1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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From Spondylolisthesis to Competitive Ice Hockey

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by knight, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. knight

    knight Peer Supporter

    I haven't posted in a while and just thought I would update my story for any Spondylolisthesis people (or any others) who might benefit. During Covid my pain pretty much disappeared completely. For a while I came to believe that maybe all of this was behind me. But this Spring I started working out again and playing ice hockey twice per week. At some point thereafter I did start to experience some pain and really had to dive back into the notes and reminders I had written when I first came to understand about TMS and how to deal with it. It was very helpful to have a lot of info to draw on and my list of "exceptions," which now runs to 83 exceptions, was also very helpful in reminding myself of all the ways in which my pain has not really made any sense over the years and how TMS remains the best explanation. But of course I continued to have my doubts when the pain came - it's hard not to, I think.

    But I had my previous experience from TMS to draw from so I knew much better how to deal with things. I kept going to the gym and kept playing hockey and just tried to tell myself that whatever pain I had was not indicative of anything physically wrong with me. And, perhaps luckily for me, exercising and playing hockey are not usually the things that cause me pain (and working out at the gym usually makes my back feel better actually), so I just kept on going. And of course not having pain when exercising vigorously and then having pain when standing for 30 mins just helped make me doubt TMS less, which I think in turn helped the pain recede. And for a few weeks the pain looked to be completely gone again.

    Then this past Saturday I was standing a lot in the morning and started to feel my lower back spasm on the right side. It was bad enough that I couldn't really stand up straight - I was sort of hunched over a little. That was scary, but I really just told myself that it's a conditioned response and that for whatever reason my back sometimes seizes up like that (perhaps my mind senses a little bit of pain and then that triggers some kind of conditioned response where my back goes into spasm - anyway, that's what I told myself). But I tried to remind myself that the pain probably did NOT mean that there was something physically wrong with my back and resolved to continue my exercise/activity. So later that day I worked out (and again felt good when doing that) and then played hockey on Sunday morning and felt great! I was a little scared to play, but again just convinced myself that there is nothing wrong with my back and tbh I was so focused on playing that I didn't really think about it the whole time I was there. And then my back felt fine the whole day Sunday after playing. No pain. I probably should not have been amazed by this at this point, but I sort of was. I went from barely being able to stand up straight to exercising later that day and then playing fast, high-level ice hockey the next morning. And then I somehow felt BETTER after all of that than I had the previous day! It still feels kind of amazing as I am writing this.

    So I somewhat resign myself to the fact that these resurgences of pain will likely continue to happen, but it was really rewarding and relieving to feel like it didn't have to take over my life the way it had in the past. So I thought I would post again to try to give people who have similar issues hope that it's possible to continue very vigorous activity in the face of what might appear at first glance to be an injury that would prevent all of that.
    Mr Hip Guy and JanAtheCPA like this.

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