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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by D. R. Martin, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. D. R. Martin

    D. R. Martin Peer Supporter

    When you're having a bad outbreak of pain (as I've been having in my knee the last couple days), do you rest the affected part? Go at it normally? Push it hard? And then how do you react if it pushes back?

    I'd also be interested in knowing how people handle the muscle zingers and spasms that catch you by surprise.
  2. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I try to listen to my body and think. First I focus on the thoughts I was having when I realized the discomfort, are they related (for me they usually are). Then I think about what I've been doing and how I've been feeling mood-wise in the past 24-48 hours. If I've been resting the irritated part I put it into use (I mildly push it and remind my subconscious that I appreciate the attempt at protecting me but I'm back in control), if I've been using/pushing that particular part I give it a rest. It almost always pushes back at first. If it's pushing back when I'm using it, I keep using it. If it pushes back when I'm resting it I get out the journal and see what shows up on the paper. I have many pages in my journal that start with "It seems there is something in there that wants to come out but I don't know what it is so I'm hoping if I just start writing about nothing it will make its way to the paper" - hasn't failed me yet. As for the zingers and spasms I pretty much handle them the same way but for them I start with at least 10 deep breaths and force my focus to stay in the present the whole time paying close attention to sights, sounds, smells right then wherever I am. They almost always subside by the end of the 10 breaths.
    Endless luke likes this.
  3. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi There,

    I agree with much that Leslie writes here. For the muscle zingers and spasms that come out of nowhere, I immediately think to myself, "What was I just thinking about a millisecond ago?" Sometimes it's the smallest thing.

    Interestingly enough, my mom told me this past week that she had sudden back pain after doing her morning crossword puzzle. She said she felt more pain than usual and she was perplexed about why she was riddled with back pain. So, I told her about my Dr. Sarno books and asked her the key question, "Was there any puzzle solution that you can recall as bothering you?" to which she said, "No. I don't think so." Then I went to plan B: "So what were you doing before you did your crossword puzzle? "Oh," she said, "I was reading the newspaper like I always do, from front to back." So then I asked, "Was there a news story that angered you this morning in that paper?" to which she had an epiphany. "Oh YES!" she said, "I got really upset with an article I read about the financial cuts to federal programs. I was angry!" It was the first time that my mom directly experienced the power of TMS.

    So, to get back to you, think about what you were experiencing or doing or thinking immediately prior to the physical pain manifesting... the answer will come to you if you consider the immediacy of the pain. TMS can be your friend, believe it or not. It will point out to you painfully clear, what is truly bothering you. After you have the answer, you might want to talk to yourself and say, "I know what you're doing mind, and this is no longer a distraction!" Usually, my pain disappears like magic.

    Hope this is of some help.
    veronica73 likes this.
  4. cherrybomb

    cherrybomb Peer Supporter

    hi there, im only very new to tms but car journeys cause me tons of pain and fatigue, well i know this must be programming so in the car last week (passenger) my pain head, neck legs, arms started cranking right up as usual, so i tried focusing on a part of my body no matter how small an area that wasnt in pain (as per Steve's 'the great pain deception' book) and after a few minutes the pain moved to that area so i became mindful of a different painless body part and it moved again! eventually i just tried to focus on what treat i was going to give myself when i got to my destination, the music i loved on the cd player and how it was just programming. It did help lots but im looking forward to the day i get zero pain!
  5. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    treats & punishments are pretty effective for me also. when i'm going to do something that typically would cause me pain, before i start i have a little chat with my sub-conscious, just like i do with the little 3 year old i watch. we make a deal, if we can do X without any trouble then the reward will be ... (generally ice cream cuz that's my weakness) but if there's trouble then the punishment will be ... (dusting some part of the house with an actual dust rag - no swiffering! - cuz I hate dusting with a rag with a passion). it has only not worked for me once! i am also looking forward to the day of zero pain!!! it's coming for all of us, I know it!
  6. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Hey, D.R. Martin,
    How are you doing? What strategies have you been using?
  7. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    As Leslie mentioned, this really all depends on the person, and where you are both in terms of your recovery and in your confidence. If you have a lot of confidence that it is TMS, you can probably push through the pain. Dr. Sarno actually has a anecdote about this in Healing Back Pain. He tells a story about one of his patients who became pain free and started to do everything he use to do except running. Over the years he was told time an time again that running was bad for you back, and he didn't have the courage to try it again. When he finally did go for a run his pain returned. Sarno mentioned that he did actually continue to run and his pain remained for a time. But after a while the pain moved, and he realized that he overcame it. Eventually he even became pain free.

