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Just A Couple of Questions for Ya'll

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by coasterfreak18, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Hey guys, so I'm pretty sure I have TMS. I am 22 years old and was pretty active until my back started hurting. It has been a little over 4 months since it started. I "pulled" my low back in a Zumba class, but I did not feel any pain during the class. I was sore that evening a bit, and the next morning I was in a ton of pain. I waited a week, and I was not feeling a lot better, so I went to a chiropractor. He gave me some adjustments for a couple of weeks, and then the pain was gone. I went back to the gym only to "re-injure" my back - in the same place! Long story short, this happened a couple of times: healed, sprained, feeling better, sprained, but always in the same part of the back. I just read "Healing Back Pain" by Dr. Sarno a couple of days ago, and from what he described, it sounds like mine is a pretty classic case of TMS. Since he instructs to resume exercise, I did a Zumba DVD (as apposed to the actual class, which I was doing prior to the pain) yesterday and today, and my back hurts more now than it did before the Zumba DVD. My low back (where the pain started) is more sore, and my mid/upper back is now a little bit sore too! Can it still be TMS if it keeps coming back to the same area? Also, if it is TMS and exercise cannot hurt it, why does it hurt more and in more of the back after exercise??

    Also, I have anxiety and depression, and I am getting LENS Neurofeedback right now, which has helped A LOT. Ironically, the back pain didn't start until almost a year into my LENS treatment, but I can't over-analyze every little detail; some things just happen out of order, or with no order whatsoever.

    I am 22 years old; I'm too young for this! I'm supposed to be having fun and working out and this is ruining my life! I was fine at first, but now after 4 months, I am so worried that I'll never get better!

    P.S. About a week ago, I has some ankle pain, and for the past couple of days, my jaw has been sore. I am assuming it's all part of TMS.
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member


    It's conditioning. Somehow your mind is associating Zumba with this pain. When it comes on, if you remind yourself that you have TMS, that nothing is seriously wrong, you can keep going.

    It actually makes sense that anxiety & depression got better and then pain came on--your mind only needs one distraction at a time; if you're in pain, you don't need anxiety, if you're anxious and depressed you don't need pain. This is also related to what Dr. Sarno calls the symptom imperative.

    It sounds like you are already getting better!
  3. Thanks! I hope so! But I am more sore after ANY type of exercise, not just Zumba. Also, do you know if it's normal to have pain at more than one part of the back at once?
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey coasterfreak18 and Welcome to the Peer Network

    Another part of the symptom imperative involves your symptoms increasing. In the article, Breaking the Pain Cycle, this is called the Extinction Burst. When you start to make progress and are finally figuring everything out, your unconcsious mind will put up a last ditch effort to get you to focus on your symptoms instead of your emotions. Remember, your unconscious thinks it is helping you and does not want you to focus on your emotions, so it increases your symptoms to prevent you from doing focusing on your emotions. Don't let it win.

    I know that the changes in your symptoms may be confusing and make you doubt the diagnosis, but want to no something, everything that you said is a clear cut example of TMS. You mentioned that you started having symptoms the day after you did Zumba. TMS found an opportunity to create pain and make you think it was due to an activity. Your unconscious mind wants to make you think that Zumba is the cause of your activity and that you are fragile. Well, you are not fragile and Zumba did not cause your symptoms.

    As Veronica said, TMS will continue to come back to the same area as long as you continue to question if it is structural or not. As long as you continue to have doubt that it is TMS or as long as you limit your activity the symptom is serving its purpose to distract you, so your unconscious mind will continue to create it.

    The good part is that since you have TMS you have the power to completely heal yourself. If you continue to learn about TMS (reading Healing Back Pain a couple times will help with this), read a bunch of success stories (check out Brian's Story), and begin to become more active you will make progress. Right now it sounds like a lot of your focus in on your symptoms and the strucutral side of things. You are just starting out so this is perfectly normal, however I would just encourage you to try to switch this way of thinking as soon as possible. Recovering involves going from thinking structural to thinking psychological. Change your thoughts, change your life.

  5. Thanks Forest! Just a couple of things.

    1: Within the past couple of months, when I went back to the gym, my pain cameb back. All of these times I did Zumba, except for one when I did the elyptical machine. Even then I had more pain, but there was no association in my mind between the elyptical machine and back pain.

    2: Should I jump back into exercise, or ease back into it?

    3: Should I avoid Zumba for now?

    4: If I continue to exercise and the pain continues, if it IS TMS, will it eventually start to go away? In other words, should I work through the initial pain?
  6. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Since many people do Zumba, it is highly unlikely you injured yourself doing Zumba. I have done Zumba and it's a lot of fun. I used to fear exercise too but once I decided I was not hurting myself, I went forward and have had no pain since. I changed my belief about exercise.

    How about examining what's going on in your life--what was going on when you started getting back pain?

    I would read Dr. Sarno's books and "do the program" outlined which is reading so your mind can absorb the information (doesn't usually happen overnight), journaling, and de-conditioning.

    And yes, it ALL can be TMS and WILL go away once you believe it and do the work mentioned above. :)

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