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Lockdown induced neck/shoulder pain?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Titus Groan, May 16, 2020.

  1. Titus Groan

    Titus Groan Peer Supporter

    Hey all - TMS recoverer here from not long ago. Still waving off niggles of old symptoms now and again, but generally going very strong. But had something new(ish) today and just feel like I need some guidance.

    Honestly, I probably know the answer to this, but I equally don't feel certain and could do with some clarity/reinforcement from other experienced individuals.

    Context: I've not been good at getting out during lockdown. I've spent days mostly stationary in a small flat either reading, bent over a guitar, awkwardly leaning over a makeshift computer desk, or slouched on a sofa watching TV.

    So last night I feel a little stiff in the neck - I know for a fact I didn't sleep in a good position (if that's relevant) - this morning my neck felt horrible. It's not in constant pain and it's generally bearable, but I can't really turn it confidently in any direction without a nasty pain, like somethings pulling on my spine; sometimes it extends to my shoulder.

    Classic response? Oh, I've slept funny... I've not been getting out, bad posture, no real movement.... That's what I'm defaulting to right now. Am I concerned about major injury? No.

    But although my gut says "you've been through worse, there's little logic for you to wake up in pain - it's TMS", another part of me says maybe I HAVE slept funny and I just need to do some stretches or whatever.

    Gotta say, stretches haven't helped, and I resorted to going back to my "massage ball" that I used to use a while back. I definitely felt some release of tension, but ultimately just feel like I made it worse.

    So I dunno - I guess I need... Reminding? Is it even possible to "sleep funny" and have a stiff and painful neck? Is it possible weeks of poor posture and little excersise have stiffened it up? Or is that utter crap? Is this sort of thing ALWAYS TMS regardless of the context? If so what do I now need to do? Just ignore it? Not worry about turning my neck even if it's painful? Refuse to do stretches? Embrace my bad posture without fear?
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I used to 'sleep funny' a majority of mornings in my late twenties. That was actually one of my first TMS chronic symptoms, but since it usually went away by lunch AND No one takes it too serious (they usually say "yeah...you must have slept funny") I never ever got 'help' for it.

    I sleep face down 90 per cent of the time. Sometimes I have slept so awkward, I have pressed teeth into my tongue and had a sore for two days... but ever since I recognized ALL muscle pain as TMS, I have never 'slept that way' again, or not for too many nights because there is always something going on at the psych/rage/TMS level...when I work it out I stop 'sleeping funny'

    It's funny how many TMS symptoms are just taken for granted by our culture "Oooh that's gonna hurt tomorrow"...such old wives bullshit and we all believe(d) it.

    That just MIGHT be a rage/fear inducer. There are two things going on right now and they are actually being acted out live in front of us.... We have the media screaming "death, fear, pandemic, hide, isolate,masks, die, die, die" and then a voice in us hearing the birds or the FWY outside our window (tweet, tweet......vrrrroooomm) "where is all this shit happening?" -Bill Hicks

    I caught myself being afraid of it when it first started. (march?).... I actually got pissed at my Boss for letting a guy back to work who had been fevering only a week before.... Then My knee got stiff..... Time for TMS inventory
    I remembered everything I ever read about Media via Neil Postman, Jerry Mander and personal experience working in entertainment... and decided it's mostly a crock. Not the virus... the story about the virus....

    Didn't WE get told big bad horror stories about how are lives were ruined and we needed to be careful about everything for the rest of our lives? Didn't we find out that science Laughs at Sarno and company? Haven't we seen that anybody who refutes the fear narrative is instantly a toothless hillbilly? Don't the people reporting it to us have a horse in the race?

    So I went out. I wash my hands. I stay away from people as best I can, BUT I have gone back to doing everything I did before the story began. I gave away my n95's to people who really need them (medical workers) and keep my opinions to myself everywhere except on this forum and to a few close friends.

    There is a part of me that is susceptible to being scared... but the part of me that can do math and evaluate sources and such has gotten out and run and played ball and worked and shopped... It was really Pissed...pissed enough to make my knee stiff. But my legs are all good again as soon as I looked into it.

    But, I am a toothless hillbilly

    This is a HUGE TMS factory going on. I am typing this to you slouched over a desk...I will go and sleep funny later. If my neck hurts I will re-evaluate my anger and fear.

    Deep down,You knew the answer when you typed this post, huh?

    Titus Groan likes this.
  3. Titus Groan

    Titus Groan Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the response, Baseball65.

    I guess the challenge is now ignoring the pain and not letting it affect how I do things... Which is admittedly tricky. Obviously I won't resort to my "massage ball", won't try and soak it, won't try and "sleep right", but I've recently woken up as I type this and it's ever present. It hurts to get up and it hurts to turn my head with confidence... I guess for now I just have to put up with the pain and choose not to be afraid of it? I don't know how to NOT be limited by it atm though. Somehow it feels more challenging to act normal past the pain than it did with my hands.
    Baseball65 likes this.
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Or... Just a suggestion. Spend some time alone and write about how pissed you are about the lockdown? Has it hurt you economically? Socially? Mentally? are you angry at your boss, the government, the people who don't take it seriously, the people who take it too seriously? Figure out where you stand and let yourself be Archie Bunker... get pissed!

    and about Fear. I learned to just make a list of my fears . I ask myself 'Why do I have these?'
    Am I afraid of getting sick and dying, OR am I afraid of the unknown?

    My personal biggest fear is that when we die we instantly wake up in the same place we left off, but in a new life and we forget everything we learned in this life.... I think that's why Babies cry. "No... Not this again! Arrrgggh!"

    regardless, I digress...

    I have still found that the quickest way out of any TMS episode, no matter how minor is to try and root out any new anger/fear and then focus on THAT anytime I catch myself noticing the pain. That sends the fastest message to the unconscious that I ain't buying. I wouldn't recommend that to a newbie but you have already been through this and know the drill.

    Each new TMS attempt presents its own challenges. A friend once told me that our brains are wired to delete the actual memory of pain, so it seems like every time I get something new I think 'Now this Reeeeally sucks"....so THERE is another thing for you to focus your anger at! That 'talking to your head' thing Sarno spoke of is really effective. I often sound like a crazy person with tourettes BUT, I have very little pain.

    you can do it just like you did it before!
    Titus Groan likes this.
  5. Titus Groan

    Titus Groan Peer Supporter

    Thank you! That's really helpful. It's amazing (and annoying) how easy it is to forget this stuff.

    I got a whole load of stuff on my mind atm, but equally I have been talking to people about (most of) it - which isn't usual for me. I've had a couple of vents and I generally feel like I've been coping a bit better... But I probably do need to journal. Always been my least favourite part of this process, and something I've gotten away with doing less of in recent months. I guess this is the fruit of that!
    Baseball65 likes this.

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