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Chronic IT band syndrome, bursitis, swelling and inflammation?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Elalba, Jul 23, 2023.

  1. Elalba

    Elalba New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to the forum because I have only just recently discovered TMS.
    I've decided to post because I've not stumbled upon anyone who's mentioned IT Band Syndrome and would like to know if there's someone who's battled something similar.

    I'm pretty sure my pain is TMS - traumatic childhood, back pain at 13 (I'm 30 now), migraines, reflux, severe food intolerances, slow digestion, random pains...all prior to the big attack that happened 2.5 years ago during the most stressful period of my life. Pain started as a severe IT Band Syndrome where I can't bend my knee. Later, I also developed trochanteritis and bursitis in my hips. I've seen 10 physiotherapist, kinesiologists and orthopedic surgeons so far, been treated through so many methods. I get better a bit, but it always comes back. I'm basically unable to walk.

    My latest therapist was a bit different. She focuses on PDTR therapy (deals with chronic pain and resetting neural pathways that cause mechanic disfunctions because of chronic pain). There's a lot of trigger removing, including emotions, and it reminds me of TMS but more rooted in therapeutic approach. But unlike for the majority of her patients, it didn't work for me. My quad muscles are constantly tightening, glute muscles are shutting down, causing pain in my knee and inflammations... Upon trying for 3 months to treat me with this revolutionary therapy unsuccessfully, my physio she suggested to me this pain could be deeply phycological and psychosomatic. However, I have inflammation and that doesn't align. I then discovered TMS.

    My biggest problem with accepting TMS is my inflammation. My thighs are VERY painful to touch and I have inflammation in multiple points in my body, mostly my legs. Have had it for over a year.
    I also have painful spots in my knee (where the IT band presses on the soft tissue and rubs against the bone as explained by the medicine). I also have skipping in my knee that's very palpable.

    I've seen conflicting thoughts on inflammation as a symptom of TMS. Thing is, nobody knows why I'm not getting better. I've tried shockwave, magnets, ultrasounds, corrective excercises, dry needling, cupping, flossing, pain killers, myofascial release, resting...you name it, I've done it. I've been told I need surgery, that I need to accept it, I've stopped all excercises, I've wasted a mortgage on treatments, I've lost my whole life as I knew it through this, and the only thing left now is TMS and PDTR therapy.

    My question is - have any of you experienced symptoms like ITBS (which is basically a repetitive use injury known for being stubborn, however mine's not going away for years and is severe), as well as swelling at the knee and inflammation points very painful to touch and successfully treated it through TMS? It's very hard for me as an athlete to get out of the physiotherapist mindset, attributing everything to muscle weakness and mechanic problems.

    Reading Dr. Sarno, I definitely fit the profile, but I guess I'm still scared to hope this is my salvation since I've done it every time I went to a new specialist and heard a new theory. The disappointment leads to hopelessness that is just too dangerous for me right now.

    I still haven't had an MR of my knee though and I'm debating it now. But I know they will find something, just not sure why that something would not heal for over 2.5 years.

    I would immensely appreciate anyone's experience with similar problems!!! Thank you
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Inflammation is merely a chemical response, and many tms Dr’s are saying it is very related to tms! It is part of the stress response.
    This may help you:

    I think it is pretty awesome that you had a therapist pick up on the somatic cause of your pain, and that you’ve already read some Sarno. You just have to ditch some doubt.
    A great way to do this is an evidence diary. This can be subtle, but look for times when you sense you are angry or sad (or any emotion) or stresses and feel an increase in symptoms or when you feel an increase in symptoms look around and ask yourself “ what was going on with me right now”. Getting a little awareness is helpful because part of why we get here is because we don’t tend to ourselves.

    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. Bonnard

    Bonnard Peer Supporter

    Hello @Elalba ,

    I relate and have often thought that my symptoms were different, especially when they moved away from back pain and into some less-common ones. The more I'm putting my attention on the physical symptoms, the more the TMS distraction is working. Getting in touch with the uncomfortable stuff that the symptoms are trying to keep me away from was key to making progress...
    It can be so hard when the symptoms are raging, and it's so hard to trust when day-to-day activities are limited b/c of the symptoms. I had a tough stretch with that recently.

    Dr. Sarno's 12 daily reminders contain these two towards the end:

    10. I will shift my attention from the pain to emotional issues.
    12. I must think psychological at all times, not physical.

