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Feet pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by linapina, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. linapina

    linapina New Member

    'I didn't have any trouble convincing myself that my back pain was from TMS (because every other possibility had been eliminated), but I think the medical diagnosis that came with my foot has made it more difficult for my mind to accept that it too is TMS'.

    This applies to me too, very much so!
    I am scanning the forums for posts about foot pain. Most people seem to have problems with Plantar Fasciitis which isn't my problem.
    Up until Aug 2012 I had been walking daily for the past 15 years (1-1,5 hours/day) and it was my meditation, outlet and 'salvation' as I have been struggling with dysthymia, pain and many other things until I got diagnosed with fibromyalgia. My pain wasn't severe but all the symptoms combined was debilitating and very disturbing. I've had leg pain, back pain, shoulder/neck pain, fatigue, losing hair, dry skin and brittle nails, sound sensitivity. I was certain I had thyroid problems but all tests were fine.

    When I got my fibromyalgia diagnosis the first time I was not convinced at all that it was what I really had.
    A few years passed and I was getting worse. Back pain flaring up more often, I got a second diagnosis of fibromyalgia and then suddenly that late Aug 2013 I developed foot pain. It started in my right foot and it was not severe, mostly in my big toe, I kept walking as usual but it worried me as my walks are so very important for me. Soon within a week, I got pain in my left foot too. It didn't take long for it to get much worse. Soon walking wasn't enjoyable anymore. I started to freak out and went to different doctors and health practioniers, such as orthopedics, physio therapists, etc for help. They all had different opinions what my problem was.
    I had fallen arches, I needed new shoes, new orthotics (I have been wearing orthotics for the last 20 years) I had no fat padding left, I had a neuroma, I needed fore foot support, I needed arch support, or all combined. I had inflammation. I had MRI done which showed arthritis in both big toe joints and bursitis in the fore feet. (This worried me a lot as I had been feeling pain in my left hand mainly in the fingers and so I concluded that I must have arthritis in my hand too) An ultra sound showed nothing. I had four customs orthotics made from different places. The last one made it a bit better and I still wear those.
    I ate a lot of anti inflammatories and got stomach problems. That autumn and winter was terrible with lots of back pain too and being depressed because of all the pain and the fact that I couldn't really walk anymore. I could walk for maybe 2-3 km then the pain would be too much.

    Slowly, slowly it got a bit better, I came to accept the pain and finally my feet didn't feel inflamed anymore but I still got pain from standing and walking, putting weight on my feet for any length of time. I could not go barefoot even in the shower.

    After discovering dr Sarno's book and this site I felt hope and my back got better. Although back pain I have only had in periods (and then would feel fine for long periods) or at night sleeping. So I had no trouble believing that my back pain was (even though I have herniated discs on MRI's) and is TMS related. Nor the outbursts of eczema that I suddenly got last summer and this winter. BUT, and here is the big BUT,
    I do have problems believing my feet problems are due to TMS. My feet are now worse again after starting to walk daily again. They hurt when I walk and are very sore to the touch. I have not ditched my orthotics and I can't even imagine ever doing that!

    I understand that believing in TMS is essential and I try to convince myself that the feet pain is also due to TMS and I might succeed for a short while but then the doubts come creeping up on me again. I am really worried that my pain has worsened and it feels like a bad cycle that I can't stop. I worry and get worse. I get worse because I don't believe 100%. It's harder to trust in TMS when I get worse.

    I DO have very little fat padding and it feels like I am walking on my bones, I DO have fallen fore feet arches and I obviously DO have arthritis. Why is it so hard to believe when it comes to the feet and not the rest of my symptoms?? Is there anything I can do? Anyone else with fore foot problems (and not PF, which I understand is heel pain) who has gotten better?
    I am currently doing my own kind of program mixing it up from Scott Brady’s program in the book Pain free for life, the SEP program here and from Schubiner’s book Unlearn your pain. I find it hard to follow any of those programs to the letter so I decided to do my own…I am also seeing a therapist. I have just gotten started with my TMS healing, its only been like three weeks. I was feeling so hopeful and good but now I am not feeling good at all and losing a bit of hope.

