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Lower back pain still happening

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by SFscribe, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. SFscribe

    SFscribe Peer Supporter


    Hi I'm new to this forum but have read Dr. Sarno's book and a few other TMS books. My back went "out" last summer during (not coincidentally) a stressful time at my previous job, following by quitting that job and a long period of financial instability. I was 41 at the time (I'm 42 now) and hadn't suffered any back problems whatsoever my entire life or in the previous years leading up to this event, despite playing soccer 2 to 3 times a week, plus jogging a few times a week, plus the occasional game of tennis. When my back went out I blamed it on a combination of my poor posture and the tennis game I'd played a half hour earlier (it went out when I was reaching for something in the shower). Over the next six months it kept going out, although it was always in the lower back -- specifically, the lower right back -- and always during or after physical activity (namely soccer). I stopped soccer for 6 weeks and focused on stretching and strengthening my back and that helped tremendously. The pain was completely gone. Then one day, reaching for something as I twisted, boom, my back went out again. I went back to strengthening and stretching exercises, and it seemed to help. My pain was gone again. I went back to soccer, but soon enough it happened again. And kept happening. Always in the lower right back. The pain never traveled anywhere else or came out of nowhere. I saw chiropractors who said I have misalignment and probably disc degeneration. But I became desperate for a solution. I finally found Sarno's book and while I was skeptical, I decided to give it a chance. After reading it the first time I could feel my pain improve. Then one week -- only a few days after my back had "gone out" again -- I played soccer three days in a row on turf, played tennis the next day and then vacuumed for half an hour after playing tennis and guess what -- no pain. I fully believed in Sarno's theory.

    But then last week it happened again - back out after playing soccer.

    So I guess my question is -- do I really have TMS? I know you have to FULLY BELIEVE in it for the treatment to work, but my back went out again WHILE I was fully believing in it, and so far, honestly, strengthening and stretching has worked just as well for me (if not better) than believing in TMS did. Also -- my pain never shifts to random places like so many other people report, and I've never suffered from migraines, foot pain, etc... or any of the other symptoms that Dr. Sarno's says accompany TMS in 88% of the cases. I haven't seen my GP yet, but I know what the routine would be: at worst, she's recommend an MRI. And then what if the MRI shows disc degeneration? According to Sarno, disc degeneration doesn't cause pain in most cases.

    So... I guess I'm just really confused. What non-TMS diagnosis could I have apart from a tumor (which, this is not acting like a tumor's pain - I had a tumor in my leg when I was a kid) that could be causing the pain? Also -- I've found the canon of TMS literature to be consistently contradictory and ambiguous about certain things. It says we should also go see a doctor to confirm that it's not something besides TMS, but then it also says that most of the time the doctors' diagnoses are not the real cause of the pain. What am I to conclude from that? Also, when I do experience these "recurrences" (ie, back going out), according to TMS treatment theory should I be attacking them by going out jogging and playing soccer, or should I be letting them rest first, then resuming physical activity?

    Thank you for listening!

    Any advice or insight -- or especially, someone with a similar TMS story to mine (I still haven't found one) -- would be great.

  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, SFscribe. It sure looks to me like your pains are from TMS and are not structural. I had similar experiences when I hated my job. I mean I really hated it, working in the publications department of a major national insurance company. I should have quit after the first hour but stuck it out for three years until I began having the shakes at work. I also called in sick really often with colds. Since I quit, I have had about two colds in 40 years. Our work can cause us to be sick and hurt. I hope you have found work you like or can at least tolerate. Do a hobby or other things you like nights and weekends.
  3. SFscribe

    SFscribe Peer Supporter

    Thanks, Walt! It's funny -- this morning I woke up very frustrated and a little depressed because the lower back pain from playing soccer on Sunday was persisting and not getting any better. I then realized how little of this was making sense: when I sit down it feels fine; but then when I stand up and start walking, it's no better than when it was right after playing soccer? That makes absolutely no sense from a physical standpoint. So I thought, Screw it. I'm playing soccer today in spite of pain. Well... as soon as got onto the soccer field my pain stopped. And now, afterwards, it's completely gone. How's that for some serious TMS? It's such a tricky condition and always wants you to believe it's something physical :)
    giantsfan and intense50 like this.

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