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Night pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Jude, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Jude

    Jude Peer Supporter

    I first discovered Dr Sarno in 2006, when I spent 2 minutes reading a 1-pg blurb about his method and received an immediate and lasting cure from 10+ years of RSI. Wow! Since then, I've had several bouts with other problems--one that mimicked appendix pain and another of chest pain. I was able to move past those with the understanding they weren't physically caused and by getting in touch with the underlying emotions (which I didn't have to do in 2006 because that happened so fast). I 've been grateful to be symptom free for the last 4-5 years.

    Fast forward to now. I developed a back of head/neck issue earlier this year. It started when I'd wake up with pain at the back of my head, under my left ear. It then moves around, and it comes and goes, both at night and during the day. But it's worst at night, lying down. The doctor/PT think it is tight muscles/out-of-place vertebra, but I'm pretty convinced it's TMS. When I tell my subconscious not to deprive the area of oxygen, the symptoms fade (even if not permanently). And I know the emotions I'm dealing with. I also know if this was a true "injury," I wouldn't have my normal range of motion and flexibility; I wouldn't feel fine doing strenuous upper-body work (like power-washing the patio for several hours yesterday). I decided to do the recommended physical therapy simply because I know my posture could use improvement.

    But here's the thing that has me spooked. I will go to sleep with no pain and wake up with that pain at the back of my head, under my left ear. I might wake up 2 or 3 times-- and there's no knowing which of those times the pain will be there and which not. Then I have to wake myself up enough to get the pain to migrate and to "talk it down." You might be thinking, Well, that's TMS, what's so unexpected? And I know that's true. Yet somehow I'm letting the nighttime aspect get to me--perhaps because I've never had pain that started at night. Or perhaps the night makes me subtly doubt whether it could be physical. In any case, I thought I'd throw this out and see if anyone has insights about dealing with night pain...
  2. Tomi

    Tomi Peer Supporter

    Hello Jude, I just wanted to say that you are not alone in having night pain and I know how unsettling it is. I have had night back pain for over a year now and for a long time I was so exhausted for lack of sleep which increased my anxiety and led to bouts of depression, but since I started a TMS based programme (the SIRPA recovery programme in the UK) I have improved a lot. I am using journaling, visualisation, meditation and lots of reading on the subject. Whereas previously I could not sleep for more than 4-5 hours at night, now I can sleep 6-7 hours most nights and occasionally 8 hours without pain. I am still working on it, but I feel that I'm finally getting there. I know that I definitely have TMS, based on many factors, despite the fact that I have physical problems with my spine. I don't know if this is helpful, but wanted to reach out to express my sympathy and encouragement to persevere.
  3. Jude

    Jude Peer Supporter

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, Tomi! Actually what I found especially interesting in your reply is that you mentioned having both TMS and physical issues. And in my case, that is what I have concluded since I wrote the above post. In my previous TMS episodes with other types of pain, there was no physical element. This time (in desperation?) I decided to try physical therapy, and voila, it has helped. Whereas before I was sleeping as little as 2 hours, now I am sleeping 7 without pain!! I'm not pain free yet, but the symptoms have moved toward daytime and I'm pleased overall with the progress. At the same time, I know there is a TMS element. So my new threshold for learning is how to deal when there is an interaction between TMS and physical causes. So thank you again for the sympathy and encouragement!
  4. Tomi

    Tomi Peer Supporter

    Congratulations Judi. I'm glad to hear that you have made good progress. When I said physical issues, I meant that I have a herniated disc and a bulging disc, but I am pretty sure that my pain is not related to them. However, I have read that some practitioners feel that there is a spectrum of TMS - so some people have a combination of physical problems and TMS at varying proportions and both need to be addressed, while others may just have TMS. I find it difficult to know exactly where I stand, but I suspect mine is just TMS. But anyway your strategy is obviously working and I hope you get 100% better soon!
    Jude likes this.

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