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Dreaming pain - how can I do anything during my sleep??

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Fortunecat, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Fortunecat

    Fortunecat New Member

    Hi all,

    I am a computer worker who spends over 10 hours a day working on a computer. I have neck pain, upper back pain and shoulder pain, which on some day (about 2 out of a week) can be really debilitating. The pain always starts from the morning, and may or may not last for a full day. Generally, the longer I sleep, the worse it gets. It is always the first thing I notice in the morning, and will significantly influence my mood/level of depression of that day. I have had X-ray of my neck, which shows a straightened curve, but no herniated disc. I've tried ton's of different pillows, and none of them would help ease the symptoms. I also tried pilates but found the pain has no correlation with whether or not I did exercise the day before.

    I have known TMS for over a year now, and I really felt a click with the personality traits described in Dr.Sarno's books. I have tried the method to ease the pain during the day and it helped me to deal with the pain for a significant amount.

    However, the method has never helped me to eliminate the pain, as the pain always starts right from sleeping when I had no control. The strange thing is that, usually if I manage to nap even a short period of time (for example, when I commute on the train to work), the pain resets, and though there is still pain, it doesn't bother me as much, and I could start focusing on something else.

    Because of the strange pattern (starts when waking up, resets with sleep, uncorrelated with daily activities), I constantly debate with myself whether it is due to real physical reasons (bad sleeping position), or it is TMS. I myself hope it is TMS but cannot convince myself fully (since I do use computer a lot without good posture or moving around frequently, and I do have a straightened cervical curve). I am desperately needing some advice, and please any comment is welcome.

    Thank you!
  2. Lz123

    Lz123 Peer Supporter

    When did your pain begin? How did it begin?

    Does your neck hurt when you lie down and watch TV or do you have to sleep? Do any movements cause pain?
  3. Fortunecat

    Fortunecat New Member

    Thank you for the reply. Movements cause pain as well - but it is the normal sore muscle pain that I always have around that area. When I said I wake up with pain I meant a spasm-like pain together with knots and extreme tightness, and it aggregates when I move my neck / upper back / shoulder. So in short, 7 days a week I always have some tightness around neck / upper back / shoulder which means if I stretch I can always feel it, but for 2-3 days I wake especially feeling headache-like pain even without movement, together with worse tightness and tight knots around that area.

    Also when I lie down my neck hurts as well - sometimes when I have a spasm-like pain, lying down for a while would help but usually only if I manage to nap, but some other times lying down and napping would make it worse - however, falling asleep even for a short while generally makes a difference, no matter good or bad.

    Watching TV hurts too. I cannot sit still on the sofa without noticing tightness, and finally I would give up watching TV.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  4. Lz123

    Lz123 Peer Supporter

    Okay, what about tension? Are you stressed? Were there any big events in your life when the pain started?

    Also, this is not really the TMS way but did you try a massage?
  5. Fortunecat

    Fortunecat New Member

    I always have some tension. The tension usually gets worse if I have nothing to do - I would get bored and start worrying about the future. Sometimes I find unexpected things would divert my attention and help take my mind off from my pain. For example, if I walk on the street and saw some acquaintance, and afterwards, I feel the day is lightened, and though there is still tightness and pain it doesn't bother me in the same way.

    Even when I was in high school I had X-ray showing my neck has the straight/reversed curve, and at that time I had some pain already. But it really started after I've moved to the UK for studies about 10 years ago (I am now 34). Many things happened during this time, I moved to a country where I couldn't speak the language well, also a different culture (I came from east Asia). I got married, with someone also is not my culture. And now I have settled here with kids. I've always tried to convince myself that this is the life I want, but being away from my parents and familiar culture sometimes gives me a feeling of loneliness and confusion of the meaning of life. I love my husband and kids but other than that I still feel I am in a foreign country.

    I tried massage and acupuncture and it helped, but only for one-two days. I tried physiotherapy but the result is inconsistent.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  6. Lz123

    Lz123 Peer Supporter

    Well, I don't know what else to tell you other than read as much as you can about TMS and explore possible hidden rage sources. You have all the answers :) good luck!
  7. Fortunecat

    Fortunecat New Member

    I know that at least part of it is TMS, but I still can do nothing about it - that's why I start to have doubts. If it is TMS, shouldn't I be able to stop the pain altogether?

    Also, I think bad posture/straightened neck curve really can cause muscle strain, and denying it is unreasonable?
  8. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Dear Fortunecat, my guess is that there are multiple causes for your pain. If I worked at the computer for 10 hours I would have neck pain, for sure. I need breaks and motion/exercise, something like going for a walk or in your case playing with the children.
    Then, don't underestimate moving to a different country. The cultural clash might not be so visible at first and on the surface, however, there are often huge differences in mentality and habits, in underlying presuppositions that become visible only later. I know that myself moving to a different country. It can be exhausting and the feeling of belonging has to be produced along with managing everyday life. Belonging doesn't come naturally. This costs energy. And it is also a source of uncertainty and not feeling safe. You have responsibility for your children, that is some extra pressure.
    I think you should have look at the stressors you experience and be kind to yourself! And maybe cut back the work?
  9. Fortunecat

    Fortunecat New Member

    Thanks for your reply. I do feel that the pain may have multiple sources but what can I do? I do pilates and swimming, and they help a bit but never eliminate the pain. I did X-ray and everything shows normal (except for the curve). I tried massage and acupuncture which helps only a few days and I cannot afford doing them whenever I need... Holiday helps me to relax, but the mattress and pillow usually give me more pain than home..

    Currently I don't work that much so that I can take care of children but the problem does not seem to go away either...
  10. Fortunecat

    Fortunecat New Member

    Also, debating with myself whether it is TMS so that I should stop taking of my posture, or it is not TMS so that I have to pay attention to my posture and do stretching exercise gives me a lot of conflicts...

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