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Pain Upon Waking

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Huckleberry, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    I have noticed recently that my pain is quite intense and troublesome upon waking...this seems to be a new development. My pain never causes me to have trouble going to sleep and it has never actually woken me from sleep its just as soon as I literally open my eyes in the morning the pain is blatting away in my lower back, hip and leg.

    This development has confused me a bit as because I was given the structural diagnosis of SI joint dysfunction, twisted pelvis etc I would have imagined that this area would actually be more stable whilst I slept and that the pain would actually be worse when the area is under movement stress. Thinking on this point further it does actually appear that my pain does actually dull down or recede to a point if I run exercise...it can be sore afterwards though.

    I'm just wondering (read overanalysing/intellectualising) this really. I don't know how this fits with a TMS explanation really as on one level I thought that the mind would be relaxed and rested whilst sleeping and therefore the symptoms would be less in the morning BUT then again I suppose that we dream whilst we sleep and this dreaming process is very much an unconcious process, much the same as TMS lol.

    So, anybody else have this pain upon waking issue and anybody able to offer some insight as to how it may make me more able to accept my pain and symptoms (lower back, hip and leg pain) as TMS rather than structural as this is my major stumbling block at the moment.

    Oh yes, just to tack something on here. Since my pain started as a niggly lower back pain about 3 years back I've always had a sensation when coughing in my lower back...not really a pain but a brief sensation of pressure etc. I've always struggled with this as I've always equated this as an indication of a structural thing but my TMS therapist just thinks its a muscle thing...it just doesn't feel like that. Anybody else have this sensation/pressure feeling when coughing? Like is say its hard to explain the feeling it's just like a brief spasm/mild pressure thing not very painful but it always brings my mind back to my back.
    Lavender likes this.
  2. James59

    James59 Well known member

    Yeah, you'd think sleeping would relax things. But that's not always the case. In my case, I tend to feel best late at night before bed. More often than not I wake up stiff and sore and generally horrible all over. Oddly, though, if I wake up after 2-4 hours of sleep for a "pit stop" I feel very relaxed and calm. But after about 5 hours or so of sleep I get stiffer and stiffer the longer I'm in bed.

    In Dr. Sarno's books he notes that some people with TMS feel best in the morning, while others feel best at night. There's no "right" way to feel bad, I guess. :confused:
  3. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Huckleberry, I'm confused. First you say this:

    and then you say this:

    If the pain doesn't make sense structurally, wouldn't that cause you go increase your belief in TMS, not decrease it?

    fwiw, lots of people have more pain in the morning and find it recede throughout the day. Hopefully one of those folks will chime in here.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  4. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Yep, I can see how the waking pain 'could' in theory point to a TMS theory rather than a structural explanation but coulds just don't seem enough. This structural/TMS issue is my (and I'm sure many others) nemesis at the moment.

    I did read my post over again in light of your comments and what is immediately apparent is that even though I highlighted it as being more likely to indicate a TMS causality for my pain I am still analysing this and wanting further confirmation from others. Once again a further example of looking for the magic cure outside rather than looking inside and taking the required leap of faith.
  5. AngK

    AngK Peer Supporter

    Hi, Huckleberry.

    My pain is at its worst when I wake up & late night before going to bed. During the day while I'm busy it tends to subside. I associate it with any time my conscience is turned off. Even during the day - like a recent trip I took where I was running on only 3 hours sleep - it seems to be worse. I have also woken up in the middle of the night and noticed my fists clenched. I have a rotated sacrum & spine and my hips are usually misaligned and an MRI showed significant tendonopathy of the the gluteus medius & minimus, as well as a host of all the "normal abnormalities" that MRIs show on middle aged people. The cause of my pain though were trigger points - knots in muscles. The ones in my quatratus lumborim (misspelled - sorry) - which is in the lower back - they attach from your bottom rib to pelvis - are particularly nasty & cause pain in my back & hip upon waking & when coughing.

