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Day 1 Feeling hopeful despite spondylolisthesis

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by camillet, May 1, 2017.

  1. camillet

    camillet Newcomer

    Hi Everyone,

    My name is Camille and I’m 28 years old. I just finished Dr. Sarno’s book Healing Back Pain. So much of it resonated with me and my personality traits. I’m a worrier, anxious, perfectionist, and severely harsh on myself. Since I was a child, I’ve never really found a way to express my emotions, so I push them down so I don’t have to deal with them. I get stomach issues when I’m anxious, and I also have a weird condition on my tongue where the papillae come off during periods of high stress. I point these out because I think my body already has physical ways of dealing with my emotions.

    But I’m here because I have had chronic lower back pain for the past three years. I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis L5-S1 with minor slippage. I feel a low level of constant pain that increases a ton when I stand for more than a few minutes. It feel unbearable sometimes. It’s just so hard to get comfortable, even when I’m laying down to sleep or sitting. I don’t have spasms, and can’t recall an instant when the pain began. It is just a constant sensation. Could this be TMS?

    I’ve been to four doctors since, tried physical therapy, cortisone injections, rest, stretching, but nothing seems to work. After reading Dr. Sarno’s book, I began to wonder if my fractures were actually the cause of my pain. The Xray shows they are old fractures and I have had them, unknowingly, most of my life. It wasn’t until graduate school that I experienced back pain. Graduate school was very stressful, and I have a lot of anger and resentment built up over the whole process. I started yoga in graduate school to deal with the stress and pressures, and I was doing some pretty deep back bending (unknowingly, a contraindication of my condition). I’m conflicted about whether I hurt myself MORE with yoga or it was the stress, pressure, and my personality turning emotional stuff into pain. I want to believe I have TMS SO BAD. But I am trained scientifically and feel I need evidence for everything I hear. I very much want to accept it, because I am completely desperate for a solution.

    Anyways, that’s where I am at today on Day 1. I will continue to educate myself and am potentially seeking a TMS therapist to assist me. Thanks for listening and if you have any tips or insights please let me know!
    TrustIt likes this.
  2. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Camille,

    Welcome to the forum! Happy to hear you've found TMS and Sarnos work. Like many of us, it definitely sounds like your pain is TMS caused...I too have structural abnormalities that showed up on imaging, many here have have that experience. Like you said, you've had the spondy your whole life by only recently was there pain. There's your first piece of evidence! You certainly didn't hurt yourself with yoga :)

    I too was trained highly scientifically as a PT, I know where you're coming from. Keep reading and strengthening your belief in TMS. There aren't any randomized controlled trials but there really is a ton of evidence showing how structural issues in the body correlate poorly with level of pain. Pain truly is influenced highly be emotional state in all circumstances, I experience this daily. Read all the TMS books you can, by Sarno, Schubiner, and others. Do the SEP. Keep learning and journaling!
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Camillet. Welcome to this TMS healing community. The SEProgram will help you to discover repressed emotions that are causing your pains. Journaling helped me to realize I had been repressing anger since my childhood when my parents divorced when I was seven. It left me with feelings of abandonment and insecurity.

    Mindbody PT has given you some good advice. I suggest you read Dr. Sarno's 12 Daily Reminders. I especially like the extended version by Herbie, another member of this TMS healing community.

    1. Herbie’s Extended Version of Dr. Sarno’s 12 DAILY REMINDERS
      1. The pain is due to TMS. This is real pain or anxiety but it is caused by subconscious tensions and triggers, stressors and traits to your reactions and fears, and also when at boiling point your conscious tension can and does cause real pain too.
      2. The main reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation. This means that when you get in pain or in anxiety then the blood is restricted from going to a place such as the lower back. The blood being restricted causes oxygen deprivation which causes the pain. Remember, where there is no oxygen then there is pain in the body. Also, the pain stays because of fear and focus to physical organic symptoms and repressions.

    3. TMS is a harmless condition caused by my REPRESSED EMOTIONS, so even though you think you can harm yourself from the years of pain you have felt and how you feel in general -- so far no reports have been heard from TMS healing knowledge causing damage to anyone. TMS knowledge only helps.

    4. The principle emotion is your repressed ANGER. This means under your consciousness lies something that happens automatically to everyone. TMSers have repressions that are stored because of our personality traits,traumas, stressors, fears, strain, etc... When these stored repressions build and build then eventually they cause the brain to send pain into your body to keep you from having an emotional crises. The mind-body thinks it is helping you.

    5. TMS exists to DISTRACT your attentions from the emotions, stressors, tensions and strains of your personality traits because if you can get distraction then you won't have to be in emotional turmoil. When you don't face and feel your emotions and they get repressed because you didn't want to deal with something -- they are just adding up in this beaker, ready to pour over and create real pain and anxiety in your body.

    6. Since my body is perfectly normal, there is nothing to fear. So in reality when I fear the pain or anxiety I just cause myself undo strain and tension adding to the beaker of pain. If I fear then I feed the pain. If I fear It is impossible to recondition. Fear keeps the pain and anxiety alive in the body through focus.

    7. Therefore, physical activity is harmless. If I want to work against the pain, I could, but it is better to lose some of the pain.

