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Not all pinched nerves cause pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by stradivarius, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. stradivarius

    stradivarius Peer Supporter

  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    @stradivarius, THANK YOU for this link!

    I have often brought up the example of phantom limb pain to convince people that there does not need to be any actual physical damage for the brain to create pain. This article, especially this paragraph, explains this perfectly:

    In a landmark book, Explain Pain, David Butler and Lorimer Moseley take a reader through examples like phantom limb pain to point out that physical damage to a nerve is not always necessary to cause pain. Even when a limb is gone, pain and sensation in the “phantom” limb is still felt. If pain is felt even in the absence of a peripheral nerve or limb for that matter, the central nervous system must be involved in the pain experience. They compare the nervous system to a sophisticated alarm system that has sensory “reporters” sending “danger messages” to the brain. In this sensitization process, they explain that nerves “backfire” and the alarm system becomes altered enough to “smudge” the signals. If one adds in a “thought virus” or two, the entire nervous system can become one angry alarm that will not shut off. Imagine a car alarm that will not shut off. Annoying and relentless, that is what nerve pain can be like; no pinching, squishing or crushing required.

    In that last sentence, you could also add "oxygen deprivation" to the list of things "not required" in order to create pain. I've been known to point out that oxygen deprivation was just a theory of Dr. Sarno's - the problem with it being that it doesn't explain a lot of chronic conditions that he himself later came to believe were TMS equivalents. I don't think he ever claimed that oxygen deprivation was anything other than a theory. He didn't take the time to prove it, because he didn't need to: even as a theory, it was a very useful and effective tool that has helped many people visualize a path and a reason for their pain. If they can do that, they can also visualize the pain being eased by a positive flow of oxygen, and reduce their pain. Visualization, after all, is a well-known and powerful tool.

    I was struck by a couple more sentences in the article:
    It is not only tendonopathies that are misdiagnosed but other common pain states (diagnoses) are likely to include changes in peripheral and or central nervous systems , for example plantar fasciitis (plantar nerves) and tennis elbow(radial nerve).”
    Our view is that much chronic pain can be prevented with appropriate management in the acute stage. This has to include threat reducing education and control of nocioception.” (me: which, if I'm interpreting the definition correctly, is the individual's subjective perception of pain).
    Great find, thank you again!


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  3. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Butler & Moseley's Explain Pain book was published in 2003. Christina Lasich's article about them is dated February 16, 2010. It is sad that in 2018, the work of Butler & Moseley still goes largely unnoticed by the medical profession. Butler & Moseley now have published a second edition of Explain Pain. It is pricey at $90, but I think it is a "must read" for anyone who wants to understand TMS and its equivalents.

    Butler & Moseley make a compelling case that the brain causes ALL pain, whether it involves a structural abnormality or what Dr. Sarno called TMS. Their catchy and memorable (because of its absurdity) way to put the idea is: no brain, no pain. (Dr. Schubiner's catchy and less absurd, though I think a bit less accurate, version is: the reign of pain lies mainly in the brain.) A key corollary of Butler & Moseley's "no brain, no pain" is that you will have pain whenever your brain (all parts of it, conscious and unconscious) concludes there is more credible evidence that you are in danger than there is credible evidence that you are safe. When they speak of credible evidence of danger or safety, they are referring not just to biological factors but to psychological factors and social factors as well. Their "thought virus" concept is an interesting aspect of psychological factors. A thought virus is a harmful metaphor or simile such as "my pain is a killer," "I have stabbing pain," or "my knee is like a rusty hinge." Thought viruses can tip the danger/safety balance to the danger side.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Seems to explain too why TMS selects those symptoms that are most likely to make us fearful.
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