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TMS - pain but also stiffness/motion loss

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Mike1601, May 10, 2015.

  1. Mike1601

    Mike1601 New Member


    I first discovered information about TMS and Dr. Sarno on the web a couple months ago. I actually work as a physical therapist and I see patients with chronic pain everyday. I read his book Healing Back Pain and have also read parts of The Divided Mind. I have found these books fascinating and so profound for someone who works with chronic pain individuals every working day.

    I have had neck and mid-back (thoracic) pain and stiffness for the past 4-5 years. A couple of years ago I also went about a year with really severe low back pain, but I did receive treatment from a very skilled physical therapist colleague. The treatments resolved my low back pain completely within 2-3 appointments.

    I have a couple of questions...

    1) From my reading thus far on TMS, the main symptom is obviously pain. I do have more or less chronic neck and thoracic pain, but this does not prevent me from working, and my main concern is actually stiffness in the thoracic area. I feel that I literally have a mechanical loss of motion. Can stiffness and the perception of motion loss also be a symptom of TMS? FYI - I have already had radiographs of my spine that showed a little arthritis but not anything pathological like ankylosing spondylitis, etc.

    2) Over the past year, I have been fortunate to attend continuing education seminars in osteopathic manual medicine, with highly skilled clinicians with years of experience in this area of medicine. Based on the TMS philosophy, would this be considered a placebo effect? It is interesting because I had a physical therapist perform several treatments of muscle energy techniques on my lumbar spine and pelvis and this immediately improved my motion and pain and after 2-3 appointments I was 100% improved... Interestingly, with the above mentioned thoracic spine "stiffness" I have been having, I was recently assessed by a REALLY skilled osteopathic clinician and he could not detect any stiffness with segmentally assessing my spine and ribcage, so this made me then wonder if this is more of a TMS issue and that I'm perceiving this sensation of stiffness from a motor control or psychological perspective but there is not actually a biomechanical impairment. I'm wondering if anyone may have thoughts about this. Sorry about the lengthy post but I have really enjoyed reflecting on Dr. Sarno's thoughts and philosophy regarding TMS and I'm going to start the "treatment" and see how things go. Mike
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  2. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    You may want to check out SIRPA UK and Georgie Oldfield,a Physiotherapist with 30years experience. It's pretty hard to wrap your head around, eh?!
    Good luck
  3. Ollin

    Ollin Peer Supporter

    Hi Mike

    I'm not an experienced practitioner, but I know for a fact that TMS mind can produce all kinds of subjective sensations about my body. I once felt that accompanying my pain, I also had a continuous spasm in my quads muscle. But when I touched my thigh with my hand, I couldn't feel any tightness. This touch also eased my pain. It's easy to believe that a muscle tension will cause pain, so I actually managed to de-condition my pain response in the thigh just by reassuring my perception that there's no physical spasm. I still have burning pain elsewhere in my body, but it doesn't go away - I suppose my subconscious doesn't really believe that my skin is on fire... so I can't do anything to correct it.

    So I'd answer: YES, this is quite likely that your perceived stiffness is just your produced in your mind in response to the pain, especially that nothing else has been found by your osteopath. Perhaps practice the movements that make you feel stiff, challenge your perceptions by observing your actual range of motion, compare it with other people, and there's a chance this sensation will disappear, maybe even the pain.
    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) and Ellen like this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Mike, are you working enough on discovering the emotional, psychological reasons for your pain?
    Journaling helped me to find mine. Your post seems to be that you are still more focused on structural causes.
    You have to believe 100 percent in TMS or it won't work for you.
    I would stop seeing doctors or looking for any other help than TMS healing techniques.
    This web site is full of those. Good luck and keep believing.

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