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pain worst at rest. better when distracted

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by NicoleB34, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. NicoleB34

    NicoleB34 Well known member

    So i'm curious if anyone with TMS (especially pelvic pain) that feels better when moving around, doing busy work like house chores, outdoor chores, etc. Then when you go to sit down and chill, the pain rushes back? This phenomenon is the reason i suspected something "brain" related was causing my pain. Clearly if i had a physical problem, it wouldnt follow this pattern. It's not necessarily a sitting vs not-sitting thing either. Many people with pudendal neuralgia know that sitting down can bring on symptoms, but for me, even laying down hurts a lot. however, if i'm mentally in the zone, doing something active, basically rushing around physically and mentally engaged, i dont have pain. This is good and all, but i want to be able to rest! something about just chilling on the couch or in bed, messing around on my phone, brings the pain on, even if it was absent minutes before. i have heard that when you're not distracted, you start to think obsessive thoughts and that brings on pain. Maybe so, but like i said, i cant always be running round like a maniac just to keep the pain at bay. Even being busy at my desk job is painful (not quite distracting enough). Any advice? I talked to another PN sufferer who said the same thing happens to her, so i'd like to share my answer.
    BinLA likes this.
  2. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    This sounds like pure and simple conditioning to me. Could also be some deeper emotional negativity towards self care formed earlier on in life? Or both? I understand the frustration though as this was a symptom I dealt with as I was going through recovery from back pain. It went away when I was able to tolerate it calmly and eventually with indifference.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    that is a pretty common pattern of TMS. Obviously I have never had PN BUT I have had that pattern. My wrist and fingers tried acting up last week as I have been involved in a stressful move. They ONLY hurt when I stopped... and then I talked to my brain and It went away. As already mentioned, it's usually conditioning.... the fact that motion alleviates symptoms tends to support Sarno's ischemia theory.
    Next time it's got your attention, maybe think about what is NOT bugging you, but should be? That has always been the key 'thought pattern' to break the cycle for me. Remember, TMS thinks it is helping protect you from stuff...mostly anger!
  4. mrsciatic

    mrsciatic New Member

    I am in this situation as well. If I am playing tennis, doing yard work, building something requiring lifting etc. I can continue a long time. However, if I do something like sit at computer, go shopping (god forbid), go out to eat at a nice restaurant , tour a museum pain goes off the top. While staying active is a good suggestion when I get to be 70 something I'm not going to be able to play tennis. I too am trying to find the best coping strategy. I think the activity increases blood flow that can help mitigate the TMS condition.
  5. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    This is precisely how it is for me as well. Unfortunately I'm not sure what to do about it, just letting you know you're not alone.
  6. mrsciatic

    mrsciatic New Member

    There is a limit to the amount of physical activity but I feel the worst thing you can do is just go sedentary. Somehow I've got to do just enough. Fortunately, my wife understands and she will tell me I'm sitting too long, you better go to the gym etc. Do something. Unfortunately, once you get to 65+ it is a steeply declining curve of physical capability so you've got to figure out where that edge is and stay close to it. One key for me is knowing that there is nothing mechanically wrong. I'm not fragile. I occasionally go too far, but its ok. That is obviously not true for everyone in chronic pain. You have to figure that out.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. Smokey73

    Smokey73 New Member

    I experienced this same thing. I would be feeling like I was going to have a stroke, then needing to take my dog out for a walk, I realized that with every step I felt better and my symptoms were disappearing. So for awhile I tried to be as active as possible to escape my symptoms. Then as I learned more about TMS and how devious the brain can be, I realized that my body was just fine and it was my mind that was causing the symptoms. I started calling them sensations rather than symptoms and began to think more in terms of what message the brain had for me. I started taking control and telling my brain that I was on to it and I was not going to fall for it anymore. It has been almost a year now and I still have times when I can't sit still or relax, but they are few. I have completed the programs offered here on this wiki and Dr Schubiner's practices. I faithfully meditate and use affirmations and journal. I am so grateful for the help I have found here.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  8. mrsciatic

