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Tension Myositis Syndrome

Tension Myositis Syndrome

Tension myositis syndrome (TMS) is a mind-body condition characterized by pain, stiffness, numbness, and other symptoms in muscles that are connected to tension, anxiety and stress. TMS is a complex set of conditions that many people suffer from, including at least some of the following symptoms:

Tension headaches

Tight neck and shoulder muscles

Aching upper back pain

Stiff joints or muscles

Muscle spasms or knots

Jaw or facial muscle pain or stiffness

Weakness or fatigue

Numbness or tingling in the extremities

Tension myositis syndrome (TMS) is a mind-body condition. It consists of physical symptoms that result from repressed emotions. Also known as tension myoneural syndrome or TMS, the condition was first described in 1983 by John Sarno, M.D., a professor at New York University School of Medicine and author of several books about the mind-body connection.


Tension myositis syndrome (TMS) is the name given to a condition in which muscle tension is thought to be the cause of pain.

TMS is also known as tension myoneural syndrome and mindbody syndrome.

The condition was first identified by Dr John Sarno, a professor of rehabilitation medicine at New York University School of Medicine, in the 1980s.

Tension myositis syndrome (TMS) is a condition that involves pain throughout the body caused by stress.

TMS is a response to emotional distress rather than a physical injury or condition. It occurs when the mind protects itself from emotional or psychological stress by diverting blood flow away from certain areas of the body, thereby reducing oxygen that reaches muscle tissue.

The pain caused by TMS tends to:

affect muscles in the neck, shoulders, back and buttocks

be constant and dull rather than sharp

occur on both sides of your body equally

come and go without warning

have no visible signs of injury

Tension myositis syndrome (TMS), also known as tension myoneural syndrome or mindbody syndrome, is a name given by John Sarno to a condition he describes as characterized by psychogenic pain syndromes with no underlying structural pathology such as herniated discs. The concept of TMS was developed over a period of several years beginning in the late 1950s, when Sarno was an attending physician at New York University School of Medicine.

In his first publication on the subject, The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain (1998), Sarno wrote that “Tension Myositis Syndrome is a name I coined for a condition in which people experience pain as a result of increased muscle tension in various parts of the body.” He went on to write that, “The cause can be any emotional conflict that is rejected from consciousness and converted into unconscious muscular tension. The physical symptom serves as an expression of this unconscious conflict. In other words, it is an expression of what has been repressed.”

Sarno’s theory is disputed by evidence from neuroimaging studies showing abnormalities in brain regions associated with pain perception in patients who had chronic back pain that did not respond to conventional treatment.[4]

Chiropractors use TMS to describe a range of painful conditions that are not caused by tissue damage, but instead by muscle tension. The theory is that this tension is caused by the brain in an attempt to protect the patient from pain, when there is no actual injury.

What Does Tension Myositis Feel Like?

What Does Tension Myositis Feel Like
What Does Tension Myositis Feel Like

Tension myositis (TM) is a term coined by Dr. John E. Sarno to describe a group of conditions that cause back pain, neck pain, and other physical symptoms. These symptoms are caused by an underlying TMS problem in which the body’s healing system is overactive.

The body’s healing system is designed to heal tissue injuries, such as sprains, fractures and bruises. The healing system is not designed to heal emotional distress, but if you have unconscious anger or other negative emotions, these can generate physical symptoms as a way of distracting you from the underlying emotions. This process is called Tension Myoneural Syndrome (TMS), and it causes no actual damage to your tissues.

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Symptoms of TMS can occur anywhere in the body. When they occur in muscles, tendons and ligaments, it’s called TM syndrome (TMS). When they occur in nerves or blood vessels, it’s called tension myoneural syndrome (TMS).

Tension myositis is a term that Frank Lowen invented to describe a set of symptoms he observed in patients who were suffering from chronic pain. He coined the term “myo-fascial” to refer to the muscles and fascia (connective tissue throughout the body).

