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Has anyone lost a lot of physical strength? How long did it take to regain?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by music321, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. music321

    music321 Well known member

    I was in an auto accident a decade ago which was a catalyst for developing TMS. After having been almost entirely bedridden for three years, I started to regain strength/function seven years ago. I've had setbacks due to real strains and TMS, but am not very strong. I had hopes of one day being able to hike, kayak, etc., but now I'm thinking that this is perhaps a pipe dream.

    Has anyone else recovered from extreme deconditioning? If so, how long did it take. Thanks.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
    Click#7 likes this.
  2. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Hi Music,
    First of all, I'd like to say it takes a ton of courage to go through what you've been through and I completely empathize with you. I'm not as "seasoned" as many of the contributors on this forum, but I do understand being in pain to the point of total incapacitation.
    It's a tough road back after an extended period of inactivity... Atrophy takes time to rebound from, but I've been told by PTs in my journey of out chronic pain that it is entirely possible. I think it's a little slower now that I'm over 50, but I keep at it..
    You can absolutely get better, no doubt... Fear, in my experience is the greatest hinderance to overcome. This is a great place for information and support unlike any you'll encounter from an ordinary conventional MD. They only look at things from a purely physical point of view and I firmly believe this entire process is a WHOLE being recovery, NOT just muscles, joints and ligaments... But brain, soul and spirit... Welcome to your new extended "family"... I can't say enough good things about the people here... If u need an ear or just some comfort, feel free to message me... Nancy :)
  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    You can definitely fully recover. I've been patiently restoring my health over the last two years through a combination of swimming and yin yoga. My initial focus was simply on moving and reawakening my body. I endured a few false starts where I pushed too much, too soon.

    I'm at the point now where I'm starting to build a gentle cardio element into the mix. Nothing heroic by any standards but a definite upping of the ante.

    My body really loves the slow and incredibly mellow approach. Sometimes I feel sad and nostalgic about all the years I've *lost* and I suspect my dreams and ambitions for what I may achieve may need to be tempered but who knows? I like the inspiration and possibility and for now that is enough.

    I think the body is very forgiving and with mindful care we can recover from pretty much anything.

    Have you seen this?

    Lily Rose and Lunarlass66 like this.
  4. hodini

    hodini Peer Supporter

    Hi, Music,
    3 years is a long time, I can only assume you have been working with someone to regain your strength and access your capabilities.

    "I had hopes of one day being able to hike, kayak, etc., but now I'm thinking that this is perhaps a pipe dream."

    I do not know your age, but if it will give you any idea of what is possible, my mom, who was never active exercising (just walked a lot) just got her black belt in Taekwondo a little over one year ago when she was 87. She started at 80. She has definitely raised the bar for me! So keep your pipe dream!

    "So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." Christopher Reeves
    hecate105, Lily Rose and Lunarlass66 like this.
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I don't know the particulars of your case, if you suffered trauma or if you have TMS. It took me two weeks to regain condition after doing no physical activity for six months in an effort to try "resting it" to heal--resting and doing nothing only resulted in "clinical depression". I've found, I need 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise to maintain bodymind balance and keep TMS at bay.
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  6. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Depression is very easy to get ....if the fear of movement keeps you home bound ...believe me I have been there and still have my moments .

    I continue my journey to healing and listening to my body ..when I hurt I stop fighting threw the pain for me does not work or help.

    When my pain lets up a bit I get out there and swim run workout with weights. I continue to suffer from anxiety and depression, which I needed to get back on meds to function.

    All the tms modalities did not help me get out of bed to go to work or function everyday. I needed to break this cycle .

