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Inflammation, Prednisone, & TMS

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by eightball776, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. eightball776

    eightball776 Peer Supporter

    There’s been lots of debate about the role TMS can play in creating and sustaining localized & systemic inflammation. This chicken vs. egg sort of conundrum is at the center of my case, and though I’m still processing it, a recent experience has definitely altered my perspective. Does the stress cause the inflammation or does the inflammation cause the stress? I feel like this passage written by Dr. Howard Schubiner shows that he might consider TMS a minor/secondary source of my back pain.

    A recent epidural & returning to a daily, consistent & significant dose of corticosteroids has eliminated 85% of my back pain. I still have some of the neurological symptoms the doctors like to attribute to the ‘impinged nerve root’ caused by the ‘bulging disc’ (pins & needles in calf, numbness in toes, etc.), but that stuff is just a minor irritant.

    The pain had been relentless as of late – worse than ever. I was keeping up with physical therapy for the most part, but still firmly refusing to consider the recommendations of no fewer than 4 neurosurgeons who, despite mounting evidence pointing to inflammation as the primary source of the pain, remain 100% certain that a major spinal fusion surgery is the only solution. You can’t cut out inflammation with a scalpel. However, this also means that the primary source of my pain is not ‘mild oxygen deprivation’ in the muscles, doesn’t it?

    C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is one of the main blood tests for inflammation. My latest value was 12 (anything over 2 is considered high).

    Don’t get me wrong – there is no doubt whatsoever that I suffer from TMS. I have nearly every single personality trait Dr. Sarno connects to those most susceptible to MBS. The latest flare-up of my back pain no doubt coincided with quite a lot of stress. Yet all of that stress just melts away once the pain returns to a reasonable level.

    I believe the TMS developed as a result of the repressed stress that came with coping with the long-term impact of a chronic autoimmune disease. Many years ago Dr. Sarno tried to convince me that my Crohn’s Disease was another TMS equivalent, but I just couldn’t accept that I’d experienced a level of stress at the age of 6 (during an otherwise happy & normal childhood) that would make me susceptible to such a serious mind-body disorder.

    When I minimize the percentage of my chronic low back pain that is due solely to TMS, or even acknowledge a “physical” reason for my pain, I worry this handicaps my ability to heal that side of things. “Accepting the diagnosis” was pretty much all that was required to banish my back pain 20 years ago when I first met Dr. Sarno. I don’t know how it can all coexist, but I think (all input welcomed) the best way forward is to refocus my approach around modalities designed to reduce systemic inflammation. I’d really been spinning my wheels with the psychological-first approach anyway.

    I’m very interested in any shared experiences related to steroids, inflammation, and their relationship to TMS. Prednisone is a Devil’s bargain for sure – and it’s only a matter of time before the side effects overtake the benefits, so need to come up with something else real quick.

    Thanks for reading!
     

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