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

Day 1

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Lewisthesamteenth, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. Hello all,

    I am finally getting started on dealing with my back pain in this very welcome unconventional manner . . . it has already been a great relief to read so many success stories, and all of the support here is highly encouraging. It's nice to know that other people are going through what I am going through, or something similar at least, that is, a life dictated and limited by pain.

    My journey with pain starts most likely somewhere I haven't yet rediscovered in my history, accepting that the "pain" is emotionally rather than purely physically-sourced, yet my first physical symptoms began in April of 2016. I had returned from a trip to the United States--I was living in France at the time--and felt a strong pinch in my lower back while out on a run. I had been running for about 4 years at the time; it was an activity that had truly changed my life for the better. It helped me to quit smoking and drinking some years back. That fateful pinch in my back sidelined me for about a week, but afterwards I was good as new. The following month, I was able to run a marathon and return to working at a farm, carry lots of heavy lots and resuming a normal running schedule.

    Fast forward to November of 2016. Everything had been going well, no problems or flare-ups. I had yet again returned to France from a trip to the United States, and a few days later I was bending down to take off my running shoes and I felt that pinch jump up and bite me again. I got an x-ray that didn't show any particular abnormalities, but a follow-up CT scan showed a couple of bulging discs (L4-L5, L5-SI, I think). I was told to take it easy for a while and just be very careful.

    On my next trip back to the States in late March, I was just sitting in a chair when the little beast inside my spinal cord woke up extremely ticked off and bit right into my nerve. The pain shot up my spine and I had to stand up during the conference I was at. The next several days were just general discomfort, though no intense pain. Just short episodic pinches.

    Fast forward to May. I am back working at a farm, and we're making fence pickets. I bend down (at the knees, as I was told) to pick up a big log, and then the pinch came back. Not necessarily any stronger than before, but that really made me nervous. I mean, I knew that my back was already in trouble and I was worried I had finally done it. This was going to be the end.

    Over the next few days, I rested and drank lots of water and it felt slightly better. However, since then, my back has really not been the same. While with the other flare-ups, I was able to recover within a few weeks with only mild pain symptoms, it now seems to be getting progressively worse. There's no constant pain, but the slightest mis-movement sends a shooting pain in my lower spine that humbles me pretty quickly. I'm starting to feel some pain sensations in my legs, ranging rom very dull and general to very sharp and precise. Sometimes, it's just a dull pain in my thigh, others it's a very sharp pin-prick in the center of my knee.

    It's been about 9 weeks since my last injury, and while things seemed to be getting better before, I noticed things taking a dive this past week. Just a couple days ago I was trying desperately to find a way that I might heal my back, whether with controlled pain pills, surgery, or whatever. I'm only 30 years old and I can't believe that I'm going to have to live the next 40-50 years of my life worrying about pain. I feel like I've been put on the other side of a velvet rope to my own life. I ran about 10 days ago, and it wasn't painful, but now I'm terrified to do so because of this new flare-up.

    I just discovered Dr. Sarno's method a few days ago, and I'm willing to give it a try. While I suspect that I do have a real physical cause of my pain (I suspect a herniated disc . . . will see MRI results today), it seems as though that's not really the source of it, if that makes sense. I started realizing that there was very little rhyme or reason to how my pain struck, that my pain never really matched up with descriptions of back problems that I read about on the internet. My back pain was really my own, special to me. It comes at odd intervals, without any regularity or reliability. There's no specific movements that set it off, and I definitely feel it much more strongly when I'm at work than when I'm at home. I have found that doing a lot of mental exercise (chess, for example) and physical exercise (walking . . . not yet ready to run) do help a bit, though I know that I will need to address the root causes of the pain and that these a just good tension-relieving distractions.

    Today, I will go to an orthopedic surgeon to discuss the results of an MRI I had a couple weeks ago. I am a little scared that the results are going to be dire, but I'm going to do my best to stay positive. I'm already going to start PT in a couple weeks, even if it's not going to address the cause at the source. I think PT will at least provide me with some reassurance to maybe get me running again. We will see.

    For now, I have started journaling, writing everyday about a lot of stuff. I think I may also try to work with a therapist . . . there's something about speaking about one's problems out loud with an interlocutor that makes it feel as though I'm actually getting something off my chest. I feel like I deal with a lot of guilt and a lot of anger, and I feel as though there is a need for confession. I'm still going through Dr. Sarno's book, so we will see how that comes along.

    A great thanks to everyone on this forum for sharing their stories and I hope that all of you find relief and solace in this program. Have a great day everyone ! Let's do this together !
    MindBodyPT likes this.
  2. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Lewis,

    Welcome to the forums! I have a similar story to yours, several incidences of back spasms over the years that turned into lasting TMS pain last year, with sciatica/nerve symptoms. I had great success with this program as many have. As a physical therapist myself I was able to convince myself that the pain I felt was purely TMS generated despite having two herniated discs at the same levels as you as shown on MRI. For the record, my MRI even said I had a compressed nerve...yet I was able to heal 100% with TMS methods without problem! Medicine and MRIs just don't get the full story at this point in history, unfortunately. Many things on MRI are incidental findings/harmless and have nothing to do with the existence of chronic pain.

    Look at the evidence, the success stories and what makes sense- herniated discs and 99% of spinal abnormalities are not the cause of chronic pain. Sure, a herniated disc can hurt and put your out for a couple of weeks but in the vast majority of cases they heal up no problem. PT can help temporarily but will not address the root cause. Be skeptical of the orthopedic doctor and don't let them talk you into anything! Some can be pushy with surgery, injections or other treatments with poor results.

    Welcome again, let me know if you have any questions!
  3. Thanks, MindBodyPT! This kind of encouragement is great.

    My doctor's visit went well . . . apparently, I don't have any disc herniations, but I have 2 bulging discs at the L3-L4 and L4-L5. The orthopedic surgeon with whom I was consulting even said there was really nothing structurally wrong with my back and that I should be able to take up exercise. Yet I'm still having shooting pains whenever stress rears its ugly head.

    The absence of serious structural problems and the presence of pain further convinces me that it is TMS. I am going to go see one of the practitioners listed on the webpage to see if I can get a confirmation. Maybe psychotherapy won't be such a bad idea either.

    Thanks again !

Share This Page