    I personally think trigger points are the cause of most chronic pain that people have. I've helped 1 family member & 1 friend with chronic back/neck pain & even numbness discover that their pain is from trigger points, not from their discs/nerves. They have had a great deal of pain relief from trigger point therapy. However, they unfortunately believe that TMS is a bunch of bologna so the trigger points just keep coming back. Since starting the TMS program I have noticed a reduction of pain & some of the smaller trigger points are no longer active.

    If you are unsure that TMS is the cause of your pain then I don't think a TMS program will work. I think you have to believe it 100% - maybe other members have a different opinion - I'm still new to this myself. You need to exclude other possibilities to your own satisfaction. Some points to remember while you try to decide:

    1) One interesting thing is that you seem to sleep well - or at least the pain doesn't wake you. When you have something seriously wrong with your spine or your SI joint, you usually cannot sleep well. I incurred an SI joint injury & I could not - as hard as I tried - roll over in bed much less get myself out of bed. It was acute for about 10 days and then took another 6 weeks to heal completely during which I woke up every time I tried to move in bed. And during that time movement in general was very difficult. Your SI joint is involved almost every time you move.

    2) I suggest to those who are unsure about the cause of their pain to go to a neuromuscular massage therapist -- not just any massage therapist or even one who claims to do trigger points. The therapist should be specifically trained in neuromuscular therapy. Tell them your symptoms and they will go over your body inch by inch looking for the TPs. If they find TPs that reproduce your pain when pressed & provide relief after treatment then you should consider TMS as your diagnosis. And just note that the TPs will come back if you do not treat the underlying cause: TMS

    3) Go see a TMS physician if you feel you need a real medical opinion. There are ones listed on this website.

    Good luck! Let us know how you do!
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is interesting that you would ask this question today, as I just read an interesting theory yesterday that offers an explanation for the phenomenon of waking up with pain. I have been diagnosed in the past with Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which I now understand to be TMS. One of the classic symptoms of fibromyalgia is waking up with pain and fatigue. In trying to understand this in terms of the TMS paradigm, I've been reading a book called 'The Trauma Spectrum' by Robert Scaer, M.D. (2005). And there I found a plausible explanation. I'll quote his words as it's rather complex and I don't want to get it wrong by rewording it. Dr. Scaer (who is a neurologist and trauma researcher) states:

    "Interestingly, the phenomenon of awakening with pain in fibromyalgia and other trauma-related skeletal pain syndromes is linked to, I believe, a symptom of muscular bracing combined with abnormal vasomotor tone during the dream--or rapid-eye-movement (REM)--cycle of sleep. As I have noted, one of the roles of dreams is to integrate the day's stressful or threatening experiences with past procedural memories of threat and trauma in order to replenish and expand the survival brain's storehouse of remembered survival skills. In the victim of complex trauma, this storehouse is overflowing with memories of danger. Accessing these memories at the onset of dreaming sets off muscle bracing in patterns of learned attempts at failed self-defense from old traumatic experiences. The muscle bracing reenacts what the body did during the traumatic event. It also sets off activation of autonomic cycling that causes abnormal patterns of constriction and dilatation of blood vessels, primarily in the regions of the body that were involved in these old traumatic experiences. Constriction of blood vessels in muscles that are contracting causes severe pain, as in a heart attack. This leads to immediate awakening with pain, often in the core of the body--the head, neck, or back--which must be braced before any other self-protective behavior can begin. Therefore, the symptom of awakening with pain is, at least in part, related to arousal, or the sympathetic limb of the exaggerated autonomic cycling in trauma."

    I apologize for the length of the quote, but it all seems relevant to the explanation. This makes sense to me and fits with Sarno's theory of TMS. I'm now researching what to do about it, and so am reading Peter Levine, PhD and his Somatic Experiencing process.

    I hope this helps with your understanding of your pain on awakening.

