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Herniated disc - not TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Maddy, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Maddy

    Maddy New Member

    This is my first post. Several months ago, I was diagnosed with a large herniated disc (L4/5) with nerve compression of the S1/S2 nerve roots. I was told not to do anything for 6 mos unless I wanted to end up on the surgeons table. A friend gave me The Divided Mind and I immediately felt better, about 80% pain free. Some stressful events occurred and I was back to square one with the pain. I read Steve O's book and immediately felt better again. However, I had another relapse so I thought if I went to a TMS dr for a diagnosis, it might help. However, the TMS dr said I didn't have muscle soreness in certain spots and said my MRI clearly shoes a herniated disc that corresponds with my pain (lower back/right leg). When I asked about Dr. Sarno not believing that a herniated disc would cause pain, he said he parted ways with him on that theory. He also mentioned possible surgery down the road which has me terrified. Because I said I'd had success with reading the book, he said I had mixed TMS (combination of structural/emotional). My problem is that it seems in order to conquer TMS, you have to embrace it 100% which I can't do to the structural diagnosis. Any thought? Anyone else with this problem?
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had severe back pain and about 90 percent of it went away when I read Sarno and learned about TMS.
    But abut 10 percent of the pain remained because I thought that part of it was from aging, since I was 82 at the time.
    When I began to believe my pain was caused 100 percent from TMS repressed emotions, I became totally pain-free.
    I'm almost 85 now and no back pain.

    It does sound like your doctor and the tests are misleading you and you're conflicted about structural or psychological
    causes of your pain. Believe 100 percent in TMS and you will become free of pain.

    Forget surgery. George Clooney has severe back pain and has had at least three operations. None of them helped him
    and he's said to be thinking about a fourth back operation. He needs to learn about TMS.
    mdh157 likes this.
  3. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    What Walt said. You probably do have a herniated disc, it's just that herniated discs don't cause the pain and numbness they are typically blamed for.
  4. ash86

    ash86 Peer Supporter

    Maddy what TMS physician did you see?
  5. Maddy

    Maddy New Member

    Thanks for your email and confirmation of TMS. I started the SEP but didn't finish since I've been so confused about the diagnosis. I'm wondering if there's any point in going to any doctor for this?
  6. rabbit

    rabbit Peer Supporter

    I just posted almost the same concern about a minute ago, and then saw your post....
  7. Maddy

    Maddy New Member

    Just read your post..you're right, we have the same thing (unfortunately). A member told me to check out Dr. Schubiner's website so I'm going to email him and hopefully do his online program. I'm still hopeful I can beat this as it's depressing to be in pain all the time. I used to run, hike and bike and now I can only walk and do yoga!
  8. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I’ll address both Maddy and Rabbit here as I had intended to respond to Rabbit on her thread. Save me saying everything twice.

    I am over 18 months down the line from where you both are now. I too had an MRI that showed a herniated disk at L5-S1 with impingement of the nerve and had a TMS doctor tell me it was structural. How do you come back from that? I was in complete despair. I was downing three or four different prescription drugs that were not really helping and I hadn’t originally intended to take them long term. I was seeing a therapist at the time so I was able to vent some of my frustration and anger about this diagnosis, whatever I could cram into the 50 minute hour. At first I went back to treating sciatica as a structural issue and had some sessions with an osteopath. That too did not help. I had some correspondence with SteveO of Great Pain Deception fame and even though he wasn’t a doctor I decided he knew far more about TMS than the TMS doctor. I had two choices. The first was to ignore the entire diagnosis, take a leap of faith and believe I had TMS. The alternative could have involved an endless path of doctors, alternative practitioners, a drug dependency and an extremely restricted life full of danger and fear. It wasn’t a difficult choice.

    Oh by the way when I visited my GP to hear the results of my MRI he told me that if he set up a scanner on the street and scanned every pedestrian that walked past, he would find most of them had abnormalities like I had but they wouldn’t necessarily be in any pain. This is exactly what Dr Sarno says in his books. The funny thing was this GP had never read or heard of Dr Sarno. Despite Maddy’s doc saying he parted company with Dr Sarno on this point is pretty foolish given there are studies to prove that what’s on an MRI image does not necessarily correspond with a person’s pain experience. Sometimes it does correspond, like with us, but that isn’t conclusive proof that our pain isn’t a result of TMS.

    One step I took that really was a turning point for me was enrolling on an 8-week mindfulness meditation course. It was instrumental in allowing me to switch off, calm down and wean myself off the drugs.

    I’m pretty sure if I were to have another MRI now it would probably show a similar image, perhaps even worse as I’m that much older and my body is going through all sorts of changes. But then again so is my mind.

    Am I still in pain. The answer is ‘yes’, sometimes. The back and sciatic pain are gone but I still get TMS in my foot and when that goes away I get TMS in my knee or I experience some other equivalent to pain. The difference is my attitude is changed. I don’t care if I have symptoms or not. I’m not looking for one final day where I never have anything wrong with me ever again (outcome independence). I simply don’t let symptoms stop me from doing what I plan to do. In the past I would have cried off of all sorts of obligations. Now if I want to do something, I “Just Do It”, as Nike and SteveO say. That’s not to say any of you needs to put on your running shoes and sign up for a marathon. Take things at your own pace. Do what you have to do to educate yourselves further, speaking to someone like Dr Schubiner, starting the SEP or whatever. At some point when you feel more confident, less fearful resume living the life you want to live.

    The most difficult concept to accept was knowing for whatever reason I needed my pain, that it was there to protect me from underlying rage and other strong emotions. I’m still on the journey to discover what that’s all about but I’m enjoying the journey rather than dreading it or being angry and upset with myself for being the person I am.
    Ellen likes this.
  9. Maddy

    Maddy New Member

    Thank you for your post and sharing your story. It really helps! I'm much more hopeful I can get through this. I really thought I needed a 'rubber stamp' from a TMS dr and when I didn't get it, I thought that was the end of TMS for me. I'm going to get back on track with this!
    yb44 likes this.

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