1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Chronic Foot Pain - 9 Issues Diagnosed

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Sarah79, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. Sarah79

    Sarah79 Peer Supporter

    Hi Folks,

    My name is Sarah, 38, British female. I discovered TMS last night, through the invariable Googling that I'm sure we've all done as we try to navigate our way to an answer to our problems. And here's mine...

    Almost a year ago, I was out walking one day (I worked as a dog-walker at the time), when I had a very sharp pain in my right foot. I made it home and the pain got worse. I went to A&E, where it was x-rayed; nothing was found, but a physio said it looked like tendonitis and gave me the typical RICE advice. I did this, but it didn't really abate. A month later, I approached a physiotherapist and he started working with it, so it got taped and massaged and manipulated. I was also given stretches. But it still didn't go. Pushing into July now, I had laser therapy on it; 20 sessions at £20 a pop. A few improvements, but nothing conclusive. More and different pains started appearing, albeit all localised in the foot and ankle. I went to see another physio, I would wrap my foot in turmeric and clingfilm, I would sit with my feet in Epsom salts. I saw two separate podiatrists who both looked uncomfortable when they said that they didn't know what it was. I became vigilant, depressed, irritable. Eventually, after another x-ray which showed nothing, they sent me for an ultrasound. And this also showed nothing. Shocked, I said, 'but it's hurting now!' 'Where?' said the doctor, and placed the device on the bit I pointed to. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Eventually, I pushed to be referred on and went to a regional orthopaedic service. The podiatrist got me to walk up and down, stand on one leg, did a quick physical exam and said, 'I know what this is!' She then sat down and wrote a list of ten different things which she'd found. In no specific order -

    1 - Achilles tendonitis
    2 - Posterior tibial tendonitis
    3 - 4mm leg length discrepancy
    4 - Functional hallux limitus (big toe jarring)
    5 - Metatarsalgia
    6 - Tarsal tunnel syndrome
    7 - Sinus tarsi syndrome
    8 - Tight gastrocnemius
    9 - Tight soleus
    10 - plantar fasciitis

    I felt thrilled, joyous - diagnosed! I was prescribed two bog-standard calf streches, some heel raises, some heel drops and orthotics for the hallux limitus. But two months on, and nothing really shifted. I would exercise as recommended assiduously. I would ice it. I would stretch it. I went back recently, in tears. She flexed my foot and checked my calf. 'No, it hasn't released yet; your muscles are so tight.' And sent me away again to carry on doing the same stuff. The pain moves around; I can get a cold water feeling in my toes, tingling in my foot, arch pain - and sometimes I can walk for an hour and it's fine or I could be lying down, resting, and the pain kicks in.

    I then went away for a week, to Cape Verde. And in the sunshine, I found that I could do the following things

    1 - jump off a sand-dune
    2 - swim
    3 - walk along a beach for forty minutes in my bare feet
    4 - pad around the side of the pool to go to the all-inclusive bar

    And pretty much, nothing hurt. Okay, a few twinges, but a massive improvement. We flew home a week later and almost immediately, it all started up again. And so I searched the internet and so I found this group last night. All of Dr John's books have been ordered. And when I did the questionnaire, I scored 8 out of a possible 10, and also the accessory questions, particularly the one about going away, all rang true, too.

    It makes sense to me that this is more TMS than anything else. I became a dog-walker after leaving my last job after my father died and my world collapsed. I didn't have a day off last year due to a client falling ill and needing their dogs to stay with me for months on end. I sub-contracted my work out to a fellow walker who picked up the slack, so the dogs had what they needed, but they would come back into my home, and I'd feel angry. I bought a great new sofa and one of them lay on it. It's velvet and is now ruined. They barked and made my house filthy. And I couldn't enjoy them at their best, and had to stew at home, awaiting their return and fearing their natural tendencies to make my home their home and all that involved. I would have to get up when they did. They ate before I did. I could feel resentment building all the time, plus a guilt on my part that I couldn't provide them with what I wanted to provide them with. So, all sorts of things going on.

