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Crunchy shoulder/neck issues...anyone else? And it's really not my mouse?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by sweetandsourkiwi, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. sweetandsourkiwi

    sweetandsourkiwi New Member

    Hello! New to the forum but not the diagnosis (started Sarno 5 years ago) and could really use some support. Hoping to find someone with my exact story, but as a recovery!

    I own enough TMS books to start a small TMS library. I am textbook the TMS personality. My "fragility" is a family joke. I'm in my early 30s and have often felt I'm 92.

    I own the Unlearn Your Pain workbook and have been going through it (for the past year...how does anyone do it in 28 days!?). The writing, if nothing else, digs up some fun fodder for the psychosomatic therapy (EMDR) I do, and has been enlightening. My therapists' work is similar to ISTDP although not the same. Unfortunately I find the mantras and meditations infuriating rather than relaxing, because they haven't been working, so repeating them tends to anger me.

    I feel like I haven't made progress, but I have: now when a new pain crops up, I can usually get rid of it in a few minutes where before I would spiral into panic, book appointments with a PT, etc. For the most part, I don't live in fear of flare-ups, and I handle it without as much anxiety and researching when the pain is bad. I can generally connect a bad flare up of pain to a stressful event, although not always. I have let go of expensive treatments of all kinds and it hasn't worsened my pain (but it's been nice for my wallet!)

    Still, I can't seem to get rid of my "main" pain...the shoulder and neck pain that has plagued me for almost 20 years. I can sometimes move it into debilitating hip/low back pain, but that's it. I've been trying for YEARS. It's changed over the years to be more neck or more shoulder, but the arena seems to be the same and the muscles are those involved with forward head posture and mouse work. It cycles throughout the week from a 3 or 4 to a full blown knock down pain that triggers almost migraine like headaches that make me nauseated. I never know what day I'm going to just have to stay home and whimper or what day I'll be able to go for a short hike.

    There is also a clear connection between my computer usage and my pain...aware this could be triggering. It seems that once my neck is flared, it will not lessen until I get away from my computer for a few days (I am self employed.) I'm aware this could be triggering, but my main thought is that TMS is amplifying an existing problem. My posture is awful, my scapulae are willy-nilly, my neck vertabrae often feel unstable and pop free, and the muscles are classic computer use ones, which makes it hard to believe it *shouldn't* hurt.

    Plus my symptoms just seem so real: crunchy, stiff, knotted muscles; trigger points with referral patterns; unable to tilt my head to one side; more cracking and popping when it's worse. Anyone who touches the area is horrified at the crepitus and crunchiness, including many health professionals I've seen. It feels like as long as I keep using a mouse, the aggravation will never calm. But even taking a week off, the pain lessens but comes back within a few days of computer use.

    This pain doesn't always seem tied to stress, I can be happy and grateful and still very much suffering.

    What's really hard for me to chase is that my pain doesn't raise when I'm doing the activity...it's hours to a full day later. (This is why Fred Amir's method is really not helping me, for reasons obvious to everyone who's also tried it.) Even though I want to believe the pain is/or is aggravated by TMS, I feel like the solution is to sloooowly strengthen the muscles and get the shoulder blades working correctly. But, I've never been able to start any kind of new PT...however mild...without sending it into flares. (And maybe that's evidence. But how do PT's keep doing these treatments if they don't work for somebody...or didn't come from research somewhere...)

    To my credit I gradually healed my lower back pain years ago (after reading Sarno, before reading Howard) which was beyond crunchy. It felt like my spine actually disconnected when I rolled over in bed or stood up. The joints were so loose everything would spiral-pop then burst into spasm and trigger points. It was a 10 out of 10 on the pain scale for at least a year. Now it's 90% better. My method was I just started walking one day (I couldn't get across the street in time for the light to change) and walked a little more each day, pain or not, and eventually it calmed or strengthened. It was so gradual I didn't even really notice it was getting better until one day I was like, wow. This just isn't hell anymore. But it took 2 or 3 years.

    I have not been able to achieve this level of success on my shoulder. Any other shneck pain survivors who do significant mousing? I feel like I just need a boost to believe this is fully TMS, and that it can heal while I continue to have horrific posture and a full time desk job. (Or heal when I'm working on my posture and taking days off from my computer, since that's not working either...) The stories of overnight or even couple-month successes infuriate me because it feels like they are taunting me by having what I want so much...to the point I've started to doubt they are even true. I sent Dr. Schechter's book back because he said his stories were anecdotal and often based on multiple accounts...I want to meet a REAL person who's gone through my exact problem (or close!) with success!

    Also, I've been considering Dr. Howard in person, if anyone wants to weigh in on whether that made a difference for them. Part of me might be skeptical of his diagnosis in spite of my desperation to believe it...he's got a hammer, I sure look like a nail...agh. Why is it so hard to get fully on board?? Even when everything keeps pointing back to TMS? If anyone else told me my story, I would say, oh, you have TMS. Walk it off, friend. But I just can't seem to shake this last thing and am discouraged. A fellow healed schneck-sufferer would be welcome!
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, sweet and sour. You probably feel pain when using the comptuer mouse because now you expect that to cause it. Maybe tell yourself a real positive affirmation: "My pain is not structural, it's emotional!" like Dr. Sarno suggests.
    Read the success stories in the subforum to see the stories of those who healed with TMS penicillin.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  3. sweetandsourkiwi

    sweetandsourkiwi New Member

    Thank you Walt, and thank you for this link!

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