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Lower back, Sciatica and Neuropathy in hands and feet

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by tjlazer, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. tjlazer

    tjlazer New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I just recently discovered Dr Sarno's book and I read it. It really opened up my eyes and made me realize that I really don't have as bad a back as I thought. It coincided as my MRI's do not really show really bad discs or pinching, but I do definitely have DDD and narrowing and some bulging going on. I've had back issues for 25 years now, I would "throw my back out" every few years playing sports and being stupid lifting heavy things, etc. I would always bounce back and learned to be more careful and that seemed to help a lot.

    Well in 2014 after vigorous working out for a months to pass a fitness test, I seemed to do fine afterwards, well a week or so later my lower back started to hurt. Was a moderate pain. I took it easy and this lasted for 4 months. It had spread to my left leg as well with sciatica pains in my butt, leg and foot. After about a month of this my back pain went away and my left foot got numb. The paid was greatly reduced but it was still there a little, nowhere like it had been though.

    I went to see my Dr and he did an MRI. Of course it showed a slight bulge at L5-S1. Went to see a Chiro for a few months and it didn't help. Went back and forth for a year with the doctors and when I had another MRI the bulge got better, but still pain and numbness with pins and needles. 1.5 years go by and this past April my right foot starts to get numb. Got worse by the day. Sciatic pain down the leg too. But not as bad as the left. This scared me so I go find another doctor. They review my 3rd MRI and say I need bilateral foraminotomies, as there is some narrowing of the foramina. They recommend ESI's to see if it helps first.

    At about this time I start to notice my hands, especially my ring and pinky fingers are getting a little numb. Especially when sleeping on my back. Seems to be getting worse. Legs are weak and arms are starting to get weak.

    Desperate I start doing a lot of research and find Dr Sarno's book and after reading it I am open to this idea. But I also find another thing that might explain my problem and it's very upsetting. After searching for Poly Neuropathy symptoms and causes I come across a condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease. A hereditary neuropathy disease which affects the hands and feet. I also have a lot of the other symptoms like high arched foot with hammer toes. My questions is, has anyone heard of this and do you think this might be TMS?

    Thank you for your help
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, tjlazer. I've never heard of those symptoms you mention, but want to caution you not to go on the Internet and rely on Dr. Google to discover why you are in any pain. See your doctor, and if nothing serious is found, the pain is very likely TMS, caused by your emotions. And even if something structural is found, it may not cause pain. The pain can still come from the emotions.

    If you haven't done it yet, I suggest you start the Structured Educational Program, free in the subforum of this web site. It helped heal me from severe back pain, through discovering repressed emotions going back to my boyhood. The SEProgram will help you too to heal.
  3. tjlazer

    tjlazer New Member

    Thank you for the reply. One thing I forgot to point out is that I tend to stress and worry a lot and if I am honest with myself the past 3 years have taken a toll on me due to serious family, work and heath issues. As I was originally dealing with my left leg sciatica and foot numbness since 2014, and now the past few months the rest. Now that the right foot has got numb and my hands are starting it's got me very scared. I actually had a serious panic attack last night and i had to go to the ER. (After hyper ventilating due to anxiety, my forearms started to tighten up, and got real numb along with my hands. I started shaking and couldn't move my fingers! It went away after a few minues, ER doc said it was due to lack of C02 due to breathing too fast) I haven't been sleeping at all the past week and I am sure that was not helping. The neuropathy feeling of pins and needles in the larms and legs is increasing and making it very hard to relax and sleep. I got prescribed Ambien last night and it helped, I was able to finally get some sleep. I also requested Cymbalta and some Lexapro for panic attacks. At this point I really need to learn to relax and start reading more books and videos on TMS and hope for the best!
  4. intense50

    intense50 Well known member

    Sciatica piriformis it's ALL tms believe me I KNOW how you feel. You will heal.
  5. TimmyH

    TimmyH Peer Supporter

    Tj lazer. I had exactly the same symptoms as you. Started out as back pain however it progressed to neuropathy symptoms in the legs first, then to the hands. I used to wake up from sleep with my hands numb, feet numb. It really rattled me. I also would get tingling up and down my legs, a feeling of water dripping down my legs, numb toes, imaginary bee stings. I had multiple nerve conduction tests and we're all normal. They couldn't find anything wrong. I started treating it as tms and those symptoms largely disappeared and were replaced with pelvic pain. Started to treat those symptoms with tms knowledge and developed eye pain, dryness. Still much better than I used to be. Just dealing with the remnants of this horrible affliction.

