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Please keep in mind that before treating any condition, including Sciatica, as TMS or PPD, it is vitally important to consult with your physician in order to rule out any serious medical conditions. To learn more about TMS and PPD, and to help you figure out if you have it, visit our An Introduction to TMS page and watch the video there. Some more guidance in figuring out if this approach is right for you can be found in the video at the top of our So You Think You Might Have TMS page.

To contribute your own story of healing from TMS, please click here to see how to post it on the forum.

Sciatica and TMS Success Stories

  • mizlorinj's story: You can read more about mizlorinj and her tips for getting better on her profile. She says "I realize some people won't buy into this as they feel it cannot possibly be that your anger, guilt, fear, etc. can cause the brain to cause pain. But I am a believer. I am proof this program works and am so happy I have been able to drive, go to work, and enjoy life again."
  • Fibri says "What I find so remarkable about TMS diagnosis and treatment is that although I did not have an overnight cure - almost every day I still experience some pain - I have now understood my pain and so I can manage it. Every time I feel pain, I talk to my brain, telling it I know what it's trying to do, but I won't accept it. I can actually make pain disappear just by talking to my brain. It keeps trying it on, and I keep talking it away."
  • Karen says "I stuck with Dr. Shubiner, finishing his workshops and by the time i was finished i had NO pain at all."
  • Baseball65's story: Baseball65 describes how, despite being born with an L5-S1 fusion, one leg that is over an inch longer than the other, spinal stenosis and a herniated disc, he led an active and pain-free life, until experiencing muscle spasms one day at work. The pain progressed rapidly and led to a failed surgery and a nearly complete physical and psychological meltdown, until he read Dr. Sarno's book, saw himself in the pages and began taking his life back again.
  • Mella 623's Story "I had terrible pain at work one day, I remember sitting at my desk just before the horrific pain began. I was crying,I hated this job and asked myself why I was being tortured having to work at this horribly stressful job. I then got up and pulled a file drawer open and that was it. I almost fell to the ground.I had to leave work, and I went straight to the doctor. He said I had back spasms and a sciatic nerve injury from pulling the draw open,a draw that I pulled open everyday for 7 years. I had an MRI that showed disc bulges and a sequestered disc fragment at the L3 level. My doctor immediately sent me to a neurosurgeon, who checked me out and then told me that I may need surgery. I refused the surgerybut I went into panic mode. I suffered through 8 mths of excruiating pain, pain killers that made me sick,NSAID that gave me severe stomach pain.

Then my husband comes home with a book.Healing back pain by Dr Sarno, he had heard about this book many years ago on Howard Sterns radio show. I screamed at my husband and told him,my MRI shows a disc fragment laying on my thecal sac in my Lumbar spine, how can this pain be caused psychologically? I didnt touch the book for days. Finally after a day straight of crying in pain, I picked it up. I began to read, and I saw myself on the pages. I was the exact personality type for TMS. I read the book, and I stopped taking the nerve pain pills and stopped the IBU,and opiate pain killers.

For three days I suffered like I never suffered before. I had the pills in my hand many times, but I fought through it. Slowly as I read, I was able to finally accept that the pain was caused by my brain, and that the sequestered disc was just a scapegoat for my mind to bring the pain on. I just finished Dr Sarno's Mindbody Prescription, and I am about 75 % cured, I have the pain under control.I still have pain at times, I tell my brain to cut it out, I don't need help to deal with my emotions, and bye, bye pain. Hope this helps someone. "

Allan has a remarkable account of his recovery from sciatica and backpain:

"The diagnosis was spinal stenosis. The MRI indicated that there was calcium buildup in my vertebrae (bone spurs) which was impacting my spinal cord and that I had two bulging discs. I was in so much pain that I was becoming depressed. I was embarrassed to have people open doors for me. I was considering getting a wheel chair but I felt that doing that was acknowledging that it was the end of my active life."

Then he picked up Sarno's books and started to use their techniques: "Monday morning I started. One step, horrible severe pain. The next day, One step, severe pain but manageable. Trying the second step was unbelievable severe pain. I was ready to give up but I was determined and pushed through it. As my leg came down, the pain went away. Completely gone. I couldn't believe it. I went up a few more steps. No pain. I did the rest of the stairs two at a time. No pain. I cancelled the surgery. In two days I had completed my short-term and long-goals. To this day, eight years later, neither my back pain nor my sciatica pain has come back. I am convinced that I would still be in pain were it not for setting goals."

