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Weird question ... almost there ... help!

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Stephanie71, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Stephanie71

    Stephanie71 Peer Supporter

    So I am fairly certain my pain is 100% TMS, but I am still experiencing doubt and fear that there is something structurally wrong with my left leg (where I have had majority of my pain for 12 years.) It is mostly sciatica type pain and pirifornis stuff but also hip pain, knee pain/clicking, limited mobility, nerve damage type stuff. All on left side.
    Here is my question/concern: when I sit cross legged and bend forward, I can actually feel my piriformis muscle (or something) rub on my sciatic nerve and can feel the nervy twinge happen all the way down to the foot. This happens every single time, whether I assume/expect it will or not, and only on left side, i.e, my fear something is structurally wrong. I can feel the muscle irritate and "move" the nerve in my left buttock and radiate! I'm not imagining this. I don't know how else to articulate it...
    Is it possible that my horribly stubborn TMS had produced actual physiological changes in my left buttock and leg and that is why there is a structural feeling problem? (I don't know what I would do if there were ACTUAL structural issues - I highly doubt surgery of piriformis and or sciatic nerve would change anything... Maybe it would? Do people even get surgery there?) I have had my pain and symptoms (sometimes more feeling of left leg being "off" compared to right, numb, heavy, tingly nerve symptoms, weak, not always pain) since I was 18 years old, and it has been so hard to accept there is no structural damage. I had an MRI of my low back and hamstring done (where I had an initial injury) and everything is normal in those areas. Should I get an MRI of my buttock now? I know I sound a bit crazy. Please try to be understanding. I exasperate myself, trust me! I have every reason to believe I have TMS, but the structural feeling stuff with the nerve/buttock is really throwing me. I have a hard time understanding if TMS produces actual physiological changes vs. the feeling of physiological changes. So for example, could TMS process be literally inflaming the piriformis muscle chronically (because my various symptoms have always been chronic/constant) and then causing this sciatic nerve rubbing sensation? I hope I am making sense.
    Also, is my assumption that my body should go back to the way it was before this pain ever started expecting too much and simply accept diminished symptoms? I think I believe my left side has been damaged by years of this TMS process. I appreciate anyone's thoughts and feedback. I promise I am open, even if I sound like I'm not! Thank you!
  2. nick

    nick New Member

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have the same problem...my pain moves around the button, hip, knee, foot, piriformis ... on the right and on the left side. Its more radial pain
    It feels so real. Sometimes it is more nerve pain, other times it feels like my muscles is damaged or it burns ... I like your question and hope someone can tell us more.
    But I think ... my first flare up was when I was 20 years old ...nothing on my xray ... at the age of 20 - 33 I also had times where my butt hurt, like 5 such flare ups but it always goes away because I didnt play attention... now I have this pain for two years .. I tried everything...PT, chiropractic, rheumatologist with all pills they have, a lot of doctors... I swear nothing helped ...also no pain killer helps me, thats weird ...this program is difficult but since Im here I had pain free days ... thats fantastic! If something is structurally why it moves? why are pain free days or moments? why dont help inflammentory inhibitors? For me, it is the hardest time ever, but I think my focus and my attention keep this circle run ...I have a lot and had for the last 2 years stress and I know form the past that stress makes symptoms... all my neck and shoulder pain is gone... i also had an episode with anxiety and panic ... now there is nothing, only this nagging pain ... do you also had other symptoms in the past? I also have the feeling something is damaged ahhh, but Im very flexi und I cant run, the most time ... only when i have a hard flare up i have to lay down. my pain is constant ...sometimes more sometimes lower. .. there is no pattern i found out ... it doesn't matter if i do lot of sport, or eat no meat, or do this or this ... but in the last days i found out it has something to do with my mood, my feelings ... on saturday i was so happy because i bought a new camper ... there was no pain the hole day ...crazy , on sunday it comes back! Do you also have such experience?
    I read a lot of surgeries ... but i think on which part of the button, hip, leg, when the pain moves ... they cant catch it ;) the most surgeries don't help because the reason isnt the sciatica nerve or a too small area ... but thats my opinion.
    My main language is german ... i hope you understand my english und it wasnt too rough.
    best wishes ...nick
    Stephanie71 likes this.
  3. Adventureseeker

