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Derek S. Should I get an MRI?

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    I had a microdiscectomy to repair a herniated disc at L5-S1 3 years ago. The surgery didn't help, or at least not in the time frame that the doctor laid out. After reading one of Dr Sarno's books, I greatly
    improved and believe that TMS was to blame for my sciatica. I injured my back playing basketball two months ago and swore that I'd never find myself in the situation I was in before surgery, where I attributed all my pain to the disc herniation. My faith in the Mind-Body cause for sciatica is really being tested now, as I'm experience severe sciatic pain in the same leg and foot. I'm doing my best to focus on emotional issues that may be the culprit, but I'm constantly in a battle between whether this is a physical or emotional cause. After all, I know I hurt myself. I must decide whether to get an MRI and pursue medical treatment, or continue to try to dig into emotional sources and hold faith in the TMS explanation of sciatica. I'm sure others have been there before. Please help...thank you so much!
     
  2. Derek Sapico MFT

    Derek Sapico MFT TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi there.

    It sounds like you're doing everything right in approaching this from a mind body perspective. That said, I don't think that you are going to be capable of truly accepting that this is TMS until you have an MRI.

    I know, there is inherent risk in going down this road. You open yourself up to the possibility of being exposed to more scary things. The good new is that you have a previous MRI that you can use as a comparison. This way you can have definitive proof that there is no additional structural damage.

    Once you have this piece of evidence, you know the drill. You've done it before and you can do it again!


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Guest, Derek has given you great advice. Get the new MRI and it will help you by comparing the old results with the new.
    But also remember that Dr. Sarno says that a lot of medical diagnosis about our pain being structural may not be valid...
    most pain is psychological, from TMS repressed emotions and/or a perfectionist or "goodist" personality.

    I became free of back pain through TMS knowledge. Recently I've begun having knee pain. That came on after three friends
    said they have knee pain. I think my worry-wort personality got me thinking I have knee pain and now I do,
    although I know I didn't hurt my leg in any way. So it's back to believing the knee pain is from TMS and convincing
    myself and my subconscious mind that's what is causing it.

    Our subconscious never stops reminding us that our pain is all Mindbody-TMS connected.
     
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    What Derek and Walt say, it seems to me, are both spot on. Yes, by all means get a second MRI to give you a good before/after comparison to work from. However, "reinjuring" you back while playing basketball and then having sciatic pain on the same side as previously should make you very suspicious that your "new" symptoms are only a replay of your old TMS pain symptoms. It's very common for an injury to act as a psychological trigger for TMS. Think about whiplash for example. You don't explain though what exactly your basketball injury was? I had a so-called herniated disk in 2001 (not long after my mother's death) that manifested as a major back attack when I came back from running. Then, again, when I fell out running in 2007, my sciatica came back, again on the left side, the same side where I had broken my heal back in 1990. It sounds as though there are programmed pain memories in the brain that can by reignited by triggers like running hard or impacting during a fall especially if you're suffering from emotional stress or had a recent traumatic event in your life. This kind of stuff is complex and quite mysterious, but that second MRI should give you an objective basis to compare your current symptoms against.
     
  5. Rsoup

    Rsoup New Member

    I feel like that answer is in the first sentence of the post. If removing the disc material that was supposedly was pinching the nerve didn't alleviate that pain, then how could that be the cause? Im going through a similar experience. My sciatica is night and day better than it was a month ago. Last week at work I had to lift something heavy and when I was told I had to lift it I started to worry. When we got it in the truck my pain came back with vengeance and I had noticeable fear about further herniation. By that night I had calmed down and convinced myself I was fine and the next day I was back to where I was before I lifted it. Keep fighting
     

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