Chronic pain can be caused by many things, including injury, disease, and stress. Lowen described a mechanism by which stress can cause chronic pain. The mechanism is based on certain parts of the brainstem, most notably the hypothalamus, which coordinates our stress response. When we are stressed out, our bodies go into fight or flight mode. This involves a complex network of hormones and neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that cause us to have increased heart rate, constriction of blood vessels, increased blood pressure and other changes in our body. These changes are designed to get us ready to deal with an emergency situation. The problem is that we don’t always have an emergency situation – sometimes we just have bills to pay or deadlines at work or other stressful situations that don’t require a fight or flight response. But our bodies can’t tell the difference between a dangerous situation and a stressful one so they respond the same way – with increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and so on

Tension myositis syndrome is a controversial name given to a condition hypothesized to arise from chronic muscle tension, leading to symptoms of pain, tenderness, and weakness of muscles. Although this condition has been described in the medical literature since the early 20th century, it has been subject to controversy since the 1980s: its existence is questioned by some physicians because of an absence of scientific evidence for its existence. The diagnostic criteria used by proponents were set out in 1998 by John Sarno and have not been formally subjected to peer review.

Supporters of tension myositis syndrome believe that chronic muscular tension results from repressed emotions (often anger), leading to oxygen starvation (hypoxia) in the muscles that causes pain and dysfunction.

Supporters argue that the condition can be treated both with medication and psychotherapy. However, attempts to verify these claims through clinical trials have produced inconsistent results.

Supporters of tension myositis syndrome believe that chronic muscular tension results from repressed emotions (often anger), leading to oxygen starvation (hypoxia) in the muscles that causes pain and dysfunction. This view is contested both by those who disagree with the theory of repressed emotion as a cause of physical illness as well as those who argue against the idea that hypoxia plays

Very few doctors have ever heard of the Tension Myositis Syndrome, much less know how to treat it. Unfortunately, the medical community is woefully ignorant of this condition due to a lack of training and education, but also because it doesn’t exist in the medical literature.

The reason for this is that there are just not enough patients suffering from this condition to justify research, or for doctors to learn about it. In addition, the symptoms of TMS are so varied that doctors cannot easily connect the dots between different complaints.

Tension myositis syndrome (TMS), also known as tension myoneural syndrome or mindbody syndrome, is a name given by John Sarno to a condition he claims may be responsible for many cases of unexplained physical pain. Sarno states that TMS symptoms are caused by the interaction between:

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psychological factors (e.g., repressed emotions); and

physical factors (e.g., posture).

Sarno’s theory was developed in the 1970s.[1] It has received little acceptance from mainstream medicine.[2]

Tension myositis syndrome (TMS), is a mind-body condition that Dr. John Sarno developed in the 1980s. TMS is a natural and often unconscious manifestation of our inner psyche, which creates physical symptoms to “protect” us from our emotions and thoughts.

The process works like this: when we experience a conflict or stress, the brain will divert blood to the muscles and create a feeling of pain or tension in order to distract us from these negative emotions and thoughts. For some people, this diversion of blood can create physical symptoms such as headaches, neck pain and lower back pain.

Dr. Sarno believes that these physical symptoms are actually an unconscious distraction by the brain, because many people experiencing TMS have been found to have no structural issues with their spine or back muscles during MRI scans or X-rays.

Some common factors that contribute to TMS include:


Conflict in relationships



Having a deep tissue massage can bring on Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) symptoms. This is because it triggers the release of long-lasting muscle contractions and causes you to feel pain in the areas where these contractions are located.

Does Tension Myositis Syndrome Go Away?

Does Tension Myositis Syndrome Go Away
Does Tension Myositis Syndrome Go Away

Does tension myositis syndrome go away

Tension myositis syndrome (TMS) is a name given by Dr. John Sarno to a condition in which people feel pain, but there is no evidence of any physical problems. Some doctors believe that the pain is the result of muscle tension caused by repressed anger and anxiety.

Although there are many forms of psychosomatic pain (pain caused by psychological factors), TMS is unique in that it involves no structural abnormality or damage to nerves. In fact, most people with TMS have never experienced any sort of trauma to their backs, necks or shoulders, yet they still experience symptoms such as chronic headaches, nerve pain or back pain.

