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Upper back pain, right arm, neck and trapezius pain.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Mark1122, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. Mark1122

    Mark1122 Well known member

    Hi again,

    I was doing the programm and resuming activity in work, like 1o hours a day behind pc. Pain got worse and my heart fluttered and skipped beats more and more the more pain i got. Whenever i get more pain i get very tired even after a night of good sleep i wake up tired, my heart also skips a lot of beats the more pain i get. Heart races and skips beats and how tired i get is the reason i cant keep going with the TMS approach. I keep failing at it and i dont know what to do.

    My doctor wont give MRI but then again what if it shows some form of arthritus or herniated disc if thats TMS anyway, so why should i even want that MRI then.. My heart got checked out on ECG and also the one for 72 hours. It came back fine.

    But im scared the pain causes more fatigue and tiredness the more i keep going on pc and making pain worse and also my heart reacts so much on it im scared i will kill myself or something. i am at the point where i dont want to live anymore, so the funny thing maybe i should just push through in and it would be a win/win, die cause of it or maybe get better and live a nice life..

    The thing is whenever i quit the pc and mobile etc i get 50% better and my heart will only skip like once a week instead of multiple times a day and i get less tired and less pain. So idk what to do..

    I completely stopped working again cause im too scared and in too much pain.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  2. tmstraveler

    tmstraveler Peer Supporter

    Are you regularly practicing somatic tracking/reframing pain from the Alan Gordon program? It’s not enough to just push ourselves through exposure, but we have to do it under a feeling of relative safety. I know it’s hard but using the above practices regularly throughout the day will help you learn to fear pain less (it’s a habit you can develop) and that habit will keep you from just retraumatizing yourself constantly by trying to push through the pain with gritted teeth.

    You’re not going to die. The heart is an incredibly strong muscle. I know that fear though as when my pelvic pain started, my heart rate jacked up and I basically couldn’t sleep for months.

    Anyway, make sure you are practicing a version of somatic tracking to help keep you from having a visceral fear reaction to the pain every time including an elevated heart rate—this takes time but you can do it! That will put you on the path to acceptance then outcome independence then indifference then (eventually) symptom reduction and elimination.

    I also want to say that I had your exact symptoms (shoulder, neck, trapezius pain) about ten years ago before I knew what TMS even was. I eventually stopped trying so hard to fix it and it 100% went away. No pain there at all. Only now do I see that it was a form of TMS and could probably and have eliminated it faster had I had the tools at the time.

    Stay strong. You’re still learning but you can do it. I have no doubt!
  3. Mark1122

    Mark1122 Well known member

    I am not, so thanks i did read it but kindof forgot about it, i will try that again.

    A higher heart rate doesnt scare me that much but its the skipped beats and flutters that scare me. It is also when i used pc alot and have more pain and more tired but when im at that point just sitting on the couch not being behind a pc that suddenly skipped beats etc happen. but yeah it has been checked so i guess its alright.

    Its so horrible, its also in my right arm and pinky, and the side of the hand from pinky. I have it for like 6-7 years now but it got worse, it is a little bit on the left side too now, which makes it seem more like TMS? But im too scared atm that its something serious.

    I hope... its so hard, you read a lot of people that read a book and they are clear from symptoms which makes it harder for me to believe. its taking ages for me.. thanks for your post.
  4. tmstraveler

    tmstraveler Peer Supporter

    It's a journey, Mark. And it's funny how we can see the challenges in others much more easily than in ourselves. It's so clear to me that you still have a lot of fear and bringing that down is your first step. I know it sounds impossible but every part of this sounds impossible until it isn't. I was so afraid I couldn't sleep for more than an hour at a time and woke up covered in sweat. I thought THAT would kill me. Eventually I was hoping it would. But with some work I moved out of that space and am now just working to get to 100%

    Use the tools from the program (especially the somatic tracking) as much as possible. Remember that you are NOT trying to eliminate the symptoms, just observe them. Do it so much that you think you're doing it too much. That might sound like preoccupation but it's actually the opposite. You're preoccupied right now. This is a way to engage with your pain from a healthier place. You can't do it enough at this point in your recovery. Try it for a while and judge your success by whether you are a little less worried about these sensations over time. Like every part of this, it takes practice and patience. You'll be "bad" at it at first and that is okay! It's expected. Keep at it. Set a timer to do it every fifteen minutes if you have to.

