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stiffness in the morning

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by bgutting, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. bgutting

    bgutting New Member

    Still being relatively new to this, I'm keeping in mind that recovery isn't just going to happen in a snap. During the day, I'm typically feeling better but nowhere near pain-free. I'm able to walk with full strides again so that's a bonus but there's still plenty to overcome.

    Resuming physical activity hasn't been a question. Numerous doctors and therapists demanded I stop sprinting on the bike ("all the twisting and torque, it'll just tear that disc up"), but I refused to buy into that logic. Being on the bike doesn't hurt.

    What DOES hurt however is moving around after waking up. I swear, it takes about four hours before I feel normal. I figured it might be a good idea to take this head-on, so I'm lifting in the mornings as well (I typically wake around 5:30am). I wish I could say this is going well, but...it's not. The stiffness is insane. I can't bend, I can't rotate, deadlifting is possible but it's continually a grind.

    I know focusing on the pain is a bad idea, but when it's RIGHT THERE it's hard to see past it sometimes!

    And this is why I wonder if those muscle adhesions an ART practitioner pointed out before I found out about Sarno actually constitute a more serious problem...
    rangesh likes this.
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    my stepfather was always stiff and not only in the morning. He drank a lot.

    Have you tried some easy yoga in bed leg exercises in the morning before getting up?

    I'll try to send the link for them.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can't seem to send the link, but here is what I saved on yoga in bed:

    Good news for yogis and sleep-enthusiasts alike: You can take your practice to bed.

    And there is good reason to do so: The ancient practice of yoga promotes a bounty of mind and body benefits, including things like strength and flexibility, stress relief and even a sunnier disposition.

    "People underestimate the power of those few minutes before we get out of bed and rush into our day," says Vyda Bielkus, co-founder of Boston's Health Yoga Life. "In those moments, we can set up some clear intentions and choices."

    According to a 2013 survey from IDC, most of us aren't giving ourselves this moment to be mindful: 89 percent of 19-24-year-old smartphone owners reach for their cell within 15 minutes of waking up. Swapping that phone-checking habit for a a few artful stretches could be your ticket for a better day or a more restful slumber (63 percent of a similar demographic take their devices to sleep with them). "Quieting the mind brings us back to center," the yoga instructor says. "Yoga is a great way to unwind from stress or greet the day."

    Before you get moving atop the covers, there are few things to keep in mind. Know that you won't be able to go as far in a posture on the bed. A floor's hard surface offers more support and resistance for stretch. And, take note of the sensations in your body: If anything hurts or feels too intense, plop yourself into child's pose (see below) to recover. Now, check out these nine, mattress-approved poses below.

    Reclining Goddess Pose
    Photo: now-zen.com
    Lie with the soles of your feet touching. You can keep your arms by your side or stretch your hands above your head -- whatever feels best. Bielkus says this is a good pose to do before you go to sleep -- it'll settle the mind and help you unwind.

    Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose
    This is an especially soothing meditative posture, one that Bieklus calls a "time out for adults." "Doing this inversion will ease tension in your legs," says the yoga instructor, who recommends the pose or anyone who's active on their feet all day or may have over done it at the gym. Turn your hips toward the wall and kick your legs up and lean rest them vertically against it. "People who have a hard time meditating may find this as an easier way to clear their minds," Bieklus adds. Tight hips? Put a pillow under your seat to ease any discomfort.

    Forward Bend

    Sit up on your bed and fold forward, reaching for your heels, toes or shins. "Wherever your hands land is fine," Bielkus says. If you feel tight in the backs of your legs, be sure to bend your knees. This move is great for winding down: It is relaxing and cooling. Be sure to focus on your exhale -- it'll deepen the stretch.

    Easy Supine Twist
    Try this move before you get out of bed in the morning: It'll awaken your spine and prepare you for the day ahead. While on your back, hug your knees to your chest. Hold your legs behind the knees with your right forearm and bring your knees to the bed on your right side. Now, gently look left. Repeat on your other side.

