We know it’s very likely TMS, but this article gets into the subject of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in many ways that may interest you. Myth 4 comes closest to agreeing that RA is TMS caused. Dr. Sarno, Steve Ozamich and other TMS advocates say that surgery for any back or other pain may be the wrong cure and even make things worse. There are many success stories on TMSWiki.org/forum from those who say their doctors prescribed operations but they said no and went the TMS healing route instead. Regarding herniated discs, Dr. Sarno writes in Healing Back Pain: “Surgery to remove extruded intervertebral disc material is frequently performed, and without question such procedures are often essential. It is my impression, however, based on my experience with patients with herniated discs, that the extruded disc material is often not responsible for the pain.” Sarno says the surgeons who perform herniated disc operations are probably convinced that the offending substance is being removed. But because of his therepeutic experience, he concludes that surgery may sometimes produce a desirable result because of the placebo effect. “The strength of a placebo, meaning its ability to achieve a good rand permanent effect, is measured by the impression it makes on the person’s mind. That is why surgery is probably a very powerful placebo.” My own experience is, one cancer surgeon wanted to open my neck because of a pimple there. I insisted that a culture be taken first and it turned out the pimple just contained a little water. In another experience, I had a bowel obstruction and surgeon opened me up to find out why it happened, but never learned what did. Dr. Sarno says there is another treatment to remove herniated disc material, called chymopapain, an enzyme which can be injected into the extruded disc material and dissolve it. The procedure is less invasive then an operation but is also may just be a placebo because the herniated diswc material may not be the cause of pain. Also, some serious reactins to the enzyme have been reported in medical journals. “The idea that they (herniated discs) are being pinched is usually fantasy,” Sarno says, “and once again, ther is much ado about nothing.” I am not a doctor, so I am not saying do not get surgery if a medical professional advises it. I am suggesting that you look into alternative measures before agreeing to surgery. The following recent article suggests a person ask these five questions before agreeing to surgery of any kind. I suggest a fourth: consider whether the pain is caused by TMS, one or more repressed emotions.5 questions to ask before surgery 8 Rheumatoid Arthritis Myths If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a good first step is to learn as much as you can about your disease. In addition to understanding RA better, you may be surprised at how many myths exist. Many people still think that all arthritis is the same, or that only old people get RA. Debunking common myths will help you manage your condition and communicate your experience to your loved ones. Myth 1: All Arthritis Is the Same Absolutely not. Rheumatoid arthritis is very different from osteoarthritis, which is the most common type of arthritis. While almost everyone gets some wear and tear that leads to osteoarthritis over time, RA affects only about 1% of adult Americans. Osteoarthritis affects your joints, but RA is a systemic disease that can affect your joints, heart, lungs, eyes, and blood vessels. The two are very different diseases. Myth 2: RA Is for Old Folks Plenty of older people are living with rheumatoid arthritis, but RA usually starts in middle age. The average age to be diagnosed with RA is early fifties. For about one-third of people, RA is diagnosed after age 60. But older teens, people in their twenties, and even children can also develop RA. Women get RA three times more frequently than men, and they are usually diagnosed between age 30 and 60. Men tend to get RA a little later in life than women. Myth 3: RA Runs in Families Although the genes for RA are passed down through families, there is more to the disease than family history. You could inherit the genes but never get RA. You may not develop RA even if both your parents had it. Although doctors don't know exactly what causes RA, it's probably a combination of genes and events in your life that trigger the genes to become active. One theory is that certain viruses may cause RA, but more definitive research is needed. Myth 4: You Must Have Done Something to Cause RA There is nothing you did to cause RA and no way you could have prevented it. RA is an autoimmune disease. That means that your body's defense system is not operating the way it should. Its job is to attack foreign invaders, like viruses and bacteria, but RA causes your immune system to attack your joints and other parts of your body instead. Research Myth 5: If You Look Fine, You Must Be Doing Well One of the big myths surrounding RA is that if you are not obviously in pain you must be okay. You may look fine and your joints may seem normal, but that doesn't mean you feel great. The fatigue from RA can be worse than the pain from RA. It's not like regular fatigue that goes away after you rest. When your arthritis flares up, you may feel exhausted and sore all over, even if you look fine. It's important for other people to understand the invisible symptoms of RA. Myth 6: The Best Thing to Do Is Rest Exercise may not seem like a great idea when you feel sore and tired, but studies show that one of the best ways to relieve these symptoms is to exercise regularly. Getting exercise can ease pain and stiffness, improve motion and flexibility, and boost your energy level. Although you may need to rest when your joints are actively swollen, most of the time rest is not best. Ask your doctor to help you find the level and type of exercise best for you. Myth 7: Disability Is Inevitable Not true. New medications have changed the outlook for many people with RA. Called biologic agents, these treatments change the way your immune system functions. Doctors now know that treating RA early and aggressively is the best way to prevent disability. Advances in treatment have made it possible for people with RA to live full and active lives. Even newer medications are in development, and although there is still no cure, the future has never looked brighter. Myth 8: There Is Not Much You Can Do There are many ways to better manage your disease. Learn as much as you can about RA, and work closely with your treatment team. Eat a heart-healthy diet, don't smoke, and stay at a healthy weight. Remember that having a disease like RA is stressful. Make sure you have ways to recognize and deal with stress. Don't be afraid to ask for help and emotional support. Managing RA is a job, but you don't have to do it alone. Walt adds: There IS something you can do. Consider that RA is TMS caused.