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Having trouble with RSI flare ups

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by tracybean, May 5, 2019.

  1. tracybean

    tracybean New Member

    Hi all.. I'll try to make a long story short, but I'm not always so good at that. Just need some reassurance.


    • I had RSI pain in my hand and forearm for about 1.5 years, associated with unergonomic computer use
    • Heard about Sarno right away after starting to experience RSI, and was fully on board but was too scared to believe it for me, lest I make things worse
    • 1.5 years go by and it has not improved, and suddenly it's spread to my other hand. Scared as *&^ now. Revisit TMS. Find Dr. Gordon's program, which finally gives me the evidence I need to fully 100% believe this is TMS. It disappears within one week.
    • I write this success story on the wiki 3 months later because obviously I'm elated. I want to sing Sarno & Dr. Alan from the rooftops.
    • A year and a half goes by with no RSI, maybe little tinges, but they don't bother and go away easily


    Fast forward to the beginning of this year and I have a big flare up for the first time. It had just been long enough that RSI and TMS felt like a thing of the past, so when this happened, I started falling out of belief and into a bit of fear thinking ... well what if it's structural THIS time? A climbing gym had opened near us so I started climbing again, and this puts a lot of stress on your hands / forearms in addition to computer use. So that's what my mind was associating it with.

    I didn't want to go down the fear rabbit hole, so I started revisiting TMS resources to get back into belief and decided to just not worry about it, and it did go away after a week or to.

    But then a month later, it happened again. Same thing. Started worrying again. Visited the resources, decided it was ok to not to worry about it too much. Eventually went away.

    But then fast forward to now (about a month after that), and I'm having the worst flare up of my life. Burning in both hands and forearms and dull-yet-sharp pain in the wrists, and it's occurring and lasting longer than just being on the computer (before it only seems to hurt when I was using the computer, yet I could do anything else just fine).

    Ironically, this flare up started a week or two ago when I finally got an ergonomic chair and desk that fit me for the first time in my life (even though I wasn't so scared about RSI anymore, I thought.. you know, it wouldn't hurt to actually sit ergonomically. I'm a tiny person so I've never had a chair or desk that has actually fit me. Let's invest in a good one. If there IS anything structural to this, this will help me nip it in the bud).

    And you know what....to my surprise, I REALLY like my chair!

    Yet, somehow sitting the most ergonomically I ever have seems to have coincided with the worst flareup!! What!!

    Anyway --- I'm trying to read all sorts of TMS resources and get back into full belief, since that seems to be what I need to heal it. But I'm finding it hard.

    My mind is clinging to things like "Well this is worse and feels kind of different than it has before; What if I've messed up my body so much that ergonomic sitting is more stressful on my body than slouching over my laptop; It must be the rock climbing; I've been excited about starting a new web design business, so I'm suddenly doing a crazy amount of clicking and scrolling as I build websites". As is most of us, my mind is good at the what ifs...... but what about this and what about that.

    Yet there are some things that don't make sense and are very TMSy....

    • That it's in both hands and arms. More so in the right (mouse hand), but pretty significant mirror like pain in the left too
    • Although this time it's hurting more in between computer sessions or doing other activities, it's still worse while on the computer, and the pain seems to wax and wane as I am on the computer.
    • This morning I woke up and noticed it didn't hurt and once I started thinking about it, it eventually started burning.
    • The sensation does seem to be most powerful when I am focusing on it. I think.

    Thanks for reading. I just need some reassurance about TMS flareups so I can stop stop doubting! If it was TMS once, will it always be TMS? Appreciate your input!
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi tracybean,

    Yes, I reassure you, you're signs, symptoms, timing, spreading, all support a "flair-up" diagnosis.

    I have two suggestions, beyond the very powerful work you're already doing to calm and reassure yourself.

    First, remember that Dr. Sarno spoke of always continuing the TMS work in some form, even when you get better, like "taking vitamins." Or eating well. Most TMS'rs need some regular support: reading Dr. Sarno, re-reading a particular day in Gordon's program which reassures you, etc.

    Second idea is that you can engage more deeply in psychological inquiry around your symptoms. Often re-occurence means more, deeper work is called for.

    Andy B

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