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If I am pain free, but then think about pain I get pain! How to stop this?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Skeleton Bob, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Skeleton Bob

    Skeleton Bob New Member

    Some days I start off day pain free. Then I think wow I am pain free, I wonder how long this will last. Then without fail something will end up hurting!

    Sometimes if I go for a walk, long or short it doesn't matter, I think I wonder how long it will take for my leg pain to appear, and then it usually appears very quickly. The other day though, I took my dog for a (long) walk, and I didn't think pain at all, as I was distracted by my dog. I came home and was fine, no pain at all!

    One more example. My leg was hurting a few weeks ago, but I had to do some lifting. I was so concentrating on being careful lifting things, and moving them in the right place, that I completely forgot about my pain. I finished the lifting about an hour later, and was pain free! Surely this should have made my pain worse as I was using my legs a lot, but no it made them better. Sounds very much like TMS!

    I notice this at other times, if I am fully concentrating on something, and haven't got room for pain thoughts, then I seem to be pain free. If however I have some free time, my thoughts wander towards pain, and before I know it, something is hurting.

    The obvious answer is don't think about pain. However I have had a lot of pain problems for at least the last 5 years. It's difficult not to think about pain, as it's a big part of my life and it's been there for ages.

    I just wondered if someone has some advice or has experienced something similar, and how to get over this?

    Hope what I said makes sense. If not let me know. Thanks!
    plum, readytoheal and Bodhigirl like this.
  2. mm718

    mm718 Peer Supporter

    Hi, Bob-

    I am going through this too. It sounds like fear is the issue. Fear gives your pain power. When you monitor you pain it is a subtle form of fear and it triggers pain in the form of a conditioned response. If you practice the techniques from Alan Gordon's pain program above you may over time find this to be tremendously helpful. The goal is to work toward "outcome independence" where a successful walk or activity isn't defined by whether or not you had pain but by some other definition such as "you didn't care whether or not you had pain, you got out there and tried, enjoyed the scenery, etc" or whatever you personal definition of success is. This takes the power away from the fear, which in turn reduces your pain, extinguishes the conditioned response, leading to more adaptive neural pathways.

    Self-soothing and somatic tracking can also be helpful as is almost everything in the Pain Recovery Program (above). Check it out.
    CGP and plum like this.
  3. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Take your time is my advice. I recognize this pattern and from experience I know that it takes time to turn it around. The thing is that pain or other symptoms will start to scare you less and less, because you've seen it before and you know why it appears. You are in a way breaking the vicious cycle and for many of us here that vicious cycle will not be broken within a week or a month, rather it will be months or even years. And even then it might once a while rear its ugly head.
    plum and Saffron like this.
  4. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    You make total sense! I will think, wow, haven't had a migraine in months and then - bang! - migraine. It shows us how sturdy those old neurological pathways are, leading us to pain instead of insight. I believe we are highly trancy people! We are suggestible. I would say to not beat yourself for this but rather just smile when the pain comes and say, "Thanks but we're not going there, bring on the feelings, whatever they are," and see if that helps.

    Lots of folks on here do affirmations. I used to make fun of them (I'm a psychotherapist and recovering perfectionist who SHOULDN'T need affirmations!) but they help! "I make transitions easily" "I face my anxiety with ease at it leads me to enlightenment if I allow it..." "I am safe" "My pain doesn't mean there is something wrong with me... but I'm wired to fear something is wrong with me at every turn." "I relax into my feelings, rather than run."

    Hope that helps!

    Best wishes for a peaceful new year,
    readytoheal, plum and Saffron like this.
  5. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    The power of suggestion...Dr. Sarno spoke of a patient who would do heavy work all day without pain and when he came home the pain started up again. It was a conditioned response. I agree with all the advice offered to you today. I hope you've read some of Dr. Sarno's books.
    plum likes this.
  6. Skeleton Bob

    Skeleton Bob New Member

    Thanks everyone for your replies, I really wasn't expecting so many and such helpful ones so quickly.

    I was a bit scared about writing about my problems, as I worry that people will think I have gone made. However here people understand, thank goodness!

    mm718 - I appreciate your advice. I am doing the SEP at the moment, then I'll have a look at the pain program. I think it will be too confusing doing two programs at once. You are right about fear, I am always fearing that something will hurt and how much. I am getting a bit better at not letting my thoughts getting carried away and going straight to worse case scenario!

    Gigalos - thanks, obviously I'd rather have my pain problems gone sooner rather than later. However just to get them better or have them gone in a while would be great.

