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Intersection & De Quervain’s Tendonitis. Is every RSI TMS or only *sometimes*? so confused..

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by wastinglight, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. wastinglight

    wastinglight New Member


    I’m a 20 year old male beyond frustrated with his hands.

    i’m a guitar player in a punk rock band, and about 2 months ago, i developed an intense, stabbing pain in my left (strumming) forearem, a few days after a fairly intensive rehearsal. the pain sat mostly on the dorsal side, a few inches below the thumb/wrist. i went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Intersection Syndrome, an inflammation of two tendons that intersect in the arm, and given a brace to wear and instructed to ice and rest. i still have a knot-like swelling in the same location.

    By day I worked as a cook, and so when i began to use my right hand to compensate, i developed sore, aching in that hand. mostly in the thumb and inside wrist. this was diagnosed as De Quervain’s tendonitis.

    so now i’ve got two hands that are constantly in pain and i don’t know what to do. i can’t play any longer than 5 minutes without making my hands worse. this is driving me crazy. i just want to get back to performing and writing. the band is at a total standstill and i can’t even offer them any answers.

    to make matters worse, i’ve been planning on going to school to acquire my Barber liscence, as it’s a career i’ve long dreamed of. but now that’s been totally put on hold too with these stupid injuries. can’t really cut hair with faulty hands. my biggest fear is that i will have to give up my music and career pursuits because of this

    i ended up quitting my job. but my hands still hurt on a daily basis. and i do a terrible job of resting them (but it’s kind of hard to not use your hands at least a little bit during the course of the day!)

    so recently i discovered Sarno and TMS and all that jazz. and it really makes sense and appeals to me. i think i fit the profile. the personality type, the outcome dependence, etc. i want to believe that’s what is causing my issues so badly.

    but i don’t know what to do. a few things concern me:

    1. Intersection and De Quervain’s syndromes are specific diagnoses and i have the symptoms of both to a T, down to pain location and swelling/knots. The sources of the injuries are totally explainable (ex: i play guitar very aggressively and with poor posture. the day preceding the initial injury i was pushing my arm extra hard too.)
    2. The pain i get is consistent. the soreness increases with use/specific motions and decreases with rest and ice. i feel as though most RSI success story posts on this describe more inconsistent, unexplainable pains that flare up sometimes but are totally absent otherwise.
    3. i never gave myself proper rest. i continued to fight through strenuous motions at work, continue to use my cell phone up until and after my thumbs begin to burn (trying to fix this habit). and perhaps worst of all, i participated in several lengthier jam sessions and rehearsals that made my arm scream in pain and i feel set me back. it’s just so hard to quit playing.. i still play a few minutes almost every day

    so, i want to pursue TMS practices so bad, but i don’t want to continue to worsen these injuries. it’s only been 2 months, and i haven’t even rested. what if i’m still in an acute injury phase? if i pushed through that, i feel like i would just make the situation worse. i want to go to barber school so bad, but i can’t until my hands are fixed. maybe i should keep resting a bit longer? this is a frustrating prospect. i know it’s only been 2 months but it’s driving me crazy.

    i’m considering surgeries on both wrists as well. supposedly surgeries for Intersection/De Quervains are usually effective. but i don’t want to have them if they aren’t necessary. i just don’t know

    and now i’m starting to get tendon pains in my right achilles.... wtf man....
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  2. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    If your in the US I recommend seeing a tms doctor. They will be able to identify if its structural or tms.
  3. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    We can't diagnose you, but..

    Have you noticed that if someone has an injury they go to physical therapy and work the injured body part? When I had a badly sprained ankle the physical therapy was tough and it hurt, but 20 years later I can't tell it happened. In the old days people had surgery and they were made to rest; now a days they make them get up and move. So, why are these popular diagnoses different? Why rest? And why are there so many people that resting doesn't help? Spend some time thinking about the contradictions. See if you can clarify what is going on with you.

    What is going on in your life? What's stressing you? What isn't stressing you that one would usually be stressed by? Any conflicts? Explore your life.

    Good luck,
    MWsunin12 and NameK like this.
  4. wastinglight

    wastinglight New Member

    I'm from Massachusetts. I see there’s one in Boston/Swampscott.. i’ll try sending an email there

    a lot. i was forced to drop out of college 2 years ago due to a serious concussion, during which i spent the next year fighting to recover (thankfully i’m 100% better now). this lead me to a weird place in my life, and i’m still dealing with depression and maybe some ptsd related to this period.

    that’s part of why i think these issues might be TMS. the mounting hand issues have only increased my stress tenfold. i feel a serious urge to start doing something with my life, because i’m tired of living with my parents while my peers grow closer to graduating college.
    but i can’t so long as my hands and arms aren’t working. it’s rendered me unable to play music or attend hair school.

