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Can swelling be a TMS symptom?

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

  1. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yeah, Armchairlinquist, TMS really overplayed its hand with my ankle. I went through months of PT for my right ankle..had all the reasons figured out why it was my right ankle…leg length discrepancy, knee injury, blah, blah, blah. That got better and then I woke up one morning…with the left ankle going bonkers. Cahrazy!

    Walt I have no anger about knowing you either. Only love. :happy:
  2. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    Therapists keep telling me that leg length must have played a role in my injury/recovery issues as well, but they differ on whether it's structural or muscular and also, I believe, on which leg is longer. So that particular herring is a bit too red to be convincing. :)
    North Star likes this.
  3. SophieM

    SophieM New Member


    I realise that this is an old thread but I wanted to say... I also have foot swelling. When I first got TMS it was swelling around my big toe area and I was sure it was astructural problem. Searched for answers through medical professionals and then found dr Sarnos book by chance. Quite quickly I felt it fit me, I was still unsure but I was definitely on those pages (as lots of people say) but I was confused because of the swelling. After reading the book and starting the structured programme on here my foot pain improved. So, I decided to finish my recovery while lying in the sun and booked quite a long travelling trip. Where I could lie on beaches and work on ,y journaling and meditation. And as soon as I booked it the pain jumped to a different toe joint. I had expected booking a trip might do this because of the uncertainty and anxiety being away can brin. And I was right. But I did my affirmations and soldiered on. Now I have been away for three days and the swelling is back. I think it is because yesterday I realised I wasn't afraid any more. And now today I have woken up swollen... Maybes this is the brains way of trying to drag me back into my previous obsession with the pain?? Is this possible? I even started to worry that swelling meant physical problems again. So was very pleased to find this thread and hear about others swelling too. I hope you are all thriving and living pain free or as close to it as possible.

  4. Canada Mike

    Canada Mike New Member

    Yes OP, tms can cause swelling. I am just new here and learning about TMS. I am part of another message board where the type of healing is similar to TMS but done a little differently. Long story short a person just spoke of swelling in their ankle. Long story short he believed it was his mind acting up and it went away.
    SophieM likes this.
  5. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sophie, My ankle was swollen and tender to touch after a kick butt workout session. I massaged it a little, reminded myself it was TMS and it disappeared in a few days. It's not a new thing - every once in awhile and old symptom will reappear but it never sticks around for long.

    Hope this helps you!
    SophieM likes this.
  6. SophieM

    SophieM New Member

    Thank you for this Canada Mike and North Star, I will remember your words when Each time I start to worry.
  7. David88

    David88 Well known member

    I had a swollen ankle about two years ago, bad enough that my primary sent me to the emergency room. Ultrasound for a blood clot was negative, and the ER doctor was quite honest in saying that he had no idea why it was swollen. Dr. Gwozdz, who was trained by Sarno and who diagnosed me with TMS, confirmed that the swelling could absolutely be TMS. I decided to ignore the it, and within a few days it was gone and has not returned.

    So to my mind, yes, TMS can certainly cause swelling. After all, if it can cause muscle spasms, why not swelling?

    TMS is definitely not 'all in the mind'!
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
    North Star likes this.
  8. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    Hi everyone, I am new to this forum but not TMS. I've dealt with back pain before in addition to other TMS-related pain. This year has been super intense following the birth of my second child. First, came the teeth issues (root canal, extraction, cavities, antibiotics), then a series of colds, now a swollen painful foot! And we are just about to move.

    Here's what's going on (and THANK YOU in advance for reading--I am feeling super isolated and depressed about all this):
    Gradually, over the last month or so, my left foot has been hurting on and off. Since it started out of the blue, and came and went, I assumed it was TMS. And largely just a temporary annoyance, no big deal. Then, during the last week or so, it really amped up to the point where I was limping. Still, I went for my walks and tended to my anxiety and gave it little attention. Sunday night I could barely walk. The top of my foot, along the outside edge, is red and swollen so that you can't see the bones across the top. It looks pretty awful actually and I got a lump in my throat when I saw it--shoot! Have I been injuring myself in an effort to treat TMS?!?!

    The reason why I assumed it's TMS: I have been in a funk this last year with stress, worry and symptoms (that unfruitful loop). Lots of dental work, lots of anxiety. In fact, three nights ago I had a panic attack--probably my 4th or 5th in my lifetime. It actually turned out to be a pretty spiritual experience, as I stayed with my breath and calmed myself down. And it worked. We are moving to a new town in a different state, leaving our home, friends and community (and childcare!) in two weeks. We did this about 4 year ago, again for my husband's work) and it is challenging, scary and exhausting. Plus, I cannot be limping around right now. Naturally, I assumed: a perfect storm for TMS symptoms. But bright red skin and swelling? Im worried now about a stress fracture. I've also struggled most of my adult life with an eating disorder has due to all this stress have lost too much weight (it's a crutch). Maybe bone density is low and I really did injure it.

    I've not had swelling like this before with TMS so would love to hear about people's experience. I guess to first step here is to go see a doctor, I'm just hesitant because most are looking for a structural cause and will find "something" wrong. I don't want to go in only to be scared. And how can I move with two small girls when i can't even walk. UGH!

    I am grateful for this community of support and any advice you can offer.
  9. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Yes, absolutely get it checked by a doctor. It may be TMS, but you have to rule out an injury.
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    TMS can definitely cause swelling. Last year I had an epically freaky experience where my gums become very red, sore and swollen. Given that tms has a field day with my mouth I almost lost my mind. Long story short I mailed Forest, who was very kind and reassuring and I saw my dentist. She told me it was due to stress and to allay any fears gave me a thorough examination and a good clean. The swelling diminished over the following weeks.
    David88 and mike2014 like this.
  11. David88

    David88 Well known member

    That's a good dentist! Sometimes the physical medicine practitioners can be helpful.