    Adventureseeker Peer Supporter

    I had the exact same problems for 4 months last year and was growing really desperate. Then I learnt about TMS and it gradually went away.
    TMS could be causing inflammation, but it is a reversible process, meaning that you do NOT have permanent damage. The sooner you learn to believe this the sooner you'll get better. I used to feel as if I were sitting on a ball when I sat down so I guess there was a structural change - but it is ALL caused by our thoughts, fears, anger and emotions.
    I found that exercise helped me overcome this pain, although at first it was really difficult. I went for short walks and swims despite my pain, then gradually increased the length. My pain disappeared completely when I started to rock climb again (I had missed it so much). I also did some running to challenge my legs and shut the pain up once and for all :). I used to talk to my pain as if it was a naughty child as well, and felt it helped :). I also stopped seeing doctors.
    Please don't give up... you are on the right track just by being here on this forum. Look for proof that your pain is emotional (for instance the day when you were happy and had no pain nick). If it were structural you'd have it all the time.
    Stephanie71, Ellen and nick like this.
  4. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Hi Stephanie, It's so interesting how are minds rationalize something unknown and then make it a belief. I have the same sensations, same leg,starts just above my left butt and goes down the outside of my leg down to my toes, and have the same thing happen when I sit cross legged - except my mind rationalized it as all tight muscle, although the sensation is the same. It didn't think, "rubbing on the nerve." I think you would become paralyzed if it rubbed on the sciatic nerve.

    This symptom cropped up about a year after my neck issues started (which are essentially gone). I've never had an x-ray or MRI of my lower back and don't care to have one. When I used to go to a p.t. for my neck, I ask her about my left side issue that's like yours. I became rather embarrassed because I looked like a marionette when she ask me to try to do every movement to evaluate it. (ie I could bent like a pretzel.) Needless to say, she wasn't concerned and said she didn't know why I had the issue.
    My left side issue is a lot better than it used to be, but it is very slow to resolve. I think that's because of 2 reasons:
    1/ I feel all my emotions in those muscles. Any stress whatsoever and my left side muscles tighten.
    2/ As Dr Sarno says, this is the most popular area for TMS. It's the "in" place to have pain. Power of suggestion.
    Stephanie71 and nick like this.
  5. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    TMS produces real physiological changes in the body, grinding, cracking, popping, burning, swelling, numbing, etc., but the problem is not from the body. The symptom is only the effect of a deeper need that is not currently being filled. As long as you obsess on what your body is doing your symptoms will continue. Your brain's intent is to create something that you might believe is "real" hoping you obsess on it, in OCD fashion. If you obsess then your brain has done its job nicely. This is called TMSing. The more you talk about what your body is doing, and think about it and pay attention to the details of the sensations the better job your brain is doing in keeping you running away from the true cause.

    The brain is good at its job too, it will create something that feels structural. If you don't believe the symptom is structural then your brain will alter the symptom/sensation to make it feel more structural in order to keep you obsessed. So as you go back and forth trying to decide if this or that is real/structural your brain has done its job in keeping you preoccupied with your body and away from what's bothering you, which is fear of course.