    If you haven't seen it yet check out Enrique's posts in the thread I'm a TMSer Triathlete. It is a great source of inspiration.
  8. D. R. Martin

    D. R. Martin Peer Supporter

    In my past two major encounters with TMS merely reading the Sarno books and giving it a month or two faded out the back pain. But this knee pain (primarily left knee, but sometimes right, too--big TMS clue--plus other intermittent areas of pain) has been building since the end of Feb. (Right before that was GERD that was "cured" by an endoscopy.) I am sure it's TMS, but it throws all kinds of different pain at me; keeping me off balance and goosing the fear reflex. Much harder than the back pain. I had hoped for more progress by now.

    I've tried to stay active, walking 20-30 minutes a day, doing light weights a few times a week. But yesterday I did a 35 minute walk, and it whacked me good. I feel today like I'm walking on glass knees, with burning, tingling, gears that don't mesh.

    I talked recently with someone who knows TMS, who said: Even if you know it's TMS, but it still distracts you, you're still going to be stuck. Agree, disagree?

    Anyway, wish I could report emergence from the TMS hole, but not yet.
  9. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I would agree. I think it's probably the majority of the reason that I'm unable to say I am completely pain free yet. I know my pain is psychological, there is not a doubt in my mind....it moves, it changes, it follows my thoughts and moods...but it doesn't leave totally, and I'm not afraid of the physical pain itself (which I believe is a bit different than what many TMSers report). I'm not afraid of making it worse or physically hurting myself. I think it's still around as a distraction because it knows what I am actually afraid of is what I might find going on in there that requires such levels of distraction to begin with. I'm working on conquering my fear of the internal "it" that requires this distraction.
  10. D. R. Martin

    D. R. Martin Peer Supporter

    In my case, the TMS has had two main locations this winter: GERD/stomach and left knee. The GERD/stomach faded after my endoscopy. But the left knee came along then, and has evolved and gotten more intense. There've been brief letups, but it comes back stronger, throwing new pitches. There have been symptoms elsewhere that come and go (other knee, ankle, upper back, stomach again, elbow, hip), but the left knee pain doesn't fade away. Why is it sticking to this one spot?
  11. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    You had a "medical expert" go inside and physically take a look to see that there was no problem with your stomach. That could be why the pain left there. Another thought I had comes from eastern tradition thought as to "why" the brain generates the issues where it does in the body. Their philosophy about stomach issues means that there is something emotionally indigestible to us and we have suppressed anger about having to examine the issue. As a result of the suppressed anger we cannot accept nurturing and we are out of balance in our life. Possibly the stomach difficulties were the result of a single issue that you've been able to resolve.

    Did you have medical testing for you knee? If not, possibly that is the reason that the pain hangs around there - maybe you require that confirmation from an "expert" that there is truly not a problem. Maybe the eastern tradition thoughts about the "why" for knee issues may be of some help for you in directing your psychological "dig". The knees represent making decisions, charisma, and commitment. Problems with our knees indicate that we are having difficult with decision-making and that we are finding it difficult to move forward in a new way. We believe our needs will not be taken care of if we move onto the next step, or that we won't succeed. Problems with the knees symbolize trying to get our needs met rather than fully giving ourselves in commitment, which is truly fulfilling. Issues specifically with the left knee indicate that there is a fear of commitment in our relationships.

    The simple answer to "why" the pain is sticking to that one spot, even though it branches out in addition to that spot, is simply because that one spot is still an effective distraction. Maybe the key for both of us is unraveling some of the "what" we're being distracted from?
    Karen likes this.
  12. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great point! I know that I have had symptoms come and go, but the ones that really got to me were the ones that I payed the most attention to. If a symptom can effectively distract us, it will continue to do so. Having a medical doctor rule out anything serious can really help reduce how much we focus on the symptom, especially if we already know about TMS.
  13. D. R. Martin

    D. R. Martin Peer Supporter

    I have been wracking my brain for a month now trying to figure that out. But what I've found and talked about with myself isn't doing the trick with the TMS. I think even though I'm quite sure it's the problem, the TMS is good at keeping up the distraction. Every day it throws something new and painful at me, keeping me off balance. There's no steady state to acclimate to. How do you get your mind around the TMS's repertoire so that it's not so destabilizing and worrying?

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