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Questions about trigger points and about fear

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Shells, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Shells

    Shells Peer Supporter

    I have some questions if anyone has suggestions or experience to share.

    1- Will trigger points just go away or become dormant after a while?
    These are the things that make me feel insane when they get activated.

    2- Also, I have noticed that I now have started to worry about situations popping up that generate anxiety or stress. I think I'm missing the point a bit when this occurs but would like some clarification. As long as I know that anxiety and fear are causing the pain, then it doesn't matter if I am anxious or afraid because I know that? Is that how this works?

    Somehow I have in my mind that if I get stressed or scared I will have pain. I think it is the TMS personality causing more fear creating sense of danger. Now it's "watch out for fearful and stressful situations or you'll have spasms." Has anyone else experienced this type of thinking?

  2. ladyofthelake

    ladyofthelake Peer Supporter

    I'm not sure about trigger points. I have a few small tender spots. I certainly have areas that hurt a lot. I think I don't exactly have that experience. But ultimately the type of pain TMS causes is an irrelevant distraction because the brain is capable of making anything hurt. I personally have nasty bilaterally sciatica that started while I was driving during a big traumatic time 8.5 years ago. Of course I didn't make that connection until I started TMS journaling.

    Here is the deal with the fear of pain for me. I just had to fake it until I made it. Meaning all the time I was in horrid pain I just tried really really really hard not to care about the pain. Which of course is hard, that is the point of your brain manufactoring the pain, to distract you and scare you from emotions your subconscious deems even worse that the pain.
    Completely stop all obsessing about this or that tension or painful location. Stop worrying about about stress or fear related to pain. You will not be able to extinguish the pain as long as you are afraid of it or tip-toe around it. If you can't stop thinking or worrying about tension or stress causing pain then just repeat the truth over and over "it doesn't matter because is just TMS." "Nope, there isn't a drug, surgery, stretch massage, supplement, adjustment in the world that will really help because it is TMS"

    Anything that works to simmer down TMS pain is utterly counterintuitive.
    Here is my basic self-talk, I know other people do other things but this is the trick for me.
    When I feel pain I think (or say outloud to myself in the car because driving is where I'm in the most pain) "Hey there you are again." "Guess you think you need to cause me pain." "Ok, go ahead and do what you need to do because it really doesn't matter because that is just TMS, that is just my feelings, there is not anything wrong with me." "I'm not going to be in pain much longer because I'm dealing with this, dealing with my feelings and this pain isn't going to last because it is just TMS."

    And this sounds crazy but my best tactic is "Is that all you got?" "Could you shoot that pain further down my leg? Come on, go ahead."
    Almost every time I invite the pain to increase it actually decreases...the gig is up.

    As far as stressful situations. I think there is a balance between self-care: "No I cannot do that thing or this thing because I have enough on my plate" or "I'm going to take a lovely walk in nature, for myself" and avoiding things just because they make you stressed and that makes you worried that the pain will come back. The point of recovery is that you can keep living, which is going to include stressful situations WITHOUT chronic pain.

    That said, the first time I started down the TMS path 9-10 months ago I had lessened pain but my generalized anxiety (not pain related anxiety) went through the roof. It was so bad I wanted the pain back...which I eventually got. Now I'm in therapy and have the support I need to actually end the pain without increasing anxiety.

    Hope some of that makes sense despite the run-on sentences.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. Shells

    Shells Peer Supporter

    Yes it is helpful and the GAD I have has been through the roof too. Fortunately I have people to share that with. It is scary but less so this week. I'll have to try the "bring it on" tactic.