  7. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Plenty to think on there. I'm actually off to see my TMS practioner tomorrow for a follow up...he knows I'm struggling accepting the non structural diagnosis so is going to reexamine so I will ask about trigger points. The guy I see is a physiotherapist but only really applies that to acute injury, he is if the opinion that most chronic pain patterns that he sees are clearly TMS/stress illness manifestations. I'm just hoping his reassurance can finally sink in and stop me dumping yet more fear and worry onto the pain cycle.

    Thanks again to all who have taken the time to reply, really appreciated.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  8. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am a little late in coming here, but perhaps I am actually coming at the perfect time. I am ready to hear this.

    How very .... intriguing. Sleep is the most dangerous time. Prior to the age of 12, sleep was my escape away from pain, especially the pain of my beloved Dad's suicide. When I learned the following day that my sleep had been so deep that I had not heard my mother's screams for help as she was being strangled ... I had failed her, and never again would I know any form of normal sleep. In the following years, sleeping lightly served me well, as it kept me alert to the dangers happening around me.

    Bracing .... this describes it well. The severe tightness, where it feels as if things are tearing apart as I try to move from the sleeping position. Crawling is my friend. So is the sturdy side table.

    Ellen, I love your wisdom. In many ways, I imagine you as a Wise Woman.

    Thank you.

    with grace and gratitude,
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.
  9. okidokisan

    okidokisan Peer Supporter

    I too wake with pain. one thing that has helped me was Dr Claire Weekes tapes and book. I bought the book for the chapter on waking up. She says to get out of bed first thing..get engaged..music, conversation..I read affirmations. Ever so slowly it is getting better. You can find a link to her YouTube's on this wiki..plus affirmations.
    hang tough..you are not alone...
  10. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you for your kind words, Lily Rose. I have collected knowledge that I can share with others, but wisdom eludes me. But you, my dear, seem very wise indeed.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  11. okidokisan

    okidokisan Peer Supporter

    and remember to accept accept accept..a great distraction for me is drawing..this morning i drew for hours and had no pain until i stopped..i am lucky that i am retired now..
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  12. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    okidokisan you are doing very god. When you said that the pain comes back after you stop drawing. Why don't you then write down all of your current and passed stressors and see if you can make an emtional connection.

  13. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    okidokisan you have some great advice above. Why don't you start writing down all of your current and past stressors after you stop drawing and see if you can come up with some emotions that you really need to think through -- like the ones you don't want of think about. This will help you to release the core issues that are creating the tms you have ok. And its time ( when your ready to start the SEP structural program -- It will help you a lot to understand the knowledge penicillin and applied knowledge is wisdom. You will thank me in time. Bless You
  14. okidokisan

    okidokisan Peer Supporter


    Thanks so much....last night I had a lot of pain. I checked wiki for pain before bed..advice was to say affirmations..which I did..other advice was to "ask" unconscious to have my dream be about emotion I am holding on to..which I did. I had a dream about a man who felt remorse..then he picked up a woman and with much rage kind of pounded her feet to the ground...
    I woke up re.embering these emotions in my dream. Honestly I feel like I have dealt with a lot of these emotions.but feel more rage about my ongoing pain perhaps. I just cannot get a grip in this.
    So I ask you..what do I do with this now..would it be wise to accept these emotions even if I don't have awareness of origin?
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  15. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Look at my new thread I posted called Lessons from Claire Weekes. That has a lot of tools you need to check and make sure that you are doing. And have you started the SEP yet. There you will learn a structural plan. Have to be held accountable to finish and most importantly you will learn to recondition yourself.
    Any pain, any pain is due to an emotional issue and not thinking psychological plus a fear is always present.
    If you have no life pressures at all then you need to check Claire's list and check the Rahe Holmes stress test list. That list will give you plenty to journal about also.
    In time I will show you Abraham lows list to but you have to do the archeology ok or it just might be a current pressure right underneath your nose.
    Its always the emotions subconsciously causeing the pain. You don't have to know the exact inner emotion but hitting at all the past traumas like being talked down to by someone or being bullied or being punced by someone. It doesn't have to be something you terribly remembered in order for it to have caused some type of trauma in your cell structure ok.
    You say you have nothing that pressures you -- ok , why does the pain pressure you and how do you react to the pain. And most important why do you react that way to the pain. If you can answer that -- then you will know some of the emotions. If you just knew what was causing the pain then it wouldn't be subconconscious or unconsciousious, that's why their called buried emtions ya know. Hope this helps.

