Tension-Based Pain is a phrase I use to describe the type of pain I experienced for twenty long years. The pain took many forms, and attacked different regions of the body. It moved, it changed, and switched from the right side to the left, and back again. This multi-site attack made me think I was just falling apart physically. What could explain all these different pains all over the body for years on end? Finally, I was introduced to the work of Dr. John Sarno, Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, and attending physician at the Howard A. Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University Medical Center, and one of the most intuitive doctors that has ever practiced, in my opinion. Dr. Sarno described a psychosomatic condition he called Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), which is simply tension that contracts muscles, causing reduced blood flow, and subsequently a reduction of oxygen to the affected muscles. The word psychosomatic means a physical illness or other condition that is caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress. It is a word that I think is frightening to some people, but it is a basic concept that most people intuitively understand - when we are stressed, we feel worse, and have more pain. So,tightened muscles constrict the arteries and veins in and around those muscles, starving those muscles of oxygen, and that causes pain. Eventually, muscles starved of oxygen will begin to spasm, and will fail (weaken) in time. When the muscles fail it might be described as "throwing out your back". It's a sudden, severe pain, usually occurs in the lower back. Tension-Based Pain can manifest as low-back pain, neck pain, migraines, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, carpel tunnel syndrome, sciatica, tight calf muscles, plantar fasciitis, and many other 'mysterious' physical afflictions.
TENSION-BASED PAIN - Why does it happen?
Tension is a naturally occurring function of the body, and there are many useful applications for tension in the muscles, such as preparing for running, lifting something heavy, or other physical activity. In the case of Tension-Based Pain, we see muscles that involuntarily tighten inappropriately use of tension in the body. Human beings may have pushed themselves further than their minds can handle day-to-day. This constant state of stress causes an underlying feeling of being unsafe. The body reacts automatically to this feeling of danger with tightened muscles that ready the body to flee, but of course we aren't ready to run, we're in our car, at our jobs, or even lying down to sleep. Individuals go through difficult times in life, grief at the loss of a loved one, illness for themselves, friends or family, financial issues, or other temporary stress. Managing these negative emotions, or some type of therapy may be a good way to help them through a rough time. In the US we spend an enormous amount of resources on treating the body, but so little on our psyche, which is where many physical issues arise.
If you complete a search for the phrase 'Stress Kills', about 29,100,000 results will display. Here are a few titles:
What Stress Can Do To Your Body
If It Feels Like Stress Is Killing You, That's Because It Might Be
Why Stress Is Deadly
Why Stress Can Kill You: A Cardiologist Explains
Stress Kills The Mind, One Day At A Time
"Stress: Portrait of a Killer" Examines How Stress Can Kill You
Stress Could Literally Kill You, Here's The Reason Why
Stress is Killing You
There are a lot of people and organizations writing about stress, because it is a very big problem worldwide. We may think it is normal to be stressed all the time, but it is hurting us, degrading our quality of life, and literally destroying us physically, and emotionally. When we ignore all the signs that stress is hurting us - we are playing with fire. Tension-Based Pain can be startling, painful, and frightening when we find ourselves suddenly suffering from it, but thankfully we have many tools at our disposal to manage and overcome it. In my own experience, I found I that was able to completely resolve twenty years of debilitating; crippling; life stopping pain within a couple of weeks. I know that sounds miraculous, but it can be done, and many other people have achieved similar results. I developed a plan for myself that resolved the physical tension, and well as the emotional stress that had me trapped in pain for decades. You can change your life, you can start today, and I wish you every success in living a life free of Tension-Based Pain.