    The only other treatment I'm indulging myself with now is trigger point massage, which has helped. I also had a few horrendous emotional days, which ties in - to a degree - with the premise of TMS and having to feel some emotions. Everything that he writes - being vigilant about your issue, being fearful of being physical, dedicating large swathes of time to researching your condition, it all rings so true.

    If anything I've written rings bells, or prompts thoughts, then I would be really grateful to discuss it a bit more. I've never read or stumbled across anything which has resonated like TMS has so am ready to plunge in and learn and apply all that I can.

    Thanks ever so much for reading

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    MindBodyPT likes this.
  2. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome to our the forums and happy to hear that you've found TMS, Sarno and this community! Your issues sound like TMS for sure...as a PT myself I self diagnosed with a ton of things like your list, I can really relate! I was convinced for a while that I had multiple tendinitis issues, muscle strains, pain from disc herniation etc...list goes on forever. Finding TMS was so freeing. Good luck with your healing journey!
    mags and Sarah79 like this.
  3. Sarah79

    Sarah79 Peer Supporter

    Thank you, MindBodyPT! I'm glad you found your physical freedom through TMS. I went to my massage therapist yesterday and relayed my thoughts on TMS and she was very positive about it all, but I also know from now reading the SEP (what a fantastic resource!) that I'll have to stop buying into the massage and stretches and orthotics. Oddly, I came home last night and was lying in bed reading the SEP and associated pages and my foot pain just died away completely. It would come back briefly and I'd go, 'oi, brain, stop doing that,' and it immediately dampened back down. When I think of the ultrasound appointment, at which looking all over the foot and ankle showed up absolutely nothing, I almost laugh now, though I was very distressed at the time. I shall start my SEP modules today, and have ordered all of Dr John's books, so will really immerse myself in this. It makes a lot of sense to me.
    MindBodyPT likes this.
  4. call_on_angels

    call_on_angels New Member

    Hi Sarah79,

    I think we have the same stories! a year ago I was walking (to physical therapy for my arms, ironically), when out of nowhere my right foot felt a sudden sharp pain in a general location at my big toe joint. I lasted about 30 minutes until I couldn't walk at all, and couldn't for another 2 weeks until I got a cortisone shot. the doctors were perplexed - there was no "cause", xrays and mri''s came back clean, I did trigger point massage, physical therapy, tumeric pills, castor oil wraps, epsom salt wraps, orthodics, new shoes, RESTING, elevating, etc etc etc. for about 4 months! And any progress I made in my right foot only started reappearing in my left foot. I was massively depressed, but also had to laugh a little that both my arms AND my feet were out of service. I was absolutely couch bound.

    I then went on a boating trip and found that my pain nearly dissapeared, only to REAPPEAR a month after i returned, with the same immediate sharp pain. It's been limiting since.

    about 4 month ago I accepted TMS in my arms, and all my pain went away within 5 days. A month ago, I decided to take full action against my feet with TMS therapy. I used this site, and also got a therapist I see on skype one a week (also found on this site). My pain has been slowly retreating - it's now about 70% gone. I went for a hike for the first time in a year yesterday and walked around town in ballet flats too.

    I hope this helps reassure you. Mine was TMS, and in my feet it took time and "baby steps"!
    Sarah79 likes this.
  5. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Welcome to a treasure trove of wisdom and healing. There are two ways of approaching this:

    1. Spend ages mind-feeding and learning more than you ever wanted to know about yourself (cunningly disguised as learning about TMS).

    2. Accepting on blind faith the wisdom of old timers like me.

    There is something called the symptom imperative which basically means your pain moves around. How could this happen if it were structural? Not possible. Tis the mind playing tricks.

    I recently experienced a symptom imperative which took the form of foot pain. If I didn't know about TMS I would have thought it to be oncoming plantar fasciitis. But I do know better and after a couple of days of painful flashes, the pain woke me in the night with breath-taking severity. I detest being woken. I would happily brain anyone foolish enough to wake me and I gave the pain both barrels...and what do you know, it fecked right off. That's the thing with TMS. It's not real. It's a phantom. You can kick it into touch.

