Do I have Treatable
Take the 60-second TMS Chronic Pain Questionnaire to find out.
The below questions are specifically formulated and scientifically-backed to quickly guide you toward a self-assessment of whether you have non-structural chronic symptoms.
Tension Myositis Syndrome
Think of it as non-structural chronic pain/symptoms.
Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), also known as Tension Myoneural Syndrome, Mindbody Syndrome, or PPD, is a treatable condition that causes physical pain and other symptoms in the body.
TMS is not a structural or physical problem but rather results in symptoms that are generated by the brain. This affects the nervous system and different areas of the body.
TMS pain can arise due to a number of factors, including as a response to stress, trauma, anxiety, or other psychological factors.
TMS is commonly responsible for pain in the back, neck, hips, ankles, knees, elbows, etc. It can also produce physical symptoms like swelling, Chronic Fatigue, or GI symptoms like IBS.
The pain and other symptoms associated with TMS can commonly vary in intensity and location, and can range from mild to severe.
The condition was first coined by Dr. John E. Sarno, Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU, who helped thousands of patients have become pain free through a non-invasive Mindbody treatment.
But I've been given a physical diagnosis. Are you saying that's not causing my symptoms?
If you took the test above and had a score of 4 or more, then this is likely to be the case.
Modern medicine has been fantastic for advancing acute treatments - open heart surgery, cancer treatment, eradicating disease, and the like. But for chronic pain/symptoms, it's been a trainwreck.
Despite medical advances, chronic pain is an epidemic:
Back pain is increasing 14x the rate of the population (ABC News)
No studies have shown that surgery for back and neck pain are more effective than conservative care (Weinstein 2006/2007)
Injection therapies for chronic back pain have not been shown to be more effective than placebo injections (Chou, 2009)
Structural problems are often mis-attributed to pain:
2/3 of people without back pain have a structural 'abnormality' - like a bulging disc, disc degeneration, or arthritis (Jensen 1994)
Nerve alterations from carpal tunnel syndrome are seen in 40% of people without pain (Lucire, 2003)
40% of elite athletes have partial or full rotator cuff tears and have no pain or symptoms (Connor, 2003)
The same can be said for pain in other areas - hips, knees, neck, elbow, ankles.
How can my brain be generating my pain? It feels so real!
Your pain IS real. Just as all pain is real.
The brain is able to generate any symptom in any part of the body at any time.
It does this to keep us safe.
For example: If you were to touch a hot stove, you would experience pain in your hand. That pain would arise before any tissue damage occurs. Put another way: The pain is not due to a structural issue (tissue damage) but rather the threat of danger.
Pain is a protector. Pain is the brain's way of keeping you safe from harm.
But that defense mechanism can become over-sensitive. Like a car alarm that has gone off due to heavy rain.
This is especially the case if we live with a heightened level of anxiety, stress, or have experienced emotional turmoil early in life which leaves us with a hypersensitive nervous system.
So how do I heal?
The good news: If you have TMS, your symptoms are probably reversible.
The brain is neuroplastic, meaning if it has been conditioned to be in pain, it can be conditioned out of pain. But you have to know how.
There are no drugs, hands-on therapy, or physical exercises required to heal.
Treating TMS involves a powerful trifecta of education, self-awareness, and self-empowerment.
Education: Learning how the brain can generate symptoms in the body, exploring beliefs regarding the origins of symptoms (e.g. assessing whether the pain is really due to structural damage).
Self-Awareness: Reprogramming the brain to reduce threat levels. Cultivating safety in the body, tuning into sensations from a lens of safety & trust.
Self-Empowerment: Addressing internal and external stressors that may be contributing to or causing pain, getting back to physical activity and daily life.
Countless individuals have healed, returned to full physical activity (and activities they never dreamed they'd do) as a result of this treatment methodology.
Note: It is critical that you visit a qualified medical professional to rule out any serious medical conditions, like infections or cancer if you have persistent debilitating pain or if you are experiencing completely new symptom(s). If you suspect that you may have a medical or psychological issue, you should consult a health care provider in the field.
If you’ve been examined by a qualified medical professional and found that nothing was wrong, or if your pain has been blamed on any of the conditions listed here, this assessment could help you self-diagnose TMS.