I have had a an interesting situation that I wanted to share. For the last year I have pretty much overcome all the pain in my upper back that has come and gone for over 15 yrs. I am a stay at home mom and a large part of my TMS I am sure has been due to the fact that I gave up working to raise my child. My husband travels and having both of us work w/his schedule was very stressful and I had incredible guilt leaving my daughter so I chose to quit my full time job. She is now school age so I was looking forward to some more freedom this fall and possibly getting a part time job. For the last 4 years my husband has been pushing to get a big dog and I have fought it because I knew I would end up being the one taking care of it with his traveling schedule. I also didn't grow up w/dogs so I have never been comfortable with them nor have I know what to do. We had many discussions about it and I reluctantly agreed but told him I would not let it interfere w/my job of raising our daughter. Long story short, we got a puppy 4 months ago and my back has hurt alot ever since. He is growing to be a big dog and has done all the destructive things puppies do but he is 60 lbs and despite alot of obedience training, is alot to handle. The stress that it brought to our home was causing me to be tense all the time and I was increasingly resentful of the situation and the stress the dog was causing. Yes, at 48 I think I might be a little sore but my back and neck seemed to kill me all the time. I felt very out of control and helpless when my husband would travel and I was angry because I felt trapped at home with a small child and a dog. I fell back into my old ways of thinking. Everytime I would take the dog out I would think "oh, I hate this dog, he makes my back hurt!" because he drags and pulls alot and is very strong. The pain would go away but would come back every time I had to walk him or take him outside again. What I finally started realizing was that my back didn't hurt because of the dog, it was because I RESENTED the dog and my husband for putting me in the situation of having to take care of him. I had just started to feel like I was getting my freedom back and could work again so I was furious that I was given a job I never wanted. I finally had a colorful discussion with hubby and told him everything, how angry, resentful I was etc.,etc. He agreed to handle the dog most of the time and I realized that I can't blame my pain on the dog, I need to work on my feelings instead. My puppy will be a great dog in a year or two once he is past the puppy stage but until then I have to remind myself that my back is fine and very strong and I can handle it. This has been an interesting experience and just reconfirms that stressful situations can cause physical pain or relapses. Instead of trying to find the "thing" that is causing it, look at your feelings instead.