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Can swelling be a TMS symptom?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by gailnyc, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Hi, all.
    During the chat today I mentioned that although I am very open to the TMS diagnosis, I still struggle with doubt because it's been hard to find others with my symptoms. Several people said they had had similar symptoms. However, searching around I just read somewhere that Dr. Schubiner believes that swelling cannot be TMS and must indicate structural damage. Is this true?

    My original story is here: http://tmswiki.org/forum/threads/pain-in-right-foot.1358/

    Currently I wear compression socks, with regular socks over them and sneakers. After a few minutes of walking I start to feel irritation near my toes, where the sneaker bends (that is just how sensitive my foot is!). I also feel it around my ankle (another "bending" place).

    I walk very slowly all day and spend as much time as possible sitting. Yet by the end of the day my right foot/ankle is always slightly swollen (I can especially feel it when I'm wearing the compression socks). I also get a funny kind of tingling/pricking/twitching sensation throughout my right ankle/calf.

    Near the end of last summer I experienced a lot of pain and swelling when I tried to walk--I was told that the strappy sandals I was wearing had irritated an already sensitive nerve (the superficial peroneal nerve), and that I also had irritated the deep peroneal nerve.

    Anyway, I have an appt with a TMS doctor in March, but I am sure I could start doing the work earlier if only I was more confident that it is indeed TMS.
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    What do the conventional doctors say about your symptoms? You don't state whether or not you have been examined to determine whether the condition of your feet indicates some other medical problem you might have. But since you are scheduled to see a TMS doctor in March, I can't see where journaling, the SEP, or Schubiner's exercises would hurt you, so why not start doing "the work" before your exam? Meditation and journaling certainly can't exacerbate any preexisting medical condition just as long as they don't distract you from seeking proper medical care.
    JanAtheCPA and veronica73 like this.
  3. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Thank you for replying, MorComm. Yes, you're right, journaling and meditation can't hurt, so I am going to continue with them. If you follow my link you'll see I've been to several doctors, each with a different diagnosis.
  4. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    The compression socks might be too tight on the foot, do they have an opening for the toes to poke out ? The sock opening should not be at the ball of the foot, just re-adjust if they are.

    The twitching sounds like nerve alright...when you say last summer do you mean 2011 ? The reason I ask is the injury should have healed by now and TMS might be fooling you to think its an aggravated injury (old football injury). I thought your foot pain was not related to the side of your foot and the peroneal nerve. I thought it was on top of your foot. The peroneal nerve is not related to the top of the foot. Is the pain moving around?

    I am sure the MRI you had would have shown damages to the peroneal nerve. I tore my peroneal tendon running. It is common to stretch it with an inversion move where your foot turns inward. My peroneal nerve or tendon does not cause me any discomfort, it took a good 6 months to heal.

    Louise Hay ... " Feet represent our understand of ourselves, of life, and of others " Affirmation - "My understanding is clear and I am willing to change with the times. I am safe."
    " Ankles represent inflexibility and guilt. Ankles represent the ability to receive pleasure" Affirmations - " I deserve to rejoice in life. I accept all the joys life has to offer."
    * hugs
  5. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Hi, Jilly.
    I've actually cut an opening for the toes in my compression socks to make them more comfortable.
    Nerve irritation does not always show up on an MRI.
    The peroneal nerve is a branch of the sciatic nerve. It comes down the side of the leg and then across the ankle, over the top of the foot and then branches out between the toes. I irritated two sections of the nerve--one on the top of my foot (where it is right under the skin and easily irritated) and one in between my first and second toes (where it is "deep"). This happened this past summer, in 2012.
    But it is taking a long time to heal. At this point I believe that even if the injury was "real" there is still TMS involved in slowing down the healing process.
    I'm not sure I get the Louise Hay quote for the feet, but the ankles one totally fits me. I know that one of my major faults is that I am inflexible. I am constantly trying to work on that, but it's not easy. And I DO feel guilty about my cat's death (totally irrational, but there it is) and I don't believe, at this time, that I deserve joy. So these are things I'm very well aware of, and am trying to work through.
    Jilly likes this.
  6. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Gail, I see things in your post I'd be journaling about! Get to the feelings in there.

    I also think some TMS docs may say that swelling can indeed be a result of TMS. Do the work and see what happens and decide for yourself! I personally think much more is mind/body-related (emotionally rooted) than isn't!

