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Newbie to TMS -- will my spine fusion hold me back?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Jada, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Jada

    Jada New Member

    I'm new to TMS and to this website which I'm so thrilled to find today. I have a few questions and hope that I can find answers here or at least be directed on how to find a local therapist in Houston, TX to see.

    I've had lower back problems since high school (now 48). After much frustration/pain I was talked into having a lower spine fusion L4-L5-Sacrum. It was horrendous to get back on my feet with a long recovery. I've didn't let it slow me down -- found belly dancing as a fantastic emotional/physical outlet and danced/taught for 25 years. I have also been plagued with migraines which I'm sure are stress induced. In the last three years I've slowly degenerated into having sciatic pain that took more and more of my energy to where dancing has been put on the backburner after all these years. It's depressing. I finally underwent cortisone shots (three rounds in one month) in my spine. It helped about 85%. But I got terrible migraines afterward and have pressure/pain in my spine where the shots went in. My neurologist said that the muscle must have a tear in it due to the needle, but it's not really healing. That was two months ago. Two weeks ago I found and read Dr. Sarno's book and see myself on every page. I'm certain that my original back pain that ended with the surgery was really emotional baggage and that my years of back pain/migraines are just that. I can intellectually get the program, just new to how to go about it. I've started the program here on this website to get me started.

    So my question is.... since I've already had spine surgery will that cause a structural abnormality that is conducive to pain? Or, am I holding on to that 1% fear that it is therefore I can't get beyond it. And, is the spot in my spine that now hurts really the brain moving the pain to where I can feel it now that I've had cortisone shots? I can mentally get the sciatic pain to stop for just a moment, but it comes back fairly quickly. However, I can't seem to release the pressure/pain from where the shots went in. I know that Dr. Sarno has his patients filtered before seeing him so maybe those who've already had a back surgery aren't the best patients to accept.

    And, please, if anyone on this site can reccomend a pain-body therapist in Houston, I would greatly appreciate it. I can't find one online.

    Thanks so much for the effort that everyone here is putting out there to help! It's truly appreciated.
  2. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Fusion will not hold you back. People recover regularly with TMS healing despite having made the mistake of spinal fusion.

    You have many indicators of TMS such as the SI shift from steroid to migraine. I also had trouble getting past the point of entry of the ESI.

    Check out Frank Murphy to see how close he is to you. I'm not sure exactly where Longview is.

    I actually recommended belly dancing, lol.

  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jada, you've definitely come to the right place to help. Your pain and fears are typical of those who have pain from TMS. It's all about discovering y our repressed emotions. Your unconscious mind is giving you pain so you recognize and resolve those emotions. Dr. Sarno says you don't even have to solve those emotional problems, just identity them and tell yourself you believe 100 percent that that will heal you. That 1 percent you still think is physical is keeping the pain in you.

    Here is a recent post from Emre that may interest you: "Hi to all. Since 2-3 weeks i am reflecting back on my childhood, questioning everything about it, reading books on inner child, trying to understand my relationship then with mom and dad. And since couple of days my pain everywhere on my back got worse (upper and lower), I got urinary infection (I keep having it every year since I am 15 and had 2 operations to open the contracted urethra)...
    Is it TMS doing all these at the same time due to my questioning and digging my unconscious or is it just a coincidence these happening at the same time with all my questioning my past!?? Thank you all. Emre."

    Forest, host of the TMSWiki, sent this reply:

    "Well I definitely don't think it is a coincidence. With these type of symptoms we always have a tendency to think they have nothing to do with what is going on with our emotional state. We just happen to have them when our work is really stressful or we are going through a major life change. There is always a connection between our emotional state and health. This is what the Mind Body Connection is all about.

    There is such a thing as an Extinction Burst, which refers to your unconscious increasing your symptoms as a last ditch effort to prevent you from exploring your emotions. It can be helpful to keep thinking psychologically at these times, because it means you are close to reversing the pain cycle. But it is also worth mentioning that you do not need to question everything that has happened in your past. Sarno stated recovery to be fairly straightforward: Accept that your symptoms are benign, and educate yourself about the true cause of your symptoms. You don't necessarily need to deeply explore your past, especially if you find it to be overwhelming. It can be very beneficial to take a more present based approach and understand what causes you to repress your emotions presently. SteveO put it very eloquently saying:

    "If you are digging up some pain in your past that's fine, do it, but beware of psycho-archeology. Don't keep digging for gold in an empty tomb. I've seen therapists keep people crying for months digging up their past, picking at the same things repeatedly. There's a time to dig and a time to put the shovel down and bask in the sunlight, thankful there is work to do, and problems--that really aren't that bad."

