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Intro + Can TMS & RSI coexist?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Viridian, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    Hello all, hope you are all gaining ground on your quest for a pain-free life.

    I am new here and have a question regarding whether RSI can coexist with TMS symptoms.

    I am a musician of some 25 years whilst holding down a desk job where I am graphic designer. Unfortunately, I've been off work for six weeks as my pain got so bad I could hardly click my mouse. This is especially stressful as my wife and I had our first child four months ago.

    Around two years ago I suddenly woke up with weak wrists, tingling hands, and bilateral burning sensation in both forearms. My arms would suddenly go very cold and I have struggled to play guitar and work ever since. During the time the injury first occurred I was going to the gym a lot, I'm a really skinny guy with hypermobility and I was hitting the gym to try and put on weight. I didn't realise that I shouldn't be pushing weight with such flexible limbs.

    For the last two years I have gone from pillar to post trying to find an answer. I have had an MRI scan which revealed nothing significant other than a normal level of arthritis for my age (35 years). I had nerve conduction tests which came back fine. I've seen a hand specialist and various physical therapists. They all came to slightly different diagnosis, most of them centred around an issue or trapped nerve in the thoracic spine.

    After being signed off work for the first time a month and a half ago I started seeing a local chiropractor who diagnosed that I have tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome and a trapped nerve in the thoracic spine. He has been doing a lot of work loosening up my forearms and wrists which I have seen an improvement from - the treatment is intensely painful as he delves into the tendons and muscles in my forearms with great strength. He says the tendons and flexors are dysfunctional and stringy from RSI. Afterwards my wrists feel much better and although they get worse again with the inflammation from the treatment, after a few days I can definitely feel an improvement. Though the numbness and heaviness never really goes completely.

    Whilst researching RSI on the web, I came across Dr Sarno's book, the mindbody prescription. My story is typical, I saw myself on every page - I am a sensitive perfectionist who takes on great responsibility, strives to improve and is very driven to succeed. I also harbour anger and can hold an undercurrent of aggression. I remembered that at the time of my initial injuries there were emotional events that were causing great stress, such as close family members suffering with chronic drink and drug addictions. I also suffer from severe tinnitus, hyperacusis, anxiety, depression, pure OCD, IBS, hayfever, blepharitis etc.

    So, to finally cut to the chase - here is my question. Is it possible that I have both RSI and TMS simultaneously? The reason I ask this is that the chiropractor was finding such dysfunction in my forearm muscles/tendons and I was experiencing unbearable levels of pain when he administered treatment to this area. As the sessions have progressed, I am feeling less pain during treatments of this area. He said my wrist joints were locking and constantly referred to my condition has a particularly nasty episode of RSI. I have also seen some improvement after 10 sessions with him - as I desperately need to get back to work soon and need a plan of recovery for my employer I'm finding it hard to considering quitting the Chiro. Though even the chiropractor agrees that the source of my pain could be emotional and played a part in my injuries.

    However, I am still experiencing bilateral numbness and tingling - could that be TMS symptoms (the trapped nerve thing)? Or do you think the forearm RSIs are also TMS? Could TMS be responsible for the injuries my chiropractor has found?

    When I think of the emotional reasons I could have TMS I have a physical reaction and my arms sometimes feel better or worse again. When I read the book my pain partially subsides at times. When I talk to my unconscious saying that I know it's tactics every nerve in my back lights up - like the hair standing up on the back of my neck and I have sobbed with cathartic relief at times. In that short moment I have been able to hold things aloft without any pain.

    Would be really interested in people's opinions. Sorry this is so long! I'm super confused at the moment!

    Thank you.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I believe Dr. Sarno and other TMS doctors state that RSI is TMS. Chiropractors and non-TMS doctors and PTs are treating your symptoms, not the cause. The cause is psychological and only through treatment that addresses psychological aspects, will true recovery occur. It is possible to get temporary relief from TMS symptoms using treatments designed to directly address the symptoms. Many use paid medication for this or other alternative treatments. When I had fibromyalgia, I was able to get temporary relief through cranial-sacral treatment. But the symptoms always came back in a few days. Even people who undergo surgery for their TMS symptoms, find that the TMS returns, though it may shift its form somewhat due to what Sarno calls the symptom imperative. Recovery from TMS only comes from treating the true underlying cause. The good news is that there are many resources to assist with this, and many people who have recovered are sharing their success stories. There are many RSI success stories on this forum in the Success Stories sub-forum. I suggest you check those out. Even the founder of this tmswiki, Forest, has posted an RSI success story.
    ladyofthelake and Tennis Tom like this.
  3. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    Thank you Ellen, this makes a lot of sense. I am on day two of the new programme on wiki and have found many links reinforcing the TMS diagnosis which is exciting.
  4. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    Viridian likes this.
  5. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

  6. David88

    David88 Well known member

    TMS affects the body. For example, it can cause tendinitis, which a doctor might explain as RSI. The tendinitis is a real physical condition, which tests will confirm, but the cause is psychological rather than using a computer or whatever.
  7. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    Thank you for that input David. This very much explains the conflict I've been going through in my mind - I'm certain the genesis of the main problems I've had - Hyperacusis, tendinitis and Blepharitis is TMS based (interestingly, my Hyperacusis and Blepharitis have vanished since the tendinitis appeared). However, the physical damage was there for the chiropractor to see. He is treating the physical symptoms successfully, but I'm looking to TMS factors to treat the root cause of my issues with the wiki recovery program which is great.
  8. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    RSI is bullshit. These doctors are taking your money and giving no results. There’s no end to that. Try holding them accountable and watch them spin trying to explain.