    I will continue not to try to heal and try to live the best I can .
    Diana-M likes this.
  7. stevow7

    stevow7 Well known member

    don't give up. you do sound depressed from this comment. But if you're here, in a tms forum, posting to a good member, it means you still have hope. the "I will continue not to try to heal and try to live the best I can" is negative sentence. try to soothe your persona and try to look for positive affirmations my friend. ask yourself, why am I still living like this? it seems you have been brain washed by PT chiros and such. Don't live the "best i can" live a life you would like to enjoy. LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH and never give up. I know pain can make this almost impossible right? but whats the meaning of life without LIVE,LOVE,LAUGH? we alllll been there, we're here in this forum because we HAD OR HAVE pain. you're not the only one with pain. dont give up, always have hope!
  8. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Thx you and i do all those thing...and your right about living the best I can ..but god there are some days I don't want to get out of bed
  9. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Peer Supporter

    I was housebound for 3 years. I could only walk a few steps from the bedroom to the living room to the kitchen. It took me 1 year to get back to normal walking. After that point, I gradually added other activities until I now lead a normal life.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
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  10. Lunarlass66

    Lunarlass66 Well known member

    Exactly where I am right now.. 3 yrs housebound, only walking in the house due to pain and fear of not being resilient enough to venture out. I've attempted at least half a dozen times to go about a normal day of activity which always results in setbacks and pain increases.
    My apologies for intruding on someone else's query.. It just touched a chord with me. I wonder what the secret is to getting past that persistent hurdle and returning to everyday movement. That's where I've been hovering for months..
  11. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    Could take 6 months to a year
  12. music321

    music321 Well known member

    Wow, this thread is old at this point. Thanks for the replies. It seems that 6-12 months is normal for recovery. To what degree would one hope to recover after this length of time? Are we talking about being in a state of recovery that allows one to function "well enough" to walk around town, etc., or are we talking about "full" recovery where someone could strap on a backpack and hike 10 miles on a hilly trail?

    As an update/clarification, my legs were not injured in the auto accident. I was bedridden, though. This caused some pretty serious atrophy. The start of all this was in 2008. I got "out of bed" in early 2012. I'd made extremely slow but more-or-less steady progress until 2016, at which point I "reinjured" myself. When I started this thread, I thought that I would be in far better shape right now. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. I can walk about 50-100 ft, several times per day. I get around the house with a wheelchair-like device. I'm physically not strong enough to go have coffee with friends, etc. I'm growing more depressed by the week.

    I wonder if this lack of progress is a result of metabolic dysfunction secondary to TMS. My progress is extremely slow.
  13. gazelle

    gazelle New Member

    I rock climb and have had a few friends have horrendous accidents and then come back very strong. I haven't had an accident that has put me out for three years but I have friends who have been in a wheel chair for some time. I think your body is made to move and, it you move it, the strength will come back.
  14. music321

    music321 Well known member

    How long did it take? I know that I'll recover eventually, but feel that I'm recovering far more slowly than I should. At 40 I'm not young, but I'm not so old that it should be taking this long (I would think). Thanks.
  15. gazelle

    gazelle New Member

    It was a friend of mine and she was non-weight bearing for about a year and then it probably took a year to come back. She was an extreme athlete in her 20s at the time. I've had "real" accidents too but the TMS can layer in after. One of the sure fire ways of me getting and keeping TMS is the stress about timelines - how long something should take, am I like other people etc etc. Then instead of obsessing about the pain, I'm obsessing about the recovery. Either way I am still obsessing and generating TMS. Whether an injury lingers is typically a sign of TMS for me. I had a bad accident last year and after 5 months I was OK. I think without those thoughts I might have been OK at 3 months.
  16. music321

    music321 Well known member

    Sorry to be pressing you for details, but she came back to a level of day-to-day functioning, or back to a level of competitive athletic performance?

    I know what you mean about obsessing over time lines. I'm finally figuring this out, over just the past few weeks. I'm coming at this from a position of hope, however. When I was bedridden for three years, it took 5.5 years (with a few setbacks) to get up to average day-to-day functioning, certainly not great functioning. I was able to walk a few miles over mildly hilly ground. I'm hoping that this time around I'll be able to really engage in life (backpacking, etc.) in a little over a year. I'm wondering if TMS is causing muscle fatigue, attenuated recovery, etc., and that once I beat TMS, I'll rapidly regain strength and endurance. Or, conversely, maybe it will be another 5-10 years before I'm carrying a backpack going up a mountain. This is what I'm trying to understand. Thanks.
  17. gazelle

    gazelle New Member

    Absolute elite level, top level athletic performance. She wasn't supposed to get out of the wheelchair. She still will never use one foot properly but her strength and fitness afterwards was astonishing.

