1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Day one

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by David25, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. David25

    David25 Newcomer

    I have recently finished reading 'The Mindbody Prescription' and I have started again with a mind to reinforcing the key ideas in the book. For the last couple of years I have been suffering from RSI/ tendonitis of the arms, shoulders and neck. On top of that I have had pain in the lower back and hips. The pain appears to have developed over the years. Initially I pulled a tendon in my left forearm about two years ago. This led to mild pain in my forearm. This was of great concern to me however, being a guitar player in a band that was moving overseas in 8 months I was particularly anxious about how this would affect my own and my bandmates ambitions. RSI was something I had been concerned about in the past being an individual prone to worry, and I was concerned that the symptoms may worsen and that this was only the beginning. I undertook physical therapy and stopped playing guitar and lifting weights temporarily while I waited for the pain to subside. The pain did not subside a few weeks later the pain had spread to the shoulders and neck and then to my right forearm that has since become incredibly fatigued and tense with minimal activity. Very quickly the pain became an obsession and dominated most aspects of my life. I reduced my working hours in a kitchen, to the annoyance of bosses and co-workers, pretty much stopped playing guitar and as a result began dropping out of my bands gigs, leaving them to play with only one guitar. Since then it has been an up and down journey in my battle firstly to recover from the pain, and later simply to deal with it. I have been to various physios, chiropractors, osteopaths, acupuncturists, doctors, massage therapists and even had scans on my neck and hand which confirmed nothing was evidently wrong. While some of these treatments undoubtedly relieved some symptoms, inevitably they kept coming back.

    Two years later I can say overcame certain obstacles, playing the guitar being one of them, I made the move overseas with my band. The band fell apart and I although I've been playing guitar I've always had my mind on the pain and the potentially negative affects my playing could have, therefore greatly diminishing the enjoyment I get from it. On top of that day to day activities have been affected and trivial things such as holding a cup or texting have become a source of discomfort and stress. The jobs I had been working often involved a lot of hand use whether it be typing or filing and therefore I was always focused on managing the stress I put on my arm, shoulders and back. Other factors were at play too, I was quite stressed at the time with my band breaking up, my relationship had been strained for a while, Financially I wasn't in the best place and on top of that I was constantly focused on the pain. Me and my partner went on a trip around Europe for a month or so with a mind to put the last year behind us, but seeing as we were also in the process of moving I therefore had to carry an excessive amount of stuff with me, which wasn't ideal as I was already aware of how much pain I was in, every journey between places became a struggle, and my ability to walk at a reasonable pace became affected by the pain I was suffering in my shoulders and back. As a result the whole trip personally became about managing my symptoms. We recently moved to a new city and finally the moving around had stopped much to my relief however the pain wasn't really going away, and my forearms were more tense than ever. I took on a job in call centre and my issues snowballed from there, within two weeks the typing had left me unable to move my right hand, my shoulders were in agony as soon as i got to work and i therefore went back to physio. It was more of the same, so I won't go into detail but it was clear there was nothing wrong with me but how could that be if I was in so much pain. The pain got to such an unbearable point one day at work when I walked out claiming sickness. I took some time off and began focusing on my physiotherapy but if anything my pain/ awareness of my pain only increased with the exercises. It was around this point while looking online that I came across 'the mindbody prescription'. I was initially skeptical but the more testimonies I came across the more I warmed to the idea. At this point I figured what's the harm in trying this approach as there is supposedly nothing wrong with me. I picked up a copy of the book, stopped doing physiotherapy and was surprised to find there were many aspects of this book I could relate to and that my personality was described in many sections of this book.

    I'd be lying if I said I was 100% won over, there is still 2 years of obsession and focus on my body that is tough to change. That said, I am playing the guitar now more than I ever have and it doesn't seem to be much of an issue and I'm enjoying it more than I have in the last two years. I'm typing more than I have been (I typed all of this in one sitting). My symptoms around my back and shoulders have generally lessened and I have started running on a regular basis. On top of that I am focusing on a lot more of the emotional issues that I now realise I've been neglecting over the years. And while the pain still comes and goes, it is to a lesser extent. I find it is a lot more manageable and my fear of it is decreased though not eliminated. It's all a work in progress though and I'm a lot more optimistic about recovery than I have ever been
     
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi David25 and Welcome,

    It sounds like you understand your history and how you fit the TMS profile. I am very happy for you that you've had this awakening, and that you're getting better. I had many years of debilitating foot pain, and now I climb mountains again and ski. It is a wonderful practice to read success stories in our Forum. Also Mike posted a bunch of success stories cut and pasted in one or two postings the other day. You are on the right track!!!

    Andy B
     

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