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TMS caused by surgery?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by platypodes, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. platypodes

    platypodes New Member

    Hello everybody, I am new here and this is my first time posting. I am still trying to figure out if my pain is caused by TMS, because my pain was the direct result of a surgery. Seven years ago I had a cosmetic procedure called a sliding genioplasty where they move your chin forward (I had a slightly recessed chin). Ever since then I’ve had pain in the exact area that the incision was made in the crease of my chin. The pain feels like a tightness and is pretty much always present, although the intensity changes. My thoughts are as follows...

    Reasons it Might Not be TMS:

    1. The pain is very consistent with muscle pain: it feels like a tightness that gets worse as the day goes on. My pain is much better in the morning, which is consistent with muscle pain/spasms because muscles are paralyzed during REM sleep. Also, if I don’t take my daily muscle relaxers, the pain gets much worse.

    2. Like I mentioned, it began after surgery. Many folks with TMS seem to have developed it without a clear physical cause, so I feel like I’m in a minority with having pain that started with a tissue injury.

    Reasons it Might be TMS:

    1. Botox injections didn’t help (although it’s possible it was injected into the wrong muscle).

    2. I have a profound trauma history and that seems to be true for many folks with TMS.

    3. The pain is better on some days, although it’s always present. I have not noticed any correlations between my pain level and emotional state or anything else.

    Is there anyone else who had TMS following a surgery or injury? Any help or insights would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Everything you describe is incredibly common! The brain often perceives surgery as an assault (a threat). If you were already stressed and in a certain emotional state leading up to and around the time of surgery, the stage was set and your brain was primed. Adverse childhood events and personality traits added to the mix put you at even higher risk for developing chronic pain. ALL surgeries heal and scars don't hurt. Most people with TMS actually do have some kind of incident or injury or surgery that their brain latched onto as a "cause"....."I threw my back out in aerobics class, I fell, I sprained my ankle etc. etc. etc etc." It's the perfect trigger for your brain to keep renewing on a moment to moment basis...and that's why it seems "chronic". It's your brain that keeps your body stuck in the past though, and it's your brain that keep reliving the original acute pain.

    Every thing on your list points to TMS (brain based, learned pain). All 5 of those. The diagnosis of TMS is beyond clear. Your job is to accept it and start doing the work to reverse the habit.
  3. platypodes

    platypodes New Member

    Thank you for your response! I’ve heard about people developing TMS after an injury, but never after a surgery, specifically. However, it makes sense that the mechanism would be similar. It just seems almost unbelievable that my brain would be able to mimic muscle pain so perfectly, to the point that I’m having spasms and that it “knows” to be better in the morning and then get progressively worse as the day goes on.
  4. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, the brain creates all sensations. The time schedule you describe is super common and I had the same exact experience. By evening I was a mess lol. If I had a nickel for every time I heard about surgery, I would be rich by now. It's one of the most common things I hear!

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