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TMS and herniated disk

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ryanss007, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Ryanss007

    Ryanss007 New Member

    Hello everyone, about a year and a half ago I started getting shoulder pain from lifting, I was resilient but with a huge amount of stress at the time, the pain continued until a pop around my rhomboid happened whiled doing pull ups. Xray showed a possible c5-c6 bulge and was advised to give it rest.

    Weightlifting was my life, it was my escape and I couldn’t stay away too long so lifting kept aggravating the back area. A year and a half later im still dealing with pain, the pain lessened the last month since I stopped lifting completely.

    Im wondering why my resilience and continuing to workout didnt improve it but rather made it worse? I admit my focus was/is always on the area and if im doing things to make it worse.
    i feel like my pain is definitely TMS but im afraid to go back to working out since I have this year of trying to workout and making the problem worse.

    What should I do differently when I get back to working out?
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Ryan, and welcome.

    Which books by Dr. Sarno have you read, and what kind of emotional TMS work have you done? Those are the two prerequisites to recovery.

    There's a podcast by a weight lifting and cross-fit enthusiast who recovered from debilitating TMS symptoms by doing the necessary emotional work, and, as most of us have experienced, he doesn't hesitate to tell us when he has to get back and do it again because of symptom flare-ups. It's "The Mind And Fitness Podcast" with Eddy Lindenstein (aka @LindenSwole )

    There are a ton of episodes now, because he's been doing weekly podcasts since late 2017. For the latest theories about the neuro-pathway component of TMS, you could start very recently with episode #85, which is Eddy's interview with Dr. Howard Schubiner, but I also recommend interviews earlier this year with Dan Buglio (#70) and Andy Bayliss (#65). You can't go wrong listening to his three shows with Nicole Sachs, LCSW (#10, #37&38) and he's also interviewed Dr. David Hanscom (back surgeon turned mindbody advocate), Steve Ozanich (twice) and a bunch of other TMS luminaries - all with their own unique take on this condition we call TMS, in honor of Dr. John Sarno's original theories about the mindbody connection.

    I haven't yet caught up with the whole back catalog because I have to listen to the new one each week, along with Nicole Sach's podcast, but I'm working on it. There's at least one "aha!" moment or some kind of solid affirmation or way to "get" this work in each episode - even for an old-timer like myself - because the fact is that TMS is not something you simply treat and cure. It is a normal but flawed mechanism of the human brain that really doesn't work at all well in today's modern world, and it's going completely haywire in more people all the time as the stress and anxiety of our daily lives gets worse.

    In other words, this is the wrong question:
    The question you need to ask is "what do I need to do to change how my brain is using pain to distract me from experiencing dangerous emotions?"

    And the answer is: do the emotional work and train your brain to allow awareness of the emotions and treat them as normal and acceptable.
  3. Ryanss007

    Ryanss007 New Member

    Thank you for the reply @JanAtheCPA

    I must admit I haven’t done any TMS work yet as im in the process going to the doctors/physiotherapy to cancel out the possibility of a dangerous structural problem, as I explained earlier, I had one doctor visit that recommend rest and I went on about my business and felt I made it worse, so that is a roadblock im dealing with into acceptance.

    I listened to podcast 69 and 70 that you mentioned in another post and will continue to listen to the ones you recommended here.

    Back to my roadblock, a question I haven’t seen asked, if someone doesnt do the necessary emotional work and continue the “dangerous” activities with all the emotions and fear bottled up, can they make their issue worse and hurt themselves? As it seems to have happened to me. When the pain first started, I had a fear of losing all my progress and I continued on with a lot of worry about my triceps and shoulder pain until I caused a pop in my upper back and neck. (Typical cervical bulge start in the gym that had all the symptoms etc) does that mean the little deprivation of O2 weakened the muscles around my spine causing an actual injury?

    I hope my question is clear. And thank you again for the reply
  4. rmorrisette

    rmorrisette New Member

    I'm very early on in recovering from TMS, but I'm in a similar situation. I'm very focused on fitness, mostly running and also lifting weights. Long story short, my pain started in my low back about 5 months ago. And after trying to rest a bit, a good deal ibuprofen, rest and ice off an on, it was still slightly nagging me, and some folks started to tell me I had better be careful running or I "was really going to hurt myself". I saw my doc, she set me up for physical therapy for a month. I did it, in the first two weeks the pain in my back went completely away. (Which I'm actually now pretty convinced was due to the placebo affect). When I tried to run a little bit, had a tiny twinge of pain in my low back. The physical therapist told me I was healthy, had good movement of my low back, and wanted to try dry needling. My doc then ordered an MRI. While waiting for the MRI, I heard of Dr. Sarno and his cure for TMS. I listened to Healing Back Pain and noticed my back pain went almost completely away just from listening to it. So I ran a bit. A little back pain, but not always. It didn't hurt to run, and often it would just disappear altogether. Then my doc messaged me that my MRI showed two herniated discs in my low back, and she could set me up to see a neurologist and move towards doing and epidural cortisone injection if I wanted. I told her about what I read, about Dr . Sarno, about how I had actually been running and wasn't sure I really needed it. She actually agreed with me! The way she said it was "absolutely, mind over matter is incredibly powerful". I believe the TMS cure is more than that, but she said if I was running, to keep doing it, that I wasn't going to hurt myself. She said the important thing was to keep running, because I love it and keeps me healthy. I do not believe my doctor, who doesn't even treat TMS, would encourage me to do something that was going to really injure me.

    A big part of what I have learned from reading Dr. Sarno's work, is that it's normal for our discs and stuff to wear out. It doesn't mean injury, and it's not actually the cause of the pain. I'm accepting this more and more, and I've seen literature that he and Dr. Rashbaum have shared, it's legitimate. It backs up what they've said. The article from New England Journal of Medicine backed up what Dr. Sarno said about this, as an adult it is "abnormal" to have a "normal" MRI of your back. The pain is real, but it's not caused by structural dysfunction, it is caused by suppressed rage and other negative emotions in the unconscious.

    Trust me when I say I'm talking to myself as much as you here, but I know the real cause of my pain is TMS. I ran over 5 miles yesterday afternoon, and my back felt great. I could have run for another hour. And my back feels fine today. No pain down my leg which I've had before. No pain in my hip which I have had before with this. I've had a slight soreness here and there in my low back, but the more I use the feeling as a cue to look for any rage or negative emotional stuff in my unconscious, the more it simply disappears. I think we get hung up on idea that physical activity must be dangerous, and we better be careful or "something serious" could happen, at least that's what I've thought before. And I have 2 herniated discs in my low back, supposedly an "actual injury". But I'm fine.
    nowa likes this.

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