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Day 27 Question about the rejection of the physical causes

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by If 6 was 9, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. If 6 was 9

    If 6 was 9 Peer Supporter

    When people try to improve their flexibility, they can go so far before pain prevents them from going further, not to mention of course that their muscles and tendons are close to the limits of what they can bear without being damaged.

    Over time, the more they stretch, the more flexible they get and the pain engages at a later and later point in the stretch.

    My pain is in my back and if I try to bend and touch my toes I can get my hands to about halfway between my knees and my toes before the pain in my back prevents me from going any further.

    This pain will turn on if I make a 'wrong move' like a sudden bend or moving a leg the wrong way when sitting or lying down.

    I used to be able to touch the floor and curl my fingers under my toes, even while I had a bad back.

    I've not done any stretching or other exercises that I used to do purely to help my back. But I'm wondering whether, if I tried stretching and improving my flexibility so pain didn't kick in when I made a movement that impinged on (what I assume) are tight tendons or nerves in my back, wouldn't that be a good thing?

    As I see it there are two types of back pain that I experience. The pain I get when I'm sitting and stationary, which seems to increase the longer I sit. I believe this is definitely TMS pain. Plus, the fact that it's moved to the front of my legs which I never used to have before starting this road to recovery is more evidence that it's TMS.

    But then there's the pain that's turned on when I make a movement that pushes my lack of flexibility to the limit. I'm wondering can't I try and improve this by stretching without threatening the belief that pain in my back is largely caused by TMS? Couldn't this be in the same league as someone practicing stretching every day so that they could eventually do the splits without pain?

    What I'm worried about is compromising the belief in my brain that TMS pain is caused by emotional and psychological issues - because I know how important it is to have this belief for a recovery.

    I've been meditating on Dr Sarno's 12 Daily reminders and when I get to No.12 "I must think psychological at all times, not physical" I have a feeling of guilt that I'm not doing this when I get that sharp pain from a sudden movement. It just feels so much more physical than the passive pain I get from sitting in a chair.

    I'm happy to be talked out of this and continue not to do stretching associated with bad backs. It's just that this has been playing on my mind for a while now.
  2. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi there,

    Your TMS pain is probably causing the tight muscles and pain you get with bending over. I used to get that too. It could be a conditioned response as well. Remember that TMS symptoms come in many forms! General stretching is fine but don't think about the stretches as getting rid of the back tightness. Keep with your TMS healing instead. That plus the fact that low back muscles are very hard to truly "stretch" due to their location.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi. I wouldn't overdo the exercise. Why care if you can't touch your toes or if you try, your back hurts.
    You're worrying you will do yourself more harm if you stretch too far. So be easier on yourself.
    mike2014 likes this.
  4. If 6 was 9

    If 6 was 9 Peer Supporter

    Hi MindbodyPT, I thought of you when I wrote this post as you've replied to a similar one of mine. Thanks for your reply again, I'll just hold off stretching for a bit anyway, I think. There's plenty of time yet and there's nothing lost by sticking to the plan. I think this was more about voicing a doubt and I've noticed doing this seems to reduce the power they have over you. Maybe that's the idea behind journaling as well.

    And thanks Walt also, I'll go easy on myself. I've been pretty good at going easy on myself in the past but it's always associated with guilt. I've just got to lose the guilt.
  5. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree with MindbodyPT. It's definitely conditioning and sensitization.
    Both pains are Tms. When you stop fearing to move, in time, as the neural pathways start to rebuild new "oxygen rich" pathways to your pain areas, you will start to feel less and less pain.
    Stretch if you wish, it's good to do Yoga and other arts while healing
    Buts it's your focus on your pain that is keeping it there.
    Start to relieve your emotional repressions and stop fearing the pain. Don't focus on the pain.
    Think about your journaling, feeling your emotions there and losing the body focus.
    Then you will do a lot better.
    Something ya not firing on in your protocol.
    If you think stretching will stop the pain over time.
    I stretch now because it's very healthy for you.
    Not to relieve Tms pain.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
    mike2014 and BruceMC like this.
  6. MSZ812

    MSZ812 Well known member

    I think the question you should be asking yourself is: am I stretching to "make my back better" or am I stretching simply because it's healthy to do so?

    If you're thinking of stretching to improve your pain, you're not tackling the TMS. It's treating the pain as a physical problem. I'm guilty of this. I have a can of Icy-Hot that I spray on my shoulder/neck because it actually does distract a little bit of the pain away temporarily. However, the act of spraying it on for pain relief is treating the pain as a physical problem and not as TMS. It reinforces the idea that I'm dealing with a structural issue. I know that it's TMS, so I should be thinking psychologically.
  7. If 6 was 9

    If 6 was 9 Peer Supporter

    Yes, that's a good way of looking at it. I think I do see it as relieving the pain and helping my back. I might stay off it for now in that case and come back to it later if I think I've broken the back, so to speak, of TMS.

    Thanks Herbie, that's also good advice - I'll stay away from stretching for now while I still associate it with helping back pain. But I'm not sure what you're saying in "Something ya not firing on in your protocol." Are you saying I'm not focusing on journaling enough? I don't mind if you are saying that, I'm just unsure, that's all.
  8. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    If 6 was 9. Basically, if anything I say or anyone else, and your like yeah I need to do that.
    Then that thing you need to do is not part of your protocol. So your not getting any results in that area. This is what "not firing" means, basically somethings missing. But you understand more to do now by this thread. Now you can put to use your strategies for your protocol, you can fire away.
    mike2014 likes this.

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