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I believe in TMS BUT.....

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Phyldancer, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. Phyldancer

    Phyldancer New Member

    Hi. I'm new and I'm pretty sure I'm a prime candidate for TMS given a family history of trauma/anxiety/ptsd/perfectionism/people-pleasing etc. I've read all of Sarno's books and also The Great Pain Deception. I believe I have TMS because I've been able to heal my back pain from last winter by not being afraid of the pain and teaching/exercising/moving through it as well as noticing when I was angry and triggers around that. I've also noticed moving pain that appears out of nowhere (left arm tension) and goes away. However about 8 months ago (pretty much after back pain subsided) I developed inner thigh pain when I walked (psoas area) as well as deep glute pain, especially on right side. Because I am a dancer and live a very physically active life, I stretch constantly and often roll the area with massage balls to ease the tension. I also stretch out my hips because it seems to help the area. I even adjusted my gas pedal but then I noticed the pain transferring down to the back of my knee where it has stayed for several months. Now I have glute pain, inner thigh pain and awful pain behind the knee. It feels better after a lot of stretching but then just tightens up again, especially when I sit or wake up in the morning. I know with TMS you are not supposed to exercise the area in pain deliberately or even focus on symptoms but it's hard to ignore or take a yoga class and wince when we go into a squatting position. I visited a chiropractor for the inner thigh pain when it started and they just gave me exercises none of which worked. Any thoughts, suggestions would be helpful, especially from dancers or people who are physically active. Thank you!
    juderocketqueen likes this.
  2. jaumeb

    jaumeb Peer Supporter

    I have the inner thigh pain.
  3. cowboydigger

    cowboydigger New Member

    I had that and since I`m sure I have TMS I just let it go and kept doing the work for 3 or 4 years. Finaly got so bad I couldn`t walk. So went to the Dr and they said the bone had died and my hip joint had eroded away. I am set up for THR in NOV. Probably not the case for you but I would have it checked out. Good Luck.
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Sarno says joint replacements are "modern miracles", I'm in the same boat (maybe?). Have you ever had a DX from a TMS physician? In any case, good luck! I'm perhaps playing on a "bald" hip joint, but when I was younger used to drive on bald tires and recaps, and had no insurance. I was lucky I guess, had good seat of the pants and never wrecked. Now they won't repair a tire that's past it's replace-by date.

    Come back and tell us how you like you're new hip, maybe I'll get your surgeon's name. What method are you going for, anterior, posterior or Birmingham?

  5. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    I would not ignore it. Try listening to the pain "sinking into it". Feeling within yourself a place where you can hear it's story, thinking psychological rather than trying to fix it or "make" it go away.
  6. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    I would not ignore it. Try listening to the pain "sinking into it". Feeling within yourself a place where you can hear it's story, thinking psychological rather than trying to fix it or "make" it go away.
  7. Phyldancer

    Phyldancer New Member

    I'm working with a psychologist (not TMS) but familiar with mind/body work. I'm thinking the pain behind knee (as well as inner thigh and regular knee pain) is a protector (if you are familiar with IFS (Internal Family System) trying to keep me from being too big, too powerful, too happy. I have struggled with body pain all my life but this feels different because I've made so many big changes in the past 3 years. I think my body is protecting me from getting hurt as I continue to move forward and take more risks. I woke up today with sharp pain in my right foot. I decided to ignore it and it went away within a few hours. I know someone talked about EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). I find that very helpful as well.
  8. TheKingAdRock

    TheKingAdRock New Member

    the pain in your leg sounds like TMS. the pain has the TMS hallmark of moving around. i've had the same experience during recovery as i'm sure a lot of others have had where the pain jumps around and it can really start to play tricks on your mind and even make you doubt that it is TMS at all.

    it sounds like you are focusing on the physical w/ trying to stretch and roll it out to fix the problem and even going to a chiropractor (a BIG no no imo). remember that is the 'trick' TMS will play on you, to make you believe you are physically hurt when you are not
  9. Ben117

    Ben117 New Member

    Hi Phyldancer,

    I've been experiencing something very similar to you. For just under a year, I've been experiencing right sided groin pain. However, it's quite common for this groin pain to change into muscle tightness along my right inner thigh. When this happens, I have minimal pain when still, but as I walk and my right leg is stretched backward as I take another step, I can feel a lot of tightness and pain on the inside of my right thigh.

