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Gait problems

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Barry, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Barry

    Barry New Member

    As a tms sufferer now 60 metal sculptor I have recovered from many injuries or mysterious pains through tms beliefs.
    About three years ago I suffered debilitating pain in my hips and legs making my walking robotic like, Ozanich speaks of this walking style. Read his book threw away the cane and survived. Limping continues.
    As my pain has abated lately and am able to walk a mile or two my gait is stuck in this robotic style (of course there is still pain) but it doesn't stop me from walking as it once did when I didn't want to walk to my car or anywhere even though I'm hyper and I it did anyway (not far of course) with extreme limping. Some friends who don't believe in tms call me gimpy and why don't I just get everything replaced which I know is not neccessary. The fact that the pain itself has subsided so much makes me confident that tms is the cause however I'm assuming it still has it's grip on me on this one. I have and continue to have many personal problems and am working on resolving as many as I can. To the degree that I can. I am a single parent self employed work with my son endless stuff for the tms blues. Basically can I overcome my contorted legs as my tms subsides or is it a known side effect of long term protecting my pain via limping. 3 or 4 years ago had completed about 10 thousand miles of walking never had the perfect gait in the first place but was a walkaholic. I miss it especially the steep climbs in the Catskill mts where I reside.

    Never once read about or have seen a posting on a forum about something like this or I missed it somehow not sure, your insights would be welcome,

    Thanks, never posted anything on any forum so I confess my ignorance of how exactly how to go about it.
    Endless luke likes this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Barry, and welcome to the forum.

    As always, it's important to have this looked at by a TMS physician to rule out anything truly structural going on. However, while I could imagine it not being TMS (if, for example, it was bone rubbing on or clicking on bone), I could also imagine it being TMS. The key phrase that you wrote is "What disturbs me more than the pain is how poorly my walking gait is." The unconscious is very cagey and will focus on exactly what disturbs us the most. In this case, if it is TMS, it has realized that it is your gait that is really getting to you because walking and hiking are so important to you. From it's perspective: mission accomplished! You've had so much success overcoming pain that it knows that pain doesn't work to draw your attention back to your body anymore, so it attacks your gain instead. The key, now, once you've ruled out anything structural, is to us the same perseverance that you used at your lowest points with your pain and apply that to your gait. Keep your focus on your life and on the things that soothe your unconscious.

    How exactly is your gait being affected?
    Endless luke likes this.
  3. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Of course, I'm not a physician (and therefore cannot diagnose or treat your condition), but I do know that "drop foot" is a classic TMS symptom because I've had that for the past three or four years, ever since my relapse in 2008. However, I realize now that it is definitely not structural because during the last 5 months of journaling and meditation, my gait has straightened out and my walking continues to get smoother and more coordinated as well as pain free. Forest, I believe, seems to be on to something when he observes how TMS will attack something that disturbs you the most or interferes with an activity related to your self-image or work. When I was 30 or so, I remember hiking 750 miles and running three marathons one summer when I was an Outward Bound instructor. I would guess that TMS attacked my back and left leg because physical competence is directly related to my self-image as a runner, rock climber and road biker. Five months ago I couldn't rotate the pedals on my bike without my left knee getting stuck out to the side. Now, I'm rotating the pedals smoothly and without any jerky motions. It sure seemed structural, but if journaling and meditation seemed to get rid of the symptom, it sure sounds as though it was psychosomatic, psychogenic, mindbody, PPD etc etc etc. (whatever you want to call it).
    Endless luke, Barry and Forest like this.
  4. Barry

    Barry New Member

    I replyed on my return email. I walk like a duck. My waking seems to inhabit (albeit a lot less) some of the remnants of of my extreme limping I did for over 2 years. In essence I walk better faster but contained in that is a limp. Some mornings I wake up and move great. Twenty minutes later I'm back to the status quo as I start focusing back on it.
    Thanks Forest
  5. Barry

    Barry New Member

    Thank you MoComm,
    Not sure what drop foot is exactly is that a form of limping of some sort?
    Thanks for your reply to my Gait post.
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, Barry, "drop foot" is a kind of limping where the affected foot doesn't rise up to clear the high points of the path in front of you as you walk. As I "deprogram" the pain pathways in my left leg, I still have "memories" of my old "drop foot" that seem to want to come back from time to time. However, during the last month, I haven't noticed it nearly so much. "Drop foot" I think is where your toes don't rise enough to clear the high points of the path you are walking, like the peaks and valleys on a dirt trail for example. The affected foot has a tendency not to rise up sufficiently to avoid "scuffing" the high points of the trail. Sometimes, after a hard leg workout on the leg press machine, I notice the "gimp" or "drop foot" will come back as I walk down the stairs to the lower area of my gym. This used to last quite a while after a workout, only now the limping disappears more and more quickly, like maybe in 15 minutes. Only now, I self-consciously try not to monitor my limp like I used to; instead, I shift my consciousness to another area of my body and don't invest my attention on my limp nearly as much as I used to. IOWs: I make sure I don't get obsessed with it. You might want to look at Alan Gordon's piece on "Outcome Independence" for some tips on how to achieve this mental detachment from you symptoms:

  7. Barry

    Barry New Member

    Thank very much I now have a more technical understanding what I'm doing. Will look into Alan Gordon's piece.