    I see Jilly referenced Louise--so here is what she suggests about swelling: being stuck in thinking; clogged ideas. Only you will know if that resonates with you.

    Hugs for healing!!!
    Jilly likes this.
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Of course, I'm no MD (and can't diagnose or prescribe treatment), but doesn't the anatomy of those nerves point to a link with sciatica, a common enough TMS symptom? I know a young woman in Boulder, Colorado - a hard driven athlete and Ph.D. candidate - whose feet have swollen and become painful. She keeps having operations for bone spurs etc. etc. etc. I can't tell her, but it certainly sounds like TMS to me. It could be that reducing oxygen flow to the extremities causes her feet to swell. All I know is no matter how many foot operations she has, the symptoms continue and the orthopedists seem to be getting more and more creative with their attempts to find some new odd-sounding foot problem that applies to her case alone. Law of Oakum's Razor! The simplest diagnosis is often the most valid one (i.e. TMS). Of course, swollen feet can indicate all kinds of other medical problems, but I'm assuming you've already been checked out by an MD.
    Jilly likes this.
  8. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    I love Louise Hay because she ties in the mind (emotions) with the bodily ailments and it gets you thinking about what you might be repressing. In your situation, I do see the foot connection...you are working with deep issues and maybe you feel unsure about many things right now. You have some doubts, "Is it TMS or is it structural?" "Is it nerve damage or is it TMS?" I also like what Lori quoted regarding swelling. Pain is a great punishment when you feel you don't deserve to feel joy.

    P.S. You deserve to feel good and to feel joy. I just moved so I have intermittent internet ... sorry I was late in posting a response * hugs
    gailnyc likes this.
  9. ragis45

    ragis45 New Member

    In one of Sanro's later books, I forget which one now, he said that originally he was not comfortable with the diagnosis of TMS for 'swelling', but said that after numerous cases where he saw swelling eliminated with the acceptance of the TMS diagnosis he was, in his words, 'quite comfortable' with identifying swelling as one of the physical manifistations of TMS. This makes sense as oxygen depravation impacts the nerves in muscles and these nerves carry all sorts of neurotrasmitters which can cause chemical imbalances which will effect ligaments, tendons and muscles.
    gailnyc, MorComm and Jilly like this.
  10. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It does sound like there are some cases where TMS does cause swelling and some physical changes. Dr. Schubiner actually addressed this very question in a Q&A with an expert post. He said:

    The one thing that Sarno and Schubiner both seem to touch on that in the traditional sense, TMS does not cause structural changes, however there are cases when it does. This is probably why Sarno went from not being comfortable calling swelling TMS to being okay with including it as a form of TMS. I see this as one of the important reasons to always see a doctor before starting this treatment, as only a trained physician can truly rule out a structural cause. Gail, have you seen the TMS doctor yet?
  11. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Forrest, I will be seeing Dr. Rashbaum on March 25th. However, I have seen MANY other doctors and have been given every kind of test known to mankind, including a bone scan, which involved "nuclear medicine"! The bone scan actually did show areas of inflammation--which was weird! I was able to "look" at my pain!

    However, what I've learned from these tests is that there is nothing actually wrong with me, structurally. Swelling is more of a response to structural damage than structural damage itself, and as I seem to have no structural damage, in my case it seems to be a response to nerves. What I mean by that is that I have noticed I only experience swelling when I am in a situation that makes me nervous. I had no idea that this was possible, but now I know otherwise. I have come to realize that the mind is awesomely powerful and can do some pretty strange things.

    I imagine that after my foot calms down my anxiety won't be located there anymore and the swelling will become a distant memory.

    Oh, and I should add that my swelling is not really visible. You can't really see it. I just *feel* it. TMS for sure. I don't really have ANY doubt anymore.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I missed this discussion back in January, Gail, but I'm really enjoying reading it today, and with your permission, I might find a way to make a note of it so I can point new members to it. You could do the same, as I know that you are posting regularly to help others :) and I think this exchange would be very helpful to certain folks.

    It's really fantastic to see the subtle but important shift in your perception in less than two months. And going back to your very first post, a lot of people, when they first discover TMS theory, are convinced that unless they find someone on this forum with their exact symptoms, that it can't be TMS - and nothing is further from the truth. If I'd read your initial question back on January 19, I would have said just that - because the brain is not only incredibly powerful, as you are discovering, but it's also incredibly sneaky - it will do its best to give you symptoms that have never been seen before, just to keep you under its repressive thumb!

