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Is sciatica type pain in leg always TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Leo, May 30, 2017.

  1. Leo

    Leo Newcomer

    I'm looking for any advice that's available.
    I have a Herniated disc diagnosis L5-S1, and have pain in my Right leg for a year and a half. I tried multiple conservative treatments with no results. Now I have Microdiscectomy surgery recommended by multiple surgeons, I've scheduled the surgery but I'm hesitating in case it's TMS. The surgeons looked at the MRI and concluded that the disc herniation is pushing on the nerve that goes down to my right leg. I've been reading about TMS for 4 days (and did use TMS strategies 15 years ago for other issues) and started journaling but so far I still have the same pain in my right leg. My question to the group is whether these symptoms are always TMS or whether the herniated disc pushing on the nerve can actually be responsible for the pain? I nees to make a decision about surgery.
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    If MicroD's worked, I wouldn't have ever found Sarno. I only sought another answer when all of the surgeries treatments and what not failed. I had the same diagnosis... same story. It didn't go away until I embraced this entirely. But I did get a ton of free painkillers that my friends enjoyed thoroughly!
    brendan537 and Leo like this.
  3. Leo

    Leo Newcomer

    Thanks Baseball. So you did go forward with a microD surgery and had no improvement after the surgery?
    Anything else you can share about your experience is greatly appreciated?
    I'm scared to death of having spine surgery, but also so tired of dealing of this debilitating leg pain... it's hard to walk more than 8-10 minutes since the pain becomes too much.
  4. Adventureseeker

    Adventureseeker Peer Supporter

    Hi Leo,
    According to Sarno, leg pain is VERY VERY RARELY a cause of a Herniated Disk, and if it is, it is only TEMPORARY. I would beware of surgery, though I must say that if you believe in the surgery, there is a chance for it to work through the Placebo effect (which may be temporary).
    Have you followed the entire Structured Program? Also, have you made a list of pain patterns? For example, you should be looking for exceptions to the pain... notice whether it still hurts while your mind is engaged in something fun (for instance go for a walk with an entertaining friend), or whether it always hurts always in the same spot. If the pain moves or there are any other exceptions, it is definitely TMS.
    Good luck!
    Leo likes this.
  5. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Leo,

    This is definitely a tough situation to be in! It is true that very few cases of "sciatica" are really caused by disc herniations, most are TMS. A disc that was truly pressing on your S1 nerve root is rare and would result in very specific symptoms. Pay attention to your pain, when it happens, if it is consistent, etc. A true nerve compression would be easy to identify because it would cause predictable, characteristic deficits. Spine surgeons would all agree based on an MRI because they are all coming from the same structural, non TMS standpoint. Let me know if you have specific questions I could help answer.
    Leo likes this.
  6. intense50

    intense50 Well known member

    After having it, and being off my feet for 3 months.... I read everything I can find. In my ''personal'' opinion Sciatica is tms . I dropped ALL treatments. Journaling and psychotherapy. Its been a 18 month journey but now '' I see the light''. The true me Awareness. Read the success stories. Steve O had stenosis, and more .... I now am much more calm happy and aware. It's a process but a simple one Sarno hit it on the head. Education is the prescription.
    I went from not standing to now have run 2 half marathons.... You WILL heal. LIFE is good!
    Leo likes this.
  7. Leo

    Leo Newcomer

    Thanks Mind body PT. When you talk about specific symptoms when there is an S1 nerve compression, do you have any additional details on the symptoms?
  8. Leo

    Leo Newcomer

    Thanks intense50. Did you have the same diagnosis as well of a Herniated disc pushing on a nerve? Are you saying that it took you 18 months of doing the TMS methods before being free of pain?
  9. intense50

    intense50 Well known member

    I went the doc and had an mri. Told her to tell me if only cancer,fracture,or infection as per Sarno instructions. I did see a paragraph on the screen but did not read it and told her to not tell me. I thanked her and walked out. She said I wish i had more patients like you. I'll send you some. I told her her tell them to read Sarno. I was pain free within weeks. 18 months is more of a total personal and physical growth. Be patient and read the success stories and the other ressources available here at wiki.
    Leo likes this.
  10. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes it's very rare, I've only seen one person with this issue (from a serious physical injury), includes numbness in a particular pattern on the foot, severe weakness of the calf muscles and some foot muscles. I seriously doubt this is the case for you!
  11. Leo

    Leo Newcomer

    Hmm, I don't have weakness but I do have foot numbness on and off. My pain is only in my right leg and specifically on the outside of the ankle and also in the calf. Sometimes there's also pain in the right hip area. The pain always flares up when walking/standing.
  12. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sounds likely to be TMS. A true nerve compression the area would always be numb, not position dependent or inconsistently numb. The hip wouldn't be involved.
    Leo likes this.
  13. PAwoodchopper

