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ARGHHH! It came back!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Calum, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Calum

    Calum Peer Supporter

    Hi guys,

    I've been doing really well recently, going out hiking most weekends and wearing whichever shoes I wanted on a day to day basis.

    During hike the ankle symptoms I'd been experiencing before I came to see you were non-existent, but there was a merry-go-round of other symptoms including pain in the top and side of my right big toe and base of my left foot. I ignored these symptoms told myself they were psychosomatic, used positive self-talk and they went away.

    I went for my most ambitious hike yet on Sunday with >12 km and >1100 m of ascent over rough ground with three scrambling routes thrown into the mix for interest. My feet were fine, no symptoms at all apart from a very dull ache in my left ankle part way through the descent. I ignored the pain as usual and it stayed mild. However 50m from the car it became a very deep dull ache, which has persisted throughout the week.

    I'm trying to rationalise this, a trained licenced physiotherapist with knowledge of TMS has told me there is nothing wrong with my ankle or ankle ligaments and the symptom is emotionally induced. A physio I saw before back when I thought the symptom could be physical also told me there was no damage to my ligaments and they had been overly sensitised to react to pressure (from hiking down hill) as pain. Whilst I no longer think my ligaments have been overly sensitised, I do take solace that two physios have told me now there is no damage there. I've also had an MRI over the area showing no issues. No damage, no inflammation, nothing.

    Also, the symptom has returned in the same way it initially started: I tightened my hiking trainers for a long steep descent putting pressure on the ligaments at the front of my ankle. So my brain is recognising the same conditions and last time and using that to try and convince me something is wrong? It worked last time keeping me of the hills for a year, perhaps my brain has a favourite symptom now?

    I really don't understand why it won't just go away, the game is up I know the left ankle symptom is psychosomatic yet it stubbornly persists causing doubt. I plan on going for a hike this weekend with my parents in the Lake District. I also plan to hike up Mount Pico in a couple of weeks time when on holiday in the Azores and now wonder if I'll be able to do it, could the pressure of thinking about tackling Mount Pico help the symptom persist?

    Has anyone else had a similar symptom and kicked it? Any advice?


  2. BWV2a

    BWV2a Newcomer

    I found Sarno's work just because I wanted to deal with repressed emotions, had no thoughts about the pain. A day after remembering and letting out a lot of my childhood responses to trauma, built up over years, I had absolutely no pain of any kind for a week, which has never happened. The next week, I had an argument with someone and then tried to play guitar, and began to feel the same back pain that I was able to talk myself out of when it kicked up just a few days before. Since then it has continued (it has only been a few days) and gotten a bit worse. I have continued trying to deal with more and more emotions -- somehow more always pop up, or I realize how deep they are, and it helps emotionally but the pain is still there sometimes, moving around a bit from shoulders, to hips, to wrist.

    Although I haven't kicked it, something that has helped me (I began to be very anxious, as I was years ago very heavily, after the pain came back) is Dr. Claire Weekes strategy of "Floating through" the anxiety. http://www.anxietycoach.com/claire-weekes.html (Claire Weekes: Float Through Anxiety) You can read about it here but also on this website. I found that it is also helpful to "float" through the pain, i.e. to just kind of say "Here it is, I know why its here, I suppose I'll just go about my business and that will be that". I know some people may be debilitated by the pain, but the fact that I know and can constantly tell myself that there is no structural damage makes my relatively small pain easy to push through...I can play guitar or go for a walk or sit for a long time reading knowing that the pain will get worse only from emotions, and that no damage will be done. If your pain is similarly manageable, perhaps you could try a similar technique, just going about things with the pain there. Once the fear of the pain and fear of physical activity is gone, I find that the pain is more of a nuisance than a horror, like a small cold vs. a serious life threatening flu. You can go about your business, its just a bit less fun. This is pretty basic, but the way that I thought of it using Dr. Weekes' concepts made it much clearer to me.
    Paulita, Ellen and Calum like this.
  3. Calum

    Calum Peer Supporter

    That is a fantastic way of looking at it. And this technique did work for me when I had RSI symptoms in my wrists. I ignored it, told myself it was emotionally caused and got on with my work. And eventually it went away.

    I guess I'm just fustrated, because I thought I had the ankle symptom beat and then it had come back. Your right I just need to rationalise it, accept it's there and not doing me any harm and just get on with what I want to do
  4. BWV2a

    BWV2a Newcomer

    I remain in the same boat with my pain, so hopefully it works for both of us! I am glad to hear it worked in the past. I think that in my case, and maybe yours, the frustration of the pain coming back has been much worse than the actual pain.
  5. Calum

    Calum Peer Supporter

    Yes the frustration is worse and makes it harder to ignore!

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