It's TENSION, Folks

Frederick Darrah - darrahfc@netscape.net

Original posting, 2002-02-10:

Like many that have posted here I too over the last four years have tried everything I could to relieve my lower back (specifically buttock) and shoulder pain. It was very painful for me to sit for any extended period of time. It felt like the pain was radiating from the tip of my tailbone. My rear burned, ached, and throbbed. x-rays and MRIs showed nothing wrong. Everything was "normal for my age".

I tried every type of physician to no avail. These no doubt will be familiar to you: (In chronological order): 1.) Physical Therapy; (2) Chiropractic; (3) Acupuncture, deep-tissue message; (4) Orthopedic M.D. (Diagnosis: Coccydynia); (5) Headache and Pain Center (Series of three caudal epidurals); and (6) Osteopath (D.O.). Also, here are the medications I've tried: Cyclobenzaprine, Gabatril, Neurontin, Ultram, Vioxx.

While some of the medications helped to relieve my pain, NOTHING WORKED. I was getting to the point where I was either going to live to deal with the pain the rest of my life or get my tailbone removed as some that posted here had done. I was very close to doing the latter.

It was at this time that I stumbled on this site while doing research related to this problem. I read with complete understanding and sympathy those who are suffering with similar pain. Then I read the message posted by Todd. I am now CONVINCED that this is the source of my pain, and in applying the suggestions given in the book for the last month I feel I am on the road to permanent recovery!!!

I HIGHLY suggest that anyone with an experience like mine buy Dr. Sarno's book and follow it religiously-don't doubt his reasoning. He has over 17 years of success to his credit. I bought his updated book entitled "Healing Back Pain", IBSN 0-446-39230-8.

IT'S TENSION FOLKS! Dr. Sarno calls it TMS-Tension Myositis Syndrome. Check yourself right now. Are your shoulders crunched up? Buttocks muscles tight? Forehead frowning? Do you feel uptight? Check your entire body from head to toes. I KNOW you are. Over time your muscles will begin to complain and it does so by causing us our pain. It is the realization, or knowledge, of this fact that is the biggest contributing factor to successfully conquering the pain. It is NOT a physical malady. We didn't "hurt" ourselves somehow some time ago. As his book relates over 60% of his patients state that their pain was not caused by an accident.

I echo what was so emphatically said by Todd: GET THIS BOOK! GET THIS BOOK! GET THIS BOOK! GET THIS BOOK! Thanks Todd!

Frederick Darrah

Reply by Anonymous, 2002-03-17:

It isn't always TENSION, folks

I'd just like to say that I find it annoying that some people would invalidate real life experiences simply for the sake of peddling a book. Reading the above posting is like going to the doctor and saying, "Doc, my back hurts because I can't sit straight because my tailbone hurts all the time." And the doctor says to you, "work on your posture and you'll feel a whole lot better." I know because this has happened to me more than once.

Let me tell you. I did injure my tailbone. Perhaps your treatment worked for you. Don't tell the rest of us that it's all just stress and tension. You don't even know what I've gone through. I'm happy that you found a solution for your troubles. Don't invalidate my experience though. Saying that it's all just tension and that we never injured ourselves just reinforces the ignorance pushed on most of us by the medical community.

I encourage people to take charge of their own health issues. Perhaps many of our problems could be made better by reducing tension and stress. Perhaps if we could restructure our lives to avoid whatever is making our pain worse we could avoid much of the worst we endure. But, let me tell you, I have spent 8 years coping on my own, outside of a medical establishment that would not listen.

I have found that my pain is greatly reduced if I listen to my body. If I avoid tasks that place pressure upon my tailbone, I feel better. But I can't always control the bowel movement that hits my sore spot and makes me crazy. Believe me, there is no one who has less stress than me. I take life on my own terms, come what may, because I know what I can and cannot do.

But it makes me angry to hear tripe like "we didn't 'hurt' ourselves" or "it's (just) tension". If you want to share what worked for you fine. Try doing it with respect. Has it occurred to you that the posture you described in your post can be CAUSED by pain as well?

Don't understand why I'm so upset??? Try dealing with a medical community for 8+ years that keeps telling you you're full of it when you know you aren't. It is ignorance that keeps people down. Please don't peddle ignorance here. We need solidarity and understanding if things are ever going to change. It is easy to say that there is no abnormality, that means that doctors don't have to search for answers that are hard to get. I know the difference between muscle ache and being sore "in my bones".

Update  From Frederick Darrah, 2002-04-14:

Reply to: It isn't always TENSION, folks

Unfortunately some misinterpreted my post regarding the role that tension and stress may play in the pain we all have in common. To infer that all pain is caused by tension would be ignorant, which I am not. I was writing to those who, like myself, are in a great deal of pain with no known reason. I did not fall and injure myself. To my knowledge I did not "hurt myself when I was younger". MRI scans and X-rays show "nothing wrong". What then is causing my pain? No one seems to know. Where does one go when the medical profession "does not listen" nor has answers? I found many here that relate to what I had written. To "peddle a book" on this subject would imply that I was profiting by it, I am not of course.

Jon's introduction on this site states: "Coccyx pain is often caused by falling backwards or by childbirth, though the cause of pain is unknown in about a third of cases." It was to this group that I was writing. I apologize profusely if I offended anyone by not stating more clearly to whom I was addressing. Thank you for writing, "Anonymous".

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