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Pain disappearing before PT appointment

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Jason32, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. Jason32

    Jason32 Peer Supporter

    This has happened to me twice now with pelvic pain. The first time was last spring- after finally making an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist, my pain disappeared. I still had to go though with the evaluation since it was too late to cancel. My pain eventually came back months later. It has been as bad as ever for months now, so I finally broke down and made another appointment with a PT. And now, the day before the appointment, my pain is almost entirely gone again.

    Can someone explain this? Anyone else ever experienced it? Looking back this has happened to me quite a bit for previous problems. No amount of relaxation, journaling, focusing on emotions, mindfulness, etc. etc. ever works. I'm actually under more stress than usual (worrying about the appointment itself), so it can't be something simple as relaxation. The idea of subconscious distraction doesn't work either- the pain should be continuing if I'm so focused on it, right? It can't be a placebo since I haven't done any treatment yet. Does my brain feel "safe" now that I'm seeking treatment and shuts off the danger signal? That's about all I can come up with.
  2. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, I recognize this all too well.
    Visiting my GP with pelvic pain, almost entirely gone once I entered the office and coming back a few days after.
    Visiting my FT with dizziness and instability problems, almost entirely gone once I entered the office and coming back a few days later.
    There are also examples where symptoms died down only marginally, visiting a neurologist to have my spine MRI'ed. But looking back, I somehow managed to walk from my car to his office and back, which in that period seemed like a marathon in distance to what I normally could manage.
    I feel it has something to do with the fact that the brain likes it that you are going to do something that is a strong distraction from the brewing emotions in itself and that you are going to a safe place where people will acknowledge your problems and help you on a physical level.
    On a side note, I also recognize this the other way around. Flaring symptoms when you have to go somewhere like a social gathering. Once you're there it all dissappears. My brain tries to stop me from going, once it recognizes it has failed the symptoms die down.
    Anyways, don't beat yourself up for this 'behaviour'. I bet all GP's see this at least once a day, patients coming in who state that the problem they came for miraculously dissappeared. :)
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Gigalos and Jason. I say that whatever it takes to feel better is great. TMS and the SEProgram can be combined with other techniques for healing. Maybe try to put as much confidence in TMS as you have in a PT or GP appointment.
    Jason32 likes this.
  4. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Sounds like my computer. It has this thing that it's been doing consistently and then stops it once the computer tech arrives to look at it and charges 80 bucks an hour thank you very much only to find that it won't do it for him, then the minute he's out the door, it's acting up again....

    seriously though, I've experienced this several times, too. I hit on the conclusion that you are considering: the brain is satisfied and feels safe now that you are doing something about it. Here's one thing I found to be true of me , perhaps a question for yourself? I found that just going to the medico or whomever was a relief in that a part of me felt cared for. It's a subtle difference from brain distracting you. It may be deep down you don't feel safe in the world or cared for, and when you go, suddenly you do?
    Shells, JanAtheCPA, mike2014 and 2 others like this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great explanation from Gigalos! (and BTW it's good to see you here again :cool:)

    It really is all about distraction, Jason, and I'll tell you how I became convinced of this.

    I recognized after discovering Dr. Sarno five years ago (fall 2011) that I'd had TMS symptoms off and on my entire life, from childhood. It wasn't until sometime in late 2010 that I started having multiple symptoms that I seriously feared were going to make me housebound. My symptoms included dizziness, neuro symptoms, digestive issues, anxiety, depression and, of course, different types of pain. My friends assumed that I was reacting to the breakup of my 23-year marriage in 2009, but I had a really hard time accepting that, because I knew that I was happy being free and single again.

    It took me a while, once I was doing this work, to realize that it is All About Distraction.

    This is what I realized: my marriage wasn't hideously dysfunctional, but I was unhappy enough that it was a distraction. I had plenty of TMS symptoms all that time (and all my life), but I thought they were due to age, and they were very manageable, using those popular distraction placebos: chiro and PT and yoga and exercise and dietary restrictions. After the marital separation in 2009, I moved to a temporary place and enjoyed my freedom, which was a really great distraction. A year later, I found a wonderful condo and renovated it, which was another great distraction. But - by the end of 2010, there were no more outside distractions because my life was, amazingly, where I wanted it to be! Which, ironically, is when my symptoms starting piling up! I was in real crisis by the summer of 2011. It made no sense!!!!

    Discovering Dr. Sarno that September saved my life. I was age 60 that year, and I learned that the biggest triggering emotion that my brain had been repressing for a number of years was fear of getting older, of becoming disabled, and of course fear of my own mortality. Facing those fears head-on, acknowledging them, and accepting them as totally normal, meant that my brain had to give up distracting me with symptoms - because I was acknowledging the dangerous negative emotions consciously, and I was able to survive acknowledging them.

    This is the key to recovery. I also learned how negative emotions are triggered every day during normal human interactions and life stresses, and how to be more mindful of those things and to handle them before they become some kind of intractable chronic symptom.

    Remember: this distraction mechanism was designed to keep our primitive ancestors alive in a very dangerous world, where we couldn't afford to be distracted by negative emotions. A little bit of pain keeps you on your toes, and alert for danger.