    Brooke, don't be afraid to have your foot looked at. I once walked around on a broken foot for a week, sure that it was TMS. Turned out to be a stress fracture. Go let your doctor take the X-rays.

    Probably no podiatrist will tell you the swelling is psychosomatic, but you can filter what he/she says through your understanding of TMS. If it's a fracture, he'll see it. But if he says tendonitis, or soft-tissue injury, or just looks puzzled, then you read that as TMS.

    Let us know what happens!
    plum likes this.
  12. MrRage

    MrRage Peer Supporter

    Sarno's idea of just sucking it up and exercising in pain and pushing through it seems to me to be one of his best ideas. I thought I had carpal tunnel syndrome but after discovering the TMS diagnosis I intentionally took up activities that I knew would actively cause strain and flare up the pain and told myself to just keep going and to have no fear of infliciting structural damage on myself because even if I did cause structural damage my hands were already in pain and I didn't have too much to lose. Well, the pain soon went away and now instead the pain is relocating into my elbows instead of my wrists. My pain has realized that it is losing its battle and it is losing it quickly and migrating around the body is only prolonging its inevitable demise. There are mixed martial artists who have fought and won matches with broken hands and broken toes in matches lasting up to 25 minutes even though they sustained their injury in the first or second rounds. Many of these fighters will recover from a fracture or other injury in a matter of a month or two months and by their next match up are fighting stronger than ever. This demonstrates how tough we are as a species. The purpose of our bodies is to navigate us through an incredibly perilous world with many physical obstacles and dangers in every corner. And yet here we are in the 21st century being disabled by our furniture.

    It is always a good idea to make sure that you don't have any fractures or broken bones or serious damage that can be easily and discernibly diagnosed and treated by conventional medicine.
  13. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    Thank you both for responding. I always love hearing stories of success and empowerment. A lack of empowerment seems to be a big underlying issue for me.

    I got an Xray that showed nothing wrong (Yay!) but from what I've read, stress fractures don't necessarily show on Xrays--at least not for some time. The pain started on the bottom/side of my foot (and really felt muscular or fascial) and then progressed over many weeks until it culminated last weekend. The swelling has since gone down, and I am limping less, but I'm still worried it could be a stress fracture. I guess an MRI is the only way to diagnosis that. Ugh. Meanwhile, we are packing and moving in one week!

    My experience with pushing through pain has been mixed. There is some degree of ignoring required for my brain to not freak out and obsess over symptoms (which is my tendency, they become my every-waking-thought otherwise); but pushing through excruciating pain has never served me. Part of my process is learning how to take care of myself, nurture myself, love myself--which includes slowing down, resting and meditating. Knowing it's TMS calms my mind enough for the rest to happen.

    So I suppose now I just will treat as an injury for another week, and if it's still bothering me get a MRI.

    Meanwhile, to help calm my fear, if anyone was told they have a stress fracture but it turned out to be TMS, I'd LOVE to hear it.

    It's all just so confusing.

    Thanks in advance!!!
    plum likes this.
  14. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    That is so reassuring about your gums. My teeth have been the other area of concern this past year and right now I have sores in my mouth, in addition to weird nerve sensitivity. If I'm not totally focused on my foot, I'm "living" in my mouth. Regardless of the diagnosis, I clearly have to change my relationship with pain. I'm missing this BEAUTIFUL, BLESSED life right in front of me!
  15. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's the same for me. I always feel best when I sleep long and well, rest when needed, eat good food and groom. I've said before that sometimes all the fighting talk around tms feels too *masculine* and that it is equally important to soften into nurturing and more feminine ways of being.
    billiewells likes this.
  16. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    David, just curious. What did you do for a stress fracture in terms of healing? And was if found on an Xray or MRI. I guess until I know for sure (despite a negative X ray), I should treat it as such. Thanks!
  17. David88

    David88 Well known member

    It was found on an MRI. X-rays didn't show it.

    I had to wear a surgical shoe for a few weeks, and then do physical therapy. I also make sure to wear shoes with good arch support. It took some time, but now it's fine.
  18. PatLinAZ

    PatLinAZ New Member

    This is my first post. I have been reading for about 3 weeks and doing the SEP for about a week now and have been helped quite a bit but was concerned with my feet swelling and wondered if it too could be TMS. Until I found this thread I hadn't seen anything about swelling. I have an appointment with my doctor next week to discuss the swelling and generally the TMS diagnosis that I have made on my own. I had hip replacement surgery Dec 2014 and my pain got much worse and was all over my body. The pain is more muscle than sharp pain; like I've really overworked my muscles and they are sore but it's all the time. Sometimes more than others but generally never stops. Now the feet have been swelling. I find it hard to distinguish a physical diagnosis and TMS because doctors always seem to find a physical diagnosis. But I know I have structural damage in my knees and just don't know where to go with it all.

    Thanks for reading this. It's new to me but I'm convinced TMS is the most logical explanation. I just don't understand it all yet.
    David88 likes this.
  19. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

    So the MRI came back negative--no stress fracture, just some small inflammation consistent with "tenosynovitis"

    The foot doctor seems "convinced" however that it's a stress fracture based on my symptoms.

    This reads like TMS to me.

    Besides, how would be he able to know for sure if an MRI came back negative that there was a stress fracture?

    I am still wearing my boot because it hurts to walk, but perhaps I should stop?

    Thanks again!

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