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Not being afraid of muscle spasms

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Freedom, Sep 10, 2018.

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  1. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    I've been having some bad muscle spasms coming back again recently. I'm ok with the other pains and a little more confident about not worrying about them, but with the spasms, you can feel them when you move, and if you started doing sharp movements or lifting weights while you are in the middle of a spasm, it will make it worse, so how do you get rid of the fear of it so you can get rid of the spasm itself? Seems like a catch 22.

    If I had no responsibilities it would be easier to say "dont worry about it" because then I don't have to worry if it gets worse how it will negatively impact the rest of my life (e.g. not being able to perform job, then subsequently losing the job)

    How do you get out of the cycle??
     
  2. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Well known member

    I know only too well what this feels like! :( I was diagnosed with 'fibromyalgia syndrome' and - along with the muscle pain and stiffness it gives me - over the many years that I've had it I've also suffered numerous muscle spasms, which ranging from minor to very major. The major ones have made me bedridden for months on end. This has been because the muscles around my lower back and right sacro-iliac area are prone to spasming, and when they do spasm they have wrenched and torqued my pelvis out of line and then the muscles have 'splinted' and set like concrete, causing me excruciating pain and making me unable to weight-bear or walk. I was therefore very frightened to push through the pain 'the TMS way'...

    However, I've been doing TMS work for about the last 8 months and - although I'm still in pain and not healed - so far, I haven't had a major spasm. I started gently by doing mind/body things like meditation, qigong, Feldenkrais (and, more recently yoga nidra) to calm the brain and the nervous system down. And, along with those, I do deep breathing regularly throughout the day; I also journal and I consistently 'challenge' the pain by going about my day doing all the things that I need to do, but pacing myself in doing them and resting when I need to. My aim is to increase the amount I do very gradually rather than going 'hell bent for leather' at it. I don't know whether it will work to heal me - and it if it does I guess it will be a much slower process than if I did push hard through the pain - but I don't see why I shouldn't get there in the end...

    I was reading an old post in another thread by fellow forum member @Andy B who advised the following about exercise/pushing through the pain: "...I would say that some people push through, and others add activity when there is less pain. Both systems seem to work, based on my observing stories here for a long time." To me this observation of others' success stories is heartening and encouraging.

    The other thing I'm doing to minimise the risk of muscle spasm is visualizing myself doing activities instead of doing them. Research has shown that this seems to be almost as good as actually doing the movements/exercising. This is just a short article about it https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2887151/Scientists-discover-just-IMAGINING-exercising-make-stronger-tone-muscles-delay-stop-muscle-atrophy.html (Scientists discover just IMAGINING exercising can make you stronger | Daily Mail Online) but there are others more detailed if you Google it.

    The other thing that's helped me realize that I should be able to heal with a less aggressive approach is that Dr Sarno said that TMS pain is caused by the brain causing mild oxygen deprivation to the muscles and tissues - and I surmise that this mild 'hypoxia' could be causing my muscle spasms too. This book by Dr James Alexander called The Hidden Psychology of Pain: The Use of Understanding to Heal Chronic Pain https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hidden-Psy...1536668043&sr=8-1&keywords=dr+james+alexander convinced me that mild hypoxia (aka ischemia) is responsible for my muscle pain as he provides some research evidence to back up the theory. From Dr Alexander's website I downloaded this mp3 called 'Guided imagery for Chronic Pain' and listen to it every other day https://www.drjamesalexander-psychologist.com/apps/webstore/products/show/3402664...As it says on his website, the imagery session "takes you through a journey which helps you to use images from nature to assist your mind/brain to restore the much needed blood and oxygen supply to your pained body areas. Research shows that the functioning of the autonomic nervous system can be influenced by suggestion - in this case, suggestions which are focused on restoring the required balance of oxygen reaching your body areas, which could be suffering from ischemia". If nothing else, I find it's relaxing and meditative! :)

    Overall, I think the main and most important thing is to believe that your symptoms are mind/body related (as long as you have been checked out medically first).

    I hope something I've said might be of help to you. Sending you best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    Gigalos, Lizzy, westb and 1 other person like this.

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