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Please help me my sciatica story feels so different then every one else’s

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by moonman6, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. moonman6

    moonman6 Newcomer

    I’ve been reading this forum for months and finally decided to sign up so I can make this post. I really hope I get some answers. Here’s my story summarized the best I can. Please scroll down to the last paragraph for my main question if you don’t want to read my short story.

    7 years ago:
    I had mild tingling in my right leg that turned into full blown sciatica to where I couldn’t dress myself and was dragging my leg. I HAD ZERO OTHER SYMPTOMS AT THE TIME. My spine actually curved into the shape of a C to help compensate for the injury. I’m still till this day believe that injury was real and structural even though I believe in tms now.
    I had microdisectomy surgery and literally woke up pain free. My spine went back to normal and was pain free till 4 years later.

    3 years ago:
    I had a massive panic attack that landed me in the emergency room and thought I was dying. I ended up on the cycle of anxiety and was full blown with hundreds of symptoms I can’t even explain. I found out about Claire weeks and started getting better. Once I started getting better I hurt my back during yoga class. Ever since that yoga class my back has hurt non stop since. I just recently found out about dr. Sarno a few months ago and it made sense since I knew I was suffering from bizzare anxiety symptoms at the time.

    I’m starting to believe that the pain is structural and not tms anymore... which I know is bad. But I’ve been doing sooo good as far my anxiety and my symptoms are basically gone compared to how it was. But my sciatica pain has came back with a vengeance and I find myself limping around even though my anxiety symptoms are basically gone now. And it’s the exact same feeling I’ve had before surgery except not quite as bad. And when I look in the mirror my spine isn’t curved like it used to be.

    my main question:
    I’ve had microdisectomy surgery and even though I fully believe in tms I still believe my surgery was needed. I Know the mind can play tricks but the pain I was in was beyond anything that can be from tms. I couldn’t look down, sneeze, cough, sit, walk, and my sounds literally formed a C shape to compensate for the injury. But now I think my situation may be different and I’m actually suffering from tms now. I’ve had mris about 6 months ago that say I have a large herniation impinging one L5-S1 nerve root. What’s funny is when I got my mri I had no sciatica pain just back pain but now the pain is in my butt. How can I more forward with tms when I know I have a nerve being pinched?
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    What I am going to say may sound brutal, but I feel that you need an honest opinion: this is a clear indication that you DO NOT believe in TMS, fully or partially. Every word of your post makes it clear to me that your symptoms are TMS. Why did I conclude so? Here it is:

    1. You are prone to severe anxiety. Anxiety is known to generate pain symptoms in people's minds
    2. You have had various symptoms and they were moving around your body
    3. Your most profound symptoms seem to present themselves one episode at a time
    4. Claire Weekes made a positive change at least once
    5. You feel that your sciatica story is different from those who succeeded
    6. Surgery could have been a placebo your mind wanted

    Why do I dare to speak with authority on this subject? Because I had suffered variety of symptoms, including severe issues with sciatica, lower and upper back pain etc. and I no longer have them, without any surgeries ever done on me. Also, I recovered from my last bout of TMS, which was CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) which had very physical manifestations and no known cure other than denervation (when nerve is killed), continuous injections of botox or ketamine (essentially killing the nerve) or amputation of the effected limbs. No surgeries, no opioids, no botox or ketamine this time around either.

    I can also refer you to my other post, to save myself time on typing, where I describe what followed my recovery from previous conditions:

    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/tms-vs-getting-older.22642/#post-116900 (TMS vs getting older)

    I am not a superhuman, and if I did it, much like thousands of Sarno patients, you can do it, too. Best of luck and keep reading posts under Success Stories, that is the best medicine for TMS in my opinion!
  3. Miriam G. Bongiovanni

    Miriam G. Bongiovanni Peer Supporter


    Regardless of whether your past 'injury' was TMS or not, you have constantly been 'feeding' your brain with the idea that your pain is somehow structural, and this idea is still present in you today. You've gone through lots of procedures, and you could even have experienced the 'placebo' effect following a surgery, because you believed so much that it would work. Regardless of whether your past pain was 'structural' or not, I encourage you to start afresh.

