to jog but collapsed in agony after 30 metres.

    The start of my discovery of TMS was in 2009 when I moved to Vancouver after losing my job in Dublin. It took a bit of time to find work in Canada as well so while I had time I researched back surgery there. My family and friends had long since stop asking about my pain and to be honest I found no point in talking about it so I thought I could get fixed on my own in my new home. Surgery as it turned out was far out of my budget. I also researched a new 30 day non surgical spinal decompression program but after getting the fancy videos and brochures, I pressed for the cost. After the how much do you value your health line I found out it was near $3000. I passed. I got decompression done by a chiropractor and got an inversion table myself. Initial improvements occurred but as always faded.

    After a couple of months in Canada I was googling and came across a book and read some extracts. It turned out to be success story about recovery from back pain using psychosomatic treatments. I can’t remember the book or who wrote it. I started to be sceptical as I had to pay to find out more but I spotted a comment on the site that mentioned Dr John Sarno and the book Healing back pain. There it said don’t even pay for anything just get the book from your nearest library and try it. That in itself was so relieving since all other treatments and doctors seemed to just see you as money. The next day I went and borrowed the book from Van City library.

    After reading 50 pages I knew this was the answer. My pain reduced by about 60% after reading half the book. I read the book a few times and got The Mindbody Prescription as well. The improvement was amazing. I would have the perfectionist personality and could relate to what Sarno was saying. I tried to do the journaling Dr Sarno suggested. I suffered severe depression in 2008 due to the back pain and other things and had seen a very good phychotherapist which probably helped with the understanding of the mind. When I was constantly brushed off by consultants I always thought there must be something their missing. The relief that I was not mad was also great.

    The day to day pain after a few months was nearly almost gone. I could walk freely, lift things and not expect pain nor fear it if some arose. Jogging and running was still painful so I would avoid it and but found swimming pain free for the first time in a decade.

    Back in Ireland I found the pain came back stronger after a year again as I dropped off doing the work and not putting the time in. I got Sarno’s video and started reading TMSWiki aswell and found it great and the pain was back under control. Another terrific aid was Dr Schechter 30 Minbody workbook. It just gives your journaling a bit of structure. I have done the program twice know and found it was a huge leap in my recovery.

    In 2012 I tried to get more and more back into physical exercise. I found jogging still impossible then – back pain and shine pains were stopping jogging freely. I did an intense gym training program with friends and found that some pain I was feeling was normal fitness issues that faded quickly. Again that was great leap. I could go on long walks and treks without a problem.

    The end of last year and the start of this year I was able to put my TMS back pain to bed. I went back playing rugby which was a lot easier than I feared. My fitness for full contact sport was terrible but only took about 8 weeks to get back. I found with it being a team sport and a ball sport that it was a lot easier then jogging to get lost in what you were doing and not to think about “how do I physically feel now as I run”. 3 months in I got shine pain as if my legs were about to snap but that lasted only a few training sessions. I screamed the process in my head “I know what my mind is trying to do, I know my mind is initiating oxygen being deprived from my shines to cause this pain, I do not fear this pain and know it is harmless.” The release of playing games and being part of a team again was immense. I will also say that I sprained my ankle badly in January and went to a physio who was a great help. I have now noticed in retrospect in my experience that TMS pain is a little different to a fully physical muscle pain. TMS is more severe I found and also I found it came with a nausea felling.

    I do have equivalent symptoms that Sarno talks about like anxiety and IBS put nothing I can’t beat. I hope this helps orders. I found it a long path but an enlightening recovery. I spent about $15,000 on the numerous treatments over the years but only €50-60, less than one physio appointment, on the actual cure. Hopefully Sarno’s word will spread and the so called professional consultants wallets will get smaller all the while people’s lives get better.

    Ines, speedysel and Ellen like this.
  2. Elbe

    Elbe Peer Supporter

    Thank you Aidan for this great detailed write up. You kept good records. I can see you are a perfectionist, just like myself. Congratulations to your recovery. Any set backs or flare ups you have well under control. Take care.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Elbe.
    Congratulations on being rid of your back pain after doing TMS work.

    I'm a perfectionist too, but have gotten it more under control since learning about TMS.
    I used to think I had to work every minute of the day, but now I pace myself better and
    take time out to just sit and meditate and do deep breathing. It works wonders.

    I also laugh at my perfectionist self. I tell myself I could do half as much and still
    do twice as much as most other people.
  4. alexandra

    alexandra Peer Supporter

    I am from Vancouver, Canada! thank you for your story :)
  5. Elbe

    Elbe Peer Supporter

    Hi Walt, I was actually congratulating Aidan. I am not there yet. Making some progress but still ways to go. Your advice is always appreciated.
  6. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    Great Story Aidan! I can relate to the list of things/people/doctors/etc. looking for relief. I am, today, so happy NONE of those things worked because I've gotten so much out of TMS recovery work -that recovery from pain is small in comparison to recovery from My Self!! ha-ha! Oy vey, I think of the amount of money I spent on doctors, etc. - well it provides the motivation to talk about mind body work to anyone who is open and willing to explore.
  7. Notsosupple

    Notsosupple Newcomer

    Wow! Great insight. This so mirrors my journey. I too have suffered so many set backs, at great cost. I too suffer from a number of perfectionist type traits; i make lists, give myself tough deadlines, criticise myself etc.

    Id be keen to understand how your progress has been to date and in particular how your journalling played a part in your success. Thanks.
  8. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Thank you for sharing Aiden and congratulations. I'm so glad you are feeling better :)
    Notsosupple likes this.

Share This Page