    When I stretch I can feel this tightness, my muscles seem to always be tight around that area, extending to the right side of my lower back and groin. Like you, if I do a lot of stretching I can temporarily improve my symptoms. But invariably they tighten up again very quickly. I also experience waking up in the morning with them as tight as ever, even after lots of stretching the previous evening.

    There are a few points that suggest to me that this tightness is in fact TMS and not some sort of physical problem. Firstly, while the tightness is painful, it is not debilitating. I'm very physically active. I run, cycle, swim, surf and play sports like Rugby. I have never found this pain to be debilitating. It can be very painful and uncomfortable, and causes me a great deal of psychological distress, but my range of motion seems largely unaffected. And exercise can at times make the pain better, and at times make it worse - surely this would not be the case with a 'real' physical injury.

    If it were some physical problem we were suffering from, the pain would either go away as our bodies would have healed, or the pain would have got progressively much worse to the point where we would have to get it investigated and some physical issue would be identified. I've had almost all the investigations and nothing physical has been found.

    Furthermore, and more importantly, the only time I've experienced significant relief from my pain or tightness is when I successfully manage to ignore and/or accept the pain. This is of course very difficult, and the key to overcoming TMS symptoms, but gradually I'm making progress. The fact you achieved this by ignoring your back pain is very encouraging!

    Hope you're doing well

  10. Phyldancer

    Phyldancer New Member

    Thanks Ben. I've been back and forth on trying to decide if the back of the knee and inner thigh pain is TMS. I have not gone to a dr. because I'm not sure what kind of dr. could address this and also because I honestly believe it's TMS. Like you, I find stretching it out helps but it stiffens up again overnight or after sitting. Steve Ozanich also mentioned in his videos that some people take longer to heal because although they consciously believe they have TMS, they unconsciously do not. I am going to continue my daily strengthening/stretching routine that I do anyway along with yoga/dance classes and try not to consciously exercise the area in pain and hope that eventually my mind will accept that my body is physically fine. I did notice, however, that this leg pain came AFTER I healed my back pain, so my guess is the pain is moving to get my attention. It's just so very frustrating that it's still going on, as I imagine your situation is too.
  11. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    Thank you so much for your post about Internal Family Systems Therapy!

    I too discovered a part of me who was causing pain on purpose with my IFS therapist. And so the journey began. Now less than two years later I vacillate between 80-100% pain free. All my mobility is back. And even my foot which was numb has come to life. I can even pick up relatively heavy things and I'm starting to lift weights now. 5 years ago I could not even lift my laptop off of my desk! Or do laundry! Or go grocery shopping!

    A protector indeed...

    Miss Lexy Lucy
    Phyldancer and Tennis Tom like this.
  12. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Hi Phyldancer

    I can relate Your words, "trying to keep me from being too big, too powerful, too happy..." inklings I've had before about my own subconcious motives, coming from a hyper-protective (yet abusive and neglectful) family that always gave the message to the child to "....stop showing off." So I stopped. It is such a shaming statement. I too in the last 3 years, but notably in the last 12 months, have also made massive changes and am taking risks I never dared to...like, becoming an adult...(when told not to do that...)

    Although I am not a professional dancer, I do have the hypermobility and flexibility, I love to dance, and I am quite a good dancer, (though I did train as an aerobics instructor ) and I can relate to the way you speak of being in your body and concious of it and its movements. I could have been a dancer, but I'm also terribly short...but then, so is Paula Abdul, so what was I thinking?! Anyway, can also related to the relief from the tennis balls and stretching.

    I had terrible leg pain. It got the point where I couldn't walk then subsided from there. Clue: it was at its worst two weeks before and on my wedding day. I could hardly walk down the 'aisle' ( a grassy strip) I didn't know about TMS then. I now know the leg pain had a lot to do with how I was feeling about the wedding and my life, generally. Weddings are a major stressor, and TMS is associated with stressors and life changes. Only in the last few weeks have I managed to get rid of it after 18 months. Pain moves around. I got liver pain (nothing wrong with it). Flare ups of malaise and fatigue. I remember feeling that as a child - the kind of malaise when you are trapped and can't do anything about it. I now get facial twitches just under my eye and across my nose. My lower back is playing up on and off, depending on how much credence I give it. On the weekend, my other leg started to play up, but I also knew I was furious about something and told it to go away.

    When the leg pain started to resolve (as a result of my using TMS approaches) I found that chronic knee clicking and grinding also resolved to a degree. I also 'lost' some myofascial bumps in my biceps that I thought were scar tissue from lifting heavy weights. I've had them for years and years.

