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TMS sure is a trickster

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Hummingbird, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird Peer Supporter

    My 8 months of arm pain is lessoning. Today was nearly pain free. I am amazed I really don't have all this nerve injury I was told I had. But then, 3 yrs ago I strained my SI ligaments in the gym (this was what I was told), and well, instability in the low back/hips plagued me for 2 years. I got mostly better, although sitting very carefully, only walking not running, and no yoga or weights. I now really think this SI stuff was TMS too, so I've been challenging myself- sitting on couches I would never, and resuming beginner yoga. Tonight the old pain crept back, in the low back, hip, down my leg. I got scared and thought oh no I've hurt myself again. I read Steve O's post on here about how sitting is harmless. So I called my brains bluff and said I've been pain free for a year, I'm healthy and strong and I sit on a couch and this? Plus my arms feel almost pain free and now this? I just can't believe the audacity of it all, lol. The SI pain went away after plopping back on the couch (rebelliously) for another half hour. I've been sitting on the floor for 3 years as soft surfaces triggered pain. I'm wondering if others have had an "old injury" come back as they are healing from something current? Or if anyone has been diagnosed with ligament damage and later realized it was TMS and healed?
     
  2. butterfly_queen

    butterfly_queen New Member

    Way to go, Hummingbird!! Letting go of this pain (19 years) is awesome! Five days ago, I discovered this forum, listened to a call with Steve Ozanich, gave up my pillow, ibuprofen, tylenol and am already feeling better! We can do this!
     
  3. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird Peer Supporter

    Butterfly Queen, I think I am still in awe it is possible and that it's really happening - here's to getting our lives back! (LOVE your name!)
     
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  4. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Hi Hummingbird...
    I belive I'm experiencing something akin to what you describe. It's that "symptom imperative".. I think that's the term for it, when the pain tries to keep your attention (and FEAR, my number one issue..) going by switching locations.. Or a conditioned response where you get so accustomed to the pain being triggered by a certain position... Sitting, squatting, bending down, etc..) that invariably it comes. I've even found I'm SO afraid now, that even rolling over in bed or blow-drying my hair initiates pain.
    Frankly, and I'm not sure if anyone else reacts this way, but I'm getting royally pissed at the pain.. Coming from simple, low key activity like blow drying my hair or picking up something I dropped on the floor!?? C'mon now, RIDICULOUS!! Our bodies CERTAINLY most be stronger than THAT!!
    Truth is, I'm scared.. Scared that I'll never get back to normal activity without pain ever again. I know thinking that way hampers progress, but it's extremely difficult to not get stuck, frustrated.. And worst of all. Hopeless.
    My apologies for veering off topic. I suppose it's a bad day.:(:peeking:..btw, I have no idea what that black emoticon is, and I couldn't edit it out..
     
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  5. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    One other thing I wonder about and if anyone has an answer for this, I'd sure appreciate it..
    Is our brain really so sophisticated that it can "pick" a location where we've had a previous issue or injury and create symptoms there? I find when I'm especially stressed(current stress, not so much repressed stress...) at least one, and often MORE than one location will flare up... Low back, mid back, knee (it band), right shoulder, right foot plantar fasciitis... They can fire up all at once... Insane..
    I understand that real injuries do happen. But, Dr. Sarno says none of them last indefinitely, so what the h*** is going on??
     
  6. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird Peer Supporter

    LunarLass,

    I completely understand what you are saying about getting "royally pissed" at the absurdity of pain from simple activities that I have now learned shouldn't cause pain. Perhaps it is part of the process... maybe by getting angry we can find out power, or getting mad enough to have the strength to say enough is enough. For me, anger is something I tend to quickly intellectualize. I lived my life unconsciously believing that anger is not an acceptable response so I try and find a better attitude. I have been encouraging my anger in my journal and at my TMS.

    To get to the point of just ignoring the pain I have realized I need to do some things I love. Hiking, yoga and reading a great novel are three ways I can forget the pain and I find it greatly reduces or dissipates. I think I will try swimming? Do you have anything like this that distracts you LunarLass? Many have said meditation helps, but I am finding a moving meditation helps me more in these early days.

    What you said about our brain seeming to be able to pick our vulnerable & old injury spots to re-activate sure seems to be true for me!!!! The SI pain is like my most feared spot as I was told it would never heal and to be very careful so I don't make things worse. I keep telling myself (what you said) injuries don't last 3 years!

    I wish I could say something magical to help today be better for you LunarLass!
     