    For me, it's always difficult to tell on the recovery phase how much is recovery fatigue, how much is TMS. I've had to make peace with tiredness and just work on healing from TMS thoughts and behaviors and eventually it all comes out in the wash. I don't know what happened to you at the beginning but I bet you can recover and not in the too far future either. I would contact Steve Oz. He has answered some of my questions. It's about addressing the thoughts and behaviors that cause TMS, and pushing yourself physically simultaneously. And then you get there. Obsessing about timelines is the kind of thinking that gets you stuck. I'd recommend thinking of the places you want to go with that backpack on, really enjoying thinking about it rather than a desperate longing kind of feeling. Then focus on being the person who doesn't have TMS thoughts and feelings. Train your mind and your body will follow, so to speak. Good luck.

    It's kind of corny but there is TV series called "I shouldn't be alive" - its on Amazon prime. The comebacks in that story are amazing.
  18. music321

    music321 Well known member

    This is encouraging to hear. Thanks.
    Exactly. This is something that I hadn't even thought of until recently. When working out, I'd push myself "hard" (by my standards) and rest a few days until I felt well enough to push some more. For years, I just thought, "Oh well, I guess it will just take years to recover." After having not gotten nearly as far as I wanted to in 5.5 years, I started to obsessively push myself, "injured" myself, and was off my feet for three months. Thereafter, I clawed my way back to walking for five minutes at an average pace, then sent myself back to hardly being able to walk at all. I've doubled my strength in the past three weeks, but this means being having to use the wheelchair 50% of the time, instead of 75% of the time. The idea of pushing 50 before being able to live a normal life is a hard pill to swallow.

    What I hear from you, however, is very hopeful. It's very insightful that you'd mentioned looking at things from a "hope" point of view rather than a "longing" point of view (which is what I've engaged in). Thanks.
  19. stradivarius

    stradivarius Peer Supporter

    I wonder music321, if it's no longer TMS you are dealing with and simply needing to regain strength, whether it may be worth seeking some advice from a specialist physiotherapist? They might be able to offer advice on regaining muscle after atrophy, plus, it's a big hurdle to overcome by yourself without help.
  20. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh boy YES! I had a car accident in 1991 and was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I was in extreme pain 24/7 and lost my ability to walk much at all. For much of the next 20 years I would use a wheelchair to go out, spent much of my life in bed and had a nervous breakdown...! I got a little better after being given thyroxine - and found i had a little more energy, so tried to walk a bit further and do a bit more. As time went on i found i felt a lot better when i was outdoors - and had more energy, whereas when i felt awful and stayed in - i felt even worse... It was a dilemma that was only solved when I was researching vit D - which i was totally deficient in - and found a vidoe by Dr Sarno on the internet... I was intrigued and ordered his book 'The Divided Mind' . It sat on the shelf for months. When i finally read it - it made total sense.
    I mark that (16th june 2013) as the day i got better! It took 6 months of intense tms work, and 2 years of constant tms work - but i am now 99% recovered and live a pain free life.
    I would say on the physical side - I walked a few hundred metres one day, quarter mile the next, half mile the next - just kept ramping it up. I did not stop if there was pain, i kept on. (if you are used to being in pain 24/7 anyway...why not?!) Yes - my muscles were weak - but it does not take too long to get them back. Weeks, maybe months. It is being consistent and keeping on - keeping on, that is what works. I could not allow the tms mindset set me back - my very life was at stake.
    It is my 5 year anniversary of health this june! I will be cycling around the UK on my bicycle - with a ton of tent etc on the back (I cycled right across Spain last spring!) this morning I chopped up a pick-up full of logs for next winter, I still get the odd 'flare ' of pain, but it does not phase me - I just look for what is bugging me psychologically - and sort it out.
    So, go for it, do the tms work, stretch those muscles - whether there is pain or not, get back in control of your life, good luck!
    Ellen, Tennis Tom and Click#7 like this.

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