    mrsciatic New Member

    Hi Smokey, you are ahead of me in terms accepting the diagnosis despite the fact that I have been reading about Sarno for 20+ years. One of the problems I have with the explicit Sarno position is that I should not be working on PT or particular exercise programs. I have found these things to be the only thing that provides relief besides drugs. I wonder if Sarno moderated his opinion on this in his later years? I have started working with a pain group that while they understand Sarno also focus on exercises that help to correct years of bad body mechanics I have invoked to minimize sciatic pain. Sadly, many of the PTs I saw before actually recommended some exercises that actually can make the situation worse. I suppose we are all learning as time goes by. I want to believe Sarno but as typical I'll do almost anything to minimize the sciatic pain.
  9. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    I completely relate. When I’m working in the garden, I am one with nature and the pain and nausea (my new symptom (imperative) goes away. Once I am at rest, the pain comes back. When I was in Thailand last November, I could hike for miles, carry heavy luggage, swim, etc...with no pain. When I came back home, I got hit with the worst cold virus in years. I had a non-stop cough for a month which led to my ribs being bruised. It’s so weird that the very things that should cause someone to be sore was great for me, but chilling out and watching Netflix gives me pain?? It goes to show that distraction really works, but not for long if the issue that triggered it in the first place isn’t dealt with. TMS = Telling Me Something. I fully believe it. Listen to your pain. What’s it saying? It will linger if you ignore it. I find that once I find out what it wants, I take action and the pain goes away. It wants to be heard, much like a little child (your id) or it will continue to poke at you. Give it brief attention and it will go away. When we know why it's acting up, we can take action and process the feeling and let it go. When that happens, the pain no longer needs to distract us. It’s a brilliant strategy, really.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  10. NicoleB34

    NicoleB34 Well known member

    OP here, i had a feeling i'd get similar responses. It's true that "doing something" even when you dont want to, is helpful. I struggle with terrible insomnia too, so when you have crippling exhaustion, it's hard to get motivated to move. Still though, you cant ALWAYS be rushing around all the time. I honestly think the resting and playing with my phone thing, dredges up a weird insecurity and depression that the reason i'm alone on my phone, is because my social life is lacking (i have friends, but many of them are married and busy on weeknights so socializing naturally goes down after a certain age). In my mid 30's, i'm horribly insecure that i should be in a different spot in life. i'm untrusting in relationships, i feel like life is passing me by, life is changing in a way that doesnt feel exciting or good, and i guess i just feel hopeless. On one hand, i love information and articles, so i really enjoy my "phone time", so it's not realistic that i'm just going to give up social media, because i live alone and cant always be socializing at 11pm, even if i had the option to. I dont know, i feel like my brain and emotions are punishing me every time i rest or click around on social media. Kind of like how your brain likes to attack you with anxieties at 4am because all you have are your thoughts. I think i need to forgive myself for whatever so called "failures" i am convinced i have, and forgive myself for wanting to just chill out sometimes. My horrible self esteem and mistrust and excessive "mind planning for the future" are my own worst enemies.
    the one thing that has improved since discovering TMS, is that i was able to get back into cycling which was my favorite hobby, and something i was devastated to lose. All my friends and social time are connected to biking, so when i lost that, i was essentially abandoned. Cycling and pelvic pain dont mix, and i stopped seeing old school doctors who told me i'd need to live in a bubble essentially. Very slowwwwly i got back into cycling and i was able to convince my mind and body that cycling wasnt dangerous. That's easy to do with an activity, because you're actually "doing" something. Being able practice being pain free at rest is much harder because it's not as easy to get in the zone, so to speak. Like, how do you practice being at rest? it's almost paradoxical.
  11. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hi Nicole,

    For sure, less pain when distracted... is a super common TMS trait I suspect. But it's (definitely) also common among anxiety sufferers. (Disorder level)

    There are days I can wake up an absolute mess, but once I'm at work for an hour or so... I can improve 60% in an hour or so, without realizing it.

    My current two MB issues are PPPD (balance/dizzy issues) and Gastritis. Almost all who deal with PPPD claim they're a bit better when engaged in some activity.
    The gastritis is a tough one and has more a mind of its own (no pun intended)... but I think even it dulls down when on the move.

    Of course, this creates a catch 22, as we don't want to be on the move all the time and if you've had constant symptoms for a long time like me... it can be easy to just stay in motion. Which of course, doesn't allow the system to rest and recover. So, I try to counter that with naps, relaxations, etc.

    The other issue I'd suspect is that we don't want to "run" from our pain. But as we were talking about in the Conflicting Info thread, this can be very tricky... and most of us are working on that aspect. I certainly am, still.

    Good thread.
  12. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    I have noticed this alot when I'm preoccupied with an activity whether it be video games, watching tv show, at the gym, golfing, basketball I have no pain.

    But as soon as I'm resting not doing anything I think my anxiet decides to ramp up and cause tension in my neck upper back or elsewhere and I just think ph it's just stress and anxiety and it usually will subside which is pretty amazing considering I have yet to read a tms book or do any of the work yet.

    I feel for me I'm the type of person who obesses over my pshyical symptoms and I'm afraid doing some of the tms work would make me focus on it more then just ignoring the symptoms and get out of the fear cycle what if cycle and back to enjoying my life trying to live in the moment (present).

    But as we all know that's easier said then done. I still have days like today where my symptoms bother me (tinnitus/ visual snow, eye floaters and dry eye syndrome) but alteast my pain symptoms dont limit and bother me anymore.

    I have basically pain free days and get the odd day where I get lower back pain or tight shoulders now if only I could accept that my tinnitus and visual snow dry eye syndrome are tms which I'm certain they are.
    BinLA likes this.

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