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Hoping to Get Relief

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by samantha, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. samantha

    samantha Peer Supporter

    I am new to this forum. My journey with back pain began 8 years ago with a sudden muscle spasm that limited movement for months. An initial MRI indicated herniated disc and I was sent to Physical therapy which 'cured' my symptoms. My back 'went out' once per year, but Physical therapy always relieved the symptoms within a few weeks. After moving in 2010 (to an area and lifestyle which I love), I found my back 'going out' more frequently. 2 years ago I had another MRI- this indicated a herniated disc, 2 bulging discs and degenerative disc disease. The doctor told me that the muscle spasms actually protect the back from further injury by preventing movement. He recommended exercises to reduce the frequency and intensity of these episodes. He then told me I'd have this issue for the next 20 years! My last 'episode' was 3 months ago, very intense- I could not move without assistance for 2 weeks. I completed 6 weeks of therapy and still have limited mobility (can't stand or walk for more than 10 minutes). I read 2 of Dr. Sarnos books. I'm journaling daily and really trying to talk 'tough' to my brain. I get relief at times, but then I feel the spasms coming on. I rarely take prescription medicine. I don't know if I should continue doing the prescribed exercises, since they do give me some relief, but this forum states they may actually reinforce the notion that something is wrong with my back! It's confusing. Thanks for listening.
     
    G.R. likes this.
  2. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Hi Samantha,
    Welcome to the forum wavea. Sorry to hear you've been having problems with your back.

    Healing from TMS is a learning process which takes time, patience and lots of repetition. While we can acknowledge that the pain is caused by our emotions, it takes longer for us to accept this at a subconscious level. It needs to become part of our belief system.

    In order to "rewire" our brains not to react this way, you are correct that we must avoid reinforcing this existence of TMS pain. Doing exercise specifically aimed at reducing the pain will only keep your focus on it.

    I had a lot of PT and other therapies myself, they merely gave me temporary relief. I only started to see any real improvement when I stopped all therapies, got rid of the aids I was using and started just to use my body normally, as though there was nothing wrong with it, which of course there wasn't. I started talking daily walks, building up gradually, then I added swimming, which I had been told to avoid.

    In order to heal fully we need to totally rid ourselves of the fear of TMS pain, when it is unable to keep our attention it loses it's purpose and gradually fades away.

    Have you taken a look at the Structured Educational Programme on the wiki, it's very good. You might like to give it a try.

    You will heal, just keep working away at it. Everyone on the forum knows exactly how you feel, we are all here for you.

    Much love & blessings :joyful:
     
    G.R., Anne Walker and Ellen like this.
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

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  4. samantha

    samantha Peer Supporter

    Hi Tom, I looked up TMS doctors. Unfortunately, the closest is 4 hours away, so it's really not feasible. I am working with the structural education program and reading books.
     
  5. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    The recurrent nature of you back problem is what they call "chronicity" - a pain cycle that recurs over time, punctuated by the periodic PT treatments that appear to relieve it. If it was due to something structural, your back pain wouldn't fluctuate and would instead by constant and unvarying. What you describe sounds very typical of TMS. However, I'm assuming you've been checked out by an traditional MD to rule out anything more serious? That grim diagnosis that predicted that you would have this complaint for 20 years sounds as though it raised your anxiety level up through the ceiling. That can result in fear that only further intensifies the TMS pain cycle by making you more and more anxious about being disabled in the future. My advice? Continue with the SEP and try a little mindfulness meditation too. And, yes, what Walt says below about journaling, is also very helpful advice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
    Mermaid likes this.
  6. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Samantha, I agree with BruceMc who always gives good advice.
    You don't mention you are working on discovering the TMS cause of your pain.
    Dr. Sarno says pain is caused psychologically from repressed emotions.
    You've been told by MRIs and doctors that you have herniated discs, but Sarno
    says that does not cause pain.
    I hope you will spend sometime journaling or at least thinking about repressed emotions
    and believe 100 per cent that they are the cause of your pain.
    The SEP program will help you with that.
     
  7. samantha

    samantha Peer Supporter

    Yes, I went to the doctor as soon as I could shuffle. He prescribed steroids and physical therapy along with the usual muscle relaxers and pain meds. With the structural ed program, I'm looking at all factors, including repressed emotions- I've done a lot of journaling over the past week. I do have a high level of stress in my work and I'm sure that contributes to this condition. My greatest need now is to be able to build up my stamina. I've had limited mobility now for 3 months and I find that walking and standing is still difficult. I'm going to the gym tomorrow to start building strength back into my legs. Today, I had one 'flash' of pain, but otherwise, I'm just a little stiff. Thanks for the affirmations, encouragement and understanding.
     
    BruceMC likes this.
  8. samantha

    samantha Peer Supporter

    A NEW DAY: I came down to breakfast this morning in a lot of pain. I am on day 8 in the structured educational program. As I continue to read about TMS, I realize how many people, including me, have repressed emotions. It gives me hope that my condition is not unique, and can be reversed. I'm still in pain, but it started to ease as I wrote in my journal.
     
