1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Sarno on inflammation ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by rabbit, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. rabbit

    rabbit Peer Supporter

    Came across something that puzzled me - Sarno states in one of his books that there is NO inflammation,
    only oxygen deprivation. This was one of the earlier books. Did I misunderstand? Can't the brain cause the inflammation [which can cause the pain]? I know this sounds technical and focused on the body, but I'm pretty curious.
  2. AnitaV

    AnitaV Well known member

    Hi rabbit,

    TMS definitely caused inflammation as part of my symptoms, in my feet, in the plantar fascia, as well as in my Achilles tendon. It was picked up on both MRI and ultrasound. It was chronic, caused severe pain, and lasted for years. I recovered completely thanks to Dr. Sarno's books.

    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.
  3. rabbit

    rabbit Peer Supporter

    Though I'm not a doctor, I agree that inflammation exists... but what of this (on this site talking about acute attacks of pain)

    "On page 23 of Healing Back Pain, Dr. Sarno says that because the goal is to prevent acute attacks rather than managing them when they do, he doesn't give his patients specific instructions for what to do during an acute attack. However, he is occasionally asked to give advice to someone having an acute attack, and in those cases, he says that it is essentially a question of waiting it out. He may prescribe a strong painkiller, but doesn't prescribe anti-inflammatory medications because there is no inflammation."

    I think the mind can do pretty much anything, include cause inflammation... so a bit perplexed by the above.
  4. AnitaV

    AnitaV Well known member

    Dr. Sarno was learning more and more about TMS, but there is so much to learn and so much we still don't understand. In his clinical experience, TMS did not cause inflammation, but in our shared experience here, we have learned that it does, from experiences of people such as myself who had inflammation and recovered using Dr. Sarno's knowledge and techniques. I'm sure he would not be surprised that TMS can cause inflammation. We are continuing to learn more and more about what the mind is capable of, and about what Dr. Sarno's approach can cure. I believe that the mind is capable of bringing about just about any physical change in the body.
  5. AnitaV

    AnitaV Well known member

    By the way, Dr. Sarno's comments on inflammation were also a stumbling block for me in accepting the TMS diagnosis, even though it fit so perfectly. What helped me was reading TMS success stories from people who had inflammation. I realized then that TMS inflammation was just something that Dr. Sarno had not come across yet in his clinical experience.

    I should write to Dr. Sarno and Dr. Raschbaum (who has taken over his practice) and tell them my story. I have been meaning to write them letters to thank them for a long time.

  6. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Sarno wrote that book back in the 70's, back then his focus and expertise is in muscular pain. His research has evolve and expand to cover many many other illnesses. I heard he even told some people privately that he think cancer is tms. At his age, he probably doesn't want to defend his theory against the conventional medical community. They will find out in time.

    My thinking on this is: our body "think" of our negative emotions as a sign of danger, like a wound. It look for a weak body part, an over used body part, or the part that we care about the most and try to "heal" it. You know how a wound heal? the muscle contracts try to close the wound, the blood coagulate and try to clog the blood so it can stop bleeding. White blood cell race there try to kill off the germs and other invader (this is what caused inflammation).... Many of our tms pain probably caused by this "healing" process. Our body automatically trying to protect the part of our body that's hurt. It create inflammation to kill of whatever germ that happen to be there whether there is any or not.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Swelling is part of TMS. Dr. Sarno was stating that there was no proof in back pain patients of swelling. So, he was posing the question as to why doctors give people in back pain anti-inflammatories and steroids?

    But Dr. Sarno had swelling with TMS, Dr. Sopher had swelling with TMS, I had swelling with TMS. I've spoken to hundreds of people who get inflammation when under stress and tension. Much of it a conditioned response, but it occurs commonly.

    The brain can create anything imaginable to express its anger, and to hide it fear. The list is infinite.
  8. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    Steve, thanks for your book. Its an incredible resource and reflects my own frantic search to assess which treatments would work and which wouldn't.
    My foot swells up and becomes impossible to walk on but I am onto it following a short duration in bed sick( 2 days). Previously I put the foot pain down to bad running gait or poor footwear, stepping on a stone. However on the second day I got out of the bed and nearly screamed the pain was so intense. I almost couldn't load bear the foot and realised in this moment it couldn't have been caused by a running injury.
    The first time this happened interestingly was when I had been grinding against the pain(pre Sarno) trying to continue my training as an amateur athlete. My brain must have thought the back pain wasn't enough so it ramped up its game. Profoundly odd and I wouldn't have believed it until I realized the nature of my foot pain.
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I wanted to refresh my knowledge of inflammation (thinking my right knee has it since I've begun to feel pain there)
    so I went back to Dr. Sarno's more recent book, Healing Back Pain.