    I did go to a GP to confirm that there was nothing wrong with me. It took 3 visits with different people before I was convinced. He was a regular doctor but was open to mind-body syndrome. When he refused any more tests because he said there was nothing wrong with me, the next time I went for a swim (the trigger activity) the pain tried to start but I reminded it there was nothing wrong. And it went away. It helps that my doctor is dishy and that I really like him.

    It's important to get it checked out first to rule out anything organic happening. I swore black and blue there was something wrong with my leg, then my liver, my back...it's TMS, designed to keep me small and pushed down. No longer
    Phyldancer likes this.
  13. Phyldancer

    Phyldancer New Member


    Hi Miss Metta - We have a lot in common. I'm glad you resolved your leg pain after 18 months through TMS approaches. I want to believe it's TMS and try journaling the talking to the brain and not obsessing about it but I'm very frustrated because the only way it feels better is by stretching it out or using massage balls on glute muscle. And I want to dance and can't think of dancing without stretching out first (I am not naturally flexible). I'm ok and then after sitting for an hour or two it stiffens back up again and hurts like hell when I squat down on the floor. Not sure what kind of dr. to see for this to rule out anything serious? Feels like nerve pain from glute down leg to knee. A chiropractor once gave me exercises (like pt) but nothing really improves. I'm even adjusting my seat in the car thinking it's related to the gas pedal. I'm hoping actually it is TMS but it has been 6 months and the not knowing if it is structural or TMS is hard to wrestle with. How did you keep the faith for 18 months??
  14. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    Evidence works better for me than faith. I like to write it down when I have pain free days. When I sink inside and listen to what is happening emotionally and feel freer, more warm, light hearted...

    I forget about the pain and then I look to see if it is there and it is gone :)
  15. anasutana

    anasutana New Member

    Hi Phyldancer,
    It sounds like you aren't fully convinced that the leg pain you are having is TMS, and that could be what's keeping you from making progress. One thing that helped convince me of TMS was jotting down or making a mental note of "evidence" like lexylucy suggested. For example I would note if the pain moved around, or times when I wasn't in pain. I also tried to become aware of what was going on emotionally both when I was having pain and when I wasn't. My TMS pain started as trapezius/shoulder/upper back pain, then moved to my lower back then to my arms, then my glutes and thighs and groin area. The fact that it moved around so much became a big clue to me that it was TMS rather than something physical going on. Another thing that I did that really helped was that I emailed Dr. Schubiner who is at St. John Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan. He's pretty far up there as far as mindbody disorders go. I just emailed him my story and the details surrounding the pain and he said it sounded like 100 percent TMS. That kinda helped seal the deal for me. If looking for evidence doesn't work for you then perhaps your general physician can guide you as far as which doctor to go see to get your leg pain checked out. That may help you feel more secure.
    I also noticed that you said that the pain frustrates you (understandably so), and believe me I know the feeling. For me sometimes the frustration was worse than actually having the pain. I would feel frustrated because the pain was there, because it wasn't going away even though I was doing things to actively make it better, and then I'd be frustrated because it would go away and come back or go away and come back in a new spot. After working with a TMS therapist (still am) I learned that the frustration itself was TMS. What I started doing was accepting that the pain was there. I wasn't happy that it was there but I would acknowledge that it was there and I would just tell myself something like, "I know I'm having pain today and that's ok. I know nothing is really wrong with me and eventually it will get better," and then I would try to go about my business. Some days it was easier than others but now I'm at a point when even when I do have pain it does not consume me mentally. Another thing I would do when I had pain is I would talk to my body and just say something like "I know you are in pain, I know you are trying to tell me something and I'm going to take care of you."
    One last thing, I'd like to say, you mentioned that you are frustrated because you only feel better after stretching but I don't think stretching is a bad thing to do. I did physical therapy for a long time that only provided temporary relief. I know you've probably read that you aren't supposed to do physical therapy or things like stretching that cater to the pain, but I still go see my physical therapist once in a while. The difference is that before, I was going to physical therapy because I thought it was going to take away my pain, now I do it as part of my self-care routine. I think about it as me taking care of my body. I know it's not going to "fix" anything but it does help me relax and feel better overall, kinda like a massage would. Perhaps you could think of stretching as part of you taking care of your body and treating your body kindly instead of stretching to get rid of pain.
    Anyway, I know the message is long! I hope it helps you in some way.
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