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Is TMS 'pain' usually non specific?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Huckleberry, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    The reason for asking this is because whilst when my pain has flared up it generally feels non specific and effects my left lower back, hip and back on a day to day basic I pretty much always feel a sensation in my lower back that just doesn't feel right. It isn't painful but it is located around the left side of my SI Joint and it therefore ties in with the nocebo that was planted by the osteopath I saw a couple of years ago. I've noticed that what generally happens is that when I make a movement that causes the sensation in a split second it is like an alarm goes off which sends a message to my brain that is basically screaming 'this is structural'. this all happens so quick that it's very hard to stop this obviously conditioned response.

    Whilst I can see the conditioning at work and how this fits in with the TMS theory I am finding it quite hard to move past the fact that the sensation feels so physical...it's almost like pulling/tweaking sensation and like I say it is never painful but it just pulls me into the structural though pattern. Obviously something is causing this sensation and it is very hard to see it as any other than a structural dysfunction or alignment issue. I'm wondering if a feeling like this that is so location and movement specific can still be part of TMS?

    It is frustrating as whilst this sensation is annoying on a day to day basis it isn't painful but it pretty much always leads to a flare up of quite an intense period of pain. I know from that sensation I am generating fear but it's hard to look past the structural explanation that my pain pattern is background discomfort, inflammation, pain flare up, inflammation reduces, background pain and then rinse and repeat...of course I know constantly being stuck in this pain explanation is going to just keep on giving me more pain but its like from the tiny acorn of the mild sensation and large oak tree is growing.

    Thanks for reading guys and any advice or comments are greatly received.
  2. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    The key here is to remember that THE SENSATION IS PHYSICAL, THE CAUSE IS EMOTIONAL. There's a world of difference. Your focus needs to remain on your emotional reactions.

    Bless you.
    North Star, Anne Walker and Ellen like this.
  3. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is with interest I see the words acorn and oak and sacrum.

    The oak tree is considered a tree of wisdom, and the doorway to other worlds. It is the tree of the Druids, allowing them great insights. The acorn is the seed of the oak, the seed of that great wisdom.

    The word sacrum originates from the Latin word os sacrum, meaning Sacred Bone. In some cultures, this bone is considered the doorway to other worlds. It carries great wisdom (like the Oak), and is the strongest bone in our body.

    Yoga acknowledges the ability to hold emotional tension in various areas of the body, however the hips receive special attention as an area associated with emotional burden. Often referred to by yoga instructors as the ‘junk drawer’ or ‘attic’ of the body, our hips are considered a site of storage for emotions which we do not wish to confront and so tuck away into the deepest confines of our being. -- Donna Raskin, Yoga Teacher

    Your post seems to reveal much symbolism.

    with grace and gratitude,
    plum and Mermaid like this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Huck, we all seem to agree your pain that moves around or may not be specific is from emotions
    and not structural. TNS does keep us busy.
  5. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Hi Huckleberry,

    It is entirely possible that what you are experiencing is TMS. Mermaid makes a great point that the pain itself is a result of nerves firing and is a physical sensation. But we are looking at the cause, which in the case of TMS is not a structural one.

    It is good to also recognize the importance of priming and conditioning. You are strongly associating stimulation of this part of your back with this weird sensation. If I'm understanding you correctly, sometimes it even takes a moment for the sensation to come on after the stimulation. This is great! I say that because it very clearly demonstrates the connection between conditioning and pain. By noticing that connection you can start to undo it. Let me ask you, where does your mind go in that split moment when you make a movement that you associate with the feeling? Is it waiting expectantly for the pain to start? This is what we call priming. TMS pain is clever. It goes for the parts of your body that you will have an easier time associating with structural pain, which in turn is related to anxiety, fear and all those negative emotions. In order for the pain to have power over you you must believe that it can harm you. The nocebo, ironically enough, is offering that excuse.

    So what to do? Obviously the brief moment between stimulation and pain is not enough time for you to recognize what is happening, acknowledge how to deal with it and then intercept it before it happens. That would be impossible. So instead of focusing on overcoming and defeating a tendency towards conditioning, you can try to work on disarming it once it takes hold. In other words, don't focus on the pain, but rather on the fear and uncertainty that it creates in you. Remind yourself that you have nothing to fear from the pain and try to alleviate some of those negative emotions associated with it.
    tigerlilly, Anne Walker and Ellen like this.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Alex, thanks for your wise reply to Huckleberry.
    Don't focus on the pain. And don't be fearful about the pain.
    Take your mind off the pain by being positive and active.
    Know that it is caused by repressed emotion, recognize it,
    accept and forgive and let go.
    Anne Walker likes this.
  7. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Thanks very much for the replies. I hadn't really heard of the priming concept Alex but it does seem to make a great deal of sense. Yes, you are totally correct, I'm allowing the fear to take hold and I'm probably not challenging it to the degree that is required. Thanks again.

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