    On page 119 he writes, "Experience with the diagnosis and treatment of TMS makes it clear that the source of the pain is neither spinal structures nor inflammation. An inflammation process is an automatic reaction to disease or injury; it is basically a protective, healing process...
    It is suggested in this book that the source of the pain is oxygen deprivation and not inflammation. "

    On page 128 he writes, "To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever demonstrated the existence of an inflammatory process in any back pain syndrome, and yet enormous amounts of steroids and nonsterodial anti-inflammatory medication are used in treatment... Since there is no inflammation in TMS,
    one must assume that improvement with these is due either to their painkilling function or placebo effect."

    He says he sees patients after they have taken doctor-prescribed steroids such as cortisone drugs and while they may reduce or banish the pain,
    it is only temporary and they need to follow TMS healing techniques instead. So, to Dr. Sarno, inflammation is not the cause of pain. Our emotions are the cause.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  10. CreativeOne

    CreativeOne New Member

    Interesting thread here. I personally don't know why inflammation is considered not to be a part of the PPD process. Sarno's list of symptoms (and other doctors' lists that are far more extensive) include things that, to me, seem to extend beyond assuming "oxygen deprivation" as a likely physical cause. For instance, chronic prostatitis is one that I had. Upon its resolution it was immediately substituted by fainting spells. Other times I had heart palpitations that stopped the instant something else came up. Since the brain clearly enlists more than oxygen deprivation to enact its strategy, I wonder why the authors would conclude that inflammation would not be one of those mechanisms. For instance, with my prostatITIS, the pain was excruciating for two hours after bowel movements (that put direct pressure on the prostate) and would settle down throughout the day, until my bowel movement the next morning. This went on for two months until I read a book on the psychosomatic nature of chronic prostatitis. The symptoms resolved almost immediately, to be replaced by the two months of fainting spells. Oxygen deprivation is not the only game in town.
  11. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    I'm not sure what PPD is but inflammation is part TMS. Dr. Sarno knows it, the TMS docs know it, and many people with TMS have had it. There's confusion here in conflating oxygen loss and inflammation. Dr. Sarno's earlier writings were saying that there was no evidence of inflammation in back pain, which there isn't, it's from oxygen loss just like in a heart attack. In HBP he said that the inflammation isn't the cause of the pain, which is true, it's a byproduct. If you break an ankle it swells but the swelling isn't the primary cause of the pain.

    The good doctor kept learning up until retirement. He was open to wherever the truth took him, what bothered him is when people used conjecture. The deeper down the rabbit hole we crawl the more it appears that oxygen loss is the main component in TMS, and pain in general. But it's not the only aspect in suffering, just the main mechanism. Other factors include water loss, chemical changes, etc.
    ter456 and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.
  12. resilient

    resilient New Member

    Steve O, I read your book and loved it. I have done a great job overcoming most of the pain but once my back pain started to ease, the numbness and buzzing in my feet started. I walk about 4-4.5 miles over the course of a day and I was trying to stay active in between but when standing my feet just buzz. I had a large tumor removed that was pulling my spine about 4.5 weeks ago and the buzzing got worse. I am going out of my mind. I do have some small disc herniations and sacroilitis and a small spondylolisthesis but I did not think much of these things. I am really worried that I am going to lose control of my legs. Do you think TMS or inflammation causes such symptoms.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
    ter456 likes this.
  13. CreativeOne

    CreativeOne New Member

    Hello Steve, in stating that inflammation is a by-product of back pain caused by oxygen deprivation, are you suggesting that oxygen deprivation causes inflammation? If not, by what mechanism are you suggesting that it is a by-product? PPD is psychophysiological disorder, a more recent and all-encompassing term used my many TMS doctors.
  14. resilient

    resilient New Member

    Hi Creative One,
    Hopefully Steve will weigh in on this but from my readings, oxygen deprivation can cause inflammation and inflammation can cause oxygen deprivation. Increase the oxygen, get rid of the cycle.
  15. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think you've misread what SteveO said, he said that Dr. Sarno said there is NO inflamation with back-pain TMS--yet allopathic docs keep prescribing anti-inflamatories for it (back-pain). TMS in other areas can have inflamation and examples have been discussed here and are in THE BOOKS.