    Yes I am SO tired of living in fear on emotional and physical levels. Hoping I've hit my bottom with it for real!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    trigger points = oxygen deprived areas in muscles = TMS symptoms
    so, yes, they will go away when you approach them as just another symptom of TMS, I know this from personal experience. Don't get obsessed by treating them. Knowledge of which discomfort can be caused by certain tp's might be helpful in determining that something is actually an innocent TMS symptom. For example, when my teeth hurt, I used to look for tp's in my temporalis. When I found them, I knew it was TMS and not a serious problem. This in turn stopped me from worrying about it so my stress level went down. Again, use tp knowledge only for determining that a certain discomfort is caused by TMS, but don't expect that treating them with pressure or needles will make them go away for good. Treating them as flares of TMS is the way to go.
    Tp's might appear dormant, as they often reappear depending on your state of mind. Maybe it is good to call them dormant tp's, but I think it is good to add that they are dormant in your mind's arsenal of ways to distract you. And I discovered also that there is some kind of exercise-allergy. The muscles that you use extensively when you have TMS tend to get tp's very easily. If it is sitting behind a desk, your neck and shoulders tend to get them. If it is running, your legs tend to get them. If it is digging in your garden, your lowerback gets them. I can explain this by the mind trying to distract you in places that bother you the most and that worked in the past, but you could also explain it by a stressed mindbody that has a low priority on fixing damaged tissues and therefore switches on the tp's to protect muscles from being overused. Shifting of tp's once you start to recover is also typical, so that points to that it is the mind that simply changes the locations because the old ones don't work anymore. That said, not worrying about it is the way to go.
    JanAtheCPA, mike2014 and plum like this.
  5. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    A brilliant summation of the relationship of trigger points to tms. Thank you so much for posting this.
  6. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks plum. Of course I can't be sure that the explanation that I give is 100% correct, but I feel pretty certain that trigger points are TMS symptoms. Treating such symptoms will not help you in the long run.
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Shells,

    I wouldn't say it doesn't matter that you are anxious or afraid. These are states that generate stress and tension that trigger pain or other TMS symptoms. I don't think it's enough to just realize that the anxiety or fear is creating the pain. I think you need to become aware of what the underlying emotion is that you are repressing in that moment, and then allow yourself to feel it and release it. For example, I was aware that my work was creating stress and anxiety that I could link to my pain and migraines, but it wasn't until I became aware of the emotions my work was generating and that I was repressing, that I was then able to reduce my TMS symptoms. I had to face and feel those emotions, and become aware of the internal conflict they generated in me. Journaling helped me with this process, though it does not seem to be required for everyone. Just sharing my personal experience.

    It has also been important in my recovery for me to look very honestly at the role my personality has in generating stress and anxiety in the first place. Through becoming aware of my dysfunctional thinking and behavior patterns, I've slowly been able to change them. Mindfullness meditation has helped a great deal with this. Hard work but the pay off is very gratifying.
    plum and mike2014 like this.
  8. Shells

    Shells Peer Supporter

    Thanks Ellen,

    Is fear not an underlying emotion? Hmmm you have given me something to think about.

    I wonder if I am projecting outcomes that would cause a unpleasant emotion before I even know the outcome. For example, I'm anxious about Thanksgiving, family will be together and in laws will be staying with us. Sometimes this brings stress in our home. I'll be cleaning like a maniac so my husband won't be pissy. Maybe my subconscious is angry about being uncomfortable so others can be more comfortable and about all of the pressure to make sure the house looks good. Plus, I really never liked this holiday very much. Would that be kind of on track with what you are saying?
  9. Shells

    Shells Peer Supporter

    Thanks, that makes me feel better because they are a major distraction!! I think I needed to here that they are TMS even though I already kind of knew. And that they can go away with TMS approach.

    When you mention the stressed mindbody with low priority on fixing damaged tissue is this also TMS?
  10. Dfw

    Dfw Peer Supporter

    I have to say that I've had two dry needling sessions over my year and a half of lower back pain. Realizing it is TMS was my first hurdle, which after 6 months I crossed the 100% threshold.
    I just couldn't get those muscles to release, so dry needling is one of the least invasive and typically safest ways to release muscles. No medication!!! In and out in one hour.

    Remember there is a VAST difference in acupuncture, dry needling, and medicinal trigger point injections.

    I swear by it, allowing me to loosen up my tight muscles, to kinda jump start me into action.
    Shells and plum like this.
  11. pspa

    pspa Well known member

  12. Dfw

    Dfw Peer Supporter

    Interesting reading, but I would disagree with a lot of it, not all of it.

    I am certainly not trying to suggest this to be useful or recommend to you or anyone, but rather it is out there for individuals to do their own homework on. I chose this due to the fact I had many "pain doctors" only want to give me drugs or inject drugs into me (trigger point injections). After 2 days on muscle relaxers and then 30 days on cymbalta, I refused any more drugs, period. I suggested dry needling to a few pain doctors and they called it "the treatment dejour along with calling TMS a hoax". I'm so glad I found this entire group with TMS and incorporated dry needling, for my drug free recovery.

    It is considered safe if done by an experienced and properly trained individual.

