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 Neuropathy - TMS Substitution?
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ammuni

10 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2009 :  17:15:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi All,

I am one of those success stories in that I had debilitating disabling back pain throughout my twenties. For about a decade, I was unable to work a full-time job and unable to engage in phyical activities because of my back pain. I saw doctor after doctor and was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. After years of trying every treatment you can imagine to deal with my back pain (medication, acupuncture, chiropractory, icing, bedrest), I was handed Dr. Sarno's book, "Healing Back Pain - The Mindbody Connection." At that time I was at my rope's end and didn't believe anything would work but I thought, "Why not read this and see if it can help." Well, of course, the book changed my life. I saw myself in every page of the book. Within a month of using his methods, I was back to doing all the physical activities I had avoided for a decade because they had caused me pain. Within three months, I was working full-time and pain free! Here's the good part - that was a little over twelve years ago and I have lived an active pain free life ever since.

I'm writing on this board now because I recently developed post traumatic neuropathy and I'm wondering if my present symptoms may be a TMS substitution? The neuropathy occurred as a result of a procedure called Uterine Artery Embolization. In this procedure. the physician enters the femoral artery through a nick in the groin. One complication of this procedure is that an extremely small percentage of patients develop a "nerve injury" in the groin area as a result. This occurred two years ago and for the first year I lived with daily nerve pain that radiated from my left groin into my thigh, knee and foot. It's been alot better in the last year but I am still not able to bicycle, hike, or jog. The reason I am wondering whether this is TMS is because when I've examined my life recently, I realize my life has come to resemble what it was when I had TMS a decade ago (back pain and fibromyalgia). My life is restricted and revolves around my pain.

I've encountered TMS substitution in the past. I once was diagnosed with RSI (wrist pain) and nipped that in the bud with Dr. Sarno's mindbody technique. I also had anxiety that has gone away with Dr. Sarno's mindbody technique. And now this neuropathy.

Here's my thinking... It almost seems like my mind knew that I wouldn't accept any other pain "substitution" and therefore initiated nerve pain at the site of surgery/procedure/trauma. Because nerve pain is a possible complication (however rare) than it's a perfect substitution, one that I would accept.

Am I going through emotional pain, stress and change. Of course! However, here is the one thing that is stopping me from recognizing this neuropathy as TMS: I have never heard of neuropathy post-surgery as being TMS. I seem to think that if it is a recognized complication from a procedure, it can't be TMS. Could nerve pain as a complication from surgery be TMS? Why do so many women have the procedure I had and never have nerve pain and such a small percentage of us do? Could those of us that do experience nerve pain be more susceptible to TMS?

I am reaching out now because I don't want to live in physical pain anymore and I want my active happy life back. I would love to hear form those of you who have dealt with TMS pain subsitution years later and/or from those of you who have had neuropathy and recognized it as TMS and recovered?

Ammuni

HilaryN

United Kingdom
878 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2009 :  11:37:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many thanks for telling about your success with fibromyalgia, folks.

I've added a Neuropathy page to the TMS wiki.

Hilary N
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ammuni

10 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2009 :  09:18:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi SarnoFan,

Thanks for your reply. When I had severe back pain twelve years ago and I read Dr. Sarno's book, it described all different kinds of back pain and it aptly described what I experienced. It was easier to identify my back pain and fibromyalgia as TMS and of course it was.

However, Sarno's books do not describe post-surgery neuropathy as a TMS substitute so this is where my "mental block" lies. Also my nerve pain doesn't have the same pattern as my back pain did. For example, my back pain would move around or it would occur at odd times. My nerve pain is consistent. If I stretch the area, I have nerve pain. I have nerve pain when I'm sitting and my groin area is compressed and less so when I'm standing or lying down. The nerve pain doesn't move around. It's always in the same place, i.e., where the surgical procedure was and shoots into my inner thigh and buttock and down into my leg from there.

The odd thing is that I've had a year and a half of being fairly pain free from the nerve pain (except of course that I still couldn't bicycle or run or do yoga). I recently tried the stationary bicycle for ten minutes over a few days and stretched out the area and the chronic and severe groin/ nerve pain has started all over again.

According to Sarno's method, perhaps this is conditioning? I expect bicycling to cause me nerve pain and therefore it does.

On the other hand, Sarno does speak about nerve pain that results from back issues (e.g. some people with back pain have sciatica or nerve pain that shoots into their legs) and he identifies this nerve pain as TMS. Yet, some types of nerve pain are not TMS. For example, nerve pain from diabetes. So how do I know if the nerve pain I am experiencing is really nerve damage or is it simply TMS?

By the way, I checked out the site you recommended www.anxietycentre.com and couldn't find groin pain as one of their anxiety symptoms.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Ammuni



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winnieboo

USA
269 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2009 :  19:28:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi ammuni,
Regarding your questions about can post-surgical nerve pain be TMS. I can only add this: I have post-surgical "nerve pain" from several rounds of dental work and a small biopsy taken from my cheek and the molar ridge where my wisdom teeth were. But get this: I didn't have ANY pain until about two or three weeks later, way after the biopsy had completely healed and there had been no problems from the dental work. I should also add that my pain has gone away completely for several days at a time, only to return when my radar realizes that I've forgotten about it. When it's there, it's painful and annoying and it scares me. I check back with the doctors, I check the internet and I get myself really worked up wondering if and when it will go away. My therapist wouldn't comment until I asked her point blank what she thought it was and she told me she thought it was caused from tension (she knows me well)and she's trying to help me stop obsessing.
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ssb

Canada
3 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2009 :  05:10:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For what it's worth, I don't recall Sarno talking about neuropathy specifically, but he does say the idea that a nerve could be "pinched" and create pain is ridiculous. I don't see why tangled up in scar tissue is any different or more plausible than compressed by a bulging disc.

In general, a lot of us have had exclusively nerve pain in our TMS experience and have kicked its butt.

Good luck!
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winnieboo

USA
269 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2009 :  14:11:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

originally posted by SarnoFan
quote:
Anxiety and TMS are so intertwined
Yes! I recently heard someone refer to psychosomatic pain as "tension-induced" pain. Better semantics, I think, as all pain is "real," regardless of origin, and psychosomatic, or even somatic, doesn't necessarily say that to the world at large.

Edited by - winnieboo on 09/23/2009 10:38:55
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Cee

USA
71 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2010 :  18:10:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OH MY....I just came across this post and my neuropathy also occurred for the first time about 2 weeks after my total hysterectomy ( was suppose to be done vaginally but there was too much endometriosis...so a tradition hyst was preformed). The Surgeons have both denied that neuropathy is even possible after a total hysterectomy....but that is what I have been dealing with on and off for six years. The past year was great....the past 6 weeks have been AWFUL !! Now my husband and teenagers think I am making this up because they do not believe it can go away and then come back so badly....they believe I am making this up for "attention"! I cannot put socks on or shoes (I am living in flip flops...which are not allowed at my jobs) and the blankets at night are impossible. My feet both burn and itch and sting and feel numb. It hurts to walk or stand and exercise is out of the question. I cry constandlty. Any advice would be most welcomed!!

Cee
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