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Just finished Healing Back book. Confused.

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by liftdude, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. liftdude

    liftdude Newcomer

    About a year ago, I injured my lower back doing heavy deadlifts and took some time off after excruciating pain for a couple weeks.

    Then 4 months ago, I started heavy lifting squats and leg presses again and the pain returned. This this time I went to see a PD and got an MRI, which showed a 6mm bulging disc at L5-S1. The doctor said it wasn't too serious and PT alone should heal it but a week AFTER my MRI results, sciatica symptoms started showing up in my left leg.

    Today I just finished Dr Sarnos book Healing Back and have some questions hoping someone can answer.

    How do I know if my 6mm bulging is structurally abnormal or not? My doctor tells me it's not serious but I don't understand why I still have symptoms after 4 months of PT.

    Based on the fact that sciatica symptoms showed up AFTER my MRI, could this be TMS related? I was pretty stressed out when I found out and upset I didn't get an MRI sooner.

    I am no longer in "pain" and do not need any meds, but do have uncomfortable sensations in my lower back and left leg. How do I know if these uncomfortable sensations are caused by TMS or not? Would I even be in this miserable state if I never injured myself in the first place?

    To me, if I understand it correctly, because I injured my disc, it is causing a structural abnormality. However, whether I feel any pain or not is not solely dependent on that bulging disc or structural abnormality. The pains/symptoms are caused by my repressed emotions. HOWEVER, if I never injured myself, it's highly unlikely my repressed emotions would cause pain symptoms in my lower back or legs but it could cause symptoms in other areas of abnormality. Is this correct?
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your doctor says your pain isn't from any serious structural damage, and the MRI said the same, so I would consider
    it is from TMS. I think it would help you a lot to start the Structured Educational Program that is free in one of the subforums here.
    It will take you on an adventure into TMS knowledge and healing.

    I also would stop thinking that your sciatica symptoms have anything to do with the MRI or even the earlier weight-lifting.
    I would bet they are from TMS, repressed emotions or a perfectionist, "goodist," or 'worrisome" personality.

    Think TMS and you will heal.
  3. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    I understand that many people, who are prone to TMS or other types of hypochondria, experience their first bout with full-blown TMS after their first real injury. This allows the fear and anxiety that was always in you to fixate on some part of your body. Your mind simply will not accept that your injury is not serious and has actually fully recovered no matter what doctors or tests tell you. Your mind has found an outlet for all of your fear and anxiety and would rather die than let go of it. Perfect recipe for TMS. The only way forward to deal with the pain is to finally face your psychological issues.
  4. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    If there wasn't a specific traumatic injury during this most recent round of weight lifting, I'd guess that the 6 mm bulge was there even before this recent onset of pain. The pain can persist in the absence of structural cause because neural pathways in your brain can learn and remember pain. So even once an injury heals, pain can persist.

    To answer your last question, the mind does not need a structural abnormality to cause TMS pain. In fact, often these structural abnormalities are just incidental findings and the result of general wear and tear. I have several 5 mm disc herniations but have no pain associated with them.

    Given the fact that your doc, a non-TMS doc doesn't think the disc bulge is significant, that's pretty compelling evidence. Not all disc bulges are equal, there's a lot of factors to take into account: the amount of space in the spinal canal, etc. A man I worked with had a 13 mm disc bulge and became completely pain-free.

    I'd work toward reducing your fear around that "6 mm" term. I'm sure every time you even think about it, it freaks you out. Furthermore, work toward reducing your preoccupation around the symptoms. I'd guess you think about them all the time. Since the purpose of the pain is to serve as a vessel of preoccupation, thinking about them all the time serves to reinforce them.

    I'd go over part 1 of this program:

    I think it applies most directly to your case.

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  5. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    That your sciatica developed after the MRI is an important clue that your pain is due to TMS. Having visible proof of your injury can function as a strong psychological trigger that further reinforces your symptomatic behavior.
  6. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    You're focusing way too much on your body and numbers and "abnormalities," etc.

    When you can finally understand WHY you lift weights, you will be whole again, and healed.

    Ho'oponopo, "look to the source."

  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    To elaborate a little further on what Steve said:

    "Ho'oponopono means to make right. Essentially, it means to make it right with the ancestors, or to make right with the people with whom you have relationships. We believe that the original purpose of Ho'oponopono was to correct the wrongs that had occurred in someone's life including Hala (to miss the thing aimed for, or to err, to disobey) and Hewa (to go overboard or to do something to excess) which were illusions, and even 'Ino (to do harm, implying to do harm to someone with hate in mind), even if accidental."

    Here's a web site for registering to learn all about how to practice this ancient Hawaiian form of wisdom:

  8. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
  9. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Statistically, if you take a 100 people off the street without back pain and give them MRIs, about 70% of them will have spinal abnormalities (bulging disk, herniated disk, stenosis, scoliosis etc. etc. etc.). But if you take a 100 back pain patients and give them MRIs, you'll find that exactly the same percentage (about 70%) will have spinal abnormalities. Yet there are some people with completely clean MRIs who have excruciating back pain. The only conclusion you can reach is the same one Dr Sarno did: the relationship between spinal abnormalities and back pain is only incidental, not directly causal. These basic statistics have been demonstrated in a number of peer-reviewed, double-blind experiments at prestigious academic institutions.

    Sure sounds like lower lumbar pain and attendant symptoms such as sciatica are being misdiagnosed by the mainstream medical community, doesn't it?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
    mike2014 and Tennis Tom like this.

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