    starseed, Celayne, Click#7 and 5 others like this.
  6. PAwoodchopper

    PAwoodchopper New Member

    I'm facing the same thing...seems sciatic nerve stuff is real common in TMS. For those of you that don't have X-ray or MRI don't be afraid, I had X-ray done as I've got a physical job and have taken some nasty falls, showed good disc spacing, healthy curve under flexuon and extension etc. That said, I'm 3 1/2 months into a piriformis issue similar to original poster. Certain movements create tension on the nerve sometimes, other times not. And same as you all it moves. Sometimes it's the outside of the butt, sometimes middle of butt,sometimes behind knee, sometimes calf, no real rhyme or reason where it is. I suggest exercising all you can. I ignore mine best I can at work, and as Dr. Sarno suggests it's never made it worse. Usually by evening I feel better if I was active all day. I can't seem to shake the last of it, but am far better now than I was 3 weeks ago when I read Healing Back Pain. It's hard to get past the structural stuff and that's likely my last hang-up. But I also realize I have a perfectionist and legalistic personality, definitely have problems with guilt that I shouldn't, and a host of other TMS traits, so I'm confident I'll beat this. Confidence is key!
    EileenS and nick like this.
  7. Stephanie71

    Stephanie71 Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone - I had no idea more people responded - usually I get an email, and I was practicing not checking this thing all the live long day ;) Anyway, thank you for the replies. I feel further along in my journey with this madness - definitely feel it seeping in far more to my brain and system and not just rational intellectual side that this pain is TMS. I mean, geez, of course it is! I'm the freaking poster child emotionally and psychologically. But what a journal its been. I have one tough psyche that is either extremely stubborn or extremely scared and trying to protect me from potentially losing my mind if I felt all the unconscious rage. I am definitely getting it more and more. I think sometimes that is what holds me back, my slow process - I discovered TMS and Sarno six year ago, and it has taken me FOR-EV-ER to really really really get solid recovery around all of this. And when I hear people get better in a matter of days or months, I can feel discouraged. But I have also had this chronic pain since I was eighteen - over twelve years. So maybe it's just my path. My other hang ups are tons of conditioning, checking up on the pain/outcome dependence, feeling like a deformed "freak" with some strange idea that I am (physically) broken while others are not (what a metaphor that is), and mostly, I think, blaming myself for thinking I caused the pain, because I still hold this old belief that I was stupid for getting injured, not taking care of it, not getting myself the help I needed - which is really just very painful to feel that. And I know I need to let that go. The injury healed. And of course I didn't cause the chronic pain. It started at such a difficult time in my life as a seventeen year old totally lost kid.
    I have also noticed a huge correlation between being hard on my body overall, i.e trying to be thin, beautiful, "better" and the pain flaring harder. I have a lifetime of shame around my body and looks, eating disorders, had the narcissistic father who was a monster with my looks and weight, the whole 9 yards, of which I am very much recovered from, but when I start thinking I should be smaller, skinnier, dieting again, working out more, it exacerbates it all even more. So - just learning, all the time.

    Anyway, I'm rambling. Thanks everyone for the responses. It's amazing to not feel so alone in it all. Wish everyone the best.
    Renny likes this.
  8. as100uk

    as100uk New Member

    Dear Stephanie, it is so very clear you have had a very rough and tough journey in life so far. I am not sure how old you are but you look very young in your profile pic :)

    Just keep reading the book and taking it in. 100% believe. For me, it is early days and I am not an TMS expert by any means, but after reading the book Healing Back Pain my never ending pain went.

    I DO have MRI evidence of structural problems in my back. I have no disc at all at L5/S1, the bone is on bone. My spinal canal is narrowed. Of course, until I read that book, these structural findings led my "brain" to believe and therefore for "me" to believe my life was over because of the excruciating pain I was in. It was all I thought about! Now I have read the book. I addressed the negative things that had happened in my life by talking to them and will continue to do so if they pop up. For example, I imagined my bully at school (from nearly 40 years ago!) being in the room with me and I told her how what she had done had affected me and I told her I was not going to hold on to what she had caused me anymore. I had a good cry too. I also acknowledged to myself that yes I have structural things going on but they are not causing the SEVERE pain in am in - my BRAIN is by the way it was thinking. To put it simply, once I understood this and told my brain "NO MORE" the pain stopped.