Adam suffered from severe sciatica and backpain for many years. He then Then, I discovered the works of Dr John Sarno and learned the real facts about sciatica I was born again in this knowledge and knew I had found something which might actually fix my back. I immersed myself in his treatment program which actually consisted of learning the true nature of back pain. The treatment taught me what did cause back pain and more importantly, what DID NOT. I made an appointment to see Dr, Sarno, but by the time I actually met with him, I was virtually cured of pain. After 18 years of pure torment, I was free of pain.

  • An Amazon Customer says, "I had been a very active person, running, lifting weights, etc., when I got hit with wicked back pain and sciatica. I was diagnosed with three herniated discs and was told I would probably never run again. I saw every specialist I could in traditional medicine and non-traditional medicine including psychiatrists, chiropractors, orthopedist's and acupuncturists. Nothing worked and I was beyond miserable. The pain got so bad that just slowly walking up and down hills brought on severe sciatic symptoms. I read Sarno's book (Mind over Back pain) prepared for some kind of new age touchy feely stuff which I hate, so I was really prepared to resent the book. Surprisingly, it all made sense. I really responded to that and within six weeks, I was completely pain-free. This has been over three years ago, and I have not had to miss a day of exercise since. I am back to running, lifting, etc. with no repercussions.

"I had sciatica pretty bad for 1 and 1/2 years. I found some relief from taking 4 ibuprofens once or twice a day (for months), but didn't want to live that way. My local MD quickly diagnosed sciatica with the straight leg lift test - steroids and PT didn't help." She then tried Sarno's techniques, and says, "My improvements were dramatic and fast! Within a few days my pain was greatly diminished. Within 4-6 weeks it was 100% gone and I am back doing the rigorous sports I love - weightlifting, handball, tennis, raquetball, snowboarding, windsurfing, skimboarding, catamaran sailing, etc. Hey, I'm not 20 years old either - 50 is pretty close now. If you have sciatica you owe yourself the risk of spending a few bucks on Sarno's book on healing back pain."

  • Renay Kazmaier's review, "I had been suffering with painful sciatica for over three months before I read this book. I had tried acupuncture and physical therapy to no avail. I had my annual doctor's appointment in another month and my intuition kept telling me to just wait until my doctor's appointment to see if it would resolve itself. Well, it didn't until I read this book. The book saved my life. The pain was so all consuming. I started reading this book and thought this really sounds like me. But I don't think I have any repressed anger. I kept reading and thinking the same thing over and over. Then one night I found my repressed anger and let myself feel and see it. The next day there was very little pain and the day after that the pain was all gone."
  • Logan's story Logan tells of how sciatica and Fibromyalgia pain was so severe that suicide was contemplated as a last resort option. Logan then describes disovering TMS and provides a timeline detailing strategies and subsequent recovery.
  • Laurie's Success Story: Laurie's chronic sciatica pain was so severe that she was unable to get out of bed some days. When she would go to the emergency room her pain was so intense that she would not be able to describe it, and she refrained from any strenuous activity. She discovered, at a TMS workshop, that she had been carrying around grief and burden with her for most of her life. Now over 95% of her sciatica pain is gone and she has resumed her active lifestyle. She has not had any flare-ups of pain and no longer stresses out over daily activities.
  • westcoastram mentions recovery from sciatica type pain in this thread

Sciatica referenced in TMS Books

Patients are routinely told a herniated disc is pressing on the sciatic nerve, producing pain...What the medical adviser means is that the herniated disc material is pressing on one of the spinal nerves that sends a branch to the sciatic nerve...I have found that the lumbar spinal nerves in the small of the back and/or the sciatic nerve itself are frequently implicated in the TMS process...That is why people with "sciatica" have pain in so many different parts of the leg, in such different patterns, sometimes shifting from one side to the other. A structural abnormality, like a herniated disc, could not produce such a clinical picture.

if the sciatic nerve is oxygen deprived as it passes through the buttock muscle one may feel pain in any part of the leg that is served by the sciatic nerve. Since it serves almost the entire leg there are many varieties of sciatica. In some, sciatica means pain down the entire back of the leg, in others down the side of the leg. Or the pain may involve only part of the leg or foot, the thigh and then it jumps down to the foot. In occasional cases there is only nerve pain somewhere in the leg or arm, without neck or back pain.

many seemingly normal patients-who are thin, have good posture, and have not lifted extremely heavy objects-still suffer from sciatica. In addition, sciatic nerve pain not only can occur in the absence of any disk abnormalities, but can also arise when there is a disc problem. In other words, conventional body-medicine diagnoses come up short with certain types of sciatica.

See Also

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