    Any advice or some words of comfort?
    (Sorry for the long post...)
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Inapina. I think your subconscious is sending you have doubts that TMS is causing your symptoms.
    That's the way it's sending you pain in walking.
    I would fight this by telling my subconscious: "You can't fool me. I believe in TMS."
    A strong positive mantra, said a dozen or more times during the day or night, can drive away your fears
    and charge your emotional batteries with positive vibes.
  3. linapina

    linapina New Member

    Hi Walt, I have been talking to my subconsicous on all my walks and everytime I feel pain coming on anywhere. I do it at night before falling asleep. Yesterday I sat in the car and yelled and cursed and tried talking to it as if it was an ignorant and annoying child screaming for attention, I try different approaches ;-) I feel really silly! But right now it doesn't seem to help. At least not my feet. Tonight I also feel my back pain coming back. This is typically the route, one pain begins and soon I get it in another body part too.
    Well I will continue I guess and hope it gets better soon.
  4. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    I am sorry to hear about your conditions I to suffer from some of these issues…first of all are you able to sleep at night? with out proper sleep we will not have the strength to battle your tms which it sounds like you have. Everybody has different opinions about taking meds but to me it was my first step in recovery of tms. Its brought my pain down to a level that I was able to function and practice my tms recovery and get needed sleep to do so. My tms is journey includes meditation ( keeping my mind quiet), respond instead of react, journaling at least 10 min a day. And read Steve O book its the best read of them all ( by far).

    You have come to the right place you will get the needed help ( advice) from all these great people, good luck on your journey remember thats what it is>
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Linapina,
    See my story re foot recovery. This might help.

    In my experience, my foot pain came and went for several years, moving from place to place: neuromas, mid foot, etc. The numerous physicians, foot doctors, nerve specialists, sports medicine folks----all had "reasons" the foot hurt, and many were ready to operate. Pain is pain, and most can probably be treated with Dr. Sarno's method, regardless of location or cause, in my opinion.

    Hope you can link the patterns of re-occurrence you are observing, with the foot pain and treat accordingly!

    Andy B.
  6. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I suppose I had PF but it was never officially diagnosed. All I know is that about 3-4 years ago I had terrible pain in my feet. I also love to walk and I remember feeling so disillusioned that this too was being taken from me. I had numbness in my toes, pain in my arches, the front pads of my feet, I don't remember the heels being in pain so much. It was often worse after sleeping, driving, getting up from sitting. Sometimes it was worse in one foot, sometimes both feet. I remember limping around like a very old lady, buying very expensive shoes I have never worn... This was all before I discovered that I have TMS. One of the things that did help me at the time is that I bought a Townie bicycle and found that I could ride it without creating additional pain. This gave me some hope and motivation. Eventually I started walking again with the pain and then eventually it faded away (and my terrible neck pain began!). After I started working on the TMS and my symptoms started shifting around, the foot pain came back a few times but this time I was not pulled in by it. Now my feet feel great. I haven't had any pain in them in a very long time. Arthritis and fibromyalgia are not very helpful diagnosis because they don't leave us with many options except medications and worry. I have also been "diagnosed" with fibromyalgia several times. I think since you were able to help your back pain with the TMS work, there is every reason to believe you will recover from your foot pain as well. Be very persistent and patient. My TMS recovery took a long time, but it was well worth it.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Very good advice, Anne. TMS pain does move around and we need to attribute it to our repressed emotions
    and/or perfectionist and goodist personalities. Switching from worrying about pain being structurally-caused
    and believing totally it is psychological (M indBody) is essential in healing.
    Anne Walker likes this.
  8. E. Lynn

    E. Lynn Peer Supporter

    Dear linapina,
    I've had arch pain and heel pain since I was ten years old. I've been to all kinds of podiatrists and even had unecessary surgery on my left foot. I've gotten better over the past year, and you can too. Not perfect, but better. I never would have believed foot pain could be caused by TMS, but it can. If I can get better, you can too ☺️ There is some good advice in the posts up above. Do use about the structured education program on here if you haven't already.
  9. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Dr. Sarno says in Mindbody Prescription, "there are many tendons in the feet, any of which can be the target for TMS. ...Because patients have a harder time accepting that foot pain is part of TMS, it tends to linger." Pg 101

    The emphasis on 100% belief is stated over and over by the victorious. I hope you can work on your belief.
    Lavender likes this.
  10. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member


    Reading these forums can be an enlightening experience. We often find people who have had our exact symptoms verbatim! It can really build confidence to know that they had what you have and it was TMS. Another confidence builder is the fact that many posts don't just echo your symptoms but echo your struggle... to believe 100%. That confidence is no joke. And it does flip some switch in the mindbody, for sure. That being said, it can be very hard to force that confidence with brute strength of will.

    May I suggest setting aside some time to do whatever program you're doing (Brady, creating evidence lists, etc...) during the day and then leaving it behind. Don't actively engage the work any more or entertain your mind in "being confident about your foot pain being TMS." In fact, if you have pain, try a different technique to help you distract from it or ignore it - often when I'm having a TMS flare-up, I'll go back to journaling or creating an evidence list at specific set times during the day and then stop "attacking" the pain with techniques and confidence in TMS during the rest of the day. I then spend my remaining time turning my mind towards some mindfulness of activity... or mindless work!