    Fish Pose
    While lying flat on your back, bring your hands underneath your hips. Lift your chest and heart above your shoulders and stretch your head back. Bielkus says this pose is energizing, so do it as the sun comes up.

    Happy Baby Pose
    Photo: hilarysyogapractice.wordpress.com
    This pose is mentally calming while physically stimulating, which makes it perfect for a day when you have a lot on your plate. Lie flat on your back with your feet in the air and grip the outside of your feet with your hands. Open your knees a little wider than your torso, then bring them up toward your torso. Gently rock in a way that feels comfortable, while pushing your feet into your hands as you pull your hands down to create a resistance. "Find a still point in your body and focus on driving the rail bone down," Bielkus says. "This will elongate the lower back and allow the hips to stretch. It gets the blood flowing."

    Child's Pose
    This simple, calming pose is easy to do in bed. Kneel on the mattress and allow your big toes to touch. Separate your knees as wide as your hips (or as far as is comfortable) and lie down between your thighs. Stay here as long as you like -- this pose is restorative

    Corpse Pose
    This pose may look like sleeping, but it's really a practice, as Bielkus describes, of consciously resting. "This is an awesome state for the mind to be in. It's about awakening within the self." Lie on your back with your arms by your side, with the palms facing upward. "This is when you come out of your human doing and come into your human being," the instructor says. "It's about fully being present." This pose is quite versatile: Do it as a wind-down before bed to empty your thoughts so they don't keep you up or night, or use the time in the morning to set an intention for the day ahead.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2014
    Kathi likes this.
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    The pictures don't come up, but you can probably find the link on a google search for
    yoga in bed.
  5. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    H Bgutting,

    Welcome to the forum and thanks posting.

    Before engaging with any TMS teachings, I would get a 2nd opinion from a Dr to ensure there aren't any structural abnormalities, then consult a TMS Dr with the necessary scans etc, so they can gage whether it is a TMS induced symptom. Before you start any TMS work, you must have 100% belief and commitment it is TMS, otherwise you will counter productive and just dong TMS work for the sake of it and without any benefit.

    What you describe is typical of a TMS sufferer, when we fall asleep our conscious mind is in a deep state of sleep, whilst our unconscious mind is busy processing our thoughts. If you can imagine, the unconscious mind stores 95% or our learned knowledge and our conscious only 5%.

    Therefore, if you can imagine, the unconscious mind is hard at play when we are at sleep and all of these repressed emotions, anger, fear etc are surfacing without our knowledge and giving us physical symptoms; knee pain, back pain etc, all caused by oxygen deprivation.

    If I were you, I would certainly commence with mindful meditation immediately, two 15 minute sessions one in the morning and one at night. It certainly wont do you any harm until you have had consultations with the necessary specialist.

    Wishing you a blessed journey into recovery, be strong and may you see good health again.
    rangesh likes this.
  6. bgutting

    bgutting New Member

    Excellent, thanks for the yoga advice, Walt! My mom's had great success with that.

    I can seek out another doctor to take a look at things; the X-ray I had in July didn't reveal anything, and that doc just assumed a bulging or herniated disc. My girlfriend is a doctor as well, she assumed it was piriformis syndrome...then the chiro thought it was due to muscle adhesions...etc. Seeing a TMS Dr will require a trip elsewhere, I live in St. Louis and there's no one here who practices that.

    All that said, your explanation of what happens during sleep makes *perfect* sense and seems far more sensible than "your spine is compressed or the discs are inflated when you're sleeping, and if you're sleeping inthe wrong position it's worse" and so on and so forth. Gradually, I think I'm getting the hang of the emotional component. A couple nights ago, I had an argument with my girlfriend and after a day of drastically reduced pain, there was a sudden flare up. After resolving our differences, the next day was much better.
    rangesh likes this.
  7. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi bgutting,

    I have TMS that shows up as neck pain. Traditional doctors diagnosed osteoarthritis, which is often accompanied by muscle stiffness upon awakening. I still get that sometimes and I think it might just be conditioning: I expect it to happen, so it does! Then I remind myself to think psychological during the day and I am usually able to get a handle on the pain that way.

