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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Meu-retired, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    I have read the Sarno books after having done the doctors rounds for a back pain that has lasted for a year and I thought for a while a disk bulge was the culprit until I understood TMS and this has helped a lot but I cannot go the last mile...
    Sure I can understand that my back pain is not structural and no permanent damage will occur BUT If I bend over to tie my shoes I will get a stabbing pain which will cause my muscles to clamp and start a pain cycle which will make me a coward again .... I am sort of fine as long as I keep avoiding bending over.... Cannot break the cycle!! It seems like I can live a normal life as long as it doesnt imply bending over. Any tips on how to push past that point? I need to be able to bend over and I am terrified to do so.....
    Any pointers? Thank you so much.
  2. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Your complete recovery lies in the very thing that you fear, bending over. You have to believe that there will be no damage caused when doing this. The pain will come when you bend over as it is a trigger for you but if you stay indifferent to this pain eventually it will serve no purpose. Read Alan Gordons post on outcome independence.
  3. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    Thanks for responding .... Intelectually this makes sense but therein lies the struggle: how does one remain indifferent to a stabbing pain? In order to avoid such pain bolt I have come to accept a life of not bending over but one of squatting which of course has put a load on my knees and started a new injury front ...
    Its a catch 22 which is torturing me. I cannot just bend over and ignore the pain, it is bigger than me I am afraid....
    brendan537 and Bhamgirl like this.
  4. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    You are preoccupied with the pain. This is what your mind wants in order to distract you from what it perceives as intolerable emotions.

    I had the same struggle you are having now. My pain came with sitting and bending forwards in my lower back. I learnt to accept the pain when it came and to not fear it. Initially it was a case of grit my teeth and try to think about something else but it was essential to believe that there was no damage being caused. Jump in and have some faith! Confidence in bending over might just be your best friend!

    Now I sit for relaxation, I have changed those pathways. It has taken me about a year. I still have episodes when I am not living in the moment and am being affected by ruminating over issues etc. But it is always emotionally driven tension.
    eskimoeskimo and Tennis Tom like this.
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    If you're stuck, keep reading until the TMS Knowledge Penicillin sinks into your unconscious. Fortunately there are many excellent TMS books and materials available. One I'd recommend is Steve Ozanich's great TMS tome "THE GREAT PAIN DECEPTION". He details some of the lengths he had to go to to rid himself of his pain.
    birdsetfree likes this.
  6. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    Thank you both.... I wish I could test myself on this but I am not ready yet to put myself through the test and bend over ... Just cannot. I avoid risk; I manage to tie my shoes by lying on the bed and bringing my Foot towards my chest... Makes me feel secure having the back totally flat and supported; when I would do it sitting down on the bed bending over the leg supported on the knee, that would produce the back jolt and created fear.... Now I avoid all related positions... Maybe with time and more reading about TMS I will be able to climb this mountain... I am 61 years old btw, and resigned to avoiding bending over as much as posible .. :-(
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    alexisblairezielke likes this.
  8. alexisblairezielke

    alexisblairezielke New Member

    For me it was sitting. I couldn't even sit down for five minutes without fear that I would go into a spasm that would incapacitate me for days. How would I ever go to a movie or get on a plane?

    There are some lucky folk - Sarno says about 10-20% - who just learning about TMS and calling our brains bluff- realizing that the brain is distracting us and that there is nothing wrong with us- is enough.

    For the rest of us - myself included - we have to find out why our brains are doing this.

    What types of pressure are we putting on ourselves? Do we have a personality that is gentle, kind, and forgiving to ourselves and others? Are there deep feelings of rage or loss that are lurking inside of us about past or present circumstances? Are we satisfied with our life?

    Eventually you might try bending over. For now here are some questions to answer while you are lying comfortably on your back. :)

    Best of luck.

    Alexis B.Z.
    Tennis Tom and brendan537 like this.
  9. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    I understand the severity of the pain from tms. For me it was facing the worst pain imaginable but this was what I had to do to break it. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. But now I am free from it for the most part. It had a hold on me for 15 years. Quoting out of Healing Back Pain Dr Sarno says "virtually everyone I have seen has been a prisoner of fear, and that works even better than the pain to keep the attention focused on the body instead of the emotions. It is our job to liberate them from this pervasive fear"

    Actually we mainly just need to accept and believe that the pain is being caused by our own minds. Then we have to accept that we must face our fears and that it is not going to be easy to do this but we have to in order to get better.
    When a patient asks Dr Sarno about how to stop repressing feelings he says "the solution doesn't require any of those difficult transformations in the majority of cases. To be sure a small number of patients will have to be in psychotherapy to recover, but they represent less than five percent of the total. The rest will get better simply by learning all about TMS and changing their perceptions about their back."
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  10. alexisblairezielke

    alexisblairezielke New Member

    I do agree…

    “In the mildest cases merely acknowledging that the pain is psychologically rather than physically induced is enough to reverse the process.

    (However) With increasing severity of pain, more and more intervention is required.”

    Dr. Sarno, The Divided Mind

    I would say if you are “not ready” and “just cannot” bend over quite yet…

    I would attempt any physical limitations a little bit at a time.

    And try starting a program like the SEP to help guide you.

    For me it was a combination of journaling my feelings, reading, watching success videos, meditation, and affirmations

    Before I knew it the limitations disappeared almost magically :)
    birdsetfree likes this.
  11. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    I agree with this. But I feel like his pain when bending over could be a conditioned response in which it is important to face it and not expect it to be easy. With practice he can overcome this by not being fearful of it.
  12. Meu-retired

    Meu-retired Peer Supporter

    Well it has been a while and I continue to have issues bending over because, in my mind the point is, I was told that I had a disk bulge (MRI) and when I feel this electrical jolt I "see" it has got to be the bulge touching a nerve ...
    How could it be my mind? It's too real ... It's raw, it has got to be the spine. Does a muscle spasm also feel like touching a live wire with my back? Don't know how else to describe it.
    I am concerned I might be trying to apply Sarno principles to a "real" issue.
    The doctor looked at the MRI and said it wasn't anything to operate on and that it should get better but it hasn't ... The live wire is still there ..... Very hard to get around it and my only approach is still to avoid bending over. That way I am pretty much pain free but not moving normally... How can I make sure it is not the bulge? Therein lies my riddle ... Still stuck..
  13. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Here is some evidence to show that disc bulges etc. are not the cause of back pain https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8208267 (Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine in people without back pain. - PubMed - NCBI)
    When my pain was at its worst I had another MRI scan which showed a completely normal spine. I had previously been diagnosed with a disc herniation 15 years ago.

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