    I think what has caused the confusion over inflamaion/no inflamation could be contributed to poor editing and the changing of the meaning of the acronym TMS as Dr. Sarno's clinical research evolved over many decades and the writing of his four books. Initially TMS stood for tension myositis syndrome and tension myoneural syndrome, dealing with O2 deprivation to muscles, tendons and ligaments. This reflected on Dr. Sarno's early specialty in rehab medicine--which deals primarily in those parts of the body. As he found more and more diverse TMS symptoms and affective/emotional ones like depression, anxiety and OCD, he and Dr. Marc Sopher neatly changed the acronym of TMS to mean THE MINDBODY SYNDROME--a tidy and elegant transition of the original term, but I can see where it may cause some confusion. Either way, the Good Doctor, used the term TMS and "psychosomatic" interchangeably and synonomously. As Mark Twain said, "Be cardful what you rweed in a mudical buck, you mae die of a mizprint."
    ter456 likes this.
  16. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Temporarily--or perhaps a symptom substitution will take it's place as a new distraction, until the underlying TMS emotional causes are addressed.
  17. resilient

    resilient New Member

    I hear what you are saying. I was thinking he was saying it really doesn't matter the inflammation is not the problem even if it is there. I tend to look at the fact that the brain controls blood flow, etc. The point is moot, Heal the mind, heal the body!
    MindBodyPT likes this.
  18. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Sarno expanded on his TMS theory, changing the acronyms meaning from "Tension Myositis syndrome" neatly to "The MINDBODY Syndrome". He was originally a physiatrist (that's not psychiatrist) a rehab doctor. As he witnessed more cases of TMS/psychosomatic dis-ease in his clinical practice, he expanded the symptoms to include most anything that was not caused by trauma. His new "mantra" (my term), was : "There are so many things little and big that are tms, I wouldn't have time to write about all of them".

    I agree with you on the new term for TMS, I think some of it's practitioners are looking for something that sound more scientific like "neuroplastcity" to be able to have an easier time selling it to the medical/industrial establishment. It is becoming a more plastic world, so maybe someday they will be able to transplant our misfiring TMS nerves with new artificial intelligence silicone nerve branches--people are sounding more and more like Sari everyday. Robert Sterling did a segment on automatons, predicting the apple world years ago on "The Twilight Zone"--Hollyweird is way ahead of our times.
    ter456 and Click#7 like this.
  19. ter456

    ter456 New Member

    I also find the inflammatory issue to be confusing. I have had shoulder pain for over a year (in both, but predominately my right) which I intuitively feel is TMS. Had an MRI which indicated "trace" fluid in the sub-deltoid bursa, mild rotator cuff tendinitis (chronic form) and shoulder impingement. I am not even sure what "trace" amounts means since I thought all bursa's had fluid in them. It also mentioned that I had "trace subdeltoid bursitis. I read that Dr. Sopher feels that even if these things show up on an MRI, they might not mean that the pain is coming from these shoulder abnormalities since some who have these are not in pain. Dr. Sopher no longer has a practice but does consults. I have an appointment with Dr. Schechter in LA this week and he does not believe that inflammation is involved in TMS. So, I am wondering if he will tell me I have a mix there --some structural/some TMS which is more difficult to buy into or accept and heal. A few doctors's (e.g dr. doug Hoffman) states that there is no evidence that inflammation even exists making it more confusing. Dr. Sarno in "Divided Mind," said something to the effect that there is no proof at all that inflammation even causes pain. Any thoughts/insights would be appreciated. Many thanks!
  20. CreativeOne

    CreativeOne New Member

    Hello ter456,
    I got a notification that your post was added, and felt compelled to respond about your shoulder issue. Among my multiple TMS symptoms over the decades, I had an acute left shoulder issue in the spring of 2006 that came on quite suddenly and was diagnosed as a rotator cuff/impingement issue. I did not get any scans. It followed on the heels of a different TMS issue and was a symptom substitute until something else came along to scare me. Fast forward to summer 2016, and I got it much worse soon after a two-month bout of severe prostatitis resolved. It got worse over months. I developed weakness in the shoulder and pain lifting my 10 pound dumbbells for my shoulder exercises. It evolved into this terrible frozen shoulder that lasted several months. I went to the doctor again and he diagnosed the frozen shoulder and said I had impingement and rotator cuff tendonitis, etc. No scans or anything. He rattled off his diagnoses nonetheless like a ragged, veteran flight attendant who had just spent his decades describing this very thing as a flight attendant must become inured to pointing out wing exits multiple times a day for years. Anyway, the pain and the symptoms were so restrictive and "real" that I was convinced that THIS time it could not have been TMS, that it had to be something more. Nonetheless, I left that appointment and said screw it, and just kept lifting weights and not caring. It was in my not giving a crap that it began to resolve (as with every other symptom). Once the pain completely resolved, my brain tried to pull the same crap with my right shoulder. My recent recovery allowed me to call BS immediately, and I nipped it in the bud in about a week. In the past year and a half I have not had even the slightest twinge of pain and have regained my mobility in my left arm. Of course, it has been replaced by my constant stream of other symptoms that I battle one at a time, but be assured that TMS can produce extremely hideous shoulder symptoms (that for me started right after my prostatitis, then fainting spells, went away).
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    ter456 and Sofa like this.

Share This Page