1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 3 Day 3, Extinction Burst?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by DanceAgain, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. DanceAgain

    DanceAgain New Member

    I think I am going through what might be termed an extinction burst. For the first time ever I am having ongoing bouts of low to medium intensity back pain day after day. This has never been my experience before and it is really stressing me out, but I am trying to stay calm and reading posts in the various forums is helping.

    I have known about TMS for 10 years related to short, intense muscle spasms in my back--2-3 days at intervals of 3 months to 2 years apart. I had one tough spell 10 years ago, found Dr Sarno's book Healing Back Pain in the public library, knew immediately it applied to me, and since then have had no doubts that I had TMS. I mean, the timing was crazy--I'd have a spasm during a really tense emotionally trying visit with my parents and husband, and then even as the spasm was going my husband and I went backpacking through thundershowers and cold weather with heavy packs and my back was fine! So much for mechanical/structural explanations! But because those back muscle spasms never lasted more than a couple of days, and I wonder if perhaps also because of denial (another defense mechanism I believe) I didn't really ever delve deeply into treatment. I just told myself (and my husband) there's nothing wrong with my back. This is some weird emotional/mental thing. It'll go away. And it would.

    But now I realize that I have actually been WAY more caught up in TMS and getting worse without realizing it. About 18 months ago I had several back muscle spasms in a month and, for the first time, I went to the doctor and got an x-ray and muscle relaxants and then did some physical therapy and started doing special exercises and all that jazz. A few weeks ago, when I had another back muscle spasm and started reading about TMS in more depth (finally bought more of Sarno's books and Googled, finding this Wiki and other resources) I began to realize that I have been physical pain focused every day related to episodes of and fear of eczema, Raynaud's disease, mild IBS-type symptoms, minor foot pain, shoulder pain, hip pain. All of these relatively minor . . . but add then all up and they have filled a lot of my time.

    So I am making my lists, and journaling, and reading and rereading, and working Dr Sarno's daily reminders. I have been making efforts to really understand what is going on, and to think psychological. I have been trying different ways of talking to my brain, and I have been making efforts to move normally even though it hurts. And, indeed, doing so has not made it hurt more. But it also hasn't stopped the hurting, and just when I think it's going to fade, it gets worse again.

    So I was feeling pretty discouraged today, but I have been reading various posts from the forums and I feel more hopeful now. I mean, honestly, I am so convinced by the diagnosis that there really isn't any other direction for me to go in but to continue. And reading various posts helps me realize that I may have to tinker around a bit to find the approach(es) that work best for me. I am also hopeful that I am getting to the other side of some kind of last ditch effort by the defense mechanism to distract me. Reading the various posts about Extinction Burst has helped.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. LindaRK

    LindaRK Well known member

    I'm new to the forum, too ..... Day 4 for me, but I've known about TMS for quite some time as well. Like you, I, too, have been experiencing more pain yesterday and today when I sit in my recliner. I'm recovering from something, maybe the flu, who knows .... so, I've been laying around alot. Watching the Olympics mostly and just lounging. But it's been hard with the pain, so I get up and walk around just so it won't hurt. Of course, the first thought that comes to mind is why I'm having the pain. "Oh! It's because I haven't been walking around and on my feet - it's BAD for you to sit down for long periods of time." UGH! The pain comes and goes, even when I remain sitting in the same position - it starts and gets worse and I almost succumb to taking something for it, then tell myself that I am stronger than this and that this is TMS rearing it's ugly head. Then, it gets better. Then the same cycle again. Oh, so frustrating, but I know what's going on. One thing I try to keep foremost in my mind is that yes! This is TMS and it's doing exactly what it supposed to be doing - distracting me! Speaking personally, it's hard not to be discouraged when this happens, but we must press on and do our homework (SEP), as that is how we're going to beat this! Good luck!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    DanceAgain Hello, How r u this week. Are you getting along better. Sounds like you are doing everything right.
    Hit me back and let me know how u are coming along.

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