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New to TMS - Does this sound like it?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by elizabethswan, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. elizabethswan

    elizabethswan New Member

    Hi All -

    I have been reading about TMS for a few weeks now and really trying to convince myself that I have it. I am 24 years old and have been suffering from constant back pain for the past 3-4 years. It all started (at least I thought this is where it started) after I thought I was deadlifting too heavy and the next day there was a spot in my back that felt like it needed to "pop". Sometime later the pain changed to a "firey" mid back pain that only calmed when I was sitting or moving around (could not stand still or it would get so bad that I would need to sit). At the time I was still in college and it wasn't "horrible" (I could still exercise normally) so I didn't think much of it. Then after I graduated and started working I decided to try Chiro and PT because it wasn't getting any better, and was now firey when I was sitting (I work pretty long hours - consulting). Really out of nowhere the pain changed from a firey mid-back pain to a stabbing central low back pain. I got an MRI and found out I have an L4 L5 herniated disc - though it was barely bulging and my original Physiatrist didn't think it was the cause of my pain, but he proceeded to give me an epidural injection anyway. didn't help. The pain then became SO SO tight in my low back. At this point I was no longer exercising (I was a D1 athlete in college so this was a big change for me) so maybe this has something to do with it - but still didn't make sense to me. On the last day I saw that previous Physiatrist, he suggested sending me to see a Psychologist because I was crying in his office because I was in so much pain - I was livid and he didn't care . I saw SO many different PT and Chiros that all couldn't figure me out - oh its this its that, its soft tissue, why aren't you getting better that doesn't make sense, don't think we can help you anymore. It had gotten pretty debilitating and I felt like I was a burden to my coworkers, friends, and boyfriend because I couldn't do some of the things I could normally do, and if I knew we would need to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time for an activity, I would get anxious about it (I know this is key in TMS). The thing I have been struggling with recently is once I started seeing a new Physiatrist she told me to get at least 30 min of exercise per day - and this REALLY helped with my low back tightness. But it has not completely gone away and I still feel like it "feels" just as tight as it was when it was bad, even though when I bend over it is no where near as bad.

    To add on to this long paragraph of ranting (thank you to anyone who is still with me here) I used to have an undiagnosed eating disorder for about ~2 years in college. Had to get weighed weekly at a certain point because I was on an athletic team and they kept track of those things. That was not a fantastic time. But I have proudly and successfully fully recovered from that, AND my pain started a few months after my recovery, which I know is kind of the opposite to what I have been reading about here.

    Anyway - I am really curious if anyone else here has a symptom of intense low back tightness as their TMS and if they were able to recover. I have yet to go through the process of really reflecting on my emotions and I am about to take up journaling soon, so I have not seen a ton of progress (though I did notice a significant reduction in my mid back pain) - but just wanted to see if I sound like a TMS candidate and if anyone has any advice :)

  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi elizabethswan,

    Yes, you're a great fit for this approach. Welcome.

    Some pieces which support TMS diagnosis

    didn't get better with time
    activity seems to help
    started after you recovered from eating disorder (symptom imperative)
    "they can't find anything wrong"

    So you're here, I think in the right place. I suggest you do the free Structured Education Program or other means of deep education of the mechanics of TMS and how you fit, and exploration of feelings. Good luck in the process and keep us posted!

    elizabethswan likes this.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes @elizabethswan , I'd bet my weeks pay that You have TMS. To answer your question, when Dr. John Sarno first made the TMS diagnosis is was almost EXCLUSIVELY back pain. Your symptom description was part of my original deal, and I got better fast after reading his book "Healing Back Pain".

    That was way back in '99 . Since then, he and others have discovered that LOTS of maladies are TMS as well, so the original name is obsolete (Tension Myositis Syndrome), because it also goes after ligaments, stomach and digestive issues, skin problems and a host of other things...pretty much anything regulated by the autonomic nervous system is eligible.

    You sound like you were under enormous pressure. If you read his books you'll discover why that creates unconscious rage which manifests as pain. That doc who wanted you to see a shrink? I had a similar experience with an emergency room Doctor who got in my face when I was 32 and told me I didn't have a 'real' problem.... and in retrospect I wanna hug the guy because HE was the only one seeing what was going on, though at the time I wanted to hit him.

    My Advice is to get a copy of "Healing Back Pain" and read it cover to cover.... You might find yourself on every page and then you will begin to heal. I know it sounds absurd. I didn't believe it when I first heard about it.... and then I read it and have been pain free ever since. 21 years and change.....

    elizabethswan likes this.

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