    I would get a nerve conduction study of my limbs. If that is normal it means your peripheral nerves are fine and the problem is in your brain which is another way of saying you have tms. Think about it with logic, you had some very mild changes on your back which couldn't be responsible for your nerve symptoms in your legs. Remember pinched, or trapped nerve causes numbness that comes on instantly and stays numb. Your numbness is intermittent just like mine was. Also your arm symptoms couldn't have a structural explanation. Get the nerve conduction test and if there is no signs of nerve damage which im almost certain there won't be, you have tms. These nerve disorders that you mentioned are very rare. I know because I looked into them myself. What is not rare and could explain all of your symptoms is tms. You suffer from anxiety which basically means your subconscious mind doesn't feel safe. This is a breeding ground for tms.

    I'm confident from reading your posts that your symptoms will improve like mine did with tms work. Just get stuck into knowledge therapy and know that you have nothing to lose and I promise it will have a positive affect. As soon as you get your first bit of improvement it gets so much easier because your resolve strengthens. Just remember that this illness feeds off of your fear. The more you fear it, pay it undeserved attention, the worse your symptoms will be. Ignore it, tell it it's signals are false, tell it your not afraid. Never let a pain signal go unchallenged. Fight back and I know you will get there.
    Yinlin likes this.
  6. Adventureseeker

    Adventureseeker Peer Supporter


    I have similar symptoms which all started more or less at the same time, back in May. Sciatica pain along both necks, piriformis and hip pain, as well as pain in my ulnar nerve elbows and other parts along my arms. I have just started the programme, hoping it will help. I got a normal EMG for my hand, and a normal lower back MRI. Just one question, did you by any chance get any vaccine a few months prior to your symptoms? Just in case...please keep me updated about your progress.
  7. tjlazer

    tjlazer New Member

    I have an appointment with Neurology today. I am finding my left leg is getting worse, feeling very heavy and hard to move. I did have the Sciatica for 1.5 years in that leg before any of this other stuff started, and I do believe it was due to a pinched nerve. I had an EMG done on that leg and there was some S1 nerve damage. Right leg was fine at that time and they did do a comparison EMG on that one. I got a ESI shot last week for my left leg and it helped a little but not enough.

    I am noticing my hand coordination is getting a little worse but noticeable, but my left arm is worse for sure. Numbness and tingling Symptoms seem to be much less today though. I am trying to sleep better at night and not use a pillow for my head which seems to help. Having better posture and putting my shoulders back. But then again it might be due to the Cymbalta, or both. I am planning to find a counselor for my anxiety issues. What kind of specialist should I look for?
  8. tjlazer

    tjlazer New Member


    Thanks for your detailed reply. Did you also have weakness in your hands and legs?
  9. TimmyH

    TimmyH Peer Supporter

    Yes I had weakness. My weakness varied from periods of total numbness where I had to sit down, and my coordination was off. I also had periods that were just minor numbness and my coordination was ok. Just remember that if your symptoms go up and go down from one day to the next it is your mind doing that. Nerve damage is consistent. If you damage a nerve it stops conducting impulses. It doesn't all of a sudden improve the next day and your sensation coordination improve. If it was damaged on Monday and you had bad coordination numbness, then on Tuesday improved coordination and less numbness, followed by bad symptoms on Wednesday again, it is mental factors that are triggering your symptoms. Look at people with ALS (motor neuron disease) or diabetic nueropathy. There people have nerve damage, they aren't bad one day and good the next. It's a steady decline. Or another example is someone who has injured a nerve, let's say the radial nerve in the elbow (this happened to steve ozanich in his book). You injure the nerve or pinch it as everyone says, and very quickly the limb goes numb. That limb will stay numb until the pressure is removed from it. When you remove the pressure it will still be numb until the nerve heals where you will then start to get pins and needles back first then full sensation. You don't get a long cycle where the limb has good sensation one day, bad the next, and back to good again.

    I don't know your exact circumstances and test results. I do know from experience that anxiety, fear, repressed emotions can cause there symptoms. I had many months of them myself. I also know from a lot of research how nerves work. I also work in a hospital that has a large neurology department. Nerve damage to structural or chemical causes is pretty consistent. Numbness, tingling, loss of coordination to psychosomatic causes is very inconsistent. Regardless of what's causing your symptoms you will benefit greatly from tms work. I know from my own experience that anxiety is toxic to the body and tms work is great for this. No matter what you can improve your symptoms through a calm, clear mind.
  10. TimmyH

    TimmyH Peer Supporter

    On another note steve ozanich in his book had test proven nerve damage, numbness, loss of reflexes in his leg etc. He beat it all with tms work.

    The mind is all powerful, it can damage us and also heal us depending on our perception.
    Pippi Longstocking and riverrat like this.
  11. tjlazer

    tjlazer New Member

  12. tjlazer

    tjlazer New Member

    Just an update while I anxiously await my EMG appointment on Sept 6th to test my arms.