    Another great thread about this is Keys to Healing, which was posted a couple days ago.

    Hope this helps, Jada. Look at more posts on the various forums, especially in the success forum from people who became pain free from TMS symptoms. Yours... ours... are in our repressed emotions. Sounds simple, but it really is profound.
    Ines likes this.
  4. Jada

    Jada New Member

    Thanks Steve. I was thinking the structural fusion shouldn't have anything to do with anything since the pain is really a cover job by my brain for emotions. What is ESI? Can you give me more info on how you got past it?

    Unfortunately Longview is about three hours away. I'm going to give a go on my own and keep Dr. Murphy's info handy in case I'm really hitting brick walls.

    To Walt -- I really needed to see that post about not really needing to do deep emotional work to get relief from the pain. I was doing just that -- trying to figure out where the emotions are all about. Some I can figure out but don't really know how to deal with them other than just seeing that they are what they are. I'm going to look at the Keys to Healing link. Thanks so much for all your info and support!
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm glad that helped, Jada. I think doing deep emotional work to discover our repressed emotions can be too much and cause anxiety.
    I think in most cases, we can discover our re's if we just think a bit about our parents, siblings, spouses, friends, co-workers.
    "The good, the bad, and the ugly" about them can come up right away.
    Then it's like asking the Lord for forgiveness. We don't have to keep asking Him about the same things. He gets it and forgives.
    Our unconscious mind is the same. Sarno says it understands one of our re's when we identify it to ourselves and our unconscious.
    Then it lets up on the pain. It may move the pain somewhere else because it want us to find another re, or it wants us to be certain
    to ourselves about an re. The Keys to Healing link is excellent.
  6. Jada

    Jada New Member

    Thanks Walt, I guess I need to spend more time in forgiveness. I thought I was doing that but maybe not. That's a really good point to visualize that if a re keeps surfacing then I'm not letting it go somehow.

    To Steve -- just bought your book on Amazon. It sounds like a great book and I'm looking forward to reading it. Ever come to Houston or nearby for a conference?

    Thanks -- Jada
  7. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    I've never been to Texas, but who knows where the TMS lectures will take me.

    I never had spinal fusion. You will read in my book that I was weeks away from it, but luckily found the good doctor and got directed toward the truer path. I know people heal even though they have had fusion, not only from the TMS docs that worked with me, but from people who have contacted me with fusions.

    The body heals. It's simple. If it does not heal, something is driving the error.