    Back to my walking for one minute. I notice the lifting of both legs as problamatic veryfied when I walk steps sometimes I use the same foot unless I grab a handrail which I almost always do. This after being someone who bounded up steps 2 at a time.
    Is this still within the drop foot realm.
    Thanks again for your help.
  8. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    If you use the hand rail, it does sound like you are favoring one foot though, right? I know what you mean about bounding up stairs, two steps at a time. I used to always use the stairs instead of the elevator, until TMS entered the picture. This does sound like general weakness in both your legs though. I'm assuming you've been check out by a regular physician to rule out anything structural or medical.
  9. Barry

    Barry New Member

    My left leg has been the major issue however often get matching pain in my right leg. Last 3 maybe 4 years have had much emotional and anxiety related stuff. Pain is debilitating when anxiety spikes and full time pain generally as my life continues to get tougher as I get older. (A little insight into my life might be helpful). I've become too dependent on my son who I share a shop with. Many conflicts known to family working together exist. We don't exactly work together but share space suppliers etc. Conflict is, presently we can't work together and we used to manage to do so. This exacerbates my pain greatly.What's interesting people who know us think we work together better than anyone. They don't know the sad inside stuff. Plus I'm a compulsive worrier. I'm a poster child for tension related pain.
    Thanks MorComm for your excellent insights.
  10. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, Barry, you describe what is often regarded as a "psychologically loaded" situation involving family and work. But you've got to remember that the real emotional problem you're facing is internal; that is, inside yourself. I'd successfully evaded my parents' conflict relationship for many years by moving in with my GF, winning scholarships and going to grad school, working far away, and living and climbing for many years in the Sierra Nevada. Racking up achievements to make them proud of me, but also to erect a barrier against being overwhelmed and controlled by them. However, when they both collapsed on night, suddenly I was back in their house with all its bad memories of fights and conflicts, and of course dependency on them as a child and adolescent. Once I inherited the house, then my TMS began with a herniated disk in 2002. Yes, keeping up that convivial appearance in your relationship with your son must involve a fair degree of repressed emotionality, especially given your aversion to being too dependent on him. Dislike of becoming dependent often covers up a fear of separation and abandonment, don't you think? Maybe even a deep-seated fear of growing old, losing your strength, and becoming dependent on him?

    All my TMS is generally on my left side, in my lower left lumbar region or sciatica and numbness in my left leg. But that's easy to understand since I shattered my left heel in 1989 and was laid up for quite a while hurting in that left side. Must have been a lot easier for those old pain pathways to be reactivated when an emotional trauma came along years later. That's a rather typical TMS pattern I've noticed in the literature. But sometimes when the pain in my lower left lumbar disappears, it will reappear on the right side, apparently out of the blue. Yet after the right side goes back down, the left side, though still hurting, gets better and better. It seems like what they call a "symptom substitution" cycle that results in an overall improvement over time. It used to be that when I walked down a particular hill during a hike on a nearby nature preserve I had to really bear down to keep my balance. Now, I don't even think about it as I walk down the same hill with a fluid motion. Unfortunately, one tends to take ones improvements over time for granted and just focus on little stingers and aches and pains here and there. It does sound like you have been getting better and more aware of the emotional problem associated with your work environment. Armed with that kind of knowledge, you should be able to beat your TMS pain symptoms, I would guess.
  11. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Barry, your use of the word CONFLICT caught my attention. I remember Dr. Sarno saying "any conflict can cause TMS". I wrote it in my notes in all caps and underlined it because I thought it so interesting.

    When I feel conflicted on any level, I try to see if I can readjust my thinking and feelings and come to some kind of resolve. Sometimes it involves acceptance, sometimes making a change or speaking up.
  12. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lori, I think the most typical TMS conflict is between the Id (internal child) and the Superego (internal parent). I think Alan Gordon thinks of the superego as an "internal bully".
  13. Barry

    Barry New Member

    Thank you Lori
  14. Endless luke

    Endless luke Well known member

    Barry and Morcomm,
    I'd really like to thank both of you for talking about this. This thread has been the most important one for me because I have "drop foot" and had thought it was something unique to me. Reading about it here vastly increases my belief that all I need to do is work on the emotions and not worry about balancing my muscles in some way.
    MorComm likes this.

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