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Is ALL the pain from TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Scottso, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. Scottso

    Scottso Newcomer

    Hi everyone - I'm new to the forum and am early on in my TMS journey. I'm looking for some support and guidance from experienced members here as I deal with a ongoing pain. My big question is: What if some of my pain is from TMS and some of it is actually structural? Is that an unhelpful way of thinking, or is it a realistic approach?

    Here's my story: I'm currently 34 years old. For two years I have been struggling with pain in my feet, which more recently spread to my knees (especially right) and sometimes the left ankle. I've also had issues with pain in my hips and lower back/SI joint/glutes. I also started getting bad pain in the base of my thumbs last year, which was deeply concerning as I am a pianist and cellist. I read Sarno's Healing Back Pain and Mind-Body prescription this past June and it eliminated most of the pain I was having in my lower back and thumbs within a couple of weeks. My foot pain seemed to be better for a short period, but then it came back again. Meanwhile, the knee pain has stuck around.

    Sarno's books made a lot of sense to me, and I very much fit the perfectionistic, do-good personality type he describes in his writing.

    I was easily able to accept that my thumb pain was TMS. I had convinced myself I had arthritis based on Dr. Google, but after my x-ray showed up normal and the pain went away so rapidly after reading Sarno, I knew for sure it was not a structural problem causing the pain.

    I am also able to accept that my lower back/SI joint pain is TMS based on my symptom reduction after reading Sarno.

    My two stumbling blocks are my feet and knees. I was initially diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and metatarsalgia in both feet, and the pain is mostly in my arches. I have flexible flat feet that obviously collapse when weight bearing. I've definitely noticed a correlation with pain reduction and wearing certain orthotics and footwear, and that that seems to suggest that the problem is structural and related to having the right support. My feet feel uncomfortable and unbalanced when I stand barefoot since the arches collapse so much. But at the same time, the pain seems very inconsistent. I used to get bad pain when waking up, but now I mostly get it when I stand and walk for an extended period of time. Sometimes my feet will start burning with pain while I'm sitting down and I'll have to take off my shoes until it goes away. Also, the pain started right before a major life transition, when I decided to quit my job in the USA to move permanently to China (it began about 6 months before I came here). And I've had days where I barely notice it and feel like it's gotten better. I guess I'm having a hard time accepting that the pain is not due to my flat feet and the strain this puts on my tendons.

    With my knee, I had an MRI and have been diagnosed with synovitis and chondromalacia in the kneecap. I can hear a crunching sound whenever I squat, and also have a variety of sensations aside from pain, including tingling, feeling a strong pulse, and a general feeling of "fullness". Certain activities definitely make the pain worse, especially going down stairs, which is accompanied by a snapping sound. It seems like there is definitely something physical going on, so I've wondered if I should treat this issue different from other others and focus on a more conservative treatment of rest, icing, PT, etc. I have tried those things and they do help so some extent. At the same time, I know at least SOME of the pain is psychosomatic. For instance, after my first x-ray when the doctor said he was signs of osteoarthritis (which turned out not to be case), the knee pain grew unbearable for several days (and spread to my lower back as well!).

    More recently, I experienced a lot of pain relief while being home in the USA this summer, and the pain suddenly came back when I returned to China last week. I can' t figure out if it's because of psychological or environmental factors (In the USA I drove my car everywhere, was doing regular PT sessions, didn't have too much activity going on; in China I live in a 3rd floor apartment with no elevator, I walk a lot and use public transport, and I was carrying heavy luggage when I arrived, etc.).

    So, those of you with experience, can you give me some insight about how to interpret the different pain signals I'm getting and know how to respond appropriately?
  2. Renate

    Renate Peer Supporter

    Hi Scottso, I just saw your post and no one replied. Sorry for that, because we all here need support! I can‘t give you an answer to you questions, but maybe you could find another title for you story and post it again?
    I wish you all the best!

  3. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    It happens, sometimes there are more people asking for help than there are people who are able to react... thank you Renate for bumping this post.

    I have flat feet and they were painful when I had my episode of TMS. I even had different kinds of orthotics which I chucked in the bin once I started to get my TMS under control. I have no pain nowadays, my feet are still flat, just like hundreds of millions other people around the world. It is my opinion that plantar fascitis is TMS.
    I also experienced severe knee pain, but it was always accompanied by one or more painful/tight muscles surrounding the knee. The tightness can make your knee function less ideal than it would normally, to the point that it starts to pop and grind. But... your knee isn't my knee, so I am in no position to say that you should follow the TMS approach like I did.

    take care
  4. MedicineWithin

    MedicineWithin Peer Supporter

    In my opinion it all sounds like TMS. The fact that you had a pain increase when your doctor suspected you may have arthritis in your knee ( and then didn't) sounds familiar to things I have been through. People with suggestibility like that tend to create symptoms through anxiety in my experience. I've had excruciating knee and foot pain, all was TMS. From what i've seen most things doctors attribute as structural with some funny name and funny product to go with it are just TMS. Popular belief in things like orthotics just create a belief system and experiences that justify the pain. Sounds like TMS to me, you just have to decide it is for you. Usually when one of the symptoms is tms then they all are. On a deeper level most symptoms and health problems have an emotional root. Tms exists as a branch of psychosomatic medicine and understanding. If you look into it further you will see its not a matter of if its TMS or not. In fact our physical experiences are directly related to our emotions and psyche. Just keep looking within, keep journaling you will start to see things differently. Pay attention all the time to what is going inside, and you will see through the pain, all of it. But you do have to make the decision for yourself. Give up the idea that is something you are waiting to confirm. You have already built up enough evidence to make the jump. You have to get rid of your fear and doubt, then you create the confirmation and your biology listens and follows.

    Journey well
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018

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