1. Our TMS drop-in chat is today (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern U.S.(New York) Daylight Time. It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support. BruceMC is today's host. Click here for more info or just look for the red flag on the menu bar at 3pm Eastern (now US Daylight Time).
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Muscle weakness and TMS

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by browndogisinthehouse, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. browndogisinthehouse

    browndogisinthehouse Peer Supporter

    I have been suffering with pain for 10 years now. In the last 2 years I had severe neck pain. I did the online course on this forum but the pain got worse and ultimately I got better after doing strengthening exercises for the neck.

    Now my pelvic pain has become really bad causing me to be bedridden again. This time the physical explanation is that the abdominal muscles are very weak. But there is really no objective way of determining how weak at the abdominal muscles as far as I understand from my physiotherapist .And this is where I get confused.

    I do understand that the pain ultimately is a product of the brain. And therefore TMS really makes much more sense. But at the same time, I did get better after doing strengthening exercises for the neck and I begin to wonder if that is the same case for the abdominal muscles.

    So can chronic muscle weakness also be the cause of chronic pain? Or is it TMS? I never saw this discussed before so asking. I do understand that bulging disc or similar other structural abnormalities seen on an MRI may not cause the pain. And in fact even the mainstream doctors that I have met agree with that.
  2. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi browndog,
    So what you probably did was regaining trust that your neck was basically fine by doing those exercises. So, your neck got better and now your pelvis is giving you trouble. Shifting of symptoms is common.
    I don't buy the story that you have pelvic pain because of weak abdominal muscles either. I strongly believe it is TMS.
    linnyc87 likes this.
  3. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Hi Browndog,

    I always wondered about weak muscles being the cause of my back, neck, leg, arms, and shoulder pain.

    It never made sense to me. How strong do we need to be not to have pain. What about people who are in bed for many weeks due to illness, whose muscles get weak, but have no pain.

    This strengthing approach can help in recovering from an actual physical injury. How did your pelvic pain begin?
    linnyc87 likes this.
  4. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi there!

    Here is my take on all of this as a PT. Studies show that there is a CORRELATION between back or pelvic pain and weak abdominals. However, this does NOT mean CAUSATION. I think a lot of physiotherapists make this mistake in telling their patients "your back or pelvis is painful because of your weak core." Ultimately, debilitating and persistent, chronic back or pelvic pain (in the absence of true structural cause) will be a form of TMS. You might also have weak abs but that is not the CAUSE of the pain itself...as you know the pain is brain-caused. Sounds like the symptom imperative at work for you.

    Strengthening exercises do help you get stronger and increase blood flow to the area...this can decrease pain. PT exercises can also be a type of placebo effect (which can work well), especially if you have doubt in your TMS beliefs and are more attributing the pain to structural causes.

    In my experience (and the research suggests the same), chronic muscle weakness is not the cause of chronic pain. I have worked with many clients who have experienced a stroke and have literally NO muscle strength on one whole side of their body and have no pain at all. And i've worked with very strong clients experiencing terrible back or neck pain. That being said, pain and weakness can go together because the more you're in pain, the less you'll use those muscles and then they tend to weaken a bit.

    Does that make sense? Hope it helped clear things up!
    linnyc87, MWsunin12 and Ellen like this.
  5. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Weak muscles don't cause pain. Physical exertion can mitigate symptoms because the awareness has shifted away from body and of course oxygen is delivered, oxytocin, etc. This has been discussed often in the books and interviews, etc. Just keep learning and trying to understand it will come together soon,


Share This Page