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Sitting against fabric makes my back hurt more

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by stayfit65, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. stayfit65

    stayfit65 Peer Supporter

    I know this has to be conditioning. Anybody else notice this? When I sit in my leather car seat I don't feel much but when I sit against other fabric...Ouchey. I'd sure appreciate knowing someone else goes thru this. I even experience this lying on carpet.

    Thank you, Stayfit
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, stayfit. I don't have those symptoms but they sure sound like conditioning. However, why anyone would want to sit against leather is beyond me.
    My brother once asked me the best place to buy a leather couch and I had no idea because the last thing I would want would be a leather couch.

    I think you ought to get a nice cloth cover for your car seat. Leather is cold in winter and clammy in summer. It may have nothing to do with TMS.
  3. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your experience, Stayfit, sounds very much like programmed behavior (similar to a back pain patient who doesn't hurt while standing on a "soft" carpet, but hurts while standing on "hard" linoleum or concrete). Yes, as Walt says, conditioning. Interesting how symbolic categories can stimulate a physical pain response. That's the cross-over between mind and body in PPDs (psycho-physiological disorders) and ought to be studied more by neuroscientists in cooperation with behavioral psychologists to generate some hard data about the phenomenon. You can sure see how homeopathy was used in medieval medicine.
  4. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member

    Yes, to everything above. There are ways you can accelerate the de-conditioning process: you can try reading the outcome independence blog by Alan Gordon, additionally, you can actively think of something of emotional disturbance when you sit against fabric, you can talk to your mind at that time and remind it that you know what's going on.

    Best of luck!
  5. Jason D

    Jason D Newcomer

    Sounds like conditioning. I have this too, it's weird how muscles have a mind of their own. It doesn't cause pain but it'll cause muscle twitching/tightness in the area affected. I also can't lie down on fabric surfaces that aren't flat (any folds will cause me to toss/turn).
  6. stayfit65

    stayfit65 Peer Supporter

    Yes!!! Folds in clothing or tags on clothing...I'm so relieved to know others have this, too! Andrew, I did read that blog this week, thank you. I told the pain it was not welcome in my body and to stop bothering my back. And I told it I'm going on with my life, regardless! Things have really improved this week. Thank you ALL!
  7. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    hi stayfit
  8. SunnyinFL

    SunnyinFL Well known member

    Fascinating! I can't relate to fabric per se, but I have noticed similar pairings of various situations and pain. An insightful doc suggested I dialogue with each specific situation to see what it said. I tried this with situations where I feel "trapped" and in pain. Boy, did I learn a lot about myself consciously, and then it seemed like my subconscious continued the dialogue in the my dreams that night - more insight! Maybe follow the feeling and see where it leads, what emotions unfold?
  9. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I remember attending an IPMS (International Plastic Modelers Society) exhibition and contest several years ago when the TMS pain in my lower back was quite severe. When I stood on linoleum in a crowd (feeling claustrophobic and trapped, on the spot because my models were being judged?), pain just kept increasing in my left leg. But when I went out into the lobby away from the crowd where I was standing on a soft carpet, the pain would go down and disappear. Didn't realize it at the time, but my symptoms were intensifying in response to a feeling of being trapped in a crowd, something I remember way back when I was 4 or 5 and attended a dog show with my parents. Obviously something deeper going on, huh? You don't have to know precisely what caused the original emotion, just as long as you know about it and acknowledge it. You're always carrying around emotional baggage left over from events so far back in your childhood you can't really uncover them completely, but they're sure there nevertheless. Be interesting to study the origins of that leather vs. cloth response. Sure sounds like our minds still operate according to the symbolic categories of medieval magic and mysticism while the doctors are trying to heal us based on the post-Cartesian assumptions of Newtonian physics.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Bruce. It sure looks to me like what you stood on at that modelers judging had nothing to do with feeling back pain. It was from anxiety about how well your models were to be judged. You just conditioned yourself that standing on linoleum was causing you pain. The same with the leather or cloth covered couch. It might be that standing on linoleum or whatever at the dog show gave you anxiety which gave you pain and so you've associated linoleum or another surface with pain. It may all just have been anxiety or fear about being judged.

    Lots of people feel trapped when in crowds. There are whole books on it and how to get over it. It's called social anxiety. Youtube has videos on it.
    Dr. Claire Weeks writes about it, without calling it social anxiety, in her book HOPE AND HELP FOR YOUR NERVES.

    If you don't put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect, the pain will go away. Be kind and patient to yourself. Only one person ever lived who was perfect, and they hung Him on a cross.
  11. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yup, Walt, fear about being judged unworthy (i.e. 'not measuring up') no doubt. I believe the surface at the dog show was grass, but the anxiety was definitely from being "on the carpet" giving a substandard performance before mom and dad and a whole group of onlookers. When I was standing in the crowd on the "hard" linoleum in the exhibit floor I was definitely competing and being judged collectively by the group. When I was outside in the foyer on the "soft" carpet, I was more relaxed without the pressure from the group. Good to take your emotional pulse when you notice yourself responding to different social and physical environments. It'll teach you a lot.

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