    yesterday i tried saying “F it” and practiced guitar with the band. my arm got so sore and painful. it feels like a mistake. and now i’m kicking myself for making the situation worse. i just don’t know :/
    Lizzy likes this.
  5. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Did you experience post-concussion syndrome by any chance? https://www.webmd.com/brain/post-concussion-syndrome I believe PCS is strongly related to TMS.
    The F-it approach is good, but I know it doesn't always work. Even SteveO, an author who kinda embodies this approach, had to acknowledge that he really recovered from his back pain after acknowledging and dealing with certain strong emotions.
    I feel you need to be kind towards yourself here... think psychologically, use the programs the tmswiki offers, read stories of people who struggle with similar issues, see a psychologist if you feel you need that, and very important, give it time.
    If you have the chance to meet with a TMS doc, I would take it. It could really give you that boost towards recovery.
    Lizzy and westb like this.
  6. Lz123

    Lz123 Peer Supporter

    Hey man,

    I have RSI/TMS aswell. I can't really say that my pain has passed but it has gotten more bearable with time. My pain is also like yours, very consistent and easy to explain as structural.
    I've only recently started the TMS approach, but it has helped with my perception of pain. It's no longer a crippling disease which prevents me from living my life, but more of a sometimes limiting nuisance. I hope with time it will get better.

    You mention you wish to move away from your parents and that you fit the personality type. Steve Ozanich, a TMS author posits that one of the main causes of TMS is separation anxiety... Could be, deep deep down, you don't feel ready to move from your parents after all. I am not saying this is the case, but that's what caught my eye in your post as I'm in the same boat. As soon as i started to make plans about moving - forearm pain preventing me from working.

    If you're worried about the pain, that's fine. You said you haven't rested properly and I sympathise as I know how hard it is to just abandon your interests all of a sudden.
    If i were you, I'd lay of the guitar for now. Try resting. Play it safe. Playing guitar right now will just make you focused on the pain which will increase the pain and make you worry more. Regardless if it's TMS or RSI - give it a rest. I don't think the brute force approach is smart in your case.

    I hope I won't come off as a shill but I advise you to invest 20ish bucks and get a copy of The Great Pain Deception. Really good book about TMS, it will help you clear any misconceptions. I had a lot of doubts whether or not I have TMS, I thought it was bullshit or just for the selet few but my doubts have diminished after reading the book because I found I can relate to a lot of things SteveO writes about. Apathetic father, type T traits, how I function (if at all) in relationships etc etc.

    Hope this helps

    Btw. I also had achilles pain in both my feet a few months back when I wanted to get a job that involved a lot of walking. Strange coincidence, huh?
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    MWsunin12, Lizzy and Gigalos like this.
  7. wastinglight

    wastinglight New Member

    this is precisely what i had. i ended up finding recovery through https://www.cognitivefxusa.com/ (Cognitive FX | Premier Cognitive Imaging and Therapy) ,a really awesome clinic out in Utah. they more or less saved my life. Interestingly, their method is based on assessing where blood and oxygen flow is lacking in the “injured” brain via a scan, and then pushing you to use your brain to work those areas. honestly, a LOT like the tms principles (the brain preventing blood flow to certain areas) now that i think about it. wonder if there really is a connection.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    Jules likes this.
  8. wastinglight

    wastinglight New Member

    http://www.tmshelp.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2366 (TMSHelp Forum - SuccessStory: Severe RSI cleared up quickly)

    so, ive been obsessively trying to read about RSI and tms, specifically De Quervain’s. unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot about DQV specifically. what’s making me really frustrated today has been finding this old thread, wherein a poster mentions a TMS doctor declared her diagnosis of de quervain’s to be a real injury, and that she needed to go to a hand surgeon instead of using the tms approach.

    this just clouds the whole situation even even more for me :( how am i supposed to let go of the “structural injury” mindset if the only post i can find about De Quervain’s suggests it has nothing to do with tms?

    i still want to see this Dr Angelov in swampscott mass, but the website just feels so fishy to me. they’re asking for a lot of money to take part in their “pain relief program”... i just want a diagnosis..
  9. Lz123

    Lz123 Peer Supporter

    @wastinglight Have you considered getting an ultrasound exam or MRI? How's the whole rest thing going?
  10. wastinglight

    wastinglight New Member

    i’ve thought about it. do tendon injuries show anything on MRIs?

    i do have a consultation with a hand surgeon coming up in a few weeks. maybe they’ll
    order one

    resting is going okay. nothing worse but not much improvement. i still use my phone a lot which leads to pain. maybe i should lessen that for a bit as well
  11. Lz123

    Lz123 Peer Supporter

    Afaik, they do.
  12. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    De Quervain imho is just a very specific kind of RSI. Your brain gets clouded by one inconclusive story, so I searched for more posts by this person.