    We are humans and our bodies get damaged and they DO hurt but they also heal. When we have pain it is REAL. If we get a splinter it hurts but take out the splinter and after a while of healing the pain goes and we see with our eyes it is better and it no longer hurts. When some people (I believe those with TMS) feel they have something going on that they cannot see their brain goes into overdrive, constantly thinking what it could be, what can they do to stop it etc The brain can turn something minor into something major depending on how we react to it. Even when, as in my case, structural damage is evident, some peoples brain (as mine had done) makes them produce pain above and beyond what they should be feeling because the brain makes them obsess over it. That was me until I read and totally understood that book. So do not give up.

    In your case, lets just say you DO have an abnormality that is cause a muscle to twang your sciatic nerve now and again - it is real, it is painful, but it lasts for seconds. If you think nothing further of it, it will stop. If you start obsessing about the whys/what can I do/how long is this going to last etc, it will stay. This is only my opinion but is exactly what has happened to me, I was letting my brain give me an almost never ending twang! Once I read the book, I stopped letting my brain make me obsess about the twang by talking to my brain and basically saying NO MORE! My brain has been literally "thinking" me into severe pain above and beyond what I should be feeling. Whereas, the reality for me is that sure I will have an occasional "cattle prod twang" as my bone grinds on the nerves, BUT I am not going to let my BRAIN dwell on that fleeting shock anymore and like "magic" the never ending pain has gone away.

    A couple of weeks ago I was on the internet every spare minute (hours in the evenings/weekend) looking up for every back condition/help/cure etc it was all I thought about, all I spoke about. I have not done a single online search since reading the book that contains the words "treatment, help, cure, back pain, DDD, no disc etc".

    Sorry, now I am rambling!

    I hope you feel much better soon :)
    Stephanie71 and Cap'n Spanky like this.
  9. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    As100uk, you are a fantastic inspiration. I hope you do your story soon and that they put you in the 'success stories' link under back pain.
  10. Un0wut2du

    Un0wut2du Peer Supporter

    That's TMS.
  11. MelG914

    MelG914 New Member

    Stephanie-I just joined this site and you are my twin in many areas regarding your pain condition. I've had it for 15 years! Same kind of thing on my left side. I also have weakness, numbness etc... in my left arm which makes no sense to the doctors. I've had every test and surgery possible. I DID have my left butt cheek cut open. Dr. found my sciatic nerve trapped in a lot of scar tissue but no problem with my piriformis muscle. He released the nerve and I got better...for 3 months and it came back. Back surgery on L5 did nothing. But, I found myself on all the pages of Dr. Sarnos' books! I'm convinced but it is so hard to believe when you've had years of doctors telling you it's everything from fibromyalgia, endometriosis,(I had a hysterectomy) MS to nerve damage that will never get better. Nerve conduction studies did show problems. But that just tells you that the pain is real-not what is causing it. TMS is the only thing that makes sense to me. I, like you, will probably take a while for it to really sink in. Hardest part is not obsessing over your pain when you have done so for so long.
    I had a great childhood. But I developed asthma at age 5. Then, oddly it went away when I developed fibromyalgia at 27. It's always been something for me.
    I am a "goodist" for sure. Always trying to please everyone and never feeling like I do. I think that is where my inner rage comes from. I also think that having a medical issue gets one attention. When I feel like I've let people down my pain takes my attention away from feeling like I've failed others and my pain acts as an excuse in my mind. I am really trying to realize that I don't have to be perfect for people to like me-even my husband! Now I just have to wean myself off of all the drugs I've been on for years for pain. I am determined to do it. I do have a question for people out there-how do you convince family members TMS is real? No one seems to believe in it-especially my husband who keeps wanting me to see more doctors. I may have to go this alone and hope that when I finally am free of pain they'll believe in it. That's hard for a pleaser to do!
    Stephanie71 likes this.
  12. Un0wut2du

