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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by sarah430, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. sarah430

    sarah430 Peer Supporter

    I have been dealing with knee pain since January. I'm familiar with TMS pain in my foot and hip/leg (sciatica). I get the occasional flare-ups but treating those pains as TMS gets me through pretty quickly. I'm a serious recreational runner and can run through those pains, but the knee pain has been much more difficult for me to overcome. I find myself down the physical treatment rabbit hole and forget everything I've learned about TMS.

    Yesterday, I finally decided that this knee pain IS TMS. Everything points to it. (I've had it checked out an the diagnosis is run of the mill "runner's knee".) On my run today I decided I was just going to push through. I usually start a run feeling okay but it flares up after 4-5 miles. I started out feeling great. Kept telling myself this is TMS. I even imagined the kindly face of Dr. Sarno telling me it was TMS. Around mile 4 the pain started but I told myself it was harmless and to just keep running. Don't stop to walk. Don't stop to stretch. It hurt but I kept moving. Then my other knee started to hurt (it has primarily been my left knee). I took this as a sign that the TMS was putting up a battle and was encouraged to keep going. However, as I ran up the hill to my house I finally needed to slow to a walk, mainly due to the heat (it's a hot day!) and the hill. But after a short break I started running again. AND for the rest of my run home (about a mile) I had NO knee pain.

    I'm hoping this is the breakthrough I need.....
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.
  2. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for sharing this Sarah. I think you are an amazing person, because you have confronted the pain and not let it stop you. That takes some courage! Those flashes of pain-free moments give us such a boost, confirming that it IS indeed TMS. The fact that the pain jumped to the other knee is also a VERY encouraging indication. You even pointed to another typical TMS strategy, in the conditioning you have with the pain coming on after your warm up. You pushing through was your first courageous step to de-conditioning this process, so WELL DONE! And yes it IS a breakthrough:)

    I'm so glad I read your post and need to take a leaf out of your book as I am battling some groin/sciatica pain at the moment, and have stopped running altogether. I am walking with a limp at the moment due to the discomfort, but REALLY want to run again. I know I should "just do it" as SteveO would say, but I'm waiting until my pain levels reduce. The idea that running might make my pain worse is not something I want to embrace right now, as it was excruciating when it first flared up, and I don't want to experience that pain again!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Colly and Sarah.

    Do what you can as you can. You're both very positive-oriented so you will beat the pain.
    Walk or run as you feel up to and don't let your inner bully set the pace.

    God bless you both and us all.
  4. sarah430

    sarah430 Peer Supporter

    Colly your response made my day! :) Thank you! I don't know that I'm amazing or courageous but I know that in the past I've always regretted sitting on the couch rather then getting out and pushing through. But I absolutely understand the need to wait for your pain to subside before you take that next step.

    As always, thanks for your encouragement Walt!
  5. sarah430

    sarah430 Peer Supporter

    I went out on another run yesterday evening. Started out mostly pain free as before. I told myself if there's something wrong with my knee it should hurt from the get-go. Colly I thought a lot about you mentioning I've been conditioned to feel the pain after I've warmed up a few miles. I hadn't really considered that before. I decided to thank my knee (and body) for everything it has done for me and to send it some loving thoughts. My run was 6 miles and I did feel some pain near the end but it is getting better. This morning I went to boot camp and we bounded down some big steps. I'm going to beat this TMS. It feels good to be hopeful and positive.
    Forest likes this.
  6. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's amazing how you folks do such long runs and go to boot camp.
    I wishI could do that stuff but I'm 84 and never was a runner.
    I loved tennis and golf, until I got my first dog 40 years ago, then just took slow walks with my dogs.
    I do a little indoor exercise.

    When I was in my 30s and 40s, no one I knew did any jogging or running.
    We were all lazy except for a few who played tennis or golf.
    I think walking the dogs all these years has helped me physically, and mentally.
  7. sarah430

    sarah430 Peer Supporter

    Walking the dogs is great exercise Walt! Keep it up. :)

    I will be 50 years old next month and hope to be active for a long, long time.

    I've been reading Dr. Marc Sopher's book and it's really speaking to me. He's a runner and his reasoning makes sense. People think that running (or similar) can wear you down...but in reality it builds you up. I like that he goes through each common body injury and explains how it's really TMS in most cases. Chapter 18 Hips, Knees and Legs will get many re-reads. I've had two calf strains as well as this knee pain this year. I thought the calf strains were for real (and perhaps the first time it was), but now I'm not so sure...
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  8. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt what lovely words of encouragement. You're so kind...

    Sarah you're welcome! You have that conviction I need right now!

    I'd love to know how you take that first tentative step out the door when you had sciatica pain, and your strategy for overcoming this pain. Despite all my TMS knowledge - and I'm working quietly away at healing - I still don't have the courage to start running again.
  9. sarah430

    sarah430 Peer Supporter

    Colly I'm not sure I know exactly what gets me to take that first step. I guess I'm driven. I do know that the first time I had sciatica pain it took a long time for me to take the leap of faith. I think what gotten me out again after successive bouts is knowing that I always regretted the time I wasted on the couch. Moving and being active always ended up being the right choice. So I guess there's a certain faith involved.

    If you are an active person I highly recommend Marc Sopher's book. It's not the best introduction to TMS, but an excellent refresher/reinforcement..especially for athletes and active people.