    http://www.tmshelp.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9874 (TMSHelp Forum - Saw Dr. Angelov in MA)

    also she seems to experience more problems besides De Quervain, like knee pain, upper back pain, itching. etc., which imho point towards that she suffers from TMS. I can't find anything about if she recovered from De Quervain or not, it seems the post I linked is one of her last.
  13. Lz123

    Lz123 Peer Supporter

    True, at the end of the day, DQV is just tendonitis which may be TMS.
  14. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Hi wastinglight,

    I know exactly how you feel. I’m a writer and have had carpal tunnel, thoracic outlet syndrome, separated shoulder, RSI, yada yada, on both sides. Mine started out of the blue - well I thought it was out of the blue, but was just the symptom imperative rearing its ugly head - when my daughter got married. She was the first to leave the house, and that year, my daughter got married, my son left for boot camp in the Army National Guard, and my youngest was just entering high school. The stress of the wedding, the worry over my son, and dealing with an anxious-ridden daughter just fueled everything. I already had TMS symptoms from years prior and from trauma, and when those calmed down, RSI and all the symptoms increased. Had all the tests, yada yada, never found anything, excpet for mild nerve impingement, whatever the hell that is. It was all TMS.

    It always seemed to occur when I was typing and so was very frustrated, since writing is my life. When I learned about TMS, I knew that was the answer. I went full force into healing, bordering on obsession, but the pain continued. I then decided I need therapy, which has been a god-send. I realized I was harboring some very angry feelings toward my father, who had an accident when I was 3 months old tha resulted in him falling from a 40-foot scaffold and breaking many bones. The doctors told him he’d never walk again, although, he proved them wrong. This accident had a snowball effect on everyone - particularly my mother, of course. You see, me and my twin brother were born 7 weeks early and had problems with our immune system. My brother was never happy and cried all the time; I on the other hand, withdrew, because I could see how stressed my mother was and so didn’t want to add to her stress. I repressed. When I was just over a year and a half, my mother had a breakdown and voluntarily admitted herself. Me and my siblings were sent to foster care, since my father couldn’t care for us.

    Separation anxiety hit me hard, even though I don’t remember any of my experience, just know after that, I was very afraid of losing my parents and never wanted them to go anywhere. That led to severe anxiety in school, with classmates bullying me and me backing down, because I was so afraid of them and my own shadow. Fast forward and I had a short temper, but usually just took it out on myself, aka, blaming myself, negative self-esteem and self-worth. When I was a young mom, I tried to get books published, but was rejected so much that I thought I just wasn’t a good writer. Interestingly enough, it was around the same time I started developing myofascial, hip, back, rib, neck, and pelvic pain. (also correlates with my youngest daughter’s very traumatic birth and subsequent complications that nearly took my life and hers)

    So, with childhood hurts and repressed emotions, adult traumas (car accident, difficult births with all 3 of my children, and years of dental work because of genetics, not to mention all the pain) and it was a perfect storm that TMS rode in on and changed my world. It then took years to fully believe in TMS and to do the work on my timetable and how my brain works. I couldn’t just go cold turkey as Sarno talks about and many how other people could handle. I had to first soothe my ANS (autonomic nervous system) by meditation, visualization, self-talk, and pleasureable activities. Then, I could get active again. Since then, Ive held down a job, exercised, painted, remodeled, repaired house stuff, carried grandkids, and things I haven’t been able to do for years.

    I still have the RSI symptoms, but now I’m not afraid of them, and I can usually get them to calm down when I’ve identified my feelings I may be repressing or stress that’s been affecting me. Sometimes, it just takes time to figure out what form your healing will take, and realize you have to do YOU. I had to pick one thing and focus on that and only that, since my brain is so sensitive to stimuli. It may be what you need to do, as well.

    Sorry for the wall of text and hope I helped somewhat.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    Lz123 and Lizzy like this.
  15. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Just saw this thread- I can relate! I have self-diagnosed myself with De'Querveins in my right hand, which started after my son was born. It's apparently super common with new moms due to the relaxin hormone plus baby lifting. But at this point the baby is 7 months old so I figured it should be calming down...yet it persists. I'm pretty sure there is a strong component of TMS at this point, if not fully TMS...most of the time i'm not in any pain at all, except during certain specific movements. But I know this is probably conditioning at work. Most people I know who had it treated with bracing and maybe an injection, I don't think surgery is normally indicated for common tendonitis. I feel like i'm 99% convinced it's TMS but I still have that little bit of doubt sometimes, which is causing it to stick around. Or the stress of having a baby keeps it around, possibly. Oh well! I'm honestly not worried about it, it's just annoying and more persistent than any other form of TMS. So I feel your pain on this one.
  16. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    I been seeing dr Angelov for years and I'm not aware of any pain relief program he offers ?

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