    Oh and Yes - Any emotion you have you should Accept it or let it float by, " See my new post called lessons from Claire Weekes" -- You have never overpowered your emotions by force have you? You think you ever will. You win the battle of emotions and pain with Soothing and Acceptance plus Awareness. Those are Broad General Terms but like E=mc 2. So do these higher truths not yet fully accepted by Western Civilization.
    Bless You
    Fabi likes this.
  16. jaz

    jaz New Member

    I have just joined this and reading with interest. I have suffered from pain for almost 30 years now. My pain is worst at night. I wake up with pain in the middle of the night and it gets worse till morning. It eases as I get up and into the day and varies in intensity, sometimes I have little or no pain in the day. No one...despite 30 years of every kind of therapy (excluding psychological)... has been able to explain it. If I accept the TMS diagnosis does this mean that my pain is repressed emotions and if so, why if it is my unconscious speaking am I not just experiencing bad dreams at night instead? I am not conscious of strong anxiety or fear or depression but do identify with theTMS personality traits and i woukd say i don't feel strong emotions in general. I have felt quite numb about significant grief. Is the pain therefore the processing of these emotions? I am starting the SEP and trying to journal. When I meditate I feel nothing and no thoughts come up.

    The other issue I am struggling with is that so many of my muscles have severe stiffness and knotting after so long in pain.. Can this really be released mentally after so long?

    Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks
    Lily Rose likes this.
  17. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Funny, my TMS pain used to begin in the morning as I first came into full consciousness and continued rising throughout the course of the day on into the afternoon. Then, the pain in my back and hip and the sciatica in my left leg would begin going down toward evening and disappear at bedtime. All night: nothing, no pain at all. This tends to make me believe that all these cyclical TMS pain patterns are psychologically conditioned and programmed. For example, when I first got up, if I heard a popping in my left hip when I put on my pants leg that would signal the pain to go up a notch (probably because it reinforced my idea that the problem was structural). However, now when I hear a click or a pop in my hip there isn't any increase in pain simply because I don't pay attention to it. I believe Dr Sarno observes in Healing Back Pain that there are huge variations in symptom cycles that vary from individual TMS patient to TMS patient.
  18. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Perhaps the bad-dreams are a release, and the lack of such dreams indicates a barrier, where the repression is not allowed to cross. Lack of emotions, numbness, does this not all indicate the repression itself? There is a page in Steve O's book in which he is quoting a session - after he explains his client is feeling repressed anger, the client says calmly "But I don't feel angry, Steve."

    I was twelve when the pain began. I am now approaching that milestone of age 50. Nighttime is my very worst, and immediately upon awakening might just be the spike. During the day, the pain eases, so long as I am not triggered.

    Can this be released after so long?
    Oh yes. Oh very much yes.

    It is not an easy journey, but with being here, you will not make the journey in isolation. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a community to heal our pain.

    Believe in yourself.
    Read more.
    Ask questions.
    Believe in yourself.
    Repeat the above *smiles*

    Welcome to the forum.

    with grace and gratitude,
  19. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is an indicator that it is TMS for sure, waking up with the pain and then it dissolves through the day sometimes you have no pain at all. Do the SEP here at the wiki to get your understanding of the tms protocol ok. - http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Structured_Educational_Program
    Look at and put into practice all of the tools you can from this thread of Claire Weekes Tools - http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/lessons-from-claire-weekes.3873/

    The reason you don't feel anything is because it is all repressed. You feel your repressed emotions through your pain.

    Yes it can be released. You will have to do the work and learn lessons that will be in higher truths. You will recover, The choice is 1 day at a time. Welcome aboard
    Lily Rose likes this.
  20. jaz

    jaz New Member


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