    If you are considering the TMS method, then you need to believe 100% that your CURRENT pain is TMS. I fully agree with @TG957 that you still do not believe that your symptoms are 100% TMS. Unless you do, unfortunately there can be no progress, so start finding 'proof', and write a list of all the things that support the TMS diagnosis (for example, any personality traits that you've got that make you amenable to TMS, any instances of pain that do not make sense, etc).

    I've also had unbelievable sciatica pain which felt all too real and was all too physical (having TMS does not mean that your pain is just in your head). I could actually see my foot muscles contracting, and it was still TMS (refer to My Story for more details).

    Also, here I quote you:

    I’ve had mris about 6 months ago that say I have a large herniation impinging one L5-S1 nerve root. What’s funny is when I got my mri I had no sciatica pain just back pain but now the pain is in my butt. How can I more forward with tms when I know I have a nerve being pinched?

    You CAN MOVE FORWARD with TMS knowing that you have a pinched nerve because you will have to start believing that your pinched nerve IS MAY NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PAIN, but is just a structural abnormality. Pain moving from one area to another is a very strong indication of TMS, which is something you should list down on your list of 'proof'. Also, according to Sarno, it's very unlikely to get prolonged pain from a pinched nerve, because that part of the nerve will 'die' and loose feeling if it keeps on being impinged on.

    I wish you luck on your journey, and please don't give up yet!


    (Holistic Life Coach and Mindbody Practitioner specialized in TMS Pain)
    TG957, JanAtheCPA and yb44 like this.
  4. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was given the same diagnosis and my pain was so bad I was bedridden, unable to move and when I absolutely had to, there was lots of screaming and crying. You story is not unique in the slightest. This is bog standard TMS.
    JanAtheCPA and TG957 like this.
  5. Bonnard

    Bonnard Peer Supporter

    I can really relate here.
    I was able to turn that around though into something that greatly helped me towards a solution.

    I've had pain where I couldn't work, where I could barely even walk, etc...
    When I consistently applied Sarno's suggested techniques, my symptoms went away. But, I still had some lingering fear that the pain was real/was structural.
    When debilitating pain would just simply disappear, or move to a different area of my body, I eventually realized that would be completely impossible if the symptoms were structural.

    For me, getting honest with myself and my symptoms and really paying attention and asking good questions of myself was key.
  6. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a very good point. Being honest with oneself means accepting full responsibility for your own recovery. If we believe that the problem is structural, responsibility is on the doctor to find a magic pill. If it is psychological, the responsibility is on us. I remember how lost, disoriented and helpless I felt when I faced that realization. It was on me to figure out how to heal. But once I started healing, the sense of empowerment was exhilarating.
    Lizzy and Mars497@ like this.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @moonman6, and wowee! Your story has resonated with a bunch of our wonderful members who are more than happy to try and help you call bullshit on your primitive fearful brain.

    I don't think that I can begin to count how many times I've heard this - "but MY pain is different!" This is your brain on TMS - it's doing a great job convincing you of this, but it's BS. (@TG957, you know that I'm willing to be brutal as well)(but we wouldn't bother if we didn't care, right?)
    IMO, this is why people keep having surgery, because the short-term placebo effect is so powerful and impressive. Until it isn't. By which time it's too late to go back.
    And again ;)
    Well worth repeating.

    It's time to stop letting your primitive brain call the shots. You can take control, but it will take more will power than perhaps you can imagine. The resources we offer here are free and don't require any kind of commitment other than the one to do them consistently and with complete self-honesty - if you can do that, they will help you find the way.

