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 4 Day 4 - Disheartening News from Doctors

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by lquigs, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. lquigs

    lquigs New Member

    Hi - I am on Day 4 and it was suggested to post my thoughts on this forum so here I go.

    I was told as a teenager by a chiropractor that my neck was curved the wrong way (cervical kyphosis) and that this was causing my headaches. Then much later on in life when I had an MRI done on my neck due to chronic neck and shoulder pain, I was told I had degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. Tests on my right shoulder just kept showing chronic tendonitis.
    Last year I saw a rheumatologist for the first time and tests showed I had sacroiliitis in my S.I. Joints, but he said the pain I had in my left hip/leg was bursitis.
    I had accepted all of these test results as the cause of my chronic pain and just kept getting more and more frustrated and fearful as I ended up limiting more and more of the physical activities that I once enjoyed doing, as they seemed to aggravate the pain. And I feared that my body was falling apart and that I wouldn’t be able to be the active person I used to be and enjoy life the way I used to.
    I tried every treatment available and although I would get temporary relief, the pain would always return and then new pain would start up in other parts of my body, but I would still have the other pain as well. Good intentioned friends would tell me to just take the strong medications and after trying for so many years to avoid that, I finally started taking the muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medication that the neurologist prescribed. And I have to say that the medication did relieve the pain quite a bit. But I didn’t like the side effects of taking them.
    Like so many other stories that I have read in these forums, I believe that the fear and frustration of having so many different body parts in chronic pain was consuming me and the various treatments were taking up a lot of my time and resources.
    But the good news is that since I have read ‘The Divided Mind’ by Dr. Sarno, plus the many excellent articles on the TMS Wiki website, and have started the TMW Structured Education Program, I am for the first time feeling hopeful. I had definitely noticed a reduction of pain in my right shoulder and left hip. The areas that are still painful are my left elbow and left wrist, but I am trying to ignore it and tell myself that I just still need to work through some things to get rid of it.
    However, I am journaling on the computer as it is still quite painful to write for any length of time. I am hoping journaling this way is still effective. I am very grateful for this TMS forum and for all of the initial support I received from my first post in the Support Forum. I look forward to being completely pain free in the not so distant future. :)
    Lily Rose and Anaya like this.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, lqigs.
    I'm so glad you are doing the SEP because it has helped so many people.
    You sure were bombarded with doctor and test stuff which all sounds like misinformation.
    That could scare anyone and cause worry.

    Journaling on the computer is fine. Any way you get in touch with your TMS leads to healing.

    Keep working on the SEP and your mind on positive things.
  3. lquigs

    lquigs New Member

    Thanks Walt! I will keep plugging away at this until I am pain free.
    Anaya likes this.
  4. Abundance72

    Abundance72 Peer Supporter

    Did your headaches go away? I have the same thing, I have been told since I was a teenager that my neck is too straight and I have no curve. I now suffer so my much upper back pain and headaches and nothing relieves it. I don't know if straight neck can cause real pain or if it's just TMS symptoms?
  5. lquigs

    lquigs New Member

    Hi Abundance72;

    Since I am not a doctor, I am not sure if a straight neck can cause real pain or not. It certainly is what the chiropractors said contributed to my headaches and sore neck and shoulder. And every time I have been to any therapist over the last several years, whether it be a physiotherapist, chiropractor, massage therapist or osteopath, the first thing they always tell me is how tight my neck is. So the question is - does my wrongly curved and very tight neck cause my pain or is TMS causing my neck to be tight in the first place?

    To answer your question, the tension headaches that I used to get did decrease over the years, but then I developed chronic pain first in my right shoulder, then my left elbow and left wrist and hand. Then I also developed it in my left hip and hamstring. For someone who had been active all of my life, I was getting so frustrated and so fearful as I started either cutting back on or completely eliminating different kinds of physical activities that I once enjoyed. And much like other people's stories that I have read on this website, I went to every type of treatment that exists and spent thousands of dollars in the process.

    I am now on Day 20 of the TMS structured education program, have read both The Divided Mind and Healing Back Pain by Dr. Sarno, and have read many articles and watched several videos through the TMS Wiki website. I am 99.9% sure all of my chronic pain is due to TMS, although there is that .1% doubt that sometimes creeps up, especially when I am feeling more pain. For instance, I picked up my guitar for the first time in awhile yesterday. I had stopped playing on a regular basis because of chronic pain in my right shoulder, left elbow and left hand. I told myself there was nothing to fear and that any pain I felt was harmless and caused by my emotions. But I was still disappointed that my pain in my left elbow and down my arm into my hand did increase after playing the guitar and still is sore today. Then I have that thought that perhaps it is something structural and not just psychological.