    I know that Dr. Sarno got it right, when he said that it is (everyone repeat after me...) ALL ABOUT DISTRACTION!
    mike2014, Jason32 and Gigalos like this.
  6. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Shells likes this.
  7. Jason32

    Jason32 Peer Supporter

    All good responses, you've all given me some things to think about.
  8. Jason32

    Jason32 Peer Supporter

    Well I guess the good thing is the PT told me that there's no chance I have Pudendal Nerve Entrapment or else I wouldn't have been able to sit there (much less drive). Instead she thinks its tense muscles irritating the nerve. But I got told the same scary stuff just like the last PT I went to - my sacrum and coccyx are misaligned, all my muscles are extremely tense (she claimed my legs are the most tense she's seen of anyone in the last six months). Didn't even do an internal exam because supposedly the issues I have now could easily cause pudendal nerve problems and need to be fixed first. I don't know what to think, honestly. I've never been able to bend my legs they way they were trying to- then I get told I was probably always tense but the fall I had two years ago was the straw that broke the camel's back. Did some exercise to try and mobilize my sacrum and coccyx to move better which just left me with the same pelvic pain plus a backache now. :(

    Next appt is in 3 weeks due to holidays and all that, so I guess I have time to figure out what to do. I always think I'm gonna get answers but usually wind up being even more confused.
  9. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    So on the one hand you see strong signs that it is TMS and on the other you are told there is a structural misalignment. I can tell from experience that TMS can misalign joints because of (unbalanced) muscle tension. That you are now left with a backache after exercising could be because you do it in a tensed up way. I know some people like to fight through TMS discomforts, but if you are a person who only tenses up even more, I don't see the benefit so take it easy when you try to mobilize it. I know, it must be confusing and sadly I am not a PT or doctor that can give you a conclusive answer to what is really going on. I can only tell you that I suspect it to be TMS: The pain decreases significantly after making appointments. You have muscle tension in parts of your body (legs) that in my mind can't be explained by a misaligned coccyx. You're coccyx is misaligned for no apparent reason other than that muscles pull it out of alignment.
    I once read an article about the high number of Finnish men who suffer from pelvic floor problems. If you know Fins, you can't deny that they tend to be extremely introvert people, so I was not surprised to read that.
    Hang in there!
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  10. Jason32

    Jason32 Peer Supporter

    The funny part is, an orthopedic surgeon examined me two years ago and concluded my sacrum and coccyx were normal, that I was probably always like that and it didn't explain my pain. Then the PT's disagree. I kinda went into detail on this in my previous thread, but I've been told so many different stories- I have no idea. I mean Doctors couldn't even agree on my X-ray findings. My MRI came back normal, yet now I'm told I'm misaligned. Sometimes I just wanna forget about it all and just play with my kids. I'm not sure I like the idea of playing around with this alignment stuff if I've always been this way- I worry about being made worse!

    I went for them to check my pelvic floor muscles (which they didn't do) so the appointment was a waste really. I hardly ever have leg pain. Occasionally I get burning feet or down the back of the leg but its not too bad. I don't even get tailbone pain really. 90% of my problems are some form of rectal pain.

    This is why I hate it when people on here say "rule out anything structural". That's impossible at this point.
  11. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    And that's where you approach the fork in the road where you have to make a decision yourself about which road to follow. Do you apply the TMS theory or do you treat it as something structural? You can't be 100% sure about who is right, so it is up to you, what does your gut tell you...

    Rule out anything structural needs to be said, because it would be wrong to state that something should definetely be treated as TMS. There is always a risk that it is wrong to do so. But in the end it is up to you yourself to make the choice.
  12. Alfaman147

    Alfaman147 Well known member

    Jason if you had anything like misalignment or nerve issues your pain would be constant. A tailbone doesn't just align itself or misaligned itself sometimes. I hear you and am there myself. I was doing really well and am struggling a bit. But the best thing is to get off this forum. I see you are putting so much pressure on youself and that is not helping. I too was due to see a pt but my pain was so much better I cancelled. You are over analysing things way too much. Take my advise and stop searching for answers because you know the answer deep down. Muscle tension caused by stress. I seem to be holding a kegal constantly and can feel inside my anus the muscle that hurts. I can feel myself tensing it all day. Try do8ng some squat stretches and rolling on a tennis ball
  13. Alfaman147

    Alfaman147 Well known member

    Plus how can a physio say you are misaligned ????? have they seen an x-ray ???? no!!!!! they will say anything to get some work out of you. Its muscle tension my friend. Do you have an ache in the anus???? that is where my stress spot appears to be.
  14. Jason32

    Jason32 Peer Supporter

    I just tell myself that the spine surgeon looking at an X-ray and doing a physical exam, and a gastroenterologist viewing an MRI and both concluding nothing was wrong should carry more weight than a PT who says she can "feel" a misalignment when I bend over.

    Funny thing is now my pain has mostly moved to the sit bones, sacrum, back of thighs and down my leg when I sit now. The rectal symptoms are mostly gone. I've had symptoms move around like this a lot but always convinced myself its still related to a trapped nerve in the pelvic area (like a domino effect).

    Before all this started I was diagnosed with OCD and its interesting how similar this is to when I overcome that problem. You can't reason with OCD or convince yourself through logic, that's a trap that just reinforces intrusive thoughts. You just have to accept it knowing you can't be 100% certain. So I agree, I think its best to stay off the forums until I'm healed.
    readytoheal likes this.
  15. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Happened twice for me, when I would find a PT I had faith in the pain would move to a different part of my body. You have hope you will be healed so your mind creates a different problem.

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