    This kinda of shift (and perhaps you already do this) can be helpful in staying away from the confidence trap. If we're constantly thinking about the TMS and the symptoms, we're also constantly inviting doubt into the picture.
    Grateful17 likes this.
  11. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    I just wanted to post to say I also have foot pain and had a similar kind of struggle about believing. I beat RSI-form TMS years ago (nine years now! time flies) but I've had so much trouble kicking this foot thing - it's happened now after two ankle injuries, I get pain and swelling in the ankle and forefoot with stiffness/tension. I finally decided I am going to do the SEP to really kick it and get confident.

    What stuck out to me in your story is that there was no reason that your feet in particular would hurt, except that it would be a great distraction since you were very reliant on walking as a form of therapy. You didn't mention any trauma, just starting to hurt. So to me that is a sign that your unconscious was very clever in choosing your feet -- an effective distraction without a real injury.

    When I was first looking around for foot pain stories, I found this one, which is very inspiring. http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/thread...n-plantar-fasciitis-wrist-pain-eye-pain.5224/

    It doesn't really matter if the exact symptoms are the same (I fell into that trap too). But that we are in this boat of being afraid, and together we can sail out of this sad sea to a better place :)
    Anne Walker and Lizzy like this.
  12. WantToBelieve

    WantToBelieve Peer Supporter

    I am in the nearly the EXACT same boat. I have feet pain in both feet. I used to just be the heel ,but over time it was the arches and balls of the foot. I've been in pain sine 2001. I've had every test under the sun and every diagnosis and 3 unnecesary surgeries...one which ended up causing nerve issues that have luckily almost fully healed after 4 years! I had no injury or cause for pain to start, it just did. It was gradual and got worse and worse. It only hurts when I stand and especially when I stand still. After reading Steve O's book and attending a TMS 4 week course, I really started to believe in TMS for this pain. I got really confident for awhile but I'm not seeing progress.

    I definitely found that I'm thinking about my pain WAY more since starting this work. Before I was just living with the pain (and functioning at a high level but with lots of pain...I push and push and push thru it). But now I'm thinking about it daily. How could I not if I'm trying to do self-talk and visualization, etc.

    Like you, I begin to doubt and crave any improvement at all!
  13. linapina

    linapina New Member

    I started on a reply to Redsox and Andy B two weeks ago but suddenly my broadband died and I lost my long text, I got really mad and just shut down the computer screaming. Later I got a cold and so didn’t have the energy until today when I am better. To my surprise there are now many more answers - thank you, thank you, thank you all for them! I really needed it! (Somehow all the text I first wrote was back in the reply box when I got back just now so I am posting that first)

    Boston Redsox and Andy B, thanks for your answers.
    No, I don't sleep well at night, but I do sleep. Enough to hang in there. But often very tired. Sleeping pills or pain meds doesn't help me much though and I am very reluctant to take any meds.
    I do have a whole 'cluster' of different symptoms, not only pain, but I must be honest and say that my pain is not severe in any way, it's just very annoying and disturbing and it makes my life miserable sometimes. Angry! That I can't be like other (seemingly) healthy, active people.
    Walking is my only form of exercise and mainly the only one I like (I bike sometimes too but then my back complains, lol) so I guess it was just a matter of time before I would end up with painful feet ;-)
    Because walking is and have been so important to me being my biggest outlet of depression/dysthymia, anxiety and worry and also giving me the much needed peace and quiet I get from nature, it seems almost strange that my subconscious haven't tried to give me pain there before. It's the ultimate, most distressful way to make me focus on my body instead of any emotions! I am completely obsessed with it and I can't take one step without thinking about how it feels, am I gonna hurt now, or soon!?
    I AM starting to realize that this must be TMS too but still thoughts of 'But what if it isn't...?' creeps in automatically all the time. There is so much fear it's unbelievable.
    The pain in my feet doesn't move around like it does in other parts and it feels pretty much the same every time, a distinct pain in one spot in the forefoot (both feet but left is much worse). I can walk maybe 3 km before it sets in. All this makes me worry that it IS structural anyway.
    I am now trying to walk daily again and building up the amount of distance but I still wear my special shoes and my orthotics. When I do get more pain, like this last week, I get really afraid. So you see how effective this is to stop me?
    Even though I try to think thoughts like 'I can walk without pain, I am healthy and strong and my feet are fine' etc or distract myself to not think of my steps this is all I do. I don't know how to stop this obsession!

    Update: It’s been more than two weeks since I started this thread and I feel much better! No, not my feet, they still hurt like before but even though I have had no progression so far with my pain I still feel more hopeful and more convinced that what I have is TMS. Not only my back (my back pain came back with a vengeance for some days and then subsided again) but also my feet. I still have doubts now and then but I do feel more confident about it begin TMS too. I have now read more books about TMS (I love laying in bed at night and falling asleep to these books;-)) and I see clues to my feet being TMS. After reads you replies I believe it even more! So thank you! Very reassuring reading your different stories and replies.
    I even think me getting colds (the third time in just a few months now) is due to TMS even if a cold stems from a virus. I used to have colds and infections ALL the time as a child and I think this was for a reason. Not just because of viruses!