    There's a Success Stories Subforum on this site that is definitely worth checking out. Here's a success story on repetitive strain injury:
    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/from-tms-sceptic-to-rsi-recovery.22965/ (From TMS sceptic to RSI recovery!)
    That post is short and links to a longer description (that goes to a different site) that has a ton of great info:
    https://medium.com/@Anne_K/the-power-of-psychology-my-chronic-pain-recovery-story-74574449b5ce (The Power of Psychology: My Chronic Pain Recovery Story)

    I wish you well! Welcome.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. Elalba

    Elalba New Member

    Thank you both @Bonnard and @Cactusflower.

    I've been doing well with the TMS diagnosis until today when I got results of my knee MRI where a horizontal lateral meniscus tear was found along with meniscal cyst. This has completely thrown me off and made it impossible for me to see my knee as normal now...

    Don't know if I should consult a TMS doctor (any recommendations are welcome but I live in Europe so it'd have to be online). I will also see more orthopedic doctors as well.

    Quite frustrating. I've been repeating Sarno's daily reminders and it was working but now I find it impossible.
  5. Bonnard

    Bonnard Peer Supporter

    Hi Elalba,

    Getting checked out by a doctor is always suggested to determine if there is anything structural going on. Handling those results is a necessary step (but this can be a tough step). In your case, you describe being well with the TMS diagnosis, until the MRI results came back with a miniscus tear. It's worth thinking about what changed.
    The only thing is this structural diagnosis.

    I know for sure that we can get a structural diagnosis and TMS still plays a significant part. There's a blending there. For example, I caught Shingles, which has a stress component. Then, while I still had Shingles, I had unexplained inflammation and pain in my feet/ankles. It was brutal and very hard to have normal active days. I went through a gauntlet of doctors and they couldn't find anything wrong. A medication stopped the symptoms, BUT what really helped was me reducing stress and continuing to focus on the psychological (not the physical) and to keep at the practices that had worked in the past to keep myself symptom free.

    Dr. Sarno writes quite a bit (going all the way back to his first book) about folks struggling with TMS thinking they are somehow broken, that wherever the pain is (back, or in this case, knee) will never be the same again. That's the purpose of the symptoms--a distraction from what's really going on. It's a trap to focus that heavily on the physical.
    In this case, you received a structural diagnosis, but the pain involved with a miniscus tear varies widely and what is necessary for treatment seems to vary widely. I can't suggest what exactly to do...you have to make that call considering what the doctor says (hopefully a trusted doctor) and what you know about yourself and your experiences with TMS. By the way, this is why it took me a bit to reply....I didn't want to suggest exact next steps and wasn't sure exactly what to say....It's tricky when there's a structural diagnosis that you can so easily point to (there's a tear) and there really seems to be TMS going on.

    Also, consider that so many of the common back problems that doctors diagnosis are really TMS-related (herniated discs, slipped discs, etc. etc.). A structural diagnosis is one more piece of information. It's hard but, I think really necessary, to try and detach from the diagnosis and not let it overwhelm you and cloud your thinking so much.

    I wish you well--hang in there! And, I wonder what others think about this situation.
  6. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is now widely accepted even by mainstream medicine that stress can cause inflammation. Does it mean that inflammation has a strong connection to TMS? Absolutely yes. I had swelling and skin redness, both disappeared after I accepted TMS diagnosis. If one of the many TMS modalities did not work for you, try another. As long as you stick with the TMS concept and firmly believe in it, you will recover. Doubt is your enemy!
  7. Elalba

    Elalba New Member

    Thank you @Bonnard and @TG957!!

    I went to see an orthopedic surgeon. He looked at my MR and said that the tear is very small and didn't damage meniscus at all. He told me to live my life.

    That's all I needed. It's TMS.

    Ever since I finished Dr. Sarno's book, pain in my knee diminished by 40%, and in my hips by 80%. It has also changed (e.g. now it's in the morning not at night when the opposite was the case for 3 years, or suddenly it hurts when I cycle and less when I walk, when before cycling would never hurt and walking was excruciating) and shifts around (some of my older symptoms like lower back pain and migraines have reappeared, as well as some new ones like wrist pain). It's very interesting to see it all happen and to understand. Seems that my brain didn't like that I discovered it and is now trying so hard to rewrite my sensations, to scare me more, I guess.

    I put up the 12 daily reminders up on my wall, and I'm doing psychotherapy. I still can't believe this works after so much time of pure suffering and exhausting all my options!

    There was also one part in the books where Dr. Sarno talks about rage/soothe ratio. So I got a dog. Dogs were always a big soothing factor in my life and at the time of the biggest flare up, I hadn't had a dog in 4 years, was still suffering from the loss of my previous pet. Literally on the day I got her, my pain in the knee diminished by another 20%.

    This is some fascinating stuff. I wish more people knew about it, so many are suffering and thinking it's normal or untreatable...

    Thank you once again!
    TG957 likes this.
  8. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great! Onward with your life!

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