    But I also Mike's idea of the unconscious mind being at work during the night. I never thought of that before. Interesting idea, definitely worth considering as a possibility too.

  8. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Know the feeling...since my lower back pain became chronic I find that when I wake in the morning I'm like the bloody Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. It isn't just the back either its like a general all over stiffness coupled with just a general lethargy that makes me feel that whilst I may have actually slept for 7 or 8 hours this sleep certainly hasn't refreshed me. Reading Mike2014 comments above does seem to make perfect sense. I do have vivid dreams that very often see me in a stressful situations and I'm sure that has something to do with it.
  9. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think of myself as a fairly intelligent person and yet over this last year I have developed an enormous respect for our subconscious minds ability to come up with patterns and various strategies in order to create doubt and keep us focused on the pain. I have come to the conclusion that I won't outsmart it. Truly it comes down to the simple formula of how much are you thinking about it and is it distracting you? I have had pain at night, stiffness in the mornings, constant pain in one place that doesn't move for months, new pain that comes up quickly in a whole new area... Shortly after I was able to get the chronic intense stiffness in my right shoulder/head to lessen earlier this year, I suddenly had what seemed like a torn rotator cuff injury in my left shoulder. It hurt when I slept, it hurt tremendously if I tried to lift my arm above my shoulder...I simply knew that the timing couldn't be a coincidence and yet it was so convincing as an injury that it had me researching and doing little exercises for a few days. Even after I stopped that and simply started to ignore it(without intentionally trying to aggravate it) it really took months for it to completely fade away. I got so good at not thinking about it that I have no idea when it actually went away but now my left shoulder feels completely normal. What I am trying to say is that if you spend your time thinking about why the pain is there in the morning or whether it is really structural or anytime you are trying to figure it out in those terms, then TMS is going strong and its going to win. Anytime it is distracting you, TMS is working and your pain will continue. I used to monitor my physical condition with the first thought I had when I woke up in the morning. I would then try to assess or predict how that might influence my day. So I pretty much guaranteed that if I woke up in a lot of pain, it wouldn't be gone anytime soon. Now my thoughts when I first wake up are about what is going on in my life, something that happened the day before, something I am reading about, my friends, family, work.... If I do notice something is going on physically, I know there is a really good chance it will change very soon, and whatever it is its not going to be stuck or change my plans. I know how hard it is to see past the pain when it is right there. If you try to not think about the pain, it won't work. You have to distract your mind with something else. The more you practice, the better you'll get at doing it. The more you do it, the more inconsistencies will develop in the credibility of structural causes. And once that starts to happen you'll be even more motivated not to be distracted by thinking about it and examining all the patterns and specifics of your physical pain.
    rangesh, blake and Ellen like this.
  10. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Anne, I agree that distractions help.
    I distract myself in the evenings by watching tv, but not the networks because that I find to be mindless.
    I recently began Netflix Streaming and there is a fantastic amount of good movies, recent and old, and
    documentaries, nature, tv series I like. Also Youtube has an amazing amount of good stuff to watch.

    A friend told me to buy two gizmos for less than $100 that let me watch both on my living room big screen tv
    so I'm not chained to the computer to watch both. It has changed my tv viewing totally and with the
    distractions I think it would help anyone with pain.
  11. blake

    blake Well known member

    I guess the idea is to keep working out the psychological stuff during our waking hours so that the inner conflict becomes less intense in general and at night on particular.
    Ellen likes this.
  12. sunnykmr123

    sunnykmr123 New Member

    If I do notice something is going on physically, I know there is a really good chance it will change very soon, and whatever it is its not going to be stuck or change my plans. I know how hard it is to see past the pain when it is right there. If you try to not think about the pain, it won't work. You have to distract your mind with something else. The more you practice, the better you'll get at doing it. The more you do it, the more inconsistencies will develop in the credibility of structural causes. And once that starts to happen you'll be even more motivated not to be distracted by thinking about it and examining all the patterns and specifics of your physical pain.
    blake likes this.

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