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What do you tell your brain while doing movements that hurt?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by MissShamrocks, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. MissShamrocks

    MissShamrocks Peer Supporter

    Hey All,

    I have been a TMSer for a very long time. Started with migraines when I was 13, then minor back pain in my early 20's, debilitating anxiety also in my 20's, then pelvic pain (vulvodynia / pudendal neuralgia) 5 years ago. Over the past 2 years my pain has decreased slowly but surely. While I'm not 100% pelvic pain free, I was doing pretty much everything I did before pelvic pain (minus sitting on wood, metal, concrete without a cushion and still slightly flaring from those moments).

    Three weeks ago I came down with serious low back pain. I tried everything, icing, heating, massage, chiropractor, advil, muscle relaxers, & finally steroids (which has helped some) but it still remains. I really thought it was physical because it was my SI joints that got inflamed (I have arthritis in them). I wrote Alan and asked him is this was TMS and he & Dr. Shubiner said YES. I started to think to myself, did I have a lot of emotional stuff going on when it happened? BIG TIME. Multiple situations.

    So I'm right back where I was with the pelvic pain (which has ALSO flared up). My brain is now doing the FEAR BASED thing of "If you bend over, lift something, walk for too long, stand for too long, sit for too long ----- you will make it worse" I'm back in that cycle and need to get out of it. My body does not react well to Dr. Sarno's version of -- Get back to ALL activities right away. I need to go at a slower pace.

    So my question is..... when doing simple things like bending over to pick something up, lifting your adorable 18 pound Dachshund onto the couch because he's older and has arthritis in his back (maybe he has TMS too? haha), doing laundry, etc what do you tell your brain to unlearn the pain? I was thinking of some affirmations like....

    I am safe
    This is a perfectly healthy movement
    My back is strong and healthy

    Would love suggestions and input........TIA! :)
    Kerrj74 likes this.
  2. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Steve Ozanich in his really great book "The Great Pain Deception," wrote that he would put all of his focus on a part of his body that didn't hurt.
    He had bad low back pain, so when he would go out for his run, he would focus on how his upper back felt, which was fine.

    Maybe think about something above your waist that feels just fine: your upper arms, even your fingers.

    So, when you lift your dog, put your focus on your arms lifting him and not your back muscles.

    wishing you well.
  3. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    I agree with the above. It’s incredibly hard just not to focus on something but a lot easier to change or replace the focus. I think the affirmations are a good idea as well but as regards getting out of the focus and expecting pain patterns I think changing to a pain free part of the body is probably worth a shot.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
    MissShamrocks likes this.
  4. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    doctor Sarno said our tms symptoms were there to distract us from some strong negative emotion. The method above is to use another distraction to distract us from focusing on our symptoms. The goal is to break the looping our mind is going through, Pain - Fear - Danger signal, Pain - Fear - Danger signal ...
    Steve focused on other part of his body. Some other would meditate, some would marathon watching comedy movies/shows (Norman Vincent Peale), some would sing, would clapping hand... all the time. The goal is to break our habit of focusing on our symptoms. Whatever method you chose to do will be difficult at first, but if you keep doing it and doing it (with a positive mind set) one day you will break the loop. It would help speed up the process if you really understand that your symptoms is being keep alive by your fear of it.
    No fear no pain, that's all there is to it.
    readytoheal, MWsunin12 and Lizzy like this.
  5. MissShamrocks

    MissShamrocks Peer Supporter

    Good idea, thank you!
  6. MissShamrocks

    MissShamrocks Peer Supporter

    FEAR is indeed the biggest hurdle. But it makes total sense and I remember that when my pelvic pain was at it's worst. I used graded exposure and honestly just went and did the things I would do if the pain wasn't there, slowly but surely and most of the pain did go away. The back pain is more scary because it's preventing me from doing a part of my job. But I realize my brain is just trying to wake me up to emotions that I may have repressed lately, so it's time to work on those and slowly get back to doing my usual activities, pain or not. Thank you for your response :)

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