    But when I have those thoughts I tell myself that it is TMS and that I just need to keep thinking psychological. Since starting the program I definitely have noticed a significant decrease of pain in my right shoulder and left hip/hamstring. I am slowly reintroducing physical exercise and activities that I stopped doing because of the fear of pain. And although I wish I was one of those people who reads one of Dr. Sarno's books and then their pain just disappears, I just keep telling myself that it is a process of self-discovery as I work through past and currents stressors in my life as well as my personality traits.

    I really encourage you to work through the structured education program if you haven't already done so, and I sincerely hope that you can get relief from your upper back pain and headaches.

    Lily Rose and Seraphina like this.
  6. Seraphina

    Seraphina Peer Supporter

    Hi I'll just tell you my story FYI.
    I have worse condition, a reversed curve on my neck and a little bony spur.

    The radiating pain due to the pinched nerved by the bony spur disappeared after 1-2 weeks. The reverse curve does give me tight muscles around neck and shoulder, but I don't feel pain every moment. I recognized that I have headaches or shoulder/neck pains mostly when I'm stressed (i.e., presumably TMS). Or when i'm on period--when I'm physiologically not having good blood circulation.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, lquigs. It sounds to me like you're improving very much, thanks to believing your pain is from TMS.
    You still need to work on that 1 percent holding you back from total belief in TMS.
    That was hard for me, too, but I finally got the 100 percent and the back pain went away.
    Seraphina and lquigs like this.
  8. Abundance72

    Abundance72 Peer Supporter

    Iquigs and seraphina, thanks so much for your replies. I too get very stiff neck muscles and shoulder/ scapula muscles along the spine - tightness it's so severe that nothing I do softens these muscles. I use a tennis ball and roll them along my spine, get message, do meditation (which slightly helps).

    I discovered sarno in 2012 and honestly can't say I have had any luck whatsoever eliminating pain? I do get pretty up tight alot so I guess I haven't learnt to not let things get to me. It's very hard for me. I can't help but think though that this straight neck is the culprit of my head and back pain, no matter what I do I feel I am doomed with this? I know it's not ideal to believe this but it's so hard to fight the thought that I can't get rid of this because of my neck structure. After all that's what the literature says about straight necks.
  9. music321

    music321 Well known member

    I have this problem, and am confident that the problem will resolve with the rest of my TMS symptoms.

    "The lordotic curve of cervical spine radiographs was measured by analyzing the Cobb angle in 138 consecutive patients in a rheumatology office practice. All patients met the ACR criteria for fibromyalgia and complained of moderate to severe neck pain. 88% of fibromyalgia patients in this study had a straight neck based on measuring the Cobb angle, and 90% had a straight neck (loss of the lordotic curve) by visualizing the lateral view of cervical spine radiographs. The cause of the straight cervical spine in fibromyalgia is unknown. Speculation of the pathophysiology [cause of fibromyalgia] includes chronic muscle contraction and tightness of other soft tissues." From a paper (The Straight Neck in Fibromyalgia) presented by Dr. Robert Katz to the Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (2013)
  10. Celayne

    Celayne Well known member

    I was told by two different chiropractors, that 1) my neck held my head too far forward and this causes neck pain; and 2) that my neck is abnormally straight and no wonder I have neck pain.

    I don't think that having a straight or bent neck can be responsible for the pain; it's totally TMS.
  11. Celayne

    Celayne Well known member

    @lqigs, It sounds like you are well on your way to TMS healing. As Walt said, I don't think it matters how you journal, it's getting the thoughts out that counts. I suppose recording your thoughts in a recorder would work as well.
  12. music321

    music321 Well known member

    I don't know that I agree with this. I'm not a TMS expert, and still suffer from TMS, but my interpretation is a bit different. I would think that having paraspinal muscles in spasm, manifesting as a straight neck, could very well cause pain. I would think, however that the reason the paraspinal muscles are in spasm is TMS.
  13. Celayne

    Celayne Well known member

    Good point.
  14. music321

    music321 Well known member

    I found the following link. My interpretation of it is that the "straight neck" might be nothing more than the result of posture at a particular time. A great follow up study would be to use real-time fluoroscopy, which is more or less an x-ray movie camera.


Share This Page