    It's been a rough 10 days for me. I did a lot of back tracking trying to see what might of caused these nerve issues the past few months and I think I know what might of caused some of it. In my quest to relive my Sciatica in my left foot I had been doing a LOT of pull ups, and dead hangs from pull up bars. I was doing them 4-5 times a day for months. I recall hurting my hands and wrists a lot when I did them. Though at the time my hands and arms seemed ok. I also got a machine called a NuBax Trio for decompressing the lower back, and that also caused some pressure to the back of my upper arms which would hurt and cause some numbness while using it. I also had been doing a lot of walking and I might of just over done it. After this I stopped doing the pull ups as I had hurt my left shoulder, it is at this point when I started noticing the numbness in my little and pinky at night, then it started to get worse and spread to my whole hands and forearms/wrists. I stopped everything at this point. Feels like I have Carpel Tunnel and Cubical Tunnel syndromes. Of course I have been extra careful now to not over do it, hoping I can heal myself.

    When they did a C-Spine MRI they found I had an enlarged thyroid and ultrasound found it has a nodule. Had a blood test done and the TSH and Free T3 was within normal limits but on the low end. (TSH 1.1 and free T3 2.3) Going to have a needle biopsy to rule out any issue. I did find that I've had lots of Hypothyroid symptoms for a while now and was surprised to find out that neuropathy in hands and feet is one of them, so I want to follow up with an Endocrinologist to make sure the thyroid is working fine. If that is not enough they also found a cyst in my Liver and did another MRI and determined it's a benign tumor.

    Anyway, being stressed out to the max and having anxiety attacks I am on meds and hoping it helps to keep me calm. We will see what the EMG tells in a few weeks. Been reading the Divided Mind over and over and trying to keep calm as much as possible and hope I can get myself in a good state of mind so I can heal.

    One thing I have learned though, is that I have been suffering from Anxiety for a very long time. And I am going to find a good therapist to help me.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  13. tjlazer

    tjlazer New Member

    I recently found I had been suffering from low grade Anxiety my whole life and didn't really know it. Always fidgeting with my fingers, had some social anxiety, introverted, constantly bit my lip and picked the skin on my fingers. Had some OCD tendencies, nothing too bad and did fine. But the past few years things have got a lot worse due to massive stress at work/home etc. Things took a dive with my medical issues this year of course, and my Anxiety is very ramped up now. Started getting insomnia and severe Anxiety attacks and depression with the worry. Taking Ambien for sleep and Clonazepam as needed seems to help and has eliminated my arm symptoms when they were getting bad during an increase of anxiety! Not sure if that is a good sign.

    Hoping my EMG results come back with good news. Still awaiting blood test results on Thyroid and others tests. In the mean time I am keeping an open mind on the Mindbody connection and hope I can heal. I really like the Divided Mind, it is an excellent book!
    juderocketqueen likes this.
  14. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, tjlazer. You're doing all the right things... getting medical tests and reading abut TMS. You are certainly not alone with anxiety. It's going around like pollen.
    I hold it off by deep breathing, positive thinking, keeping busy on either pleasant things or even work. Sometimes I think Scarlett O'Hara had it right in "Gone with the Wind"... It helps if we just tell ourselves we will worry tomorrow and not today about something like anxiety. Jesus said not to be concerned about tomorrow's troubles... today's are enough.
  15. tjlazer

    tjlazer New Member

    EMG test on both arms and hands came back NORMAL. Going to do one on my feet in a few weeks.
  16. tjlazer

    tjlazer New Member

    Had a follow up with Neurosurgeon today (made appointment months ago)

    MRI's show moderate left L5/S1 foraminal stenosis and they recommend surgery (foraminotomy) to open up the canal to give the nerve root more room. Right sides have minor stenosis so he doesn't recommend surgery.

    I have had Sciatica and left leg pain/weakness and foot numbness for 1.5 years. No back pain since the onset of Sciatica. (Had 5 months of back pain before the Sciatica started)

    Having a hard time thinking that it's TMS at this point. But my other issues could very well be due to the stress and anxiety!
  17. riverrat

    riverrat Well known member

    But remember in sarno's and steves book both speak of those things you were told and they say they should not really be the cause of pain. The pain Truly is from tms, not structural stuff. It sounds like tms to me.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
    karikari likes this.
  18. riverrat

    riverrat Well known member

    And you can heal this!
  19. Thank you, that gives me hope...
  20. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Been suffering all these issues for 10 yrs with still no resolve but I have hope and faith which pulls me threw been on all those meds never really helped me ..

    Live the best life you can and never give up

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