    Good luck Jada.
    Click#7 likes this.
  8. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Hi Click,
    I too feel this sense of isolation, a leper of sorts. It's absolutely horrible living in the singular world of pain and no one really knows what it's TRULY like, unless they have experienced it first hand for themselves.
    I have made similar comments to my boyfriend/housemate who merely has minor "niggles" of low back pain, episodes which invariably clear up. He has lost none of his fully active lifestyle and never even need an Advil for pain. I love him dearly, but find myself jealous of his physical ( and anxiety free) freedom. I've lost SO MUCH LIFE to back pain. It's insane to believe it can control so much and inhibit so much.. But it does. It's TRAGIC.
    So, I want you to know I will be a leper right along with you... And unfortunately a victim of western medicine beliefs... It causes me to CONSTANTLY waver between the structural and psychogenic diagnosis.. I just can't believe aging and a few bulged discs can cause so much agony. I, too had back surgery at 28..I am now 51. I had an L4/5 laminectomy discectomy.. It was successful... Period! No back pain, other than an occasional ache or strain for 22 years! I worked in childcare (very physically demanding), power shopped, cleaned, cooked, vacationed... Limitless... Until BAM! A right hamstring strain and some of the worst events in my life that could ever happen ALL AT THE SAME TIME! Lost a dear friend/brother.. We lived together for 20 yrs, and he just walked out one morning for work amd never returned.. He was my ONLY family. Then developed plantar fasciitis and it REFUSED to heal... 9 months of PT, living alone in a cam walker, couldn't care for myself, lost my job, no income and became homeless... All the while seeing primary care dr, PT, Orthopedic specialist, spine specialist... MRIs, xrays, lab work, cortisone, pills, pills, and more pills... And then my back went... On top of the hamstring, foot and homelessness..
    Here it is a yr of back pain... Dr says MRI shows "normal wear and tear". I have "borderline stenosis" at l3/4...TERRIFIED I will need more surgery...
    So, here I am. Clinging to the TMS theory. I pray it's real.. And some great people to ask are MINDBODYPT.. and BASEBALL65... Baseball has/was born with his spine fused at (I believe) L4/5 or L5/S1...he has stenosis. He went through hell with mainstream medicine and ultimately recovered utilizing the TMS strategies...
    I'm so sorry for the rambling... Im really struggling with leg pain today, my apologies. I really truly understand just how you feel. I'm here if you'd like to chat. Sending you a hug, Nancy
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
    Click#7 likes this.
  9. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    Nobody understands this. I believe I had TMS twice in my life and no doctor could figure out what was wrong and yes I healed at the age of 33 then again at 43. It last the first time a year with feet pain and muscle twitching. At 43 it was right hip pain and again feet pain. It last 18 months then went away (again all was normal on diagnostics). The at age 60 ? right hip pain and into the feet and after some PT it went into the left hip. The MRI was severe stenosis, a bunch of herniated discs and a synovial cyst. Didn't really understand TMS so I went the minimally invasive surgical route and it made it worse. Finally 4 spine surgeons all gave me the same diagnosis after 2 years. I went again with a minimally invasive spinal fusion. I think after finding out about TMS I am getting a little better. I can sit longer and go places. But still need some pain meds to make my life somewhat normal. TMS is the only thing that makes sense. What bothers me is the SILENCE from the people on this forum that almost treat the surgery folks like outcasts.....no comments much.
  10. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Hey, I completely understand how you feel. I'm a post surgery case too... Like damaged goods. I suppose it may be intimidating to people on the forum with no surgical history.. Which is why I suggested MindbodyPT or Baseball65 as good sources for reassuring info. Baseball's back is fused from birth and he had severe pain which he conquered using the TMS methods... And Mindbody pt works im a traditional medical setting and had a herniated disc with sciatica and was able to heal also..
    I completely understand your frustration. I feel just the same... But frankly, I refuse to undergo any more surgery.. And I've done extensive reading on Stenosis... My MRI shows borderline stenosis.. So it's very scary to me. However, often stenosis doesn't progress and doesn't always cause pain.. According to Dr. Hanscom (he has a blog on this forum)... Nerve compression must PERFECTLY match symptoms in the legs and feet.. And mine are inconsistent.. They move around, which makes me suspicious. Also, my pain increased dramatically when I received my MRI results and it scared the living /) +&, out of me!!
    I'm 51, btw... And I worry my age may be a factor...
    Don't give up hope... Please. There ARE people on here who care and will help you in any way they can... Myself included. :)
  11. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    I also have hip pain on and off... Mostly hamstring area.. MRI shows tendon issue and minimal arthrosis.. Which specialist said is to be expected at my age.. Thw tendon thing he said would clear up with time, and here it is, three yrs and I still have pain, and I also have foot pain... All the same issues as you.. :(
  12. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

  13. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

  14. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    I was a post surgical patient who has 2 surgeries at the area of L-4/L-5. It ended up as a lumbar fusion to that area with hardware (screws, plates and a spacer). The pain I went thru for almost 4.5 years post -op not to mention the year and 1/2 prior to surgery was unbelievable. I was a 55 on a 0-10 pain scale. The nerve pain was excruciating and I knew I couldn't live this way. I came to this forum hoping that "someone" who went thru what I experienced could give me some hope. I never found much from people who had back surgery and figured I was a lost cause. Just look up and see if you can find anyone who is pain free or at least close to be pain-free after a fusion ? Not much out there. So I began my journey and decided the most important thing to do was to believe in my heart Sarno's teachings & get off pain meds. I did that very slowly and also doing the work (the real work) outlined by Dr. Sarno. I read everything about TMS. I read all Sarno's books, Steve O's, and searched the internet and bought Nicole's program. I actually spoke with Steve O over the phone and listened to his advice. I had a counselor for about one year at 150.00 bucks a pop for which I got very little... only someone listening from far away. All I can say.....is yes the knowledge helped from the people who proclaim TMS as the cause, but you need to do it by yourself and "believe" even when things get ugly. I received some encouragement from people on the FB sites & podcasts and I finally punched thru that dark space to the other side which is "light" ! Today I can say I am 95 % pain free. My life is normal again and I appreciate everything that was provided to me to find my way out of this nightmare. It can be done even AFTER having a spinal fusion ! I hope this helps anyone who made the same mistakes I made.....
    Hopeful22, Skylyon, Lizzy and 3 others like this.
  15. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow what fantastic testimony! Thanks so much for sharing!!

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