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Unsuccessful 6 months on- What to do?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Eddie, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Eddie

    Eddie Peer Supporter

    Hi Everyone

    I have been suffering with lower back pain/ left leg/buttocks pain for over 6 months now.

    Although my pain levels have improved after undertaking the Structured Education Program approx 4 months ago, I am still not fully recovered. I have consistent stiffness in my lower back that has prevented me from touching my toes or bending over for a long time.

    Although my pain was at bearable levels, I have had consistent relapses in my recovery and this has really put me off. I have read so much about TMS and undertaken strategies and everything and still I am left with crippling pain at times.

    I consistently eat well, exercise and keep track of my emotions.

    I have worked so hard at overcoming this and still to this day I am unsuccessful. Can it really be TMS?

    I went back to my doctor and he was very concerned with a loss of nerve function in my left leg. It's reaction to the knee bump was minimal. He said to forget everything about TMS and undertake 2 weeks of intensive physio and then if that doesn't help I am to see a Neuro Surgeon.

    Today the Physio did an echo of my core and noticed my deep core muscles are about 1/3 of what they should be. I really want to believe that this is the cause of the pain but I was so convinced it was TMS.

    Really lost and confused now.

    Any help appreciated.
  2. Eddie

    Eddie Peer Supporter

    I stopped focusing on the symptoms and TMS and decided to forget about it for the last 3 months. My pain was bearable but no bending over and constant relapses.

    Physio- I felt great the next day but then I did a massive workout and was so sore for the next 3 days. After that the electric, stabbing pain slowly started up again.
  3. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It sounds as if you have your feet in two different camps. On the one hand you get yourself checked to rule out anything structural. This is good if the outcome serves to reassure you that nothing is really wrong. In this case you were hit with a structural explanation that sounds plausible and your mind is pulling you towards that. On the other hand you saw yourself through the SEP and really want to believe your pain is TMS but there is doubt. Is it real stiffness in your lower back or is it fear, is it your brain telling you that you cannot bend over because you will hurt yourself and be in an even worse state? Is it possible for you to slow down, leave the massive work-outs for another day, be less focused on the prize (pain-free) and more on taking small steps with no particular deadline for achieving anything?
    G.R. likes this.
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Eddie, It sounds as though you might want to take a look at this article by Alan Gordon on what he calls, "Outcome Independence":


    And I have to second yb44's comment about you appearing to be in both camps, the psycho-biological and the physical structural, at the same time. I know I did that for a long, long time, going to PT and doing Pilates exercises on the machines at the same time I was reading Sarno and trying to accept TMS theory. I'm afraid I held back my recovery for over a year because I still had doubts about TMS and made up for that by placing simultaneous bets on both the red and the black. I know it's very difficult finally uncovering the emotional issue underlying your pain symptoms, but that's finally the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle you have to solve to heal your TMS and that involves, first of all, accepting the psychological explanation 100%. I know, I know, much easier said that done. Of course, you might need the services of a TMS therapist or MD if the emotional problem is really repressed deep inside your psyche. You're in Australia, right? You might want to get in touch with Dr James Alexander for a couple of Skype sessions. There's a guy on this Forum from Oz, PeterO, who's doing just that. But you seem so bright and intuitive that it sure sounds as though you can get to the bottom of your emotionally repressive coping style on your own.

    Hate to hear that you're still hurting, especially after you seemed to make such a good start at healing a while back.

    All the best


    PS- Just to give you some perspective, I'm still getting better over the course of 3 years. And, yes, it's taken me that long, but my progress is so impressive I can't even imagine how bad I was before I read Dr Sarno's books and did the SEP here on this Forum. For example, last night I hiked 3 miles on a trail and when I got back, I had a couple of stingers in my leg for maybe an hour. Three years ago, I'd have been limping for 12 hours after a hike. You forget about that when you get better, elide over it, and forget the bad. But it's really important to keep that kind of long-term perspective in mind as you heal. Day to day. Not much. Over three months or a year, certainly.
    G.R. and veronica73 like this.
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Are you "doing the work"? For many of us it takes recognizing our emotions at work AND doing something about them. Journaling for one. I do believe that was paramount to my healing. Keeping track of your emotions is not the same as processing them! :)
    G.R. likes this.
  6. Eddie

    Eddie Peer Supporter


    I have tried and read everything I can from the TMS Wiki. I was very vocal on the forums when I first joined. I did have relief from the sciatica type pain after completing the structured education program but not continued or sustained relief.

    I am really very confused at the moment which isn't helping my stress levels and fear. I know that meditation helps and also focusing on the present. I also read a great book about fear and its effect on the body.

    Although I have made progress, I am still left with lingering pain that at times can flair up and cause me a lot of stress, strain and emotional baggage.

    I am only 20 and feel substantially older!

    I am keen to have a few psych sessions but not too open to the Skype avenue. I would prefer face to face but there is nobody in Sydney Australia offering TMS Psychology or diagnosis.
  7. Eddie

    Eddie Peer Supporter

    After my first PT session I felt great! Did a massive workout and was so so sore for days. Then that ELECTRIC fearful pain returned. Today I missed work due to it and took some Nurofen pain relievers which helped.
  8. Eddie

    Eddie Peer Supporter

    I just noticed there is a new TMS therapist in Sydney- Mary Bayles. Does anyone have any experience with her?
  9. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Whenever your stress and fear levels increase, so will your symptoms. This is one of the more challenging parts of TMS. When you have some doubts or anxiety your symptoms will increase, which leads to more doubt and anxiety and more symptoms. It is a vicious cycle.

    The fact that the SEP helped reduce your symptoms is a good sign that you do have TMS. Your increase of symptoms probably has more to with the fact that you no longer have the daily TMS lesson.
    At this point, you probably don't need to dig for deeply repressed emotions. Instead focus on changing your minute by minute thoughts from negative ones to positive ones. If you feel the anxiety and tension ramping up in your body, tell yourself everything will be okay, and bring your attention back to the present.

    Seeing a therapist may be helpful as well. I communicated with Mary Bayles a few times, and she seems to have a pretty good understanding of TMS. For more info on her check out her Survey Response Form.
    BruceMC and CMA like this.
  10. Eddie

    Eddie Peer Supporter

    Hi Everyone

    I have made contact with a therapist to help me move along more freely. I still firmly believe I have TMS and not a major structural issue but the fear and anxiety can at times be very overwhelming.

    After reading Dr Sarno's book, my pain moved into a sciatica type pain and was less prevalent in my lower back. Yesterday I was doing some awkward lifting and felt my lower back kind of twitch and feel a bit stiff. I woke up last night with the pain back to my lower back! I'm very stiff and sore at the moment but the pain isn't throbbing through me as much. I am wondering if this has something to do with making contact with a therapist?

    I'm hoping it subsides as I try not to focus on it too much.

    Very confusing times but hope still for the future.

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