    My progress might be very slow but just feeling hope for the first time in a decade is BIG. It’s also nice feeling I can DO something about all this. I don’t have to be a hopeless victim. I have been doing so much in these two weeks, more than in ages when I was always feeling tired, depressed and incapable. Sure I do have days or times still when I feel very down and tired but my spirits are awake. I will try to go on my walks despite the pain and soon I can go on my bike as spring is almost here and I will also take Andrew Miller’s suggestion to heart, set time aside to work but not focus on it for the rest of the day. The perfectionist in me tends to overdo stuff and then tire quickly as I am so impatient…;-)
    I hope I will be back soon with good news!

    And to WantToBelieve; hang in there with me and keep believing! We will get better, I am sure! It's easy to get obsessed but try not to, it's the perfect way for the brain to maintain the pain, isn't it?
  14. AnitaV

    AnitaV Well known member

    I suffered from years of debilitating foot pain and overcame it completely thanks to the work of Dr. Sarno. You can read my story here: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/forums/success-stories-subforum.27/. I also had a medical diagnosis, and I had inflammation show up on MRI and ultrasound. I even had surgery. It doesn't matter! TMS can create any sort of symptoms. It is hard work, but you can beat your pain using Dr. Sarno's methods! The first step is accepting that your pain is caused by TMS, and understanding why.
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  15. linapina

    linapina New Member

    Anita, reading your recovery story was very touching and helpful, I got goose bumps when I read the passage about taking adult beginner ballet classes ;-)

    I don't dare shower barefoot yet but that is one of my goals. I haven't walked around barefoot at home for years, before the foot pain mostly due to very cold feet and cold floors and now both that and the pain. I don't know when, or if, it will ever be one of my goals but at least take steps barefoot is on the list along with showering barefoot ;-)

    I am heading out right now for a short walk and my goal is to enjoy the walk and not focus on the pain (that I am expecting unfortunately, yes)

    I am more and more convinced of TMS causing my foot pain. A little tale sign for me was when I was sick this week and didn't go out or walk and still had foot pain. Usually it comes on like clock work from putting weight on my feet, mostly walking but also standing still. My pain is not severe but it's enough to make me afraid. I think the fear is more serious than the actual pain right now.

    A little victory; Last year when I attended a yearly art show with a friend I had her wheeling me around in a wheelchair (at loan from the museum) as I was so afraid to worsen my foot pain, but this year I was walking around and focusing on enjoying the art work and not give my pain (yes I did get some) the attention it craves. I tried to just let it be there and sit down on a bench if I felt I really needed to rest. Felt great!
  16. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    That's similar for me. I mostly get heat and some twinges, with soreness and stiffness, but I'm quite afraid of reinjury. Still working on building up confidence. I think the SEP is really helping me. I especially found the discussion from Dr. Schubiner on how the brain learns to create pain very useful. It helps me understand how pain can persist and "feel the same" after an injury is actually gone. Dr. Sarno's work is more about the theory sometimes, and I think the greater concreteness of Dr. Scubiner's explanations helps.

    I'm glad you were able to have fun at the art show!
  17. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    Where you on pain meds for your feet?
  18. AnitaV

    AnitaV Well known member

    For the most part, no, they never helped with the pain at all, the pain was severe. I would have had to take something very strong to cut through it, and I didn't want to take anything that strong long-term.
  19. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Thx for getting back to me I am also weaning down on the meds I find they do not do anything also working on emotions and how I respond to stress.

    happy easter
  20. AnnaSchweitzer

    AnnaSchweitzer Peer Supporter

    My story (I am new so I have yet to write it out) sounds very similar. I was a hairstylist when I developed back pain, neck pain then foot pain. I since then no longer have back and neck pain but haven't been able to get rid of my foot pain. I am no longer doing hair. I quit to be a stay at home mom when I have my first daughter. (I now have a 4 year old, 2 year old and 10 month old. ). I have the typical perfectionist goodist pressure myself guilty personality. Sooo hard on myself most times. I went to 3 foot docs, 2 family docs, 3 pt, 2 chiropractors, an arthritis doc and have had no pain relief . (Even had 3 different orthotics made). So been around. I haven't been to a doc for 5 years though for feet and usually it's just been arch and all over bottom of foot pain. Diagnosis has been PF or tarsal tunnel. Now I've been having swelling in just my left foot in the outside ball of foot. So frustrating. I think I have tms but for some reason can't seem to get rid of it. I ignore pain, fight it, or just try to get on with life but it seems to always be there. It's hard not to think it's physical bc the more I am on then the more they hurt and so then you just think physical I think! And now with the swelling can that be tms?!? Any thoughts? I'd love to figure ourselves out and all have success stories soon!!

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