    Plum x
    Lunarlass66, Sarah79 and mike2014 like this.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Sarah,

    I was diagnosed with many foot issues, and I went down the medical, therapeutic, and alternative treatment road for many years, until I could hardly walk. Too many treatments and practitioners to bother to list here right now. Then I found Dr. Sarno's work.

    Your insights about your work are important, and I think you're right-on to connect the dots in the way you are doing.

    Practitioners will tend to see your pain through their training, mostly blind to Dr. Sarno's work. You are lucky to have some support in this regard.

    Also, use Alan Gordon's TMS Recovery Program, free on the Wiki.

    Here is my success story.
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/andy-bs-video-success-story.11906/ (Andy B's Video Success Story)

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/foot-pain-remarkable-recovery.1988/#post-16545 (Foot Pain Remarkable Recovery)

    Here is me skiing years later.
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/skiing-two-years-after.14222/#post-75252 (Skiing Two Years After)


    Andy B
  7. Sarah79

    Sarah79 Peer Supporter

    Thank you all so much for your replies so far; this website is such a wonderful resource and I feel very happy to have found it. So far, I've gone a day without icing it, putting arnica on it, stretching it, lying on the sofa looking at it wondering, 'what is wrong with you, you poor thing?' and fearing all the pain and taking to Google for hours at a stretch, as well as saying to my brain, 'oh, stop it,' or 'this is just psychological,' every time it's hurt and you know what? (You do, I bet), it's hurting less. Granted, I haven't done much walking but I had a physical day yesterday - taking stuff to the tip, tidying and cleaning and every time I had a twinge, I just said the above to my brain. I noticed then that the pain would move around and even appeared, briefly, in my left foot. Very interesting, with the pain taking on a different quality each time, as though to prompt me to go, 'oh gosh! What's this!' But I didn't and it shut up...

    Day 2 today!
    Lunarlass66, MindBodyPT and plum like this.
  8. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Hi Sarah, Welcome to our world. Your story is funny and heart breaking - heart breaking because I can picture you going through everything. Dogs - one loves them yet hates them, eh? Just like my kitchen addition that's been going on for 3 weeks. I've dreamed about it since moving in 23 years ago, but I also hate it and long for it to be over - all the noise and disruption.

    You have lots to journal about. It does sound though like you will find your foot pain goes away quickly.
    Sarah79 likes this.
  9. Sarah79

    Sarah79 Peer Supporter

    Hello everyone!

    Just into Day 3 of the SEP and am insistent on telling my brain to 'stop it, it's psychological, take it away,' whenever there was a twinge, and it goes away. Yesterday, the pain decided to appear in my left heel and I just laughed, and told it to go away. Doing the journalling exercises and uncovering lots of things that although I had an intellectual awareness of - being bullied at school, for example - they sprang very quickly to the fore, implying that they're jostling around, still very much alive despite me being 25 years on from it all.

    Today, I cancelled my appointment next week with my trigger point massage therapist, because even though I like the sessions, and I feel different afterwards, I am mindful of not engaging with a process that reinforces 'I have a bad foot.' I wrote her quite a considered email, as she's liked me finding TMS and were the process of getting over TMS not so adamant about cutting out everything which is designed to physically 'cure' you, I'd stick with her. This feels like a rather bold, somewhat scary move but I have to plunge in.

    A lot of my life has been about words and writing. I've been told I should be a writer many, many times over and although I now have a few commissions, I've stuck with the dogs as an income as I've been resentful of being told I should write - and why? Because I stammer, and I always thought that for a stammerer to become a writer was akin to someone blind becoming a piano-tuner; you know, it's the default profession for that section of the disabled population. I do have a tremendous resistance to really embracing something that I could possibly do very well at, and am additionally very hard on myself. So, plenty of stuff coming to the surface.

    Also, the realisation of how many other things I've had which could very likely be TMS - hay-fever, tennis elbow, shoulder pain (two operations which did nothing), hip pain which couldn't really be diagnosed as anything at all and eventually went away....then, the foot pain happened. Joining the dots, indeed!
    EileenS and MindBodyPT like this.

Share This Page