Tension myositis syndrome sacroiliac pain might be the real underlying cause for chronic discomfort in the SI joint. Tension myositis (myoneural) syndrome is a diagnosis that refers to a mindbody pain condition that originates in the recesses of the subconscious brain, yet expresses itself 100% in the physical body, identically to any structurally-enacted pain syndrome.
Tension myositis syndrome forms the basis of the life work of Dr. John E. Sarno, a physician who practiced at New York University Medical Center/Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine for decades. Dr. Sarno became world famous for his innovative approach to chronic pain, which is well documented in his various books: Healing Back Pain, The Mindbody Prescription and The Divided Mind.
This essay covers the relationship between TMS and many cases of chronic, unresponsive sacroiliac pain. We will define what tension myositis is and what it is not, as well as provide diagnostic and treatment insights to help patients achieve the relief they need.
Tension Myositis Syndrome Sacroiliac Pain Defined
In cases of tension myositis, the location of the symptoms is really quite irrelevant. In this case, pain might be present in the SI joint, or in the regional area surrounding the joint, including the lower back, buttocks, upper legs, pelvis or groin. However, the location of the symptoms is subject to change, as TMS tends to adjust in response to various factors, such as treatment. Regardless, the pain exists and its location is not overly relevant to successful treatment being that there is no anatomical reason for the pain to exist, although structural abnormalities are often mistakenly blamed as its source.
TMS is a mindbody pain condition, most often being of psychogenic nature, but sometimes can involve psychosomatic overlay on a current or past structurally-motivated pain issue. TMS pain is not imagined or exaggerated. It is certainly not a fabrication in order to receive drugs or attention. Instead, TMS is a maladapted defense mechanism of the subconscious mind and furthermore, is basically a universally-experienced aspect of being a human being.
Tension myositis exists to occupy the conscious mind and put its resources in motion focusing on pain so as to prevent it from discovering truly unacceptable thoughts, feelings and memories in the subconscious and unconscious aspects of the mind. This repressed or suppressed sensitivity is far more damaging to the true self than pain could ever be.
Remember that the mind is the commander in charge of the body and will use the body to serve its greater good. Pain is the perfect distraction, since it truly focuses the consciousness on the physical body and prevents it from exploring the subconscious recesses, potentially discovering those imprisoned sensitivities that are always trying to achieve conscious recognition. If this entire description seems slightly familiar, you might recognize parts of it from the renowned work of Dr. Sigmund Freud, neurologist and father of modern psychology.
We often discuss how the very worst thing Dr. Sarno did in his work was to name TMS, as opposed to simply describing it as a universal part of the human experience. This way, he set up a series of diagnostic parameters that can be disputed and denied, instead of recognizing the condition as a normal reaction to life stresses in the modern world. Additionally, the name he chose is incredibly limiting and certainly does not even begin to describe the full range of possible symptomatic expressions that TMS can create, but we digress here…
Tension Myositis Syndrome Sacroiliac Pain Mechanism
Tension myositis works beneath the conscious level to create pain using various mechanisms of action. The primary process used to create the most common musculoskeletal symptoms is regional ischemia. In this process, the small blood vessels in a regional anatomical target are selectively and purposefully reduced in diameter by the subconscious mind. This causes a reduction in blood flow and oxygenation to the affected body parts. Since all cells require oxygen in order to function, dramatic symptoms result.
Ischemia is the perfect weapon, since it leaves no trace evidence, except microscopic proof in the nuclei of affected cells, which can only be discovered via specialized testing. Additionally, the process is not pathological, although it is terribly painful. It can be easily internally regulated not to cause permanent damage to tissues, but instead simply to source pain of varying degrees for as long as the symptoms are needed. This fact supports why people with even the most extreme pain can recover completely from TMS with no lingering ill effects.
TMS can also work through other processes, including various chemical systems in the body. However, when it comes to sacroiliac symptoms, ischemia is certainly the mechanism of choice, since it can target the most common tissue types in the joint, including the ligaments, surrounding musculature and of course, the ultra-sensitive nerves.
Tension Myositis Syndrome Sacroiliac Pain Diagnosis and Treatment
Most doctors do not diagnose or treat TMS. They are not trained in mindbody medicine and tend to blame pain on incidental structural issues or simply declare symptoms to be idiopathic. This is the great injustice that comprises much of Dr. Sarno’s work. Sarno was one of the first who pointed out the glaring financial motivations of care providers as being the main impediments to progress in modern medicine. After all, the current treatments for all manner of structural pain syndromes are so incredibly lucrative. If patients can be cured simply by educating them as to the real cause of their suffering, then where would all this wonderful money go?
We have taken up the crusade to expose the financial motivations that dictate all modern healthcare practices and protocols. We have been educating patients, one at a time, for more than 15 years now and have found great success in our work in terms of satisfaction in helping others. However, we know there is still work to be done. Tension myositis might be a terrible name, but the condition is completely real and affects a huge number of chronic pain sufferers, including many SIJ patients.
Diagnosis might have to be a self-initiated process and treatment might follow the same path. However, for those who decide to learn more about TMS and knowledge therapy, the potential rewards include improved health for life, a cure for their pain and an insight on the real relationship between mind and body that will serve them better than any other information they have ever learned when it comes to true wellness.
This essay is simply a short form overview of TMS and is a complement to our many other writings on the subject. Please use the site search function to query the terms TMS, tension myositis and Dr. Sarno to enjoy our extensive collection of educational offerings on mindbody medicine. We are the web’s most complete resource for information on this vital subject.