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Sciatica- TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by avalon22, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. avalon22

    avalon22 Newcomer

    Hello, I'm new here.

    I wanted to write a little about my story and hopefully get some experience and hope from you guys. Hopefully this isn't too long.

    I'm a 30 year old woman, mother of one 2 year old. Over the years since I was about 18, I would experience acute lower back pain about once a year or every two years for about a week. I also experienced some mild chronic pain here and there.

    This year, I was living temporarily in New York with my husband and 2 year old daughter while my husband was working. I was experiencing some mild lower back pain for a couple of months, but nothing that was debilitating. I was still able to do everything, take care of my daughter, and even work out.

    Then we went to Canada to visit my family for a whole month on the way back to our home in Los Angeles. After landing in Canada with my daughter my pain became significantly worse.

    This is where I first read Healing Back Pain. The book helped me right away, because I got out of the fear mindset. I practiced journaling, thinking psychological instead of physical, and the 12 daily reminders. The pain got better.
    I tried to exercise and get out of fear of lifting my daughter, but I was also still using heat and ice and massage when the pain was really bad. For the rest of our long vacation the pain was there but manageable, with the odd bad day where I would need to rest in bed. I also felt a lot of tightness in my glute on one side.

    Then just before we were to head back to LA, the day before our flight, I had another acute attack. Couldn't move and couldn't even pack my bags. I stayed in bed all day. T
    he next day we had a long day of flights and my back was more or less "fine".
    We landed back at home. The next day I had another attack and was back in bed. I stayed in bed all day, listened to healing back pain audiobook, read on this forum, journaled where possible. The next day was much better.

    Since that last attack I have had mild pain here and there but then in the past two weeks newly developed sciatica going down my left side. I've been trying to attribute it to TMS but since it's a brand new sensation it's been really scary for me. I also haven't found the time to keep up with the 12 daily reminders.
    I found Dr. Schechter through this forum and made an appointment. The soonest I could get in is Nov. 5th.
    So in the meantime I went to see my friend's chiropractor. I can't really understand why I did this, because I think my friends pain is TMS too. But she highly recommended this woman and I've never seen a chiro before so I thought it might be a miracle fix.

    I had an adjustment yesterday. She said for sure a disk is putting stress on my sciatic nerve. She also practiced massage, used a tens machine, and diagnosed me as having Hyper mobility. She said that my ligaments are so loose that if I don't strengthen my muscles properly I could have a lot of problems later in life. She gave me a list of dos and don'ts. For instance: don't bend over and no heavy lifting for a week: impossible as a stay at home mom to a two year old. She wants me to see her twice a week for the next two or three weeks! A lot of fear about these diagnoses.

    Today I woke up and the pain was so much worse.

    I think I fit the profile of a TMS sufferer and have had stress lately:

    - I am a recovering alcoholic who's been sober for almost 5 years
    - We moved to New York this year for 6 months, leaving my friends and supports
    - my brother died of suicide 4 years ago and I'm processing a lot of grief this year.
    - I am a perfectionist who cares deeply what others think of me
    - I have poor boundaries with my parents and take on others' stress
    - Stayed under my parents roof for a month, taking on their financial stress and grief
    - Trying to figure out a career move while being primary caregiver to a two year old
    - Trying to finish renovating out house in LA on a tight budget

    Any advice would be so greatly appreciated. Does this sound like TMS? Or is the sciatica pain really from the structural problems? Hypermobility advice?

    Where should I go from here? Should I continue with the chiro or hold off?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  2. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi again Avalon,
    Yes, this all sounds very much like TMS to me. If I read your stress-list, I am not surprised at all that you experience the things that you describe.
    I am not a doctor, but my personal advice is to stay away from the chiro, no matter how well her intentions are; a lot of things that chiro's claim is based on pseudo-science.
    Do a search on hyper mobility on this forum, cause it gets mentioned quite a few times.
    take care and be kind to yourself
    avalon22, BloodMoon and Lizzy like this.
  3. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Avalon,

    I agree with Gigalos as above...definitely sounds like TMS. I feel for you...sounds like a lot going on in your life, be gentle with yourself! Sciatica is nearly always TMS...of course a chiro will be biased to tell you it is from a disc, that is what they are taught and what the medical establishment currently believes. Most PTs believe this too. Sounds like a typical visit with a chiro, I would stay away to prevent the pain-fear cycle from becoming out of control. The "do and don't" list is BS for stuff like this, trust me. Do what feels right in your body and work on TMS healing strategies, they're worked well for you before. Same with the diagnosis of hypermobility...some PTs and chiros love this idea but don't worry about it. Most people could be "diagnosed" with either hypo or hypermobility, none of us have picture-perfect joints! It isn't pain producing and is nothing to worry about, your joints are just fine. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions!
    avalon22, BloodMoon and Lizzy like this.
  4. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    You really have a lot pointing to TMS. The doctors who know about TMS don't always agree with what is, and isn't, structural verses mindbody. The back pain comes and goes, which is classic TMS "behavior." The sciatica came on after calling the mind's bluff, which might mean symptom imperative. It might help if you look at Dr. Hanscom's website and or latest version of his book, Back in Control. Not saying you should necessarily follow his treatment program, but to see what he has to say about back pain. I think you might find this is TMS.

    You have a lot going on right now and I'm very hopeful for you!
    avalon22, MindBodyPT and BloodMoon like this.
  5. avalon22

    avalon22 Newcomer

    Thank you! I've stopped seeing her and I feel it was the right choice. Thank you so much for your support.
  6. avalon22

    avalon22 Newcomer

    Thank you. That is very helpful to hear. I had a hunch that the do and don't list was BS- it made me so mad because I had been working on not limiting myself and then all of a sudden she was limiting me and wanting me to wear a back brace (I took it off in the car on the way home and haven't put it back on).
  7. avalon22

    avalon22 Newcomer

    Thanks Lizzy. The sciatica has been so scary because it's so different from the back pain I find it hard to believe it's TMS. But there's a lot of evidence for it. I'll have a look at Dr. Hanscom's stuff. Thanks for the support <3
    Lizzy likes this.

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