    Un0wut2du Peer Supporter

    I think the only person you need to convince is yourself. When you improve the others really don't have much to say after that. Reading what you have described it sounds like a slam-dunk that the doctors have let you down. Just as you will read in the Sarno books. He specifically says the 'trapped' sciatic is a bunch of BS. All the millennia the human animal has taken to evolve and suddenly the sciatic is in a faulty location where it can be trapped? What a load of dung... The Sarno books clearly state that the three months of relief you gained from that surgery are simply placebo. It is a tough pill to swallow but these doctors we were raised to idolize have no idea what they are talking about on many of these matters. They are guessing. I let them cut me open too and remove cartilage from my knee. Guess what? I started to hurt again. I am finding relief finally with this process. That and so many other forms of pain. It's weird but they just don't know. You are in the right place. I am 60% healed with the knee and mysterious groin pain. Others have totally healed and just fallen away: both arms numb from supposed ulnar nerve pinched OR thoracic outlet syndrome (they have no clue), tailbone pain from an accident in 2011 (exray shows no damage), right foot arch, left trapezoid (30 years of tingle and pain here) all of those are gone. Disappeared. I keep reading and asking questions, searching, journaling and I'm improving. It takes work but it works. I went to one of my doctors yesterday and told her I thought it was TMS and she said "I think you're right" and I can tell you right then and there my mind released an enormous amount of pain in my knee. This was the biggest piece of proof I needed to prove that my mind was so VERY connected to the pain. I felt it release sitting in that chair. She is very open minded (I think being a woman helps :) ) so I had a very good feeling she would back me up and that is precisely why I went to her. My GP would NOT have said that and would have set me back. I needed the MENTAL reassurance. Not the opposite. Talking to my GP would have allowed my mind to keep fighting. Keep reading and asking questions, do the work like the journaling, follow the 'structured educational program' found on this site. I am doing the same. Back to my original point, you are doing this for YOU. Personally I couldn't give a sh*t what anyone thinks of this. I want to feel better. You can now set the example by doing the work and healing. Go get it.
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
    Lunarlass66 likes this.
  13. Un0wut2du

    Un0wut2du Peer Supporter

    I forgot another thing that is also pertinent to your discussion, I had very serious pain in the left buttocks for the past two years. I was told it was my piriformis caused by pinched sciatic. I did all kinds of physical therapy and stretches, deep tissue sports message etc. Nothing help. the medical community lead me astray for over two years. That pain too is gone from the TMS work I've done over the past two months. Gone. You're in the right place
    jimmylaw9 likes this.
  14. PAwoodchopper

    PAwoodchopper New Member

    MelG what was the reasoning behind all the supposed scar tissue? Did you have an actual accident of some sort where you sustained significant damage like an auto accident or something of that nature? If not that sounds rather suspicious. There are some success story videos where others mention Dr Sarno suggest they go watch football and rugby where men take brutal hits repeatedly and don't have problems. Same for back issues. If you've read the Sarno books you've certainly seen the reference to numerous studies where asymptomatic individuals showed disc bulges and herniation etc and never had pain. You can also look at other parts of the world where many people still subsistence farm and spend hours a day bent over tending gardens, fetching water etc, no back pain.
    I think everyone here has struggled with making this diagnosis, because we are engrained to think structurally about the problem. I'm in that boat, no doubt about it. But like you, I have clues in my story that point to TMS; the perfectionist in my work, a legalistic personality, low self confidence in a number of situations, unwarranted anxiety during some business deals etc. And I've done a number of physical tasks while suffering with a piriformis issue that were uncomfortable but never made my pain worse. Focusing on it was the only time it got worse, not working hard doing physical labor. I'm not 100% yet, having just found the Sarno books a month ago, but I no longer fear the pain. I'll power through it, and feel fully confident I'll recover fine. It's actually in some ways made me focus on my weaknesses, given me time to evaluate my professional life, and hopefully this will be as much a learning experience as anything.
    Lunarlass66, nick and Un0wut2du like this.
  15. MelG914

