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obsessed with structural diagnosis

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by avalon22, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. avalon22

    avalon22 Newcomer

    I've been seeing Dr. Schechter for my low back and sciatica and got an MRI. I have a 12mm protrusion in L5-S1.

    Dr. Schechter says the pain is structural or that it's a "mixed diagnosis" like half structural half TMS.

    Either way I don't know how to treat it as TMS if there is some part that's structural. The structural part drives me crazy. I think about the protrusion all day. I'm in a ton of fear. I feel pain where I think the protrusion is. I think about the size being 12mm. I can't relax about it at all! Nor can I accept it. I feel disabled and depressed that I can't be the mom and person I want to be because of the pain.

    I'm just so scared and depressed right now.
  2. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    There is plenty of evidence that the structural abnormalities of the spine don't cause pain. Do some research into that, rather than the conventional theories. There really isn't anything to back up what Dr. Schechter is telling you. I guess I'm saying, make him prove it. Best regards, Lizzy
  3. Roxygirl577

    Roxygirl577 Peer Supporter

    I don't know a whole lot about back pain. My TMS has struck just about every other part of my body. But, what's interesting is, the only actual structural diagnoses I have is in my TMJ. Around 20 years ago my jaw suffered from ankylosis, it eventually completely fused together. That was a process of ten years until they took all that bone out and I got an artificial joint put in. The funny thing is, I never experienced an ounce of pain at any time in my jaw. The doctors were stunned that something like this was happening and I had no pain. I still wonder to this day why I never had any pain, and the theory I came up with, was that, my jaw was something I knew I couldn't do anything about, I knew that one day it would fuse shut and I would need surgery, so I just let it go and didn't care about it. Most people who went through what I did had tremendous pain until they were able to have surgery. In fact, right now as we speak, my artificial joint is failing and I need a new one. Still no pain, it locks up on me constantly and I just work on it until it unlocks. But no pain. I still just don't care much about it, i'll get a the surgery eventually.

    What I'm trying to get at is this...yes...so many end up with structural abnormalities, some worse than others...mine is BAD in the medical world. But I believe the majority of the pain does not come from the site, but from our fear and stress and worry we have about it. I know it's easier said than done, but sometimes you just have to say...yup this thing is wrong in my body...oh well..I might as well try to accept it....
    Lizzy likes this.
  4. HopefulHere

    HopefulHere New Member

    Hi Avalon. These structural things that they see on MRIs of the back are so disconnected from any pain.

    I had back pain on and off that started as a young teenager. Went to chiropractors, that looking back were probably just placebos. Then at 19, I got in a relatively minor car accident in a parking lot, and got an MRI. Crazy thing was, right after the accident, and for a few months afterwards, I wasn't in any pain. But the MRI showed bulging discs at L5-S1 and L4-L3, (pretty sure they were bigger than 12 mm) and even a ruputured disc at L5-L4. Then months later the pain in my back came back, but even worse, because my brain had all that fuel from the MRI to run with, in the truest TMS fashion. It lasted years because I couldn't imagine it not being physical. I even had doctors want to do surgery on me.

    Years later I found Dr. Sarno's books and the truly debilitating pain (couldn't sit anywhere or really walk even) was gone in a couple months. I still have those disc protrusions and now at 33, I sit in a computer chair for 8 hours a day with no pain whatsoever. And I play tennis and even golf, no worse for wear and with not a drop of pain.

    Doctors' opinions carry so much weight for us. I completely understand how difficult it is to hear them say something and not believe it. But in this case, it just isn't the truth. In my opinion, back pain is the easiest of all TMS symptoms to be able to ignore because there is absolutely no correlation between the MRI findings and the pain. The protrusion cannot hurt you. It will not do you any harm. There are tons of people walking around with something exactly like you have and are completely free of pain and have no clue it's even there.
    Free of Fear, MindBodyPT and Lizzy like this.
  5. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Avalon22, I agree with what everyone has been telling you in this post and the other one you made that's similar. I would encourage you to prove Dr Schechter wrong! I've not seen a TMS doctor as they don't have them in Canada, but when my doctor gave me a very grave diagnosis from my x-ray and MRI I set out to get better and prove her wrong and I did. I even had another MRI 2 1/2 years later that showed significant improvement in some areas!

    Question for you Avalon22, what has Dr Schechter told you to do to get better/ get over your pain? Did he give you the diagnosis then send you away or did he outline a tms typical healing plan with physio therapy for example? You did mention in your other post that he says he's a TMS doctor.
    Lizzy likes this.
  6. Mtngal

    Mtngal Well known member

    Hi Avalon. I’ve never seen Dr. Schecter but it seems almost EVERYONE who goes to see him comes back with this same “mixed bag” of having both structural causes and TMS. While I’m not criticizing Dr. S. , it seems to me that not only does this diagnosis confuse the heck out of everyone, they are left with the dilemma of not knowing exactly what to do with it. It’s like being pregnant: you either are or are not. Either it IS TMS or its NOT. Either it IS a structural cause or it’s not.
    I myself struggle with the doubt factor since I recently had the diagnosis of spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis. My symptoms now pretty much match those diagnoses, but funny I didn’t have them BEFORE the MRI, which I got because of thoracic pain after a fall on the ice. Two months later I now have the stenosis symptoms. So that’s in favor of TMS. I’m trying to write down what does and doesn’t make sense as far as the structural diagnosis. I’m trying to commit to believing 100% in TMS - but I get it. It’s very hard when the MRI results are staring you in the face, even though there is not much correlation between imaging studies and pain. Good luck, we’re all in this together.
    Lizzy likes this.
  7. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Lizzy and BloodMoon like this.
  8. Mtngal

    Mtngal Well known member

    Thanks Eileen. I have listened to both those podcasts. I’m not sure though if Nicole had spinal stenosis too. That seems to me pretty structural. I mean if I didn’t have the classics symptoms that go with that I would totally think it was TMS. Before when I healed I didn’t really ever have a definitive diagnosis.
    So easier to believe it was TMS.
    Thanks for your reply.
  9. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Spinal stenosis is one that Sarno says rarely causes pain so I didn't realize that was the diagnosis giving you problems. He said in extreme cases the spinal canal should be widened because of nerve impingement, but has rarely seen that is the case. From Healing Back Pain. If you didn't have them before the MRI, then it's is definitely TMS.
    Lizzy likes this.
  10. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Steve Ozanich had this to say in another thread:

    "Stenosis doesn't cause pain in fact evidence leads to the opposite understanding. In BPPH I mentioned Pekka Kuittinen's 2014 study on stenosis that revealed that people with more severe stenosis walked better and had less pain than those with moderate stenosis."

    Apparently this physical finding is the body protecting itself from pain. So any pain would be TMS. So you can be hopefull and aren't helpless to overcome this.
    EileenS and BloodMoon like this.
  11. Mtngal

    Mtngal Well known member

    Thanks Eileen and Lizzy. That’s amazing about that one study. Appreciate the info and encouragement.
    EileenS and Lizzy like this.

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