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  7. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    I so admire your positive outlook... I would give anything to feel that way...
    I've always been rather pessimistic and it has taken its toll, but never as much as it is now. It makes me wonder since I've had a variety of ailments "on the list" of what are considered Mindbody in nature if I haven't been suffering from TMS most of my life. I fit all the classic personality traits of someone prone to it as well.
    Well, give me back irritable bowel syndrome, or tension headaches ANYDAY over debilitating back pain! This is particularly frightening to me because it affects my mobility so greatly and that I did have a back surgery 20 yrs ago.. It's a blurred line whether it's physical, psychological or maybe a little of both... Since I think they can possibly co-exist... Aghhh!! Really frustrating!
     
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  8. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Thank you Hummingbird just connecting with someone who understands this whole crazy thing means the world to me. There's a level of commeraderie and acceptance here that you can't find anywhere else. Conventional docs don't seem to get it and counseling with a therapist that isn't familiar with TMS or a believer in Mindbody Syndrome makes it difficult for the person who has it to believe it 100%...but if you've already been to your primary care dr, the ER several times, and a specialist (ortho) and tried meds, PT, rest, cold, heat... Basically everything conventional medicine has to offer... What's left?
    TMS, Mindbody Syndrome. I have hope based on relationale... How CAN the mind and body function independently of one another? They can't... Endrophins are released during happy, positive experiences, and of course, during negative or perceived negative events, adrenaline and cortisol ( stress hormones) are released... A physical reaction to stressors, whether good or bad... So, there's no disputing the mind body connection.. My question is how far can it go? Enough to cause chronic pain? I know I have trouble with hypochondria, always have, but this time, I can't seem to relax about this... Even a little. I don't want to give up though.. I dont.
     
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  9. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird Peer Supporter

    LunarLass,

    Have you ever read anything by Eckhart Tolle? If his work resonates with you when you experience it, it can really help shift everything. Don't give up Lunarlass!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
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  10. hoolie

    hoolie Peer Supporter

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  11. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird Peer Supporter

    Thanks Hoolie! It is great to hear it is common. I think I am getting wiser to the tricks of TMS this week as it has tried different areas, but they dissipate after I recognize what is going on.
     
  12. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just saw you asked this question- my husband has asked me the same thing! I think this idea isn't well addressed in Sarno's books, but I found that thinking about it in terms of brain pathways seemed more logical. No, the brain isn't sitting there thinking "where should I send the pain now?", but certain pain pathways that were previously activated are more easily accessed if they have been more developed through neuroplasticity/previous experience. If you had a real injury that has now healed, some brain pathways signaling pain in that location were active when the injury was new...so they will be more developed than another unrelated place in the body. The brain of someone with TMS is set up for these various pain pathways to be activated when emotional repression/stress is high enough. This explanation made more sense to me that the simple idea of the brain just "choosing" a location.
     
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  13. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird Peer Supporter

    This has given me some new clarity of what's happening to me! Well said MindbodyPT.
     
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  14. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    I tend to concur with the "neuroplasticity" theory also. Dr. David Hanscom is a neurosurgeon who has a blog on this site making many references to the theory of pain pathways being created after a extended period of ongoing pain. He explains that the pain is actually processed in the same area of the brain as emotions are after x amount of time. So it makes sense that these pathways stay aggravated or hyperstimulated long after the acute phase of a real injury has healed. This is where I believe Dr. Sarno is onto something when he describes the personality attributes of someone prone of develop this (awful!) syndrome. Someone who is self-critical, highly driven, sensitive, and wants to be liked. I find I have all the traits which are a huge catalyst for my anxiety issues and my comstant need for validation of this pain problem. I keep chasing after a concrete answer.. And make myself even more stressed (and of course increase my physical pain) in doing so. Anxiety and chronic pain are an insidious duo...
    So Dr. Hanscom whose entire career hinges on performing surgery, actually reserves this treatment only for cases where the affected nerves are obvious on an MRI, not just suspect, but definitive... Or he actually "fixes" failed surgeries on patients who had their procedures elsewhere and actually came out in worse shape than they went in! (my ultimate fear, a 2nd surgery!)
    There's NO doubt in my mind that those pathways from my pre-surgery state 20 yrs ago are still firmly imbeded in there, I just wonder why now? After so many years without back pain. In 2013, I had a right hamstring injury,(was in PT for months...) and 2015, I had plantar fasciitis in the right foot... And now back pain... Sometimes they all seem to fire at once, especially if I am nervous or stressed or feel "unsafe" (driving long distances alone, home overnight alone, or any kind of confrontation seems to illicit symptoms). It's bewildering and very upsetting... Scared I'll never get a handle in it all and calm my poor overwrought nervous system!
    :(
     

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