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Day 4 Does Pain get worse before it gets better?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Lala, Sep 23, 2012.


Does your TMS pain sometimes get worse before it gets better, as you uncover painful emotions?

  1. Yes, my pain seemed to get a worse before it got better once I started the TMS healing process.

  2. No, once I started the TMS healing process the pain slowly faded.

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Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    I am responding to the question posted on Day 4: What was the most disheartening thing a doctor has told you about your symptoms? In what ways have you kept that in your mind? I had TMS 10 years ago with from 2000-2003 with chronic foot (plantar fasciitis) and hand pain. After suffering and seeing every doctor/healer/specialist (to no avail) a neurologist finally diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia in 2002. I refused to accept this diagnosis and a life of pain..I was devastated and began searching for alternative views on fibromyalgia. This is what lead me to Dr. Sarno's MINDBODY PRESCRIPTION. Within 3 months I was pain free. Fast forward till this summer, 10 years later. I stupidly spent the greater part of my summer wearing flip flops. I started to sense that these not very supportive shoes were bugging my feet, but I didn't think much of it. I had stopped wearing orthotics years ago and didn't really believe my horrible foot pain would come back. Well it has. I am suffering now as I did ten years ago (unbearable arch and heal pain, along with pain in the my palms and wrist). I am so shocked that it is happening again. Is this normal? I remember reading Sarno and him saying that very few patients have renewed episodes. I am back in therapy, reading his book again, doing this forum/program, but I find the more I explore my emotional pain the worse the foot/hand pain is getting. Is this common for others? My last bout of TMS was so long ago that I don't remember the details of my healing. I can't remember if the pain got worse before it got better. I feel as though I making some big discoveries about my unconscious rage (especially now that I'm married, have a young child and have had a big falling out with several close coworkers...a lot to cope with)...I feel my emotional work is progressing much quicker this time as I'm more in touch with my emotional self from my past experiences, but I don't feel the pain is fading, instead it is increasing. I need reassurance that this is a possible and normal part of the TMS healing process.
    DRZ likes this.
  2. DRZ

    DRZ New Member

    I new to the forum, but in my opinion sounds like this time around you already have all the necessary weapons to defeat your pain. From my research andmany stories I've read this sounds completely normal, espically with your given circumstances. Remember your unconscious brain won't give up without a fight!
    While I can't help you with your exact question I just wanted to share a quote from Steve Ozanich that has helped me alot when the pain hits. I even saved it in my phone and read it a few times throughout the day when I feel my back starting to hurt...

    "Ok. you're there, I understand what you're doing to me brain, and I understand why you're doing it to me, to hold my attention...now I won't fear you, and I won't allow you to alter my daily plans...and I won't obsess on you...I will move and live as I please...I will try to understand why you have decided to try to distract me...I will try to lower my tension level...I will do the work necessary so that you don't have to thump me like you're doing...I will be rid of the pain because I know why it exists, and I will take action to resolve the pain by whatever means necessary...I will be free again because I want to be."
    Lala likes this.
  3. Michael Reinvented

    Michael Reinvented Peer Supporter

    Hi Lala,

    I can relate. 2.5 years bilateral plantar fasciitis, and 2 years lower back pain. I have just finished the Structured Ed Program (SEP). I have deliberately started to confront pain head on, stand/walk more, run slowly working up from 1km (and significantly this dramatically alleviates back pain). However, TMS recovery being for the majority 10 steps forward and 9.5 back, I have heaps more foot symptoms than pre SEP. Overall, my mental strength is 100% on pre SEP.

    I have ordered Dr Schubiners Unlearn Pain Programme, and today started a Diploma of Counselling determined to turn this mind warping suffering into a major positive new work project, and distract my pain obsessed brain into new directions. Strap yourself in for a patient recovery Lala, and any quicker will be a bonus. Let us know how the SEP helps you. You are not alone.
    Lala likes this.
  4. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    Thanks, I love the forum because it is like ongoing therapy. I see my therapist 1x a week and we are doing some great work uncovering my repressed feelings, but this forum allows me to vent, ask questions and touch base any time of the day or night...the responses help me feel supported. I really needed to hear that the steps forward and then back are part of the process...b/c on days when the pain feels worse it can be very disheartening. I guess when you attempt to uncover or unravel or express some of the repressed emotions your brain/unconscious begins to fight harder at distracting you, hence the more intense pain. I love the quote DRZ gave me. I just wrote it in my journal and I'm going to print it out and tape it to my computer and my dashboard. I have been spending a lot of time having conversations with myself....I remember from 10 years ago how much it helped. Thanks to all of you for your support, and best of luck to you.
  5. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I get the feeling, Lala, that the programmed pain pathways can always be reactivated if the right combination of stressors start activating emotions repressed in your unconscious mind. That's why the way you were programmed during early childhood development around your 6th year is so critical in determining whether subsequent traumas during your middle years will ignite TMS pain symptoms. That's why you need to remain mindful and pay attention to your emotional life and any psychological triggers that are setting off your TMS pain today. Maybe someone with a greater range of experience could chime in on this? It seems to me that the most difficult part of recovering from TMS is completely deprogramming the pain pathways that link your mind and your body. From my own experience, it seems like what you need to do is push yourself as far into the pain range as possible, pull back, and then allow sufficient time for recovery while working on the underlying emotional issues that are triggering your symptoms. The further you can push yourself physically and remain pain-free or at least get better, the more the pain pathways are deconditioned and the further you can push yourself during your next effort. All this has to go on while you're doing the emotional psychological work too. Since the name of the game is "bodymind", I'd say it's necessary to attack the problem at both ends simultaneously, very much in the present moment. I do know that the further I push myself physically the more robust and durable I become on the next push. Any opinions from a resident expert?
  6. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    Thanks for your response...Yes, I agree with you and it seems for the other responses that most people agree things can get worse before they get better....I have seen a 50% improvement over the last 10 days since I started this structured program (though today I hurt a little more) and since I started seeing my therapist more regularly (who is totally onboard with the TMS diagnosis and healing process). I think you are right in that b/c my mind-foot pathway was already programmed from 10 years ago it was very easy for new emotional triggers to renew the pain in my feet...My life has a whole new set of emotional triggers than it did 10 years ago (I am now married and with a child, with aging parents). I am learning that pain is a learned response and now that I see that so clearly it reconfirms my belief that there is nothing structurally wrong with my feet...never was. I am just sticking with my journaling, my therapy sessions, this program and my affirmations and continuing to have faith that I will prevail and be pain free...again...just as I had been after the last time I struggled with TMS, except this time I hope to banish it for good! Thanks for your insight.
  7. David B