    8. I am resuming all normal physical activity. I don't fear moving anymore. I believe in my body's ability to heal now. I can move how I want. I will not fear moving with a bent back anymore. I will also practice going out and acting normal again, not in fear of what pain might do to me.

    9. The pain is unimportant and powerless. Its only power is how it is hidden -- it's illusion; it's fear.

    10. I will keep my attention on the emotional issues. I will think about my emotions and feel my emotions throughout the day. I will not judge, criticize or fear my emotions. I will not run from my emotional issues but face everyone of them. I will feel my emotions fully and cry if I need to. Then I will release the emotion and get my mind and thoughts back to my life and living in the present, in flow.

    11. I am in control of all of this. This is how I recover.

    12. I will be thinking PSYCHOLOGICALLY AT ALL TIMES. This means I will keep my thoughts on psychological issues like happiness, fear and anger -- traits and triggers, conditioning and journaling. The science behind mind- body/TMS healing, etc.... This way I will not feed my thoughts to the body -- that is a trick of TMS. TMS will always try to get me to focus on the body caused by the pain until I break its show and flair. When I get my attention off psychical symptoms and on emotional issues and psychological issues then I will not feed the fear of the physical issues anymore, thus making the TMS of no effect. This will in return, give you the cure.
  4. Brant

    Brant Peer Supporter

    hi! ... read my story, I'm a lifetime spondo guy but TMS is truly the cause of pain...you can do it, believe it and believe in yourself!
    MindBodyPT likes this.
  5. Plumcrazy

    Plumcrazy Peer Supporter

    I need you Spondy people to weigh in, as I am convinced this is what I have going on. Not to jump into Camillet's thread, but stopping on before I start my own thread on the subject. May I just say that the popping/grinding/catching ouch in the vertebrae sometimes drives me nuts.

    I am very familiar with TMS, but so far, the mindfulness is not helping.
  6. davethetenor

    davethetenor New Member

    Thanks for posting Camille. This thread helps me feel less alone. I registered here just so I could comment.

    I have been living with severe chronic lower back pain and associated radicular neuropathy for about 2.5 years. I have a grade 1 retrolisthesis (spondy but backward slippage instead of forward). While I've always had back pain, I hurt myself pretty badly doing yoga, trying to force myself into deeper and deeper forward folds (contraindicated for my condition), and then was in a bad car accident, after which my leg went numb. I've had four epidural steroid injections and back surgery. The next step for me medically is a spinal fusion, but I'm desperately trying to avoid that. I have had some recent good experiences with mindfulness (specifically deep breathing and psychedelics) and a friend's testimonial that have led me to Sarno. There is *something* going on with the mind-body connection that is incredibly powerful, and I've felt it. I'm having trouble getting past what sounds an awful lot like pseudoscientific bullshit, but I'm willing to try anything at this point.
    MindBodyPT and Lily Rose like this.
  7. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Dave,

    Welcome to the forums! Glad you have found the Sarno/TMS approach, it is so important in healing from the kind of chronic pain you've suffered from. Lots of people here have a spondylolithesis or other spinal normal abnormalities and have fully recovered from their pain. I have 2 lumbar herniated discs and also suffered from chronic back pain and sciatica prior to using the mindbody approach. As a PT myself I also initially struggled to figure out how this approach fit into current scientific evidence but as I learned more and learned of the research and mindset I realized how logical it really is and how much it makes sense! I'm happy to help with providing any explanations and evidence you might want to help in your beliefs and recovery. It turns out that there is surprisingly a lot of poor evidence and pseudoscience in the mainstream medical community for performing surgeries like spinal fusion-rates of pain cure from this are poor, no better than placebo. Hard to believe but it's true! Same thing with steroid injections...poor success rate. Let me know if you have any questions and if I can help you with information :)
    Lunarlass66 likes this.
  8. davethetenor

    davethetenor New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement. I've done the research on spinal fusions, and while my understanding is that results are improving as technology improves, it's very far from a sure thing. I have also recently had my mind blown by how terribly nutrition science has been conducted over the last century, so I'm in a bit of a skeptical place with respect to western medicine anyway. And hell, if this all turns out to be a waste of time, at the very least I know it's not going to hurt me, unlike the surgeries and drugs.
  9. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yeah. Spinal fusions and spinal surgeries in general only work well if the symptoms are a very specific, exact match with the spinal level (unusual but it does occur on occasion). There are huge financial incentives for surgeons to continue performing these surgeries, sadly. Have you checked out Dr. David Hanscom's work? He's a great TMS focused spinal surgeon who has a really good perspective on all this stuff, here is his website: http://www.backincontrol.com (Back in Control – The DOC (Direct your Own Care) Project)
    plum likes this.
  10. davethetenor

    davethetenor New Member

    My symptoms actually are an exact match for the neuropathy one would expect from L5/S1, but at only 36 years old even my surgeon is hesitant to do something so drastic as a fusion. I'll check out Hanscom - thanks.
  11. Ewok

    Ewok Peer Supporter

    Have you viewed Nicole Sachs' success story and website? She's on this page and the is also a therapist who healed from the same condition.

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