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Professionals see a lot of problems with me, Will TMS work?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Astral, Dec 10, 2018.


Is this standing still induced pain likely TMS?

  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
  2. Maybe

    1 vote(s)
  3. No, it’s your physical problems entirely

    0 vote(s)
  1. Astral

    Astral Newcomer

    Edit: Maybe I should have put this in the support forum. Could a mod please move this.

    Backstory first of past success with TMS, feel free to skip this

    Back in highschool I had problems with RSI in regards to computer use which lead to me leaving highschool early and becoming a childcare worker rather than a computer programmer (to avoid worsening RSI).

    Interesting thing is that I used to use the computer up to 8 hours a day from the age of 8 to 16 without an issue but the moment I learned about RSI in a software lesson, I got the disease a week later and with pain getting worse over a few months to the point of causing me to be unable to write or type within 1 minute of starting, I had to leave school.

    After leaving school in 2011, I found out about TMS a few months later and thought that, possibly due to my fear of the HSC (big test at the end of grade/year 12 that I thought would ruin my entire life) my mind created this illness as a way to escape highschool to prevent me taking that test I was so afraid of.

    Even after school ended I couldn’t use the computer or even play computer games which I felt was a waste of time that would only make my condition worse.

    So to cure myself, I attempted to create a let’s play series on YouTube which to me was not as much as a waste of time as I’d be helping my YouTube channel grow and earning money while having fun. I started with the goal of making 10 minute episodes and by episode 6 onwards I was making episodes over an hour long and having so much fun that I’d think only 10 minutes had passed when in actual fact, 90 minutes had passed and I was almost entirely pain free.

    So I’m “cured” of RSI in my hands, arms and shoulders (mostly) when using the computer but I must admit, I still can’t write with pen and paper for more than 15 minutes without feeling pain.
    ———————End Back Story—————

    Now onto my main problem that’s still causing me so much suffering.... Backpain.

    I first noticed my back pain at the age of 14 (I’m 24 now) when working small 3 hour shifts at McDonald’s. I never increased my hours due to needing to spend the rest of the day in bed after a 3 hour morning shift every Saturday. The pain wasn’t worth the $7 AUD per hour so I quit the job 8 months later.

    Coming to now, 10 years later, I’ve noticed something very interesting about the pain, it only affects me and builds up when I’m not walking. In other words, I can go on a non-stop 10 kilometre/2 hour fast walk and be fine, no back pain at all 90% of the time. Yet if I try stand still in one spot for 1 minute, pain starts to build up and by 10 minutes it takes a full hour of laying in a firm bed to recover from the back pain. I can slightly increase my standing still time if I walk on the spot or shift my weight from leg to leg constantly, but this looks very rude and weird in public places.

    This pain also affects me if I’m sitting with both feet on the ground (or hovering/not reaching the ground) and sitting up straight without something supporting my back or if I’m sitting in a hard church chair. Infact, the only way I can sit without pain is by placing one leg over the over and leaning back on a soft but firm support (office chair) or by sitting with both my feet on the chair with my knees bent and my heels touching my bum while my back leans hard against the backrest almost as if I was laying down in a bed.

    What leads me to feel this is TMS though is the way I can simply look at a picture of people sitting on a rock or chair without a back support (like a bar stool) while I’m laying in a bed (the best position to have no back pain) and yet the moment I look at the image or even think about myself doing it, a tinkling feeling goes through my back and I start to feel the pain, as if I myself was actually sitting on the rock or stool without back support. At which point I’d have to look away from the image and take a minute or two to recover from the pain. And this pain is identical to what I usually experience when sitting or standing still without walking!

    Another reason I think this is TMS, is the type of pain. It’s so unspecific in regards to area. A few weeks ago I picked up a baby chicken and, it must of been the way I held it, I suddenly couldn’t move and someone had to take the chicken away from me. I had a sharp pain that I could pinpoint and point to on my back and for 4 days I had to lay in bed to recover which experiencing the sharp pain with every tiny movement I made. It was a direct pain very different to my usual pain and my chiropractor told me it was a spasm.

    My normal pain that I experience if I stand still (bending forward and doing something with my hands while standing still such as the dishes causes the pain to come in as little as 5 seconds and after 2 minutes be unbearable and require hours of recovery) is very unspecific. I couldn’t tell you where I’m sore and instead, I’d say the whole back because the whole thing, from top to bottom is sore and while it’s sore, my body has full range of movement (unlike that sharp pain that day) and can do anything, yet the pain is awful and doesn’t go away until I’ve laid down for a long time.

    The important thing to note is that while I’m sore with the stand still induced pain, if I pretended I wasn’t sore, I could do everything I could do if I wasn’t sore, it’s just super intensely painful, constantly, yet movements don’t effect or increase or set off the pain at all. The pain is a hard to explain pain with a definite tingling feeling. It’s not like the sharp pain I could pinpoint that day that prevented me from moving properly.

