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confused :-( structural or not?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by whofeelslove, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. whofeelslove

    whofeelslove Peer Supporter

    Hi folks
    having been in lower leg pain for nearly 20 months and progressive foot numbness after being diagnosed with L4/5 disc herniation 8mm protrusion with central stenosis L5 nerve compression, i stumbled
    across Dr Sarno`s books and have gone from cover to cover and back again and then some. I started journaling every day and even traveled to Chicago to confirm the TMS diagnosis with Dr Stracks. I jog when i can even when i suffer from it the next day and get pain in both legs. I avoided surgery because i dont want somebody cutting into my back and a strongly believe that i can heal this, yet my pain has been in the same spot below the knee burning,tingling, numbness in the right side of the calf and has not shifted.
    All through this site and Dr Sarno`s books i see the statement "when a structural diagnosis has been ruled out"...Im confused at this statement because the medical establishment always rules in favor of something structural and always gives a physical diagnosis. Where is the line drawn between psychological and structural? I am torn with this and strongly believe its part of my lack of progress and added to the fact that when i bend backwards the base of my spine hurts..confirming my fear of structural..please help.
    thanx Ian
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    What did Dr. Stracks say?
  3. whofeelslove

    whofeelslove Peer Supporter

    Dr.Stracks said it looked to be TMS and ive stuck with the diagnosis but im still locked in fear and pain
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, whofeelslove.
    I would believe Dr. Stracks that your pains are TMS psychological and not structural, despite that another doctor
    said you have a herniated disc. Dr. Sarno says that doesn't cause pain, at least not serious or lasting.

    I tend to think most doctors say they find something structurally wrong so they can prescribe medication or surgery.
    It keeps them in Cadillacs and golf fees. Sorry if I offend any doctors, but my experience has been that the surgery
    some wanted me to get was totally unnecessary. One said I had a cancerous growth on my neck and scheduled me
    for hospital surgery. I insisted on a culture being taken. The doctor was head of cancer surgery at one of the best
    hospitals and kept refusing to have a culture taken. I kept insisting and he finally gave in. It turned out that the
    "cancerous growth" was just a tiny water pimple. It went away by itself.

    I would forget the medical diagnosis you got and stop living in fear. Live in belief in TMS and you will heal.
    Journal and find your repressed emotions.
    IrishSceptic and Tennis Tom like this.
  5. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi. This is a wonderful question and one that I have often pondered myself. I had herniated discs in my neck(and I am sure I still do) and this made it very difficult for me to completely embrace TMS and a non-structural diagnosis. What I did was ask my doctor if it would be safe for me to wait 6 months before considering any medical procedures and he said yes. In other words, my condition was not life threatening and so I decided to give myself 6 months to stop thinking about the potential structural causes and to work on the TMS. I not only had neck pain, but occipital pain,shoulder pain, and weird sensations on the side of my face, nose, teeth, hands, wrists... I have also had lots of numbness in my feet. I kept an evidence sheet and after 3-4 months, things just did not add up for the structural diagnosis. There were many, many inconsistencies. What I did notice was that as soon as I started to successfully stop focusing on one symptom, another would appear. My anxiety increased considerably, old ailments resurfaced, new things popped up... Just this last week I was going through an especially stressful period and my old neck/right sided head ache/occipital neuralgia popped up again. It feels just as though someone took a baseball bat and whacked me real hard on the right side of the head. Its been a long time since it hurt like this but my mind went immediately to familiar "what if" questions: "What if I really do have a brain tumor and I just masked the pain somehow? What if the disc herniations are worse? What if I am missing something?..." This is how my brain has operated most of my life. It is what comes natural to me and it is extremely fear generating. So I stopped myself, I got up and took my walk, and now I am going about my day. I have gone many months without this pain and so I am just going to assume that my subconscious is giving this another try at grabbing my attention and there are some more things I need to explore. I wish there was a magic machine or test that we could step into and it would tell us whether there was something really worth worrying about or not. The truth is there is always something we COULD worry about. No one has any real guarantee and there are many risks just being alive. In reflecting back over my life, the truly "bad" things were not the things I worried about the most. I have noticed many people on this site doing just what I have always done, which is allowing the anxiety provoking thoughts to run the show. I just seem to be full of cliches today, but it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks! Fortunately, I know now that it is possible and the more I practice, the more successful I am. I am currently in some pain but I am watching the puppy bowl with a big smile on my face and I know that it is possible to wake up tomorrow pain free. And even if I don't, I'll be okay.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Ane. I too watched the Puppy Bowl, instead of the Super Bowl. The dogs play more sensibly.
    Barb M. and Anne Walker like this.
  7. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I wasn't watching the puppy bowl alone! That's my Belgian Malinois, Hoolie, and he LOVES the puppy bowl!

    Attached Files:

    Barb M. likes this.
  8. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    more and more I think there is no line between the psychological and the structural. I have had spinal fusion surgery, and herniated and ripped disks - including pain down my leg and a numb foot. It is always good to get it checked out and it sounds like you have.

    I can only share what helped me - I went to see a Craniosacral therapist (subtle bone manipulation using the cerebral spinal fluid and emotional release) and she helped to put my disk back in place. My leg got better and my foot came back...But I was still in pain. I have gone to see other physical professionals- they have really helped in various ways. It is such a personal journey - I believe -and I heard a TMS doctor refer to it in a podcast- that I may have a combination of both. Or maybe not :)

    As for the mind body stuff - all I know is I did a therapy session where I expressed some deep rage and my pain lifted the next day. And since I have found this forum, started sharing and journaling, and started the SEP I have had lifts of pain where I feel significantly better. sometimes for a day or so - sometimes for five. I say watch and read as many success stories as you can, start journaling and maybe something will shift.

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