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

Shaking those physical thoughts.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by braden101, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. braden101

    braden101 Peer Supporter

    I'm having difficulty drawing a line between TMS and muscle pain from over use and minor twinges.

    Obviously not all muscle pain, trigger points etc are symptoms from TMS. Leading an active lifestyle and being fit and strong plays a part in it. The way I'm seeing it, is the mind and body should be treated as equals, if one is in pain, the other suffers.

    My job can be very physical at times and I have genuinely suffered from a few minor physical problems as a result, funnily enough none of the "real" problems have ever re-occurred once healed.

    Should I assume that any of the recurring, nagging problems are most likely TMS?

    One of the biggest things I find hard to drop is chiropractic, I have seen my Chiro pretty regularly for the last 6 years or so, not to necessarily treat any problems I have but more for the "Healthy Living" philosophy they preach, my chiro in particular fully supports the role the mind plays in pain but at the same time pushes the importance of a healthy spine.

    Though in the last few years that I have been experiencing the more chronic TMS symptoms, I have turned to the Chiro (My only option at the time) for help and after spending a decent chunk of money on 1-2 x a week chiro visits, it eventually seems to help...for a while (Placebo?).

    I'm thinking my plan of attack should be to cut down the chiro visits and not rely on them to "treat" any particular problems, maybe go once a month???

    I don't know, maybe I have just been brainwashed and I need to completely drop it cold turkey, It just seems silly to me, to drop something I believe does have its benefits.

    Hoping someone can give me another perspective on this.
  2. Birdie

    Birdie Peer Supporter

    Hi Braden,
    I don't think that all physical treatments are only placebo (even if this might be the case and I strongly believe in the placebo-effect which probably influences every treatment to a certain degree). I guess the physical therapies like trigger point injections, chiro-treatment, massages and so on only treat the symptoms but never the cause! TMS has to be treated at its roots otherwise there will be no real healing. We all know that oxygen deprivation leads to very tensed muscels. Tensed muscels can but must not pull the spine towards one side and there is oxygen deprivation even in trigger points. So poking and pricking into trigger points may give you a short pain relieve as does massage (bringing oxygen back into deprived areas) and chiro-therapy. but really none of these therapies adresses the root of TMS and so one can spend hours and lots of money for a short relief but I guess very seldom on real and deep healing.
    So my personal opinion on this is: placebo does always play a huge role, thats's the human psyche. Physical treatments can be helpful, but only for short term relief and never for true healing. Physical treatments also reinforce the belief in some structural abnormality and therefore can act as a really bad nocebo ans mostly do so! That was the case for me. I spent tons of time and money on dry-needling, always hoping that this time the pain relief will last a little bit longer. Well, it does not! Eventually I gave up all treatments (massages and trigger point therapy) and I was really frigtened: what if there was a physical reason for all this pain? Then giving up all this therapy probably would do some harm on me? Fortunately that really was not the cause! In fact some of my conditions, formerly treated excessively with physical therapies, nearly disappeared (ok, they were replaced by pain in other areas due to symptom subsitution, so it wasn't a real cure), but of course it was a good proof that I no longer needed all that expensive and time wasting therapies. So the bottom line for me is: no physical treatments except in the case of a real accident like broken leg or after surgery.
    Does that make sense?
    braden101 likes this.
  3. braden101

    braden101 Peer Supporter

    Thanks Birdie, yep, makes alot of sense.

    But I guess I'm back to my first point, my job can be physically demanding, so tight and overused muscles are sometimes inevitable and may not have anything to do with TMS. Would that be a just cause for physical therapy?

    I suppose I want to cover all my bases, I'm seeing now that the way I was using physical therapy in the past was not helping me get to the root of my problems but at the same time I have this belief that they do benefit me physically, just like going to the gym does.

    Could you use a massage or a chiropractic adjustment, as a type of body maintenance rather than a treatment for a symptom?
  4. Birdie

    Birdie Peer Supporter

    Braden, in the case of overused muscles due to your job the pain should disappear within a few days without physical therapies. "Normal" muscle soreness normally is not a indication for physical treatment as it disappears on its own. Certainly physical therapy could be helpful in the case of real overuse and strain due to heavy work. But, the problem I see is: where to draw the line between the "just phyical pain due to work overload" and the TMS-pain? That also raises the question if one can draw such a clear line. Sometimes the initial pain was due to physical overuse but it can remain or even get worse because of TMS. I am very familiar with this condition! I often had "real" minor injuries that should have healed within a couple of days or a few weeks but it became chronic due to constant worrying about the symptoms and clearly was TMS in the end!
    So in my opinion one can use a whole body massage for general soothing and relaxing (just massaging the painful area would be counterproductive). Herein also lies the danger that one telles oneself to have the massage only for general soothing when actually (unconsciously) hoping for pain relief (I used to lie onmyself in this way sometimes :smuggrin:). I guess chiropractic adjustment "just for general health maintencance" would fall into this category of "self-lying", but that's only my personal opinion.
    I guess there's nothing wrong with having a warm bath/staying in the hot tub as TennisTom uses to do :D or even having a hole body massage for a general calming down, NOT for pain in special areas.
    But each person is different and this are some of the conlucions I drew for myself. In the end it's really hard to tell you which pain is due to overuse and which due to TMS as most of the people here struggle with exactly this problem (me too!).
    Giving up physical treatments could also lead to a increased pain level (what happened to me initially), but that was due to increased worrying and anxiety (oh my god, will this pain get worse without massage?) and disappeared after a while when I calmed down!
  5. Birdie

    Birdie Peer Supporter

    I wanted to add that you have to be at least a little bit confident about the idea of stopping physical therapies. It's not the aim of adding more and more strain and pressure on oneself and to do things other people tell you to do if you feel not confident about it.
    When I learnt about TMS healing I did not stop all physical treatments immediately, I really had to get used to the idea of stopping all this treatments.
    westb and braden101 like this.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    A body massage can be very good for our health. A boss at the Chicago Tribune used to take his lunch hour
    getting a massage and it helped him get through the afternoon. He was under a lot of pressure and stress
    in his job, which would have been enough TMS, but may have had personal problems as well.
    I don't know if he took anything to relax, but the daily massages helped.

    Just don't think of the massage as relieving pain. Think of it as a healthy thing to do, in general.
    braden101 likes this.
  7. braden101

    braden101 Peer Supporter

    That's exactly what I'm thinking Birdie.

    Like I said, I realise the way i was using chiro and massage was only fueling the TMS fire. I think as i start getting more ontop of my emotional stresses, distinguishing between TMS and normal aches n pains will be alot easier.

    I think I am going to start by limiting myself to the Chiro and a massage, once a month and only when I'm generally feeling pretty good. Going to the Chiro in desperation because I have a nagging headache is no longer an option.

    Thanks for the advice, much appreciated!
  8. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    Braden, I too lead an active lifestyle. I have occasionally hurt my muscles while working out. In my experience, these injuries follow the same pattern. They all appear a day afterwards, and they all go away within 1 to 3 days at the most. Unlike TMS they are remain in the same location and can be triggered by the same movements. When I get them, they don't worry me, because I know they will go away. In fact, physical activity usually makes them better for a while ("motion is lotion").

    I think limiting chiro & massage is a good idea. Like the good Dr. says, your spine IS healthy and doesn't need upkeep! (That said, a good massage feels great. But it isn't fixing any underlying problem, as there aren't any underlying problems to fix).

Share This Page