    The less you can itemize and scrutinize your symptoms throughout the day the better. You are looking at everything under a microscope and that only makes you more anxious. I realize this too is difficult but the tracking can help here as well. The thing is you're currently conditioning yourself constantly throughout the day to be afraid and in pain. By practicing having a different relationship with your pain, you are developing new habits (and neural pathways) that take the place of the unconscious conditioning you've been doing for so long. A little at a time at first, but it builds. Think of it like building an offramp from a freeway you are currently on. It takes time to build that offramp. But when it's there, your brain can take it once in a while and you'll start to feel better. Then it'll take it more. And more. Etc.

    Pain is a pathway. Fear is a pathway. Tracking builds new ones. That doesn't mean you'll never be afraid or in pain. It means you'll experience those feelings less intensely over time. Then eventually not at all for stretches. Then not at all.

    I wish I could give you all the confidence you (and everybody) wants up top, but you will get more confidence the longer you do this. The people who get better from reading a book, that's great but it's not us and it's certainly not the majority of TMS cases. Remember this is an epidemic of fear. Chip away at that fear a little at a time. And be kind to yourself. I know you're suffering. I have felt it too--many, many times. This is hard as hell and you are strong as hell for facing it down. It's okay to admit it's hard. That is sucks. But also admit that it can be overcome and that you are willing. That's all it takes. That and patience.

    You will get there, Mark. The Pain Psychology Center is Alan Gordon's clinic that provides Skype sessions for TMS patients. It's 150 dollars per session. If you need an experienced guide, they can help you. I need one and am still working with them. Something to consider!
    tb_player and Hayley like this.
  5. Mark1122

    Mark1122 Well known member

    Thanks a lot i will try this and you gave me more hope. The hard part is that im in so much pain and so tired that i cant do a lot at those times, but il try to use the somatic tracking.

    I am scared a lot about physical symptoms and i really do look like the perfect TMS candidate, so it seems really logical. My heart is fine and multiple doctors and physios etc checked me out and find nothing wrong with me.

    But the pain really disables me since i get so damn tired from it, i have alot of fatigue too when im in more pain. Pain, fatigue, tired and heart palps. Even when i just breath in i feel pain in trapezius and upper back. I guess i will slowly resume activity while practising the somatic tracking.

    What do you think about the unconscious emotions>? i find them hard to find, i am working on those with a specialized psychotherapist atm, so hoping to find out more about those. I find writing excersises hard and cant seem to find a clear thing in my past that might bother me that much.

    Thanks for your post, it helps me a lot. It feels good to see some one with similar symptoms and some one where it didnt go that fast either. For my confidence in healing.
  6. tmstraveler

    tmstraveler Peer Supporter

    I understand being in pain makes it hard to do things. The tracking isn’t an overnight process. It takes dedication and practice. So really commit to it for at least a week or two and see if it helps with your anxiety a bit. Listen to the clips in Alan Gordon’s pain program on this site. He demonstrates how to do it and the importance of not trying to change the pain, just observe it.

    And I get being tired from the pain. I had some major attacks when I started this approach and once I stopped being afraid of them, they still just wiped me out energy-wise. That’s okay. Don’t just push yourself until you crash. Find out how far you can go before you crash and then go a little further the next time and the next time. If you do crash (i.e. have a massive flare up) that’s okay. Pull back. Rest. Soothe yourself and know that it is only temporary. When it calms down you will try again. That’s key. You have to feel pain to do this work, but it doesn’t need to be 10/10. Going that far regularly is too much to take!

    As for unconscious emotions, uncovering that I think is good, but for me, it’s secondary to addressing my fear and obsession with my symptoms. Learning that I have the type of personality that is inclined to fixate on problems instead of accepting what I can’t control is probably the most important breakthrough for me aside from just accepting that pain can be driven purely by the brain.

    Everyone’s path is different. And self discovery is good in that in will help you identify where you are making habitual choices that increase your fear and preoccupation. As for journaling, some people really benefit. I think it’s an approach, if you use it, that should be combined with direct techniques to change your relationship to pain. I don’t think you can JUST journal and end up pain-free. At least I can’t. Again everyone is different. The important thing is you find out what works for you and commit to it.

    Bottom line, you’re doing two things:

    1) Addressing and reducing fear and preoccupation
    2) Exposing yourself to activities you are afraid of, knowing that you are safe
    tb_player and Hayley like this.

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