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Day 5 When to push through pain

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Joy4, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Joy4

    Joy4 Newcomer

    Hi everyone, I’m new to this and the forum. I read and heard Healing Back Pain and accept the diagnosis. My issue is that I’m still in a lot of pain.. a good 8 out of 10 whenever I stand, walk or sit. Now Dr. Sarno says to push through this and resume physical activity, but since it hurts so much, it’s draining me a lot to even take a very small walk outside. I’m crying from pain when I come back in. Elsewhere I have seen people say that one should let the worst pain subside before following the “resume physical activity” advice. So now I’m a bit at a loss... I know I’m not hurting myself further by being active, but it’s so painful it is almost nauseating. It’s been weeks with the pain hardly subsiding at all and I lie down a lot. I was diagnosed with 2 disc herniations in August and made some progress, but then had a dramatic setback about a month ago (on a day when my baby was inconsolable, go figure). Any advice on when to push through pain will be much appreciated. My leg spasms and my butt feels like it has knives in it..
  2. Joy4

    Joy4 Newcomer

    I made salad with close to manageable pain! It hurt a lot, but not “I feel like puking” pain. It’s all about the small successes, right? :)
    georgethee and JanAtheCPA like this.
  3. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    This might be backwards. Some people say to push through pain. Compare John A. Sarno, The Divided Mind pp. 141 & 145 (emphasis added):

    "[W]e have been advising our patients to engage in unrestricted physical activities WHEN THE PAIN IS GONE and that there has never been a report of physical trouble as a consequence."

    "When THE PAIN IS GONE, OR ALMOST GONE, start to do physical things you have been afraid to do."
    Some of Sarno's theoretical views about TMS might be in doubt given research over the last two or three decades on the neuroscience of pain. But I think he was a brilliant clinical discoverer of what worked and did not work with TMS patients. Of highest importance, in my opinion, is what he said about how to "think psychological at all times, not physical" (to quote his twelfth and last Daily Reminder). I wonder if physical pushing through pain can just be a way to distract oneself from doing necessary, but difficult, psychological thinking.
    Joy4 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's a rather brilliant observation, Duggit. I like it!

    Joy4, I'm glad you're here and that you've started doing the SEP. I think Duggit has given you some great advice, and a great quote from the source!
    You've already experienced a little success, which I suggest that you treasure, and perhaps even create something that will remind you that success and recovery are both possible, during those times when you experience setbacks. Which you will.

    This work is not linear. It's up and down and back and forth, and what works for some, doesn't work at all for others.

    During times of pain or distress, I found much more relief by stopping and really reflecting on the negative messages that my brain was giving me. When you allow your primitive fearful brain to overtake you with negativity, you've given all the power to your subconscious - your fearful and primitive subconscious.

    What worked for me was really hearing the negativity, and countering it with constructive and positive messages in order to take back the power.

    You'll learn more techniques as you continue with the SEP. There will be setbacks, and your brain will fight back! Be as brutally honest as you can when you're doing the exercises (your brain will try to keep you from examining some things - fight back!) And know that the setbacks and the symptom imperative (shifting symptoms) mean that you are making progress. As Duggit reminds us, doing the psychological work is the key to recovery.

    Above all, give yourself lots of love and credit for taking the risk to do this work - that's a HUGE step. You will be rewarded!

    Joy4 likes this.
  5. Joy4

    Joy4 Newcomer

    Hi Duggit, that makes a lot of sense. It certainly feels like a distraction when the pain sets in. I’ll take it easy physically until the pain subsides then. It’s hard, because I have two children to care for.

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