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Derek S. Can pain get worse before it gets better?

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

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

    Question
    Hello,

    I was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and am experiencing sever back pain. I just started reading Dr. Sarno's book, The Divided Mind. It makes so much sense and I do believe in its validity. My question is, if a person has TMS, is it possible that their pain will get worse before it gets better. especially in the beginning of treatment or even learning about it? Since I started reading the book and am now learning about treatment, my back pain has greatly increased. I don't know what to make of it. Can someone please share his/her thoughts with me?
     
    lisa62270 and North Star like this.
  2. Derek Sapico MFT

    Derek Sapico MFT TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi there.

    The answer to your question is yes, the pain can certainly become worse before it gets better. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as an "extinction burst." Please see the following thread for a more detailed explanation of this process:

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/overcoming-relapses.4904/

    I am sure that you have heard countless stories about people whose pain decreases when learning about TMS. Similarly, pain can increase when learning about the mind-body connection. One reason this can happen is because a defense mechanism that has been effectively serving a purpose is being threatened and the increased pain is the mechanism's attempt to remain relevant.

    I am always encouraged by any case in which the symptoms change early on in recovery. This change can be a temporary increase OR decrease in intensity, or it can be symptoms moving from one location to another. Either way, it's a good sign that something is happening and that there is an observable link between thoughts, emotions, and symptoms.

    Make sure that legitimate structural causes have been ruled out and keep working on changing the way that you relate to the pain. Disrupt the cycle of fear and preoccupation and the pain will eventually recede.

    Best of luck!

    Derek


    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.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     
    LynnCarol1 likes this.
  3. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello, Guest! Derek has already give you the gold nugget answer. I just wanted to toss in "amen" to what he said. TMS will roll in and out like ocean waves…and sometimes it feels like a tidal wave when things are moving around. I've had severe extinction bursts and then poof…a symptom is gone. The trick is to take it in stride because we know preoccupation with fear will only feed it more. And remember, there's nothing wrong with taking a pain med if you have done so in the past to help ride it out.

    Steve Ozanich's book, The Great Pain Deception, is a great book to read. I recommend it next after Dr. Sarno's books. :)

    Good luck with your healing and do keep us posted.
     
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Always good advice from Derek and North Star.
    I never had knee pain until about two weeks ago. I consider it an extinction burst and
    my suconscious telling me to relax and not let things like low finances bother me.
    I've dealt with those for more than 40 years of freelancing as writer.
    Nothing new in that. So I laughed it off and felt better.
     
    Derek Sapico MFT and North Star like this.

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