    Bodhigirl - Glad I make sense! Not that I want you to have migranes, but I'm glad I'm not just the only one. TMS pain is so annoying, most of the time it doesn't actually physically stop me doing anything, but the fear stops me doing things. I need to stop fear ruling my life. I'm not sure if I'm suggestible. I do know I'm highly sensitive though, and I think I notice things which other people don't, then worry bout.
    plum likes this.
  7. Saffron

    Saffron Peer Supporter

    I have constant fear of another migraine. They come in the night. So I'm not thinking of them. December has been worst ever. 25 migraines. I'm not coping right now.
  8. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    I think I'm dealing with something similar. I feel like I'm just really hard to convince. If I think about it, and then I feel some pain, I start questioning everything and, of course, worrying. I can think back to times where I felt I had no choice but to push through and ignore the pain, and it mysteriously didn't escalate to a level consistent with that much activity.

    I am choosing to not alter my behavior and remind myself where this is coming from. Even if I feel pain when typing, I'm just choosing to ignore it. I'm not going to worry about it. Journaling is a big part of this process for me. Gets those thought out better than stirring in your head.
  9. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Oh, Saffron, I had three migraines in October and went to a chiropractor - thinking it might be more than TMS.
    He used a high intensity vibrational device. I loved it. It’s like a giant tension removing eraser! I got one and use it on my head, neck and shoulders along with my TMS work.
    It’s called a Rapid Release.
    I know TMS is about thinking and feeling. I do believe deeply in Sarno and the others. I also “get by with a little help from my friends” - which is hands on nurturing thru deep massage, Rolfing and the occasional deep release by a functional chiropractor.
    I’ve always been eclectic!
    May your pain be a thing of the past!
    Saffron likes this.
  10. Saffron

    Saffron Peer Supporter

    I have not heard of rapid relief. But will try to find out more. I see a cranial osteopath every two weeks. She has helped me. And is into TMS. What no one can discover is what happens whilst I sleep. It's a mystery.
  11. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wonderful expression of a deep truth.

    About this fact and your situation: although the action of thinking of symptoms, then getting them, and being afraid of this pattern, as well as the symptoms ----even though all of this is challenging, this pattern is in itself huge evidence of TMS activity. What I am saying is that --and this goes for many of the "loops" of TMS symptoms relating to fear and the mind-- when you step back one notch, you can clearly see your pattern as evidence of TMS. Absolutely no doubt about it. And the more you see this fact, from this little distance, the less power it will have to scare you. And the less the symptoms appear.
  12. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Post with abandon my dear. With time you'll see that many of the tms issues you encounter are ubiquitous and that they only seem crazy from the inside. Once you pop them on here they are shown up for the gremlins that they are.

    You've been given some great advice about how this is nothing more than the power of suggestion and conditioning. For now mindful observance is enough, as TMS gets wiggy when you watch it. In time you'll begin to face down specific triggers and decondition yourself fully.

    Plum x
    mm718 likes this.
  13. IceBergs

    IceBergs New Member

    I have had this same issue for a long long long time. It's all about controlling your fear. I'm new to this site, forum and body control. Taking control of the fears is extremely difficult. I had developed so many fears for so many different things because of pain I had "got" from it even though it was just my emotions. I have had fears of shoes, typing, certain hills, controllers, chairs, pillows, streets, devices, games, music, if you could fear it, I feared it for some reason. I kind of stumbled onto this before I discovered TMS. Since I have OCD about most things obsessing over that pain made it worse. I can quite literally move pain around worrying about random things. I think that the worrying stage is completely normal but it shows you're learning how to talk to yourself even though it still hurts. At this stage you can almost with out a doubt confirm it's TMS.

    A couple of things I have learned over my short time on this earth that have helped me are

    1, Being with family out of the house. This is a big one. My house is kind of like a pain sanctuary not that that's bad but you know I like to think of it as a vacation when I leave. Probably the dumbest thing ever but hey you have to learn your triggers right?
    2, Coffee and sugar. Specific drinks and foods can calm and soothe my inner self sounds odd yes but hear me out. I'm an obsessive person so when it comes to food you guessed it I'm obsessive. Certain things like McDonalds fries, or a Vanilla Iced Coffee really help here.
    3, Pets. I love my dogs. I always find time for them and they love me for what I am. They don't see my pain and I don't see theirs. I love relaxing and talking to my animals.
    4, Extreme excerise. This one is interesting to me (please don't go overboard and hurt yourself) Whenever I'm done after a huge run I get this runners high, it's a few hour long jolt of energy and happiness, amazing and I love it, however pain can strike anything you love or do and pain struct running for me aswell but I can sort of filter this now.

    There's probably things you can think of for yourself but there's just a few of mine. I hope you well on your journey.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  14. Linc

    Linc New Member

  15. Skeleton Bob

    Skeleton Bob New Member

    I have tried to fear pain less, and I think I am making progress. Before when I was pain free I would be so fearful of any pain coming on. Now I just accept that I might get some pain, and fearing it will just make it worse. If I'm in pain, I just try and accept it, and go on with my day as normal as possible, then think about what I need to journal about. It's not a miracle cure, but it seems to help.

    I do know what you mean about being at home. When I am at home I find it difficult not to obsess over pain, but when I'm out and distracted, I'm normally a bit better.
    IceBergs likes this.

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