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Knee instability

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by D. R. Martin, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. D. R. Martin

    D. R. Martin Peer Supporter

    I've been having knee pain for over a year now, and have attributed it to TMS. I've had two earlier TMS periods in my life. It's primarily the left knee, but the right can be troublesome, too. I have TMS symptoms in other joints and muscles, as well--very clearly TMS. While I've pretty much come to terms with the knee pain, another factor has developed--knee instability.

    TMS pain is said to not cause damage. But having my knee buckle, causing me to fall, certainly could. This, in turn, keeps fear going. And we all know that TMS feeds on fear.

    My question is this. Have any of you with TMS knee pain also had what feels like instability? Were you confident that this was a TMS manifestation? How did you handle it and how did things turn out?

    I guess I'm hoping that the sensation of instability that I have is merely a sensation and not a mechanical phenomenon (ligament problem, etc.). Until I resolve this conundrum, I remain in TMS's grip. Thanks to anyone who has any info on this.
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Occasionally, I use a cane to be sure I won't fall when I walk and am fearful I'll fall.

    Using a cane now and then doesn't mean you've become an old fogey. Canes are made so
    they don't even look line one. I have a cane that has the traditional crook at one end,
    and a friend years ago gave me a walking stick, a cane without a crook.

    So it's a TMS "crutch." If needed, why not? A cane can do a lot in helping you not to fear you'll fall.

    TMS also can make us unsteady (Dr. Sarno says it can make us dizzy). It's nerves and fear.

    A cane may help you gain confidence walking so you won't fear falling.
    G.R. likes this.
  3. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi D.R. Martin! I've had knee instability…even in the midst of getting PT and should have been getting better. ;) Looking back now, I realize even the instability was a TMS manifestation. (The exams and MRI ruled out any serious tears.) I even had my knee give way in a store…I was grateful to have my buggy in hand or I would have hit he pavement.

    I really enjoy walking with a trek pole (I'll use two if I'm looking for an upper body workout too) for a couple reasons - when I'm hiking, it alleviates my fear of twisting an ankle. (Something I've done more than once!) And it really DOES prevent falls! As a woman walking alone on some trails, I like to have the pole lest I encounter any stray aggressive dogs…of the four footed or two-footed variety. ;)

    My knee still feels wobbly at times but I intend to start back in doing some weight training to support my knee more.
  4. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Hi D.R.,

    If you're unsure about where the pain is coming from perhaps you could speak to a doctor that is familiar with TMS and get them to look at your knee. Have you had any MRIs done on it? The reason I ask is that given your history of TMS it sounds likely that this instability is another manifestation. You said it yourself: TMS is about creating fear and anxiety. This instability seems like the perfect tool for your subconscious to do just that. The reason I'm suggesting going to a doc is that it can provide you the kind of strong, evidence-based support that you can use as you confront your symptoms. As you well know, having confidence in the symptoms basis in TMS and not structural issues is at the core of overcoming it. How can we help create this confidence? With good evidence. As I said above, you already have some very good evidence based on your history, which has a tendency towards TMS. But I'm of the opinion that you can never have too much evidence. So try and look into how you can further support yourself. This will give you the space from which to take a decisive stance and confront the symptoms head on, knowing that you don't need to be anxious and afraid and freeing you to do the things that you want to do without the threat of further damage hanging over your head.
    G.R. likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    North Star, I like the idea of hiking/walking with a trek pole. Sometimes I use a cane, and I like that because
    it makes me feel more steady, and it hooks over the handle in a shopping cart. But I also have a walking stick
    a friend gave me some years ago when I twisted my ankle.

    There are "macho" things like trek poles that don't make us look like we need support, even if we do.

    I know the British and Germans have used walking sticks for years.
  6. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt, I've got a cane too, it's a Leki "Super Micro" that's really light. It telescopes down to only 18" and fits into a coat pocket. It's become a handy tool and I don't think I would give it up even if I lost my limp. I can reach things across the bed, high on shelves or on the floor using it, and for a little protection. I had to pull it out against a belligerent drunk the other day who was harassing a couple of tourist ladies. He came after me when I stopped my car and hollered at him. I got out and brandished my Leki at his head, he turned right around and headed back to the bar he came from-- he wasn't that stupid drunk.
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, D.R., I've had knee pain as part of my TMS that's also been accompanied by a degree of first weakness and instability. Getting better as I heal, but it has never been so bad I've resorted to a cane. But I can see how TMS can manifest that way, leaving you weak in that one joint. For example, as my TMS fluctuates throughout the day, my left knee sometimes gets weaker and less able to bear weight. Sometimes I walk up the stairs in my house in leaps and bounds, sometimes I have to use the hand rail for a little assistance. These strength fluctuations I notice are not physical though but vary according to some inner clock in my brain. My verdict as a non-medical professional (of course), pure TMS!

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