    It may not work for everybody, but is a very inexpensive and safe alternative to drugs and I can say for a FACT it worked for me. Two times in a 12 month period. One treatment each time. I won't say it wasn't painful for about a week out, but it was worth it.

    I do appreciate your views, as that's what opens everyone's eyes to alternatives available in today's world.
    Shells and plum like this.
  13. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    I don't doubt that it worked. Many things work, the point of scientific research is to inquire whether they work via placebo effect/expectations (in other words, through the power of the mind) or if their proposed physiological mechanism of action is valid. Thus, all the endless debates about acupuncture, needling, chiropractic, antidepressants, homeopathy, biofeedback, and so forth, all of which doubtless work for some people but the high quality studies for the most part fail to prove that they work any better than an inactive control. The studies of real vs. sham acunpuncture (needles just inserted at random) are fascinating. These subjects are discussed by some very very smart people on Science Based Medicine.

    In any case, it certainly seems relatively safe.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
    Dfw and Shells like this.
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Shells, stress and TMS can coexist in a weird little relationship all of their own so it does well to get good at teasing them apart (very general rule of thumb: stress is stuff that is consciously obvious. Even a Saint would get stressed at having in-laws stay. TMS is more like your shadow. Much less obvious, given to bending around and looking huge in the light of denial and slinking back when emotional darkness falls). From experience I would suggest you explore @Ellen's thoughts on how your personality is leveraging your pain and your perceptions. As she says it can take a while to really see what it is you are doing that generates pain.

    Resentment around hosting a big event is a good place to start but don't assume the insights will be negative. Sometimes the emotions we repress are beautiful, many people repress pleasure and joy and hope. Jung famously spoke of the gold in the shadow, meaning that we also choke down our very best self too. It's not all snaking negativity and muck in there. You possess qualities that are benevolent, compassionate and exquisitely kind that you temper...we all do. We are all afraid to live with our hearts on fire until the day comes when we have no choice but to love our lives as if we were the sun itself bringing life to everything we touch.

    Somewhere in the craziness of these big festive occasions we forget that what matters are the people and the good feeling of being together. We get lost in cooking and cleaning and hosting and self-consciousness about what 'they might think'. :mooning: Screw that. Do enough but place the emphasis on being centred and happy. Gift people with fond and heart-warming memories. Everyone gets stressed in these situations so play gently with the part of yourself that takes it all so seriously and maybe...hopefully others will follow your lead and have some fun.

    Plum x
    ladyofthelake and Shells like this.
  15. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Before I discovered Sarno I did a bit of self-massage on trigger points. I was out of my mind with trigeminal neuralgia and couldn't even touch my face. One day, in a moment of bravado I very gingerly massaged the masseter. Oh the exquisite co-mingling of pain and relief! It gave me immense faith and hope that I could beat this. I couldn't go near any other tp's for years but once my pain started to diminish, I started very very gently massaging them. It helps. It brings symptomatic relief, and like you I appreciate the alternative to medication. People with TN most often take the opiate road to great regret and this is tragic when there are ways of bringing some relief.

    As for the role of placebo, I favour @JanAtheCPA's memorable suggestion that we can use it in our favour. The placebo is a great healing boon not something to dismiss, particularly for those of us blessed to know about TMS who know exactly where the line rests between taking the edge off the horror of symptoms and healing at the deepest of levels.
    Dfw and Shells like this.
  16. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, that is a good example of what I discussed in my previous post. You might want to explore also why it is you don't like Thanksgiving very much.
  17. Shells

    Shells Peer Supporter

  18. Shells

    Shells Peer Supporter

    Thanks Plum!
    I definitely repress joy and pleasure. Just really thinking about that during a reading a couple of days ago. I have a difficult time "having fun".
    I am pretty positive that's not the case in this particular instance. Well maybe a little but mostly I think the part of my personality that is "on the look out" for something dangerous may be the culprit. My mind seems to seek out worry.
  19. Shells

    Shells Peer Supporter

    Thanks, glad that helped you! I have done lots of dry neeing and massage. Helps some of the time.
    I'm working with my acupuncturist instead currently. He is really on board with the primal brain causing the issues. I think not putting the needles directly into the points might be better for me so I don't hyper focus on them. More will be revealed though! He has such an encouraging and compassionate personality which is probably making it even more helpful. I feel safe there.
    Dfw likes this.

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