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I'm a triathlete possibly battling TMS in two different places

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by JoyceVT, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member


    I'm a runner/triathlete who has battled TMS off and on for 15+ years. I discovered Dr Sarno back around 2001. I've had many many different TMS symptoms mostly disguised as "running injuries". I've used Dr Sarno's books and have had various consultations with TMS doctors throughout the years (Dr Sohper and Dr. Andrea Segal who have helped me overcome TMS symptoms from running). I even worked with one of Alan Gordon's therapists who was excellent.

    However last summer (2015) I incurred a significant and very painful stress fracture in my hip (femoral neck) from over-training for my first Ironman triathlon. It took 3 MRIs before it showed 90% healing. And by then after 6 months, I was 95% pain-free. I healed and did my first full Ironman this past August 2016 very successfully. I had a few minor running pains during the training in other areas of my body, but they always resided after a couple days or two weeks a the most.

    The problem is that after a very wavy and choppy 2.4 mile Ironman swim, I got an impinged nerve in my neck that has not gotten better after 5 weeks. I have pain and tingling down my left arm to my hand and soreness in my upper left neck/shoulder. I was told I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) and have learned this is classic TMS. I've accepted that this is just TMS.

    However it's now been 2 weeks of also dealing with soreness on the bottom/outside of my left foot after running. Running is irritating my foot. I question whether this is structural or TMS? Is it common for TMS to strike two places at the same time? Usually it strikes one area at a time in my experiences. After a stress fracture/structural injury from running, I have fear of this new pain. Lately I haven't been running enough to break any bones. I've been going easy after the Ironman. And soaking my foot in a warm epsom salt bath brings minor relief which would indicate TMS could be the culprit.

    While I've accepted my TOS to be TMS I'm struggling with my foot pain where running aggravates it and makes it more sore. I'm afraid a doctor will tell me it's structural. I can't afford another MRI as I'm still paying off doctors bills from my stress fracture.

    Any help would be hugely appreciated.

  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Joyce. I'm no a doctor, but someone who healed from severe back pain by believing it was caused by TMS. I healed thanks to journaling in the Structured Educational Program, free in the subforum of this web site. I strongly recommend you start it, to learn what emotions very likely cause your pain.
    And TMS can cause pain in more than one place at the same time. That's very common.
  3. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    Thanks Walt! I appreciate your post. I did that program a few years ago and found it helpful. I was actually looking for it the other day, so I'm glad you posted the link. Maybe I should go through it again.

  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think you should. It's a great program.
  5. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Joyce, my TMS strikes in many places, often simultaneously. How do I know it is TMS? Because my very painful left knee healed miraculously after a week, but then my right foot started tensing up and hurting, and so on. I can't imagine, unless you were thrown onto the rocks, that swimming could have strained your muscles to the point of physical tear. It must be hurting from TMS. My partner is an ultra-marathoner and he has all these pains in his legs and feet that come and go, but each time are very painful. Interesting that pains increase as he is training for the race and then abruptly disappear, right after the race.
  6. JoyceVT

    JoyceVT Well known member

    It's been over 2 months since my Ironman and I am still having trouble with tingling/pins and needles/soreness in my left arm and hand. It all started after that super wavy and choppy Ironman swim But I still believe it's TMS. I did take the two past weeks off from swimming and no change. I swam last night and still had some soreness in my arm and very sore afterward and still getting the pins and needles off and on in my left arm/hand. After 2 months of no improvement I am more convinced it's TMS. But now the challenge is to feel better physically. I feel I'm stuck and may have to live with these symptoms for a while as I try and start training for another Ironman that takes place next year.

    My left foot is in a boot right now. The doctor believes it could be a stress reaction or fracture. I'm getting another x-ray this Thursday. If the bones show signs of healing then it is a stress fracture. I do beileve this is a real structural injury. I did too much too soon after my Ironman. You can injure yourself when training for extreme endurance sports like an Ironman. I had a real stress fracture in my femur in 2015 which took 6 months to heal. It wasn't TMS, I really had a fracture in my bone that hurt like hell. But it did heal and the 3rd MRI showed 90+% healing. And I felt 95% better. So now I don't run through things. I just rest and try to heal. Certain "running injuries" like pirfirmoris or plantar fasciitis are probably TMS but some things are not.
  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Good luck to you! Must be very hard to tell TMS from injury when everything hurts, but tingling, pins and needles sound more like TMS....

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