    Cheers to you,

  13. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I have been lucky in many ways, and one way is this: my therapist, who is NOT a TMS therapist and had never heard of TMS, has been convinced *since September* that what I have is psychosomatic. When I told her about Dr. Sarno's theories, she said, "I agree with this 100 per cent." So in a way she was on board before I was, but the way she was saying it (it's all in your mind) was not something I could accept until I saw it put a different way (the pain is real but your mind is creating it).
    JanAtheCPA and veronica73 like this.
  14. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Jan--that would be fine with me, if you know how to do it.
  15. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Having a therapist who is open to the TMS approach is huge. One thing that I took away from reading Pathways to Pain Relief is that if your therapist does not belief that emotions cause symptoms, then there treatment approach will be significantly different. As Dr. Sherman points out in PPR, for a non-TMS therapist, "If someone exercises, then the behavior is branded as self-defeating and non-compliant, a defiant expression of his refusal to mourn and accept the losses that accompany his medical condition. Or, the patient is viewed as masochistic and passive when he doesn't exhaustively pursue every medical option, including contradictory and illogical ones." This is not the view a therapist should have of people who are trying to utilize the TMS approach, so it is good that you found one who is open to the mindbody approach.
    BruceMC likes this.
  16. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    IOWs: All roads must lead to a structural diagnosis? Sounds like my GP at Kaiser: Every physical condition is tied to the aging process. Now be a good boy and take your med! You can really see how the medical establishment wants to dose every 45 year old with a dozen meds to counteract the effects of "aging" as statistically documented in a graph of the general population. Talk about Alfred North Whitehead's "misplaced concreteness in three-dimensional spacio-temporal co-ordinates"! If you don't accept that diet, exercise and emotions can change your internal biochemistry, you're doomed to a long downhill slide into physical incapacity. If my grandfather lived to 104 and could do backflips when he was 80, what would have the docs done to him if he'd ever gone to them? Would have he lived one day longer if he took 10 meds a day? 104 sounds like human term to me, and that hasn't changed very much since the days of Socrates.
  17. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    This is an old thread but I wanted to say thanks to those that participated as I am finding it very helpful. I have ankle pain following an injury that I am pretty sure is now TMS (only pretty sure, still working on it). I have had quite a bit of swelling and also wondered if it can be TMS. I felt it could be because oxygen deprivation could have knock-on effects - or swelling could be the response to the belief of the nervous system that there is still injury as Gail suggested. But I had not heard other people articulate that so it is really helpful to hear.

    The quotes above are also very interesting. I am not a great fan of Louise Hay in general (skeptical of consistent associations between body parts and emotions) but they are food for thought. I do feel that being confused about where I am in life is a big factor right now, and I am definitely stubborn and inflexible, and tend to minimize the importance of pleasure. So it is worth considering how this could be playing a role.
  18. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Armchairlinquist- I only have a moment to reply but I saw your other thread too on the ankle issues and then read here. Just wanted to say, "Me too!" My TMS will flip flop from ankle to ankle complete with swelling and severe pain. What's interesting, I noticed early on in this foot business….long before I learned about TMS, that a little massage will reduce the inflammation to nothing. I've also learned that my Achilles doesn't really swell…it knots. You know…like tension in the the tendon? ;)

    I just keep putting one foot in front of the other but lately, I am asking myself "What anger have I tucked into my body?" This line of question seems to be helping.
  19. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think we always have to remind ourselves to be grateful for "little things."
    If some days I can't walk half a block outside without my knee hurting,
    I remind myself that I can walk around in my house, and lots of people don't have
    a house to walk around in, since it was destroyed in a tornado or flood.

    We all have anger, for one reason or another, North Star.
    I am grateful for knowing you. I have no anger about that.
    North Star likes this.
  20. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    Thanks @North Star ! I ask myself a similar question, "What I am I upset about other than the pain? I got that from someone on the other TMS forum (at TMShelp). Maybe it can help you too.

    Interesting that you get pain and swelling switching back and forth. So far that hasn't happened to me although I have had periods where my right foot (never injured traumatically) also hurts, but isn't swollen. Maybe my body knows I'd be onto it if it totally switched :)

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