    Read my post history. Cure the depression and anxiety while knowing the mind is causing the pain, and watch that pain start to jump elsewhere. If your mental state is strong enough you can laugh that off and just be happy.

    I’m about as type A and analytical as it gets. The concept of TMS was a tough one.

    The body heals. It may stop doing so in old age, but you are almost dead. I can cut your finger off, and the nub will heal over. Normal ailments heal. At this moment you could break your arm, and the bone will heal, but the RSI pain will remain until you address your mental state.
    HattieNC and Viridian like this.
  9. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Inflammation may be painful and restrict movement, but it's not really damage as such. When it goes away you will be just as fine as before. Keep looking for the emotional causes.
    HattieNC and Viridian like this.
  10. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    So I’ve had an absolutely crazy few days since I decided I had TMS and really got stuck into learning about it, doing around 10
    Hours research a day. My arms, coincidentally have been near fine and I played guitar and typed for the first time in two months. I was nervous but it went great.

    New symptoms have been flying all over the place - I went for a run and now I can hardly walk on my left knee and the pain goes down into my shin and foot. My jaw started hurting, IBS flared up. Then after doing some TMS meditation on the curable app, I suddenly got the worst stomach pain and threw up, followed by a virus or flu like symptoms all night!
    cdub likes this.
  11. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    That’s real progress. I had back pain at a 10 of 10 when I was at that stage. Truly unbelievable. Now I know it was TMS. At the time it was just too much pain to bear.
    Viridian likes this.
  12. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    Thanks Joe, that’s great of you to say. I’m speaking with a TMS specialist on the phone today to get my thoughts in order.

    I have to say, my anxiety levels are off the scale at the moment...the wiki recovery plan is brilliant though - allows you to break down this onslaught and see it for what it is.

    Has anyone else had a huge outpouring of anxiety/poor mental health/grief during this phase of confrontation with the unconcious mind? I thought I’d more or less cured my anxiety but it seems it was just masquerading as chronic arm pain. Now it’s back with force.
    cdub likes this.
  13. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    I had a lot of ups and downs past that phase personally. All of us with TMS have/had anxiety and/or depression leading to symptoms. It’s a longer path than those stories where they read a book and the pain is gone for most people. Just accept your current state as transient. It will get better if you continue to let go and realize the anxiety is another distraction like the pain. Don’t set a deadline or time table. Focus of the process and be patient.
    cdub likes this.
  14. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    So I haven't keep a single piece of food down since Tuesday - despite having only tiny meals I'm throwing up after. I was also spitting blood after the last bout.

    Could it be that I've got so stressed I've picked up a vomiting bug? Or could this be a TMS symptom!? I've also been sobbing like crazy which is unlike me!
  15. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    It doesn’t matter? It doesn’t to be honest. You should focus on the correct action and quit thinking about it. Emotions had a lot to do with what got you here. Anxiety, crying, etc are very normal in healing.

    On the blood, again you do the same thing regardless if it’s TMS or not. You decide to forget about it and wait it out, or you head to hospital to get checked out.

    It’s the constant what if and scenarios played out in the head that prolong symptoms.
  16. cdub

    cdub Peer Supporter

    If you're spitting blood that isn't good. Please go see a doctor. Hope you feel better soon!
  17. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    Thanks guys, your help is really appreciated.

    I’ve been feeling a bit better today, learning not to question everything all the time, notice all the fear thoughts popping up and how my mind is tricking me. Stopped vomiting now and just about managing to keep bits of food down.

    My hand pain is much worse after playing and typing for longer today but just grateful to be able to use my hands again and accepting the pain for what it is, a learned response that’s gonna take some time to undo.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  18. Viridian

    Viridian Peer Supporter

    One question I have is this - If the pain is getting worse and worse from using my hands more, should I continue to keep using them at that level or revert to less use? I know it's important to do things as normal and disregard pain but I don't want to throw myself back into chronic pain levels again.
  19. David88

    David88 Well known member

    The important thing is not to worry about how much you're using your hands, but to keep in mind that it's TMS and not to focus on it.
    You've dived headlong into TMS and it sounds like you're a bit overwhelmed. Be patient with yourself, understanding that it may take time to do the emotional work. Practice self-compassion as you work through all of this. Take time to nurture yourself. Everyone has a different path to healing. Give yourself time to find yours.
    Viridian likes this.
  20. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    To answer the opening post. NO. TMS has been called a lot of things. RSI is a non-existent phantom bullshit diagnosis that appeared in the 80's-90's...oddly enough right as we switched from a labor/service society to a more computer/keypad society. The key to TMS's effectiveness is it has to be able to distract you ,and good....and scare you and threaten your being.

    As soon as I read about your new child I sensed my own story starting. I had about as many diagnoses as you and they were all BS. As soon as I buckled down and did the TMS work they all went away, period.

    Of course chiropractors find 'things'... so did mine...and I have been pain free (and chiropractor free) for 20 years now. I do construction work, painting and plastering, trim carpentry.... I bet I can go around your home and find twenty things I could fix or make better... no matter how OK your house is.

    You're on the right track. Ditch the Chiro. Do the work. get free
    HattieNC and Viridian like this.

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