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Hand and arm pain strategies ("rsi")

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ookami, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Ookami

    Ookami New Member

    Hi, everyone. I've had RSI (or TMS, rather) in my hands and arms for 3 years now, and I've had the same depressing struggles like everyone else, which I'm not going to get into, but it's been quite a ride. I recent weeks, I've committed more fully to the TMS theory, and I keep trying to feel the pain, telling myself it's safe, aiming for outcome independence, etc. The goods news is that the fear of the pain worsening, or indeed the fear of the pain in general has maybe halved compared to just a few weeks ago. The not so good news is that the pain has continued to worsen. The symptoms have progressed to where there is pain already when I wake up in the morning, while in the beginning it was only after having used the computer for a while (luckily I sleep like a baby at night regardless). Now, if I stay away from the PC/ipad for a while, symptoms lessen, but since everything points to TMS, I keep using the PC every day in small/moderate doses. Writing this is not very pleasant indeed.

    Now, my question is: Does anyone have a good strategy for soothing the brain/removing the fear WHILE typing on a computer/using the mouse? When I do my Japanese studies, for example, it's hard to focus on anything but what's on the screen (learning a language is a lot of fun, but quite taxing on the brain!), but every now and then I quickly consider the pain in my arms/hands, before trying to disregard it and keep studying. Should I perhaps be patient, slow down and keep soothing myself even while studying? Or should I do typing/mousing sessions where I don't actually do anything on the computer, but only focus on the typing/mousing itself and telling myself it's safe? I'm just not sure if I should pay more attention to the symptoms and try and relax, or if I should just forge ahead and try and ignore the symptoms, I guess. Any successful strategies you've tried for overcoming arm/hand pain in general is also welcome. Thank you for reading. :)
  2. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    I'm in a similar situation, and I am progressing, but I keep relapsing to an extent. The pain is completely gone, but when it comes back even at a low level I have these doubts for some reason. For me, I needed to recognize the pain was there, and then truly not care. You have to not care about the pain. Very hard to do, and I haven't been able to do it consistently. You won't be overthinking it as you are here if you can get to that point. I think if I can repeatedly accomplish this part of recovery eventually a week is going to go by with zero pain to where I forget I even had the symptoms. That would be the cure. When you KNOW it is TMS and harmless, it starts to make a lot more sense to just say F*** IT and type as much as you wish believing the pain can disappear.

    It's helpful to read this often.

    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Recovery_Program#Reframe_the_Meaning_of_the_Pain (TMS Recovery Program)
  3. Ookami

    Ookami New Member

    Thanks for the reply, and the link. I guess it's important to truly not care, or to truly accept, but as you say, it ain't easy. Good to hear that your pain is gone, though, that is fantastic! Now you know you can overcome it, even if you get a bit of relapse. :) Yesterday I put a note next to my computer that says "My hands and arms are totally healthy!", and every time my I see it, I'm like "Oh, such a nice thing to read!", I feel like it's actually helping me stay in the right state of mind regarding the TMS.
  4. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    A big tell tale sign that this was TMS for me was a couple of occurrences with work where I just had to type and mouse all day everyday to get some high pressure work done. Of course my hands and arms hurt, but it stopped escalating at day 2 or so. It didn't even get to the higher pain levels I had experienced in normal day to day work. Hmmm. Well I had to decided the pain didn't matter, and I was going to do what I had to do. Now, I hadn't addressed my emotional issues, and the pain level still sucked, but now, looking back, I can see what was going on. It's that fear of the pain that allows it to progress. Still working on it here, and it's tough. I'm currently unemployed, and it's hard to even find enough to do on the laptop to generate enough of a load that would normally cause me pain. I am clearly experiencing less pain that ever while doing this amount of work though. I just am having a hard time shaking the fear of this pain lurking when I am workin 8-9 hours on the computer at a new job, which is probably coming up very soon. I know this program works. I think I'm just as stubborn as they come so doubts creep in.
  5. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    Hi Ookami and TMS Joe,
    Check out Alan's new program for TMS Pain. There are a couple of audio/ and I think video tapes where he has someone work through the pain in their hands using TMS principles Overall his program is good for TMS, not just hand pain, but he does have this particular issue as one of his demos.
    Good luck. Let us know how you are doing.
    Ellen likes this.
  6. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    I'm in the same boat. Computer and mouse usage is a huge trigger for me, probably because my career is writing. I had to quit my job last week, but I think it was for the good, pain being just a small reason, but I had to admit to myself that I didn’t enjoy writing about the topics I was given. It’s also freezing in my building, and I cannot function when my hands are so cold I can barely type. Now, I’m trying to find another job; but dealing with writing is literally the most eperience I have, and the only thing I’m good at, even if it’s not my most favorite thing to do. I just worry the same “RSI” will rear its ugly head again. Every time I think about doing something different though, I can’t see myself in another profession, even though I don’t have a college education, but I do have 18 years experience that looks really good on the resume for that type of work.
  7. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Can you clarify what you meant by "I keep trying to feel the pain" in your first paragraph? Are you focusing on the pain?
    Thanks, Lizzy
  8. Ookami

    Ookami New Member

    Thanks, Lainey, I'll take a look at it.
  9. Ookami

    Ookami New Member

    Yes, when I feel pain, I sometimes focus on it a little bit and tell it/myself it doesn't matter, it's safe, etc, instead of shoving it away in fear. Also, I do a 10-minute meditation every morning where I observe the pain and/or feelings in the body (pretty much always fear in the stomach region) without trying to change it. Alan talk about it in his program, but I can't remember what the technique was called.
  10. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Thanks, that makes sense. Are you thinking of outcome independence? Claire Weakes says face, accept, float and let time pass. Letting our brains know it is ok. Meditation helps alot too.

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