Often times, these symptoms are triggered by periods of stress or emotional turmoil. However, the physical symptoms subside after the stressful event has passed. For example, if you suffer from chronic headaches, you may find that they disappear when you’re on vacation with your family. When you return home, however, the headaches return as well.

Tension myositis syndrome is a condition that can cause widespread pain. It comes about as a result of mental and physical stress, and it can affect people in different ways.

Treatment is often complex, involving lifestyle changes, medication, and alternative medicine.

People who exercise regularly and eat a healthful diet may be less likely to experience symptoms of tension myositis syndrome.

When we are under stress, our muscles are affected by this and we can develop tension myositis syndrome. This condition causes both pain and weakness in the effected muscles. This is a result of poor blood flow due to muscle tension which causes a buildup of waste products in the muscle tissue. These waste products cause the pain and weakness that is characteristic of this condition.

The syndrome can be caused by any kind of stress, including physical or emotional stress. Treatment involves reducing the stress levels, massage therapy and strengthening exercises. It is also possible to treat this condition through physical therapy.

It can be treated and the symptoms will go away. It is not a disease but it is a condition. It is a state of being. You become induced into this state by long-term stress, anxiety, fear and panic attacks. It affects your muscles, tendons and ligaments.

What causes TMS?

Tension myositis syndrome is caused by your brain’s response to stress. When you are stressed out or anxious, the tension in your muscles increases because the brain sends electrical impulses to tighten the muscles. This can lead to all sorts of problems like back pain, neck pain, migraines and other types of muscle pains that are not related to physical injuries or trauma.

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Is TMS a disease?

No, it is not a disease but it is a condition that can cause many different types of symptoms including pain in various parts of the body like back pain, neck pain, headaches and migraines etc… The cause for these symptoms is stress on body tissues which leads them to become inflamed causing pain and discomfort. These symptoms are often misdiagnosed as diseases such as fibromyalgia or arthritis when they really aren’t at all related to those conditions (though they might share some similar symptoms).

Describes the condition of tight muscles causing pain, swelling, and stiffness in patients.

Tension myositis syndrome (TMS), also known as tension myoneural syndrome or mindbody syndrome (MBS), is a name given by John E. Sarno to a condition he claims causes unexplained pain. Sarno writes that TMS is a psychosomatic illness causing chronic back, neck, and limb pain which is not relieved by standard medical treatments. He states that he has successfully treated over ten thousand patients at the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitative Medicine at New York University by educating them about TMS and its connection to stress and emotions.Sarno believes that physical symptoms are related to repressed anger and other negative emotions, which he believes are the primary cause of TMS.

Sarno published several case series regarding successful treatment of patients with chronic back pain due to structural abnormalities without surgery. However, his theory of psychogenic musculoskeletal pain has not been supported by scientific evidence.

The first thing you need to know about TMS is that it is a self-limiting condition. This means that if you do nothing, it will eventually go away on its own. The question is how long that will take. Remember that the pain and the symptoms are caused by chronic muscle tightness and spasm. In order for the condition to be cured, the muscles must be allowed to relax and return to their normal resting tension level. That takes time.

There is no way to predict with any accuracy how long it will take for your symptoms to resolve with no treatment. It depends on many factors including the severity of the symptoms, how long you have had them, and how well you respond to treatment.

As an analogy, if someone breaks an arm he or she has a fracture in a bone caused by trauma. In order for the fracture to heal, several things need to occur:

The fracture must be immobilized while it heals

The patient needs some time off from work or school

Pain medications may be needed

Physical therapy may be needed later in order for complete healing and recovery of function

TMS also requires immobilization of the affected muscles so they can rest and recover from their overuse cycle (this is why bed rest is often prescribed

The condition can go away with time, rest and changes to your posture. But it can also be a chronic condition that lasts for many years.

The intensity of the pain varies from person to person. The pain might be mild or severe and might get worse during times of stress.

For most people, TMS symptoms are short-lived, lasting less than two months. In some cases, however, the condition can become chronic. When this happens, it’s often because the person is ignoring their underlying emotional issues and not taking steps to address them.