    I'm happy to report that I did a speed/track workout and did not have any knee pain at all. 5 miles total with a fast mile and two fast half miles in there. I think what really helped is that I was tired, so much so that I didn't think I'd get through the workout. And in fact I didn't, but it was due to being pooped, and not my knee! I think the distraction on how tired my body was and focusing on pushing through helped me forget about my knee. Thankfully today is a planned rest day. :)
    Ellen likes this.
  10. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you Sarah, I'm very grateful for your advice. I've got Marc Sopher's book so will dig it out this weekend, thanks! I'm itching to get back out, and really miss my daily exercise. I was walking like Frankinstein last week, so was too scared to push through that. I'm a little better this week (reciting my affirmations all day every day... sounding like a broken record LOL).

    I'm delighted you have got on top of your knee pain. Your success will hopefully rub off on me this weekend!

    Many thanks
  11. sarah430

    sarah430 Peer Supporter

    Hope you had a good weekend Colly!

    I'd say I'm about 60-75% there. I've gotten to the point that I'm not fearing the pain, but it's still there. Trying to not let it bug me or attach any anxiety to it. Or let my fears or attachment to a particular healing timeline fuel any doubts that it's TMS.

    It's constant work and can be mentally tiring.
  12. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    That’s great news Sarah. I think the real healing begins when you stop fearing. I tried to run on Saturday, but only ran about 50 meters. My left thigh and glute locked up so I couldn’t propel myself forward and ended up running with a limp. I thought about ignoring it but it was too scary and painful so I stopped and limped home, upset. I normally run early in the morning, but this was about midday and there were people around so I felt self-conscious. I was already fearful taking those first steps and this just added to that fear.

    I’ve decided I’m just going to wait until the intense pain has subsided before I run again. I honestly don’t know how you and SteveO etc can run through this pain. It takes great courage to confront that sort of pain and run through it. Courage I don’t have at the moment.

    I find TMS healing very draining too. I find myself almost grieving, but I have to remind myself that this is temporary. It’s the not knowing how long it’s going to hang around for that is the hardest for me to deal with. I have to re-read all the advice I dished out on the SEP to others and learn again!

    The fact that you’re out running despite the pain you have is very admirable. I hope to be that person soon!
  13. sarah430

    sarah430 Peer Supporter

    Colly, Good for you for trying! That's a good step. But I totally understand wanting to hold off until the pain is less intense. Keep trying! I know you'll get there. For me it has been easier because my pain doesn't usually start right away.

    Today I had a pretty good run. I did a lot of self-talk, mostly out loud, under my breath. (It was early morning so there weren't many people out to hear anyway.) Kind of like writing something down, I find it more helpful to actually verbalize rather than just think the thoughts. This is kind of silly but I came up with a little song that I sang to myself. I think it helped!

    "I am perfectly normal,
    There's nothing wrong about me.
    It's just my brain going whacky,
    Trying to make me think I'm crazy."
  14. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I also like:
    "I can do this, it's a piece of cake!"
    "I can do anything I set my mind to do!"
  15. sarah430

    sarah430 Peer Supporter

    Walt--- I'll add those lines to my "song"! :)
  16. Waterbear

    Waterbear Peer Supporter

    Yay! More people running!

    I’ve never been a long distance runner. I like to run fast and hard for short lengths. The max I like to run is 2 miles. When I hurt my knees, I didn’t run for over a year and when I started, I needed to start slowly. it was the fear of running.

    I would walk for 2-3 mins, run 1 min, walk 2-3, until I got to 10 mins of activity. Then I would stop and lift weights.

    Gradually, I build up to running one mile, which is where I am now. I’m pleased with my progress. So, you don’t need to just say, “screw it, I’m running a mile!”, “Just say, “I will run for 1 minute.” One minute isn’t scary and one minute of running can not hurt you. Then, when you’re ready run for 2 minutes. You be running a full mile in a few months :)

    Never give up!
  17. sarah430

    sarah430 Peer Supporter

    Aaack...so the symptom imperative is working full force! Frustrating but in a way empowering too since it helps solidify in my mind that this really is TMS. Knee is pretty much under control. I still get a few twinges but since I'm not allowing the pain to distract me it dies right down after a quick acknowledgement. Amazing how something can be so, so painful and then not.

    Wednesday at boot camp another participant was complaining of posterior tendon pain (inner lower calf pain). I have had that pain in the past. Lo and behold I woke up Thursday morning feeling that pain. I'm positive it's the power of suggestion combined with the symptom imperative. I already had an overall "feel good" massage scheduled for yesterday. The LMT confirmed that my calf on that side is tighter. But I'm working hard to treat this pain as TMS and not a physical issue.

    Ran this AM and it was painful at first but then got better. Need to keep thinking psychologically!
  18. sarah430

    sarah430 Peer Supporter

    I should add that it's a been a tough 2 weeks with a lot of stress. I'm in the final stretch of the busiest time of the year at work. And due to work schedules and other conflicts my husband and I have been "passing in the night" and barely seeing each other. His work has taken him out of town more than usual and I'm discovering that single parenting is kind of hard! (Kudos to all the single parents out there that do it all the time.)

    So yes, there are a bunch of stresses happening right now that can explain why this pain is continuing and moving around.

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