    PAwoodchopper New Member

    Leo, I have left leg sciatica, never had an MRI because I've got some hardware in me from an old fracture. But was told probably a combo of piriformis pain and some disc issues. Started back in January, still lingering now after 4.5 months. Tried chiropractor, massage etc, temporary relief but nothing permanent. Things stood out to me in this process to confirm TMS. # 1
    I had tingles down to the foot on occasion but never real numbness and my skin sensation was perfect. 2 I had pain across the butt which indicates the whole nerve is involved. 3, I did have X-rays done after 6 chiropractor visits weren't helping, was told spine looked awesome. Woke up next day with reduced pain, but continued to dwell on it. It got worse again weeks later. Funny thing though, I could shovel snow for an hour and exercise made it go away. 4 I realized I had a TMS history, with acne as a young adult, allergy symptoms, occasional bouts of insomnia, periods of anxiety, etc. It all adds up. 5, I realized my personality is one of a goodist, perfectionist, and legalist, all TMS types. 6, I've spent the last 2 days bent over shoveling out a septic tank at my house, wrestling a heavy digging bar, rocks, heavy wet clay soil etc. When I'm focused on a task there's no pain. I've found TMS healing is a process. I've accepted that is what I have, and have found some relief through journaling. I've also tried to live life as normal as possible and ignore the pain. The success stories, Steve Os wall of victory videos, the Amazon book reviews etc will all help you overcome TMS, but it takes some work and soul searching.
    Leo likes this.
  14. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    I herniated the same disc as you and my sciatica resolved using TMS methods. I considered surgery but TMS recovery has a lot better rate of success. I believe Dr. Sarno is correct that herniated disc do not cause pain, only weakness and numbness if the nerve is compressed.
    Leo likes this.
  15. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Leo I saw an aneurysm once and a tumor that caused back pain. But I have asked a couple TMS physicians if they had seen sciatica that wasn't TMS and both said no. If a disc was pressing a nerve then your leg would be paralyzed quickly. But my own leg was paralyzed and it was still TMS. So the chances that your pain is from a disc needing repair are negligible, if not impossible. But I don't know your situation. You have to back into the TMS diagnosis, it can't be directly observed. Dr. Sarno is a very wise and brave man.

  16. Ales

    Ales New Member

    Leo, I had just the same L5-S1 plus few more herniations, foot drop, sciatica, etc. Neurosurgeon told me how seious and bad the situation is but then I read Dr. John Sarno's Healing back pain, talked few times to Sir Steve Ozanich and the rest is history.

    Leo likes this.
  17. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    Leo, I am curious about your decision, in light of all of the comments above.

    I have had sciatica on two separate occasions. The first time was over 20 years ago and the pain was excruciating, from my butt down the left leg. I hobbled and lived with it since this was pre Sarno (for me) for about one year. I begun a course in chakra healing (not to heal my sciatica incidentally) and volunteered as a demonstration subject at the first class. The instructor did some of her procedures on me in front of the class. Only after I left the class that evening did I realize that the pain was GONE!. The next week at class I commented to the instructor how it appeared that her demo on me had healed my sciatica she responded by asking me "what are you angry about?" I responded that I am/was not angry. Silly me, I was typical of those who deny their deep down anger.

    Fast forward to this year and the sciatica (along with other pain issues, such as hip pain, knee pain and some shoulder pain) comes back with a vengeance, along with some numbness in my foot (left side). I knew that I had spondylithesis and hip joint deterioration. I had read Sarno's Heal your Back Pain a few years back and picked it up again and began reading it through. This time (age has it's benefits in hindsight at least) I KNEW I was angry and I knew many scenarios of why my brain could be doing its' best to protect me from processing this anger and rage. This time I was able to respond to my brain with dialogue and wrote some about my issues that had been instrumental in this latest bout of pain syndromes. February, March and most of April were spent in great personal dialogue, both written and spoken. Lots of tears as anger found its way out of me with my voice and my pen. My husband, thank goodness, was a trooper through all of this emotion. I was not happy, also felt defeated for this whole time. I was frightened. After one revelation and then another, I woke up one morning in April and realized that the pain was GONE! It has not returned but I still have pain from my right hip joint area and down my right leg. I have moments where there is no pain, so this is still a work in progress. My hip pain is very longstanding so I think it may take a bit longer for the pain to subside there because it has been such a convenient spot for my brain to send messages to.

    I think journaling is fine, if you find pen to paper easy, but I do not keep these journals. I want all of this stuff out of my life, even my musings on it. I tell my brain to get a grip, that I can handle the problems it believes it is protecting me from. I find distraction with happy friends helps. I try not to have my pain part of every conversation. This helps too.
    Steve O's books are great. I had a severe breathing reaction just from reading one of his books and trying to explain it to one of my siblings. This was also enlightening to me in that I realized that my brain did NOT want me to own this stuff that Steve was writing and was distracting me from explaining it by creating a severe breathing problem. (I have been to emergency room before because of allergic reaction (breathing) to an as yet unknown allergen??) SOoooo I wish you well, and hope you find some comfort in the support of others here on this forum. I have been lurking here a few weeks and finally felt compelled to join and respond to your post.

  18. Leo

    Leo Newcomer

    Thank you Lainey. At this point I'm still trying the TMS methods but my sciatica issues haven't subsided. I'm not good at journaling so have only done that a few times so far but will try to do more. I Keep thinking positively about it and reading the various books. If things don't get better within a few months I'll probably schedule the surgery as its really limiting my life. I guess a big difference from you is that I only have this sciatica, no other pain and it corresponds directly to the location of my herniated disc... as confirmed by multiple doctors including one just this week who is a TMS specialist.
  19. composingkeys

    composingkeys New Member

    Hi Leo,

    How are you doing now? Did you end up getting better with the TMS method? Did you end up going through with surgery?
  20. Leo

    Leo Newcomer

    Hi ComposingKeys,
    Actually I ended up putting off the surgery due to unrelated family events and just a couple months ago -late August/early September i started to feel better, and while i still have issues with numbness in the leg and some discomfort in the lower back, the pain in the leg is almost all gone! I get a twinge here and there but I can walk and stand again pain free. I don't think it was the TMS work, because i had stopped it , it was just time that helped me. Unfortunately in my case it took 10 months for the sciatica to get bette. I dont wish on anyone to deal with it for this long.
    What I will say about the TMS method is that it definitely helped me mentally to get out of the dark place I was in due to the sciatica, which was extremely frustrating and depressing.

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