    MelG914 New Member

    Wow-thank you for this encouragement! I am so thrilled to have found this sight and able to talk to others who have discovered Dr. Sarnos! I did tell my GP about TMS last week. She didn't discard my thoughts and actually said someone else had recently mentioned his book Healing Back Pain. But, she went on to write more prescriptions for pain meds...
    I did have an injury a few weeks prior to my nerve pain explosion that landed me in the hospital for 3 weeks and then multiple surgeries. I fell from a huge van into the parking lot and landed on my butt. I had a terrible bruise the size of a watermelon on my left thigh and was sore for a while but didn't think much of it after that. But, that was later cited as the reason for all the scar tissue that "trapped" my sciatic nerve. Also told I have spinal stenosis and bursitis in my left hip. Anyways, my pain travels which is, as I mentioned, what throws the doctors off. I will keep on with this journey and with the inspiration I am gaining from this site I will get off meds and overcome the pain!
  16. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    Steve what about something like nerve tension....example stretching my leg and feel numbness and tingling ? And feeling like I have rocks in the pads of my feet ? It feels so real. I had a previous back surgery and surgeons have said it's probably scar tissue. I know you are probably get sick of hearing the same questions. If the brain can cause swelling like you suggested how "dirty" is that of my brain because that could create a sensation. I know I have TMS...and have to get past the OCDing the physical sensations. Just wanted to post this for a reply to help me and others in the same boat.
  17. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    ...there are so many things little and big that are tms, I wouldn't have time to write about all of them":
    Told to icelikeaninja by Dr. Sarno
    starseed likes this.
  18. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    I'm not sure what nerve tension is, but if you remember in my first book I talked about this in great detail. I even said that it felt like there were golf balls in the pads of my shoes. The brain will create any type of odd sensation that it can in order to distract you. Its goal is to make you worry, make you obsess on your body. And so by thinking about what your body is doing all the time, you are playing into your brain's scheme, and continuing to TMS.

    I'll state once again the quote by the good doctor that I put on the back cover of BPPH, "As long as you are preoccupied with what your body is doing, your symptoms will continue." No one is paying attention to those sage words of advice, but they are the most powerful words that he conveyed.

    Scar tissue does not cause pain in your case. It is your preoccupation with what your body is doing in your brain's fervent need to divert fear to the physical.

    I hope that helps!

    starseed, Tennis Tom and Click#7 like this.
  19. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    I understand your point completely and need to move on with this preoccupation. But for your understanding "nerve tension" is when I stretch my legs and then feel numbness and tingling. I tried to do some exercises just to make me feel good & this was the result my brain came up with. Thanks Steve O. for the quick reply.
  20. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    I just had never heard of the term nerve tension because all pain comes from nerves. Body tension is a response to mental stress, which in itself is simply a perception in the mind.

    The whole idea in healing is to move from body consciousness (in order to heal), but few are doing it. Shift awareness from body to life. I was involved in many early pain forums in the 90s. But I can see clearly now that my goal was never to heal my pain, it was all about loneliness, and connecting with others who felt the same. Almost all the questions at this site are answered in the many TMS books, but people by their nature need to feel connected and safe and heard by others who are going through the same thing.

    The good doctor knew this early on when he started his panels. But there is also a down side to it, as he soon learned. Sufferers can lose sight of the goal which is to feel better because they get locked in the minutia of "trying to heal" which is the #1 reason they can't get better. IOW, they are TMSing in their obsession to heal. I believe this is because they don't understand TMS at the deeper level. Once they do understand, they stop trying and they heal. But in the interim they need to ask, learn, talk, and satisfy their mind. It's a fundamental step in the process. Knowledge leads to wisdom, and then love. Love is the only answer but it is invariably preceded by knowledge.

    Ines, MWsunin12, elue and 2 others like this.

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