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Alan G. Back pain in adolescents

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Hi. I am writing for my daughter who is 14. She has severe pain in her back basically at the s1 level that has been constant for the last eight months. She is not able to attend school or really do much of anything. The thing is that the pain is on the front side of her spine and it hurts when you push on her abdomen although she has full mobility ( in fact she can still do the splits). Most people think that she is just faking - but i know she is not. She also has the strange condition that it disapears when she is completely floating in water but returns the second she is not completely floating. As well the pain is at a constant 8/10 and doesnt change with any movements in fact it is slightly worse when she lays down.
    I have read Sarno's books and they do make sense and the physiotherapist believes that a pain sensor has been stuck on because she has a tendency to power through pain and not really listen to her body. She did originally hurt herself at a cheerleading practice. We have had mri, xray, bone scan , ultrasounds and orthopedic consults. All say that although there are a few minor issues there isnt anything that should be causing this much pain. They have now put her on Lyrica which she is not coping with very well.
    My question really is can this really be Tms and how do I get her to believe it, and how do I cope with the fear that somehow something isnt actually wrong and someone hasnt missed something.
    Thanks for any insight.
    Much appreciated. Just looking for life to somehow return to normal for her.
    Jennifer in Windsor ontario Canada.
  2. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Given the fact that the tests have come back negative, it is likely tms. Often tms pain starts with an initial injury, neural pathways in the rain essentially learn and remember the pain, and the symptoms persist even after the injury heals. Honestly, it sounds like you've gotten every test imaginable to rule out structural causes. Everyone has minor wear and tear, that's normal. As to how to help her be open to this approach, that can be tough, especially with adolescents. Give me a call with her this week. I've gotten pretty good at explaining tms to people in a way they can receive it, plus I can gather more information to make sure the tms diagnosis makes sense.

    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

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    giantsfan likes this.
  3. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

    Yikes!!! That sounds so horrible. 8/10 all the time?!?! Poor thing. I know the feeling when people think you are faking it due to being young (I started with TMS pain in my late teens).

    I'm so happy that you've found this work. I see Alan gave you the invite to call him. On top of that I recommend you show her the reviews on Amazon for the book Healing Back Pain - there are hundreds of success stories on there. Also, if you haven't seen it already show her the 20/20 segment by John Stossel on YouTube. That is probably one of the most famous videos about TMS. It even mentions people like Howard Stern and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Best of luck to you and your daughter.
  4. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    As I mention in Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain, "Kids Get it too!"

    "Whereas eight out of ten adults suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, nearly 36 percent of American adolescents suffer from low back pain by the age of fifteen, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.[1] This large number should not come as a surprise. Just consider the amount of peer pressure, stress, and anxiety teenagers face in today’s society, and it becomes clear why they too suffer from back pain. In contrast, it is hard to believe that degenerative spinal problems could possibly be responsible for such a significant percentage of teenagers experiencing back pain."

    TMS diagnosis may explain what could be happening. But also keep in mind that pain from a physical injury can become chronic due to a conditioned response (a pain habit). I recount story of a client who was in two serious accidents:

    "And then there was John. He was a twenty-nine-year-old computer scientist and businessman who had been in two serious car accidents in six years. The first time he was broadsided by a truck and taken to the hospital unconscious. He woke up later feeling pain all over and continued to have pain and muscle spasms from his left shoulder down to his left leg. Therapy and medication helped but did not eliminate the pain. To make matters worse, six years later he was rear-ended on the freeway by a car traveling thirty miles per hour faster than his.

    John suffered from severe sciatica in his left leg, piriformis syndrome, and chronic pain from his neck to his lower back. He also experienced pain and numbness in both forearms and hands at night and when he held them in a raised position, such as when holding a telephone receiver. His orthopedically designed bed was not much help, and he had to sleep on the floor. This situation was emotionally painful for him, as he was newly married and his bride found sleeping on the floor quite uncomfortable.

    I explained TMS and the recovery plan to him, and since he was a self-motivated, goal-oriented person, I let him design his own recovery plan. Shortly after our meeting he began sleeping on the sofa, and in less than two weeks he was sleeping on his bed without experiencing any pain or discomfort. John’s wife, mother, other relatives, and friends were amazed at his rapid improvement. He rewarded himself by taking his wife out to dinner."

    So the pain can have physical origins but can become chronic due to conditioning and easily overcome.

    Hope your daughter recovers soon.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016

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