    Good luck!
    Balsa11 and TG957 like this.
  8. sorella23

    sorella23 New Member

    Here I am about to get an MRI today. I have a history of breast cancer treated 2016 to 2017. I believe that the trauma of that informs a lot of my TMS. Because I am at risk, I need to eliminate cancer as the cause of my sciatica but I believe 99.9 % that it is TMS. After I had healed from breast surgery, I still had some lymphedema and I suffered a lot of pain which I came to believe was TMS. I used the 28 day Shubiner program with great success over 2 years ago. Then in April 2020 my 25 week pregnant daughter was hospitalized with preclampsia and had to have an emergency c-section. Fabulous news is both lives were saved. My granddaughter was 1 pound 7 ounces and spent 106 days in the NICU during which time I could only see my daughter and granddaughter virtually. This is when my sciatica started. I reread Sarno and had a month pain free in June. July it began again. I have been in pain since with 2 ER visits and steroid week long treatments which helped even if itvwas placebo. I went to a pain doctor in desperation and that made it worse. They tried to put me on medication that didn't work. I am getting the MRI today but am trying to wean off gabapentin and other non helpful drugs. I have developed awful insomnia from the pain and though I try TMS solutions am still in pain. Like many of you it is wearing me down. Not sure what to do next
  9. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am sorry that you are in such pain. You have enough going on in your life to cause this flare-up. You should focus on your anxiety and overall stress response. Have you tried Claire Weekes audios? Also, do you meditate?
    Balsa11 likes this.
  10. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Checklist: nerves, tension, self care
    Spasms aren't structural problems.
    Treat anxiety via TMS first.
  11. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

  12. sorella23

    sorella23 New Member

    I do meditate. Will look into Claire Weekes. Thank you
  13. ARP

    ARP New Member

    There is absolutely no guarantee that your sicatica "nerve" pain was coming from your disc. Discetomy's work - temporarily - for so many because of the placebo effect.

    On an MRI in 2018 after a "back injury", I have severe scoliosis, three herniated discs and degenerative disc disease. I couldn't bend, go to the bathroom, or walk for 6 months. I have seen four spinal surgeons. Imaging showed that my disc was impinging on a nerve. I opted to not have surgery as they said they wouldn't guarantee it would cease my pain, even though they were highly recommending it. This occurred after I was in a good place after ending a very stressful period in my life.

    I rehabbed myself throughout PT and a lot of work on myself - ending a bad relationship, moving cities, and pursuing what I wanted. About 9 months after being completely pain and symptom free I developed severe pelvic pain. Again, it was after a period of intense stress and once I felt like I could relax, these symptoms started. I spent 16 months trying to figure out what the issue was. During this time, I had multiple more MRIs (to look at the pelvic) and all the neurologists I saw could not BELIEVE I wasn't having any back or sciatic pain because of how messed up my back still was on imaging - including a new tear in one of my discs. I felt absolutely nothing. Why? Because of the symptom imperative, and my TMS simply moved to my pelvic floor. The days that my pelvic floor feel okay, I have full on panic attacks.

    The only "structural" abnormality you are dealing with is severely tight muscles and a lot of tension which is CAUSING you to feel sciatica. It has nothing to do with the bone structure in your back.
    Since I started the TMS work about 5 weeks ago, my pelvic pain has gone and my sciatica has come back full blown. Why? because my body is doing every thing it can to keep me distracted.

    You should look up Nicole Sachs. She explains TMS ideas very well. I also recommend Dr. John Sarno's "Healing Back Pain" or "The MindBody Prescription" as he has very vivid explanations for how and why, physiologically, discs do not cause pain. Furthermore, I am willing to bet your nerve pain - if anything - is from a tight piriformis muscles. But again, these are not structural abnormalities - it is a very normal response to stress, tension, pasta trauma, and something you are not consciously addressing in your daily life.

    You are fine. While I 100% understand and believe you are experiencing severe pain - because I have been there and sciatica is HELL - There is nothing wrong with you other than the crippling fear and anxiety you have that is holding you back from healing. You can get all the more back imaging and surgical procedures in the world but I guarantee your pain will just move - this is classic TMS. I believe you think you needed the surgery because accepting that you didn't actually need it would open a whole can of worms of shame, and anger, I am willing to bet.

    Message me if you need support or have more questions. Here is what my back was like, for good measure (the photo/post is me): https://www.instagram.com/p/B6iipbIH_6c/
    JanAtheCPA and TG957 like this.
  14. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    They're basically spasms or twinges, right?
    This. "The only "structural" abnormality you are dealing with is severely tight muscles and a lot of tension which is CAUSING you to feel sciatica."

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