1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Tried everything, but no improvement

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by bouldertriathlete2001, Jun 25, 2022.

  1. I’m 21 years old and am going on 2 years of back/neck pain. I’m very certain what I have is TMS.

    Two years ago, I suffered an “injury” in my knee that persisted for about 6 months. I saw pts and doctors and all they told me was rest and gave me exercises. I couldn’t run 10 feet without being in pain. After 6 months, I came home from college and the pain miraculously disappeared. I transitioned from runner to triathlete and my first long ride (about 40 miles) I experienced horrible back/neck pain. I didn’t know it wasn’t “normal” pain, it was severe burning and cramping in my muscles, but everyone told me I just wasn’t used to riding a bike and it would go away after a month or so. I preceded to do a 70.3 and century rides where I was just in horrible pain but since this pain started when I first started riding, It just became second nature. Over the next year, the pain got gradually worse, hurting simply carrying a backpack or sitting at a desk. I started at a new college and skipped so many classes because it was just too painful. I continued to train at the collegiate level attempting to ignore the pain. Eventually I realized I couldn’t do it anymore and stopped competing and training seriously, while continuing to exercise for fun.

    I saw about 15 doctors over the course of the year all thinking they knew how to heal me, and then sending me away once I wasn’t getting better. MRIs and X-rays showed nothing. Eventually I found Sarnos book and are pretty convinced I have TMS. My pain started after a pretty stressful time in my life and the pain I experience is a hysterical type of pain. I’ve had low back discomfort before on the bike and it makes me realize how different the sensation in my neck/upper back is from pain. Sometimes it feels like I have burns, or there is cold air being blown on my neck. It can feel like someone is just pulling at the muscles in my neck. It’s the weirdest most painful feeling.

    I’ve read multiple books by Doctors Sarno and Schechter and have tried everything in the books. I am currently doing the mind body workbook. I have gotten back to riding, doing it 6-7 days a week but shorter distances. I talk to myself the entire time I’m riding. I feel very confident in my diagnosis of TMS. I try not to care or let the pain effect me. I scream at it, I laugh at it I tell myself it’s just sensations, or neural pathways in my brain. But I don’t seem to be seeing any improvement. I’m so desperate but so exhausted and just want to give up this sport I love so much. Everyone tells me I’m too young to be in so much pain. I don’t know how to shake this. All the testimonials seem to claim patients healed or improved by just believing the diagnosis, ignoring the pain, continuing to exercise, journaling, etc. I feel as though I have done all those but can’t seem to notice any improvement.

    I hope someone has a similar story and can help me out. What am I doing wrong and why haven’t I seen any improvement at all?
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    The books you have read have asked you not to focus on your pain, but what is causing the pain.. and when I read your post, I read you really focusing on the pain..you make no mention of discoveries as to what might be causing it. You focus on the physical aspects of recovery.
    TMS is about the inner tension caused by repressed emotions.. that is the real work, not ignoring symptoms and forcing yourself to power through. Confronting fear is isn’t just the physical. Your brain is afraid of you confronting the inner stuff which is why it creates the pain distraction. Then you add in typical TMS personality traits of being a laser focused perfectionist, wanting to eradicate pain because perhaps you can’t stand being physically OR emotionally uncomfortable...in essence it’s the desperation, the heaping on of the stress to ‘get better, the striving to be well, the need to do and fix as opposed to rest and relax that is causing the suffering. It took me a long time to get this. Recovery takes time, drop the “you are too young to have this much pain” because a lot of negatives and judgements can be attached to that, this ids what it is and you just have to figure out what types of thought patterns perpetuate the pain cycle. For you it may not be fear.. it might be people pleasing when you really don’t want to or being angry but feeling you don’t have the right to be angry.. whatever. You will find those things over time, and your work book is your guide. Do a LITTLE bit of the book daily, also do something that beings you some joy or true relaxation so you can begin to have moments where you are not hyper focused on the symptoms OR TMS work. It can take time, drop a wellness timetable, loosen and soften your mind as to all the things that SHOULD happen and open to the WILL happen.. at some point. All of these points are well covered in Your books although Sarno’s books make it sound like recovery is fast. He simply did not write about his patients that took more recovery time, but many took longer.
    JanAtheCPA and Ellen like this.
  3. Jettie1989

    Jettie1989 New Member

    Yeah sarno's book approach is pretty much just believe and your pain will be gone.
    So when that doesn't happen I think it's hard to figure out what to do next.
    I have read a lot of stories from people who needed years just to get the mindset right, because dealing with pain can be such a struggle!
    For example Steve Ozanich writes about his year full of powering through pain while figuring it out.
    Hope that helps a little, wish you lots of strength in this process!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. mbo

    mbo Well known member

    Usually the "Sarno solution" is more about STOP DOING that about DOING.
    Stop fearing, stop obsessing, stop self-pressing, stop reading, stop overanalyzing, stop victimizing, stop complainig, .... all that unconscious/automatic habits/addictions !
    niap independence likes this.
  5. niap independence

    niap independence New Member

    I like your story, and for me I don't think you are necessary doing anything wrong, your determination to crack this nut is perfect in my opinion, the process of recovery needs grit and dedication.

    One thing that may help is I was given the fibromyalgia label' for many years, than like you I discovered Dr Sarno and TMS - The other thing I discovered at the same time with hypnosis and psychotherapy was childhood trauma, interpersonal abuse, sounds all high emotional stuff, but it was a period in my childhood when I was traumatised and trauma stays in the subconscious mind and rules your every move, yes, every move, every thought, every relationship, just about your whole thinking.

    My paradigm shift came after hypnotherapy (RTT) at this intervention and with the help of Dr Sarno's book healing back the pain I eventually cracked it, what was causing me to behave, what happened in my past to act in the way I do and the word I use is FEAR, that is Anxiety as we know, I am 56 yrs for life of god, this was an enormous revelation to me, as my trauma was witnessing the constant abuse between two parents as a little boy, but when this is explained professionally the pennies just keep dropping It all makes sense.

    Now you may not have trauma, but if you have anxiety (FEAR) for any reason, your body will respond automatically and this is were my real recovery started as I started to understand mindfulness recommended by Alan's programme here 'Fully Present' Susan Smally, Diana Winston, now this is the book to read, this is the life saver, once you can learn to ground yourself, successfully you will take control of your whole life, believe me it has changed mine.

    Youtube has loads of videos on meditation, something that may interest you is this video that explain some things,

    You will crack this nut, for me too I want more quickly but it takes time, once you take control of yourself, by grounding, breathing when you wish to breath, Not almost holding your breath at anxious times, body tightening with FEAR, but relaxed and in control, good luck.
    tgirl and JanAtheCPA like this.
  6. dh627

    dh627 New Member

    Hey which program of Alan's are you referring to exactly? Thanks.
  7. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

  8. niap independence

    niap independence New Member


    Alan's pain recovery programme has been a valuable support to my recovery https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery (Pain Recovery Program)

    The words and descriptions within Alan's Pain Recover Programme are very real to my life experiences and the path my mind and body took to develop TMS, - to un-learn, to change my behaviour is difficult, although my automatic responses to situations are now identifiable thanks to the descriptive on point descriptions in Alan's programme this has given me the confidence and belief and understanding never provide or understood by any other person I have received consultation - This programme is invaluable support to my recovery.

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