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Dr. Sarno worked for me 20 years ago, seems I've had a relapse

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by JeffA, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. JeffA

    JeffA Newcomer

    Short history: About 20 years ago I suffered from back spasms for a few years and then met a friend who had gone to Dr. Sarno. All he had to do was explain the idea to me and it clicked. No real spasms since then and when they happen, I go to the gym and work it off. I've even taught the approach to friends successfully.

    About a month ago I was experiencing tightness in the back of my right leg. Tried stretching it out but it wasn't loosening up. I was in the gym lifting weights in a shoulder workout when the pain really got debilitating and then the back of my leg from mid-buttock to heel got numb. Doctor next day told me I have a slipped disk and sent me for PT. After a few weeks the PT wanted me to see an Orthopedist who told me I have drop foot and should have had emergency surgery as soon as it happened. Still wants me to get an MRI and see a spine specialist etc.

    I want to take the Dr. Sarno approach and have already gone back to the gym. I'm open to any feedback, but my question is - everyone says to get checked out by a doctor to rule out non-TMS causes and make sure there's nothing really structurally wrong. But any non-TMS doctor will tell me there is something structurally wrong - the herniated disk, which is what my doctor and orthopedist said, but without a CT or MRI, just based on symptoms.

    So when we say to get it checked out does that mean there's nothing except the herniated disk and if that's all they have to say I can ignore it? I find this problem more challenging because unlike the back spasms, the doctor/ortho can point to something real they claim is the cause. I've since read up more and know the statistics, but still... I want to ignore my doctors and go the Dr. Sarno route, but I need to get rid of that nagging doubt, which I never had when I first learned his approach. I guess with general back spasms/pain no one is telling you that you're going to cause real damage if you ignore it (other than your own brain) but in this case they are, and I want to ignore them.

    So - when do I know I can ignore the doctors? I should add that I live overseas and unfortunately don't have access to a TMS practitioner so I really appreciate any help. I also posted in the Ask a Therapist Forum.
  2. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    If I have understood correctly you have not done anything dramatic to injure yourself. In order for a mechanical injury in your back to cause nerve related symptoms I would expect a significant physical trauma or a more sinister pathology. The latter rarely being the case but something to rule out if professionally suggested. Other than that, this is very likely to be TMS given your history.

    When I first had severe back/hip pain 20 years ago I was diagnosed via CT scan with herniated discs. 15 years of chronic pain followed and towards the end of that time when the pain and disability was worse than ever, I had an MRI which showed a normal spine with absolutely no pathology. I proceeded with my Sarno cure and have my life back.

    Sometimes a simple muscle strain in the back can cause symptoms down the leg but not for weeks.
    JeffA likes this.

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