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TMS at night - either a relapse, or just bad form

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by gitch, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. gitch

    gitch Peer Supporter

    I've been here on and off over the past few months, following some pretty debilitating mid-back and rib pain that turned out to be TMS. In its peak, I couldn't sit for extended periods in any chair, and couldn't sleep well at all as the pain would show up the longer I stayed lying down for.

    I managed to tackle the pain once I realised it was TMS. The daytime pain went away first, as that was the easiest one to out-think. The night time pain hung around a bit longer, but eventually (once I became convinced that the reason it felt better when I slept on my sofa was simply because I was conditioned to think that, rather than because it actually provided benefit to me) it did. Since then (I think it was some time in July) I've slept on a normal mattress, with no foam topper pads, and been completely pain free at nights.

    ...Until recently...

    For the last couple of weeks, I've noticed feeling the same pain when I awake in the mornings. Sometimes, I'll get it a little during the night too. It's nowhere near the stage it was at last time, but it's enough (and frequent enough) to get me thinking I need to act on it.

    But I'm not totally sure it's TMS. Earlier this year, I got sick with a couple of illnesses within close succession, and after that, my body felt totally wiped out for some time. I couldn't really do any kind of physical exertion as it left me feeling totally zonked the next day. So I took it easy for a while. Throughout this time, there was no TMS pain whatsoever. I'm only mentioning TMS now for context. At the time, I wasn't even thinking about it. It was a distant memory. My main concern was getting my energy back.

    Once the fatigue subsided, I went back to being more active again. In late october, we had a public holiday here in NZ, and I spent a lot of it outside in the garden. This has always been a bit of a trigger for back pain for me, and interestingly, back at work the next day, there were a few others complaining of back pain as they too had been active outside for a while.

    That was really the first memory I have of the night-time pain starting back up again.

    Since then, I've been trying to be active more, and succeeding. But it also occurred recently that the timing of that does coincide with the return of my night-time pain.

    So my question is, how do I know whether the recent return of my back pain has been triggered by daytime activities, or TMS?

    I know I've had it before where TMS pain kicks in DURING exercise (which is ironic, given I used to think that exercise helped ease the pain) so there does seem to be some kind of subconscious association in my mind between using the back muscles and TMS pain. Hmm... reading that again, it kind of sounds like I've answered my own question. It's probably not the daytime activities. It's the fact that they trigger TMS that's the issue.

    Ok... Suggestions, anyone?
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Gitch. Have you been affected by the earthquake and tsunami in New Zealand. Even if you have not been directly impacted by those disasters, they are bound to make you anxious.

    But I agree with you that daytime activities and worries may trigger pain overnight. It likely is because you are getting closer to healing, and the subconscious often sends stronger pain to test your belief in TMS. You believed before and pain subsided or went away. Believe again in TMS and your back pain will go away.
    I healed from severe back pain by journaling and discovering repressed emotions going back to my boyhood.
  3. MrRage

    MrRage Peer Supporter

    I've noticed that my TMS is worse either at night or first thing in the morning. The trick I use to get me through the mornings is to observe my thinking. As soon I wake up I try to identify and avoid negative thinking. Negative thinking can cause a lot of daily physical pain and can ruin entire days if it isn't identified and rejected.

    Night time is more tricky. Often times my TMS kicks in when I'm trying to fall asleep. The only solution I really know of is to maintain a better sleeping schedule and to remember that the pain will disappear and that it is only temporary. This is harder to do than it sounds.
  4. gitch

    gitch Peer Supporter

    I felt the earthquake pretty heavily, but there was no damage where I am, thankfully.

    I am pretty sure I have established the cause of this recent relapse. Last night I had a dream about someone who left my workplace a short time ago, and woke up in the middle of it feeling close to tears. I just reflected on how much of an influence he was on me, what we had shared, and simply, how sad I am that he is gone. It made me realise that the issue I'm dealing with is probably a very mild form of repressed grief.

    The pattern of starting physical exercise coincides with the onset of night time TMS, but so does the date of his farewell. I totally missed it.

    Amazing how the subconscious just came straight out and hit me with a dream to help me see it. Pity it can't always be that helpful (TMS being a great example).

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