    David B Well known member

    Lala, I am very new, only three days on my process of healing my TMS. I am very fortunate to have found a neurolgist near me who looks at pain through both the classic medical and the psychological/TMS lenses; he discovered he had TMS as he was preparing for medical school. He told me it might get worse before it gets better as your subconscious wont go down without a fight. That's been somewhat true of my experience in these first days but I have experienced signs of progress. I figure if the subconscious can be as creative as it is with your dreams it has a reservoir of energy that it will expend before it gives in. Be well.
  8. PeoplePleaser1

    PeoplePleaser1 New Member

    I am having this same issue right now (on Day 14). I'm better than I was but on the days that I run (which is my main trigger), I seem to take a few steps back. I am tense for the entire day after my runs. The only thing I have noticed is that my runs are getting just a little bit easier each time. However, it's hard for me to stay mentally strong when I start to feel the tension. I revert back to getting frustrated that I'm not fully healed yet (even though it has only been 2 weeks!). I am glad to hear that it's normal for the pain to get worse before healing totally. I also have noticed I've been more emotional than normal - or maybe I'm actually letting myself feel my emotions. Thoughts on that??
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think being more emotional is a sure sign of progress. Healing TMS requires that we stop repressing our emotions and feel them. This was very difficult for me at first after a lifetime of repression and avoidance. I felt very fragile for awhile. But I am slowly becoming more comfortable with feeling emotions and am realizing that they are not really that scary after all.
  10. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Please is there anyone out there who has suffered with pelvi/rectal/vaginalperineum burning? I found several posts on the condition but they wer back in 2009 and the format is so different I just could not post any replies. I would be so grateful to hear from anyone who has had this type of tms
  11. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    These are many of the symptoms I also experienced with Interstitial Cystitis (bladder pain). They are all TMS. Send me a private message to talk more.
  12. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    I thought I was doing well with my bad foot (sesmoidiitis) now after 3 weeks post SEP, my good foot is really hurting in the arch and my Gastrocnemius muscle is tight. I am trying to tell myself that I didn't injure it that it is TMS. Very frustrating! I don't feel like I am repressing any emotions. I think I am getting them out. I don't know what I am doing wrong. I am getting afraid to walk through the new pain in my left foot. it feels like I tore something in the arch. It happened after I gave myself a little TLC foot massage. Now, I am blaming myself for moving my toes or foot in the wrong direction and injuring myself to cause this pain. Our brains are so hard on us! Any thoughts?
    Marls likes this.
  13. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Peer Supporter

    That is a good sign when your body gets new symptoms, especially at a place that was normal. That means you have TMS on the run. It is looking for a new place to divert your fear and focus.
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Sarno says that pain often gets worse when a person is close to healing from TMS emotional pain. It means that the subconscious is taking a last-ditch effort to challenge you... it wants you to believe 100 percent that your pain is caused by your emotions and not by anything structural.
  15. nelsonaj

    nelsonaj New Member

    I am on day 1 of the structured program, but wanted to point out the below excerpt from Alan Gordon's recovery program that addresses this phenomenon: "
    1.) There’s a phenomenon in behaviorism known as an “extinction burst.” When you stop reinforcing a behavior, you’d think that the behavior would just immediately stop. But they’ve found that that isn’t the case. When you stop giving the rat food pellets for running on the wheel, it actually runs harder and faster at first, before it stops running altogether. When you stop giving the two-year-old candy, his tantrums actually get worse before they go away. No one likes to lose a behavior that’s working, so there’s a little resistance once the reinforcement is taken away.

    How is this relevant to the pain? Often when you take away the pain’s reinforcement (fear, attention, etc.) the pain gets worse before it goes away. The mind does not like to lose a defense mechanism any more than a toddler likes to lose his candy-getting behavior. So just know that if you stop reinforcing the pain and it starts getting worse, don’t panic, that’s just an extinction burst; it means you’re on the right track."

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