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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) and TMS/MBS - help

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by rkeinc, Feb 24, 2012.


Do you know or have you ever heard of RSD?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Maybe

    0 vote(s)
  1. rkeinc

    rkeinc New Member

    Briefly, on my 50th Birthday (now I'm 63) I had a back episode so severe that I went to the most renowned back surgeon in Connecticut, willing to have anything done to end the pain. I was told by this Doctor, while reviewing my MRI/Cat scans, that my back was so bad he would have to do multiple surgeries over time to fuse discs and try and fix my back. I was told to only tread water in a swimming pool and never golf, run or do anything physical again. I was so depressed when I left I felt I had no hope. My wife was watching the 20/20 episode with John Stossel that evening and woke me up. I got the Book by John Sarno, Healing Back Pain, and never looked back ever since. I do everything today the surgeon told me not to and then some. My only hope is the I could help my wife who introduced me to TMS but subsequently has gotten Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). At this point in her life, she is totally bed ridden from excruciating pain that started in 1999 from a fall. She takes 12 different medications and her day focuses on taking all these medications from morphine to tranquilizers and everything in between. I cringe with empathy everytime I am with her. I have tried to introduce her (recently) to Dr. Sarno, Dr. Howard Shubiner and all the books and materials but she is in such pain I feel like it is a losing battle. If anyone has any ideas how I can help her, like she has helped me, I am all ears?
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am sorry to hear that your wife is going through such a challenging time. I had severe chronic pain for a long period of time and I know how disheartening it can be. I have heard RSD being related to TMS a couple of times. We have a few pages about it that might be of help. One wiki member submitted a RSD related question to our Q&A with an expert panel. The response is located at Q&A: RSD and TMS . I would also recommend checking out our RSD page. The page has a quote from the Mindbody Prescription, where Dr. Sarno says that RSD is similar to TMS but more severe and " involves muscles, nerves, tendons, skin and bone." Salamander briefly mentions RSD as one symptom he recovered from in his success story.

    From what I can tell there is a possibility that RSD has at least some relation to TMS. The most important thing to keep in mind though is that we are not doctors, so we really can't say one way or the other. I would recommend that you check out our list of practitioner at http://tmswiki.org/ppd/Find_a_TMS_Doctor_or_Therapist . Hopefully there is a TMS doc in your area for your wife to see and hopefully find some answers.

    It does sound like your wife is really focusing on her symptoms which, in my opinion, can really only bring about frustration, fear and anxiety. I think the first step would be to address the fear and the symptom obsession with the hopes of reducing the stress and anxiety. Lastly, in my own recovery I found a tremendous amount of hope and encouragement just from reading the stories of other people. Even if a person doesn't have TMS, hearing of how other people were able to overcome chronic pain can help them gain hope that they can also become pain free. I would encourage your wife to read TMS materials and explore this website along with any other websites. Everyone on this site has been at a place where they just don't know how to continue. I speak from experience when I say it does and can get better.


    Avnita Suri and Enrique like this.
  3. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Welcome rkeinc:

    I am thrilled to hear of your recovery! Sometimes the doctors who we have been trained to look to as "Gods"don't have the answers and frustrate us.

    I read Dr. Sarno's books and I have done the Structured Program on the TMS wiki. I saw some improvement. Enough to want to keep going. I am now using Dr. Schubiner's program. I'm not out of the woods, but the biggest piece I keep hearing in both programs is: there is no time frame. The Structured Program here would be easy for her if she has access to a computer. It's gentle. You don't dive into the past with no way out. I began to see patterns. Things from childhood and adulthood. And now I have times of no pain.

    This to me is such a huge discovery that I'm committed to keep going "until". This isn't a magic bullet. But it is a way to help alleviate the pain and eventually get out. Has your wife read the books? Perhaps she knows it can get worse before it gets better and fear has stepped in. Fear is our biggest mountain to conquer. I'm assuming (since you are) this is TMS - but a good doctor will know for sure.

    I'd suggest that she start posting here. Simply write her story as you have. She will be surrounded with support and suggestions from others on things that have helped them. Have her read the success stories. They are my biggest motivator.

    And lastly remember: it's all of us in our own time. This is her journey. She will take the first step when she's ready. But there are many tools at hand here to help her until that day comes.

    Best wishes to your wife - I know chronic pain. And your story, once again, has inspired me.

    JanAtheCPA, Enrique and Forest like this.
  4. rkeinc

    rkeinc New Member

    Thank-you all for your understanding and support. I have certainly been fortunate with tremendous success through understanding TMS. Unfortunately, as was related, the journey is individual and I can't take it for my wife but only take it with her.
    Avnita Suri likes this.
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi rkeinc,

    Your story really touched me so I did some careful Google searching and I'm happy to say that I've found some great information for you!
    • First, there is Salamander's TMS success story on the wiki. Among many other diagnoses, Salamander mentions, "I was diagnosed with Reflex Sympothetic Distrophy" and later writes, "Overall, I thank my lucky stars that I discovered Sarno or I am sure that I would have gone through endless surgeries and other various therapy's." He closes on a very hopeful note: "To any of the sceptics out there...this sydrome is very real, but very reversible!"
    • Howard Schubiner includes RSD in a "list of symptoms and diagnoses that are likely to be caused by MBS/TMS" in a MBS worksheet on his web site. I consider Dr. Schubiner to be one of the most careful, caring, and scientifically literate TMS docs out there, so his thoughts carry a lot of weight.
    • Finally, it seems that someone has already asked about RSD and TMS through our Q&A program. Dr. John Stracks, who studied with Dr. Schubiner, responded by saying that "I have not seen any cases of RSD in my office, but I know that some TMS physicians have and that some patients with RSD have been cured of their symptoms by following a TMS treatment approach." The complete post can be found by clicking on this sentence and is definitely worth the read.
    Hope this helps! Your wife may wish to check out the free TMS/PPD Educational Programto see if it helps her.

    Avnita Suri likes this.
  6. Avnita Suri

    Avnita Suri Peer Supporter

    @Forest, what a lovely thing to do; to look it up.

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