    The thing that’s making me think this isn’t TMS though is that fact that over the past 10 years I’ve seen countless professionals such as 3 chiropractors, 2 physios and a Bowen therapist that have all identified I have a lot of back problems, and yet, after all their treatment, no change, they have done all these back manipulations while I’ve laid down, they’ve given me exercises which I do daily and yet none of it works. I’ve got Scolosis, Kyphosis, forward neck syndrome, very poor posture, a bunch of weird problems with my spine that I can’t remember as my chiropractor has told me, one leg longer than the other, my knee on my right leg doesn’t match up with my ankle and thus to bend my knee forward I must turn my foot outwards, I wear orthotics due to foot problems... there’s tons of problems with me!

    The reason I’m scared about thinking of TMS as a treatment is because, I actually have tons of problems, it’s not like I’ve been checked and my spine is perfect with no reason for pain etc, there is the potential that this is caused from physical deformaties and not my mind. In ignoring pain, I could actually make my problems worse. So I’m stuck, yet, with the walking thing, my chiropractor still can’t work out why I’m able to walk 10km without pain and yet even standing still for a minute causes me pain. There could be hope in the TMS theory here.... he still believes that “once I build core strength and improve posture, it could go away”. I’ve been seeing my current chiropractor for about 6 weeks.

    So what do you guys think about this? I’m not asking you any specific questions, instead, I’m asking you to give your opinions so that I don’t trap you into answering what I’m asking rather than answering what you feel is important or pops out to you.

    Thanks in advance for your answers :)
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    I believe you have TMS. Your story is typical of those of us with TMS. Chiros, physios, etc will always diagnose back problems because you have back pain. They do not understand the psychological component. Many of us have wasted a lot of money chasing relief through those means.

    I suggest you begin reading about TMS, and start a structured program like the ones free on this site (Structured Education Program) or Alan Gordon's program. Unlearn Your Pain by Dr. Schubiner is also very good. This is the road to recovery for you. It's not an easy road, but it is the one that can result in freedom from pain. You will find lots of support on this Forum during your journey.

    Best wishes............
  3. Astral

    Astral Newcomer

    Before I do, I must ask. I surpress a lot of things that make me unhappy and I know I can’t have these out in the open and lead my perfect life for another 2 years, but at that point, I will be leading me perfect life. Would you suggest I wait until everything in my life is perfect and thus I have the best chance of this working rather than now in which I must still surpress everything and, potentially lose hope in TMS because I’m not doing it right?

    In other words, should I wait 2 years before I start when my environment is better suited to the healing process?
  4. Coffeeplease

    Coffeeplease Peer Supporter

    You won't heal unless you accept you have TMS and begin to process unpleasant feelings that you are suppressing. I know it's a cold truth, but life truly isn't ever perfect. So, in a less blunt way....TMS won't work if you wait for your life to be perfect in order to begin. I hope that makes sense. There are a lot of great resources here, and supportive people.

    I've made good progress over time and being patient, making myself process uncomfortable and difficult emotions. On Friday my Brother-In-Law passed away after battling cancer for 3 years. So I apologize if this post isn't as cheery as I would like, ha. But I think it's a good example of how there are always going to be unpleasant emotions and situations in life. The journey is to find better ways to handle those difficulties in more healthy way so that the physical body doesn't manifest the pain.

    Wishing you the best and healing....my opinion is to start now!
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ditto to:


    If you want to engage a mind-body program, then there is no time like now! As far as physical diagnoses which challenge your belief in TMS being the root cause of pain, try to focus on some expert advice which didn't support a physical diagnosis. With your history there was probably some expert who was not quite so sure it was physical? If there was, bring this to your attention. Remember that Dr. Sarno said something to the effect that "the backbone is the strongest bone in your body."
    Coffeeplease likes this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Everything in life will never be perfect, or at least not for very long. That is the nature of life.

    Now is the time to start your TMS recovery. Learning to accept and cope with imperfection is an important part of the process.

    Best wishes.......
    Coffeeplease likes this.
  7. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    I completely agree with Ellen - life will never be perfect. That's why it's so important to learn how to manage anxiety and powerful emotions. Balance is everything! This doesn't mean you have to be perfect and never have another negative thought or bad day again - it just means you're more resilient.

    Plenty of people who are going through terrible hardships have managed to overcome their symptoms, so it’s not worth putting off doing the emotional work to improve your symptoms. And honestly, even people who seem to "have it all" and "perfect lives" (there's no such thing) have their issues. I have a pretty good life. I have a great job, get positive feedback and have people who are attracted to me physically and emotionally, have a strong support network with plenty of friends, live in a very nice home, have parents who would do absolutely anything for me, etc. As an adult, I've been told many times that I'm the "happiest" person people have seen. They'd be shocked if they knew what was going on inside my mind, because I still dealt with some nasty anxiety and emotions that lead to debilitating mind-body/TMS symptoms.

    In college, I was once accused of being stuck up and not having to try as hard as other people because I was a bit shy in that focus group; what they didn't realize was that I was being distant because I was constantly anxious and afraid of failure in school. I had no idea people assumed I was a “cool kid.” It didn't matter how ideal my life was - I still didn't know how to manage and balance my emotions. Everybody deals with challenges, and if you can't manage or balance your emotions, even the most minor challenges will be super difficult.

    Managing and balancing is key.
    Ellen and readytoheal like this.

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