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Daniel L. New kind of pain...help!

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    Question
    New symptoms got me worried. I have had low back pain on and off for nearly 20 years. Did all the conventional stuff and finally stumbled onto Sarno's books. Reading them helped; I never got completely over the back pain, but it was manageable and did not seriously hinder my life style. I have had also some problems with my left achilles tendon and left hip, but both went away with time. The typical pain was always located in the lower back, but would move from side to side.

    Three days ago I had a new feeling when I got up from bed - pain through my right hip and down the AT band of the thigh and down my shin and into my ankle. It is really intense and is making it difficult to function during the day and sleep at night. I am an avid cyclist and riding my bike right now is not really possible. I am angry and impatient. I want to get back to normal and be able to ride. While I think it is TMS (I had a few stresses pop up just prior to the onset of the pain), I can't help but thinking that this is like nothing else I've had before and perhaps it is something else. How do I convince myself it is TMS and how do I get rid of this almost paralyzing pain?
    Tbone
     
  2. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Tbone! (great name)

    There are so many things to say, but the first thing I want to say is Congratulations! Since you’ve had TMS in the past, you know your brain is the kind of brain that will successfully manifest pain in your body and scare the crap out of you trying to convince you that it is a structural problem. While this doesn’t seem like good news, it is! Now you know exactly what to expect. As a “TMSer” you know that your brain will try and take you to a place of fear and preoccupation regarding pain. That knowledge is useful in and of itself so that when new pain arises, you know how to proceed: don’t let yourself get scared or preoccupied by the pain.

    Here’s where you’re stuck: I have a feeling that you don’t think this pain is TMS. Part of you thinks that this must be a structural problem because the pain is so intense. The goal at this point, as you perfectly sum up at the end, is to be 100% certain that your pain is 100% TMS. How do we do this?

    1. Here’s the best intervention: go see a TMS doctor. If you live in a place where there is a TMS doctor, make an appointment and go see them. The best intervention is to have a doctor’s word that your pain is TMS related. Then you’ll know for sure, and neither your conscious nor your unconscious can continue to be anxious.

    2. Prove it to yourself. First of all, tell yourself that you don’t need to find the solution immediately. Take that pressure off of yourself. But know that an answer will come. Make a list of all of the things about your pain that seem structural. Now make a list of all of the things about your pain that seem like TMS. Because you’ve had TMS in the past, I won’t go over all of the signs of what makes it TMS (inconsistencies in when the pain shows up, ability to not have the pain at certain times, etc.). Your goal is to make the list of evidence so heavily weighted to one side that there is no possible way that it could be anything else.

    3. Read more TMS books. There are many, many more books on TMS than just those written by Sarno. Reading more information will help you understand TMS better, and how it relates to your own body.

    Don’t let yourself live in limbo by not knowing whether or not the pain is TMS. Follow the three steps above and find out if the pain is TMS. You can be unsure about the cause of your pain for a few weeks (or even a bit longer), but any longer than that and you’re only stressing yourself out. I say this because I’ve had clients that continue to be anxious about whether or not their pain is TMS even after they’ve had multiple doctors tell them that they don’t have a structural problem. They’re so habituated to feeling anxious that they don’t even realize that they’re ignoring the reality that’s in front of them.


    So, there’s your plan of action. Do everything you can to find out whether or not this pain is TMS. At that point, you’ll have confidence in the diagnosis and can have less anxiety. Good luck.


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