Have you had or do you have any back pain along with your bunions? Please comment below if you have.

I’ve wondered if the occasional lower back pain and sciatica that became chronic a few months after bunion surgery on my right foot and continues today is connected to the misalignment of my feet. All the doctors I’ve seen say it’s not but I’m not so sure.

A friend shared the book Healing Back Pain by John Sarno, MD, which I started reading today. Sarno says that most back pain (and many other muscular, organ, and immune system issues) can be attributed to TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome), which he defines as a psychosomatic issue that becomes physical as a way to hide negative emotions from your conscious mind, in particular repressed anger, because you’re not ready to or think you can’t handle the pain.

Interesting idea and even more interesting when I consider the possibility that maybe I’m subconsciously angry that I have bunions and felt I had no option but to have surgery to get rid of the pain (that and every other transgression from childhood :-). Hmmm…and the solution, Dr. Sarno? Recognize the anger, find a healthy way to express repressed emotions, keep moving your body, and in 98% of situations the pain will subside.

What’s your experience with bunions and back pain? Have you read Dr. Sarno’s book yet?

Click on the photo to learn more about the book Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno



Day 21 post surgery. I’m getting antsy so I threw out the old walking shoes and tried on my new ones. Ouch. Not ready yet. But almost. I could get it on and walk a few feet but not without pain.

The post surgery notes from the doctor say that from week 2 to week 3 you can stand or walk for up to 30 minutes an hour. Yes, and at a snail’s pace.

But I CAN walk and that is amazing and exciting and a gift!

I’ve been exercising my big toe as directed 10x back and forth for 10 seconds at a time for 10 minutes a day. You can do it in chunks of 2 minutes 5x a day or 5 minutes 2x a day or 10x for 10 minutes once a day. My foot is a little swollen and my big toe is black and blue from the extra pressure, but it’s moving and I’m able to crinkle my toes and put pressure on them to move them forward on the floor.

Also checked in to scheduling my 2nd surgery for November, which will be 12 weeks post op. That way my insurance will still cover it with this year’s deductible and I’ll still be able to visit my family at Christmas, which involves flying, driving, and 2 sets of 20+ stairs to the guest bedroom.

Confirmed my first Feldenkrais appointment for September 12 to realign my walking patterns.

OH and I almost forgot! I wrenched my back on Friday (5 days ago) and thought I was paralyzed. I had bent down to pick up something and the next thing I knew I heard something pop and I fell on to the floor in tears wondering if I should move. I waited about 15 minutes so I could calm down and feel what was going on. I could move my toes so I knew I wasn’t paralyzed but my lower back was definitely in pain. I crawled to the phone, rolled myself up onto my stomach on my exercise ball and reached for the phone. I debated calling 911 but then opted for my nurse sister in Wisconsin. No answer at work, no answer from her pager. Finally I reached her at home.

“Eileen, I may cry but bear with me. I pulled my back and I’m scared I really hurt myself.”

“Can you feel your toes?”


“You’re not paralyzed.”

I began to cry and asked her when I would know if I should call the doctor.

“If you lose control of your bladder or bowels.”

I laughed. “Really?”

“Really. Take a few Advil and keep moving. The worst thing you can do is lay down and not move. Yes, you’ll be in pain, but moving is better than not moving.”

Great. I’m not supposed to walk on my foot, but I’m supposed to walk for my back. Okay. So I did and just to cover all my bases, I took fourĀ 200 mg Advil, and a 1/2 of a 5 mg Vicoden that I got for pain after surgery. Went to my writer’s workshop to distract myself. That was Friday. It’s Tuesday now and I’m still feeling the pain but it’s lessened dramatically. Stretching helps. Walking helps.

Oh and another thing. I’ve developed some kind of pressure in my chest that I think is heartburn or muscle aches. Not sure. Called my Internist and she said it doesn’t sound like a heart issue or clot (CLOT?!) so watch it. What what? Is it what I’m eating and drinking. Too much diet soda? Or maybe it’s lack of exercise and my muscles are atrophying or maybe it’s wearing a boot that’s screwing up my body alignment along with a pinched nerve in my lower back. Or maybe I’m just anxious and antsy.

Well, at least I have control of bladder and bowels. And I can walk and talk and think and smile and hug and kiss and look up at the sky. And when the shoe fits, I’ll wear it.