  9. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    You're doing great, Samantha. Admitting to yourself that your pain is from repressed emotions is
    wonderful progress. The subconscious is slower to "get it" than your conscious mind, so it needs more time
    and reinforcement of your belief. Journaling helped me greatly in discovering my repressed emotions
    and they did go back to my childhood. I believe they were even in my mother while she carried me in
    her womb. She was under a lot of stress, mainly financial.

    Maybe do some journaling about why you have stress in your job. Is it the work or your boss?
    I did some thinking about my boss and the anger went away. I began to realize he was under a
    lot of stress and used me as a psychological punching bag. I looked at things from his perspective
    and it made working for him a lot less stressful.
     
    samantha likes this.
  10. samantha

    samantha Peer Supporter

    "Tape Playing In my Head"- One of the things I'm finding very hard to get past, is what several therapists have told me-- my pain is worse in the morning, because the discs have rehydrated and are protruding. It's been in the morning that my back has spasmed. Every morning I feel stiff and sore. I do say to myself that this is a programmed response (ala Skinner), but it's very hard to get the gut to cooperate with my conscious mind. I guess my question is, are the therapists comments valid? Is there any science behind what they are saying? I am on day 9 of the structured ed program.
     
  11. tigerlilly

    tigerlilly Well known member

    Hi Samantha - I'm certainly not a pro at this as I'm still a newbie myself. But I've had similar issues as you - herniated disks, temporary relief going to chiro as needed - sometimes helps, sometimes doesn't; seems to go "out" a lot - and like you, I've also been experiencing a higher pain rate in the early morning hours. It used to be most of the night, but that has faded some, to now being really aggravated from around 3-5 am until I wake up. My personal theory on that is that while we are sleeping, our dreams are tapping into our unconscious, and since we are consciously working on TMS during our waking hours - that it must be having some effect on our unconscious and our dreams then stimulate/stirs things up, thus causing our brain to feel the need to "protect us with physical pain" during that time period. Thus we wake up feeling unrested and in more intense pain.

    Keep thinking about the DIAGNOSIS. Your diagnosis is NOT herniated disks causing the pain. Your DIAGNOSIS is pain caused by your brain (TMS). Two different diagnosis = two different ways to Rx your pain. For some reason, this reasoning really clicked with me - it helped me to stop thinking physically. I still have my moments of struggle, but those are the times I'm just feeling sorry for myself for being stuck in bed for a few months now. But - I find that when I think about the diagnosis and that it's in my head (and not physical) - I mentally gear myself up to allow my FEAR OF THE PAIN to evaporate. It's easier said than done, but it can be done.

    I hope this helps on some level. If you have not yet read Steve Ozanich's book (The Great Pain Deception) you MUST overnight it to yourself and start reading right away. Worth. Every. Penny.

    PS: You're lucky you have a TMS doc 4 hours away - it might be well worth the drive time. There are none in Florida, so I'm out of luck on that front. I can only take comfort in knowing that I do not have any tumors, cancer or other serious ailments (which is what they look to rule out before making a TMS diagnosis).
     
  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Two good pieces of advice. SteveO's book is great and we're discussing his last chapter tonight. There will be a SteveO Special program next week I believe, check your local listings.

    What is a few hours or an overnight trip to see a TMS doctor compared to all the medical costs and pain you've already endured and will endure in the future submitting yourself to quackery and searching for physical answers to what may be TMS? Think of it as a vacation with a visit to the doctor.
     
  13. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    [quote="samantha, post: 25245, member: 1997... One of the things I'm finding very hard to get past, is what several therapists have told me-- my pain is worse in the morning, because the discs have rehydrated and are protruding. It's been in the morning that my back has spasmed. Every morning I feel stiff and sore.

    ... I guess my question is, are the therapists comments valid? Is there any science behind what they are saying? [/quote



    *************************************************************************************

    Google "failed back surgery". Recent studies (those I believe), say back surgery doesn't work--(the Percodan probably does until the RX runs out).

    Ask yourself, have your PT's ever done any original research on herniated discs? Or, are they in lock-step regurgitating what they were taught from a text or heard at the gym?

    According to TMS science, as we age we will all have harmless, benign, anomalies on imaging. Some of us will have pain and others, with the same MRI, will NOT! Dr. Sarno calls this "gray hair of the spine"-- normal structural changes due to life--no one has a perfect looking spine. If everyone with "herniated" or "bulging discs" on imaging had pain most of the world, wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning. We'd all be in traction, which used to be the rx until recently. Why is traction no longer being prescribed like it used to be?

    Keep reading the TMS books, and watching and listening to TMS videos and audios until you are brainwashed into this new way of thinking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
    samantha likes this.
  14. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've read so many experiences of those with back and other pain who say their doctors said they have herniated discs, eetc., and they ha've tried medication, surgery, etc., and still are in pain. So I believe Dr. Sarno and Steve Ozanich and other TMS practitioners that the pain isn't structural or from aging,
    it's from TMS repressed emotions. That may be the hardest thing to fully believe, but if we do believe it 100 percent, the pain will go away. It's simple,
    yet one of the most profound things. It's worked for thousands of people all over the world. It really does work. Blessings and peace to you.
     
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