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Knee pain and hiking

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Ludmilla, Jul 18, 2023.

  1. Ludmilla

    Ludmilla Peer Supporter

    Guys, I feel like I'm gonna go crazy playing the symptom imperative whack-a-mole bangheada ! I posted before about vulvodynia/pelvic pain, which has gotten wayyyy better, only to be replaced with reflux/GERD (had it before, just became more prominent), which I can deal with, and now knee pain.

    It seems I have patellofemoral syndrome/runner's knee/blablabla. Had had pain when going downhill for a long time, or when running. In fact it was one of my earliest TMS symptoms, I pushed it aside but never really dealt with it, and now it's back with a vengeance. Two years ago I went running on uneven ground and my knee ended up swollen and painful, had it examined by a sports doc who said nothing wrong showed on echography and just to have PT and wait for it to get better. I didn't have PT at the time.

    Now I'm planning a big hike in the mountains next month, and as soon as my partner said we were gonna do this, I thought : "but what about my knees !!!". We did a 5 days hike in the mountains last year and I had knee pain for a week or two after that, and this year the hike we plan is 10 days and more going uphill and downhill. I'm fit and hike a lot in my free time, but almost always on even ground.

    Did a two days hike last weekend, second day was long (40 km) and I was breaking in my new mountain shoes. Have been having knee pain since we came back.

    Please talk some sense into me. I'm panicking at not being able to finish our mountain hike and having to stop multi-days hikes, which I absolutely love. I know this is reassurance seeking but I can't seem to make my head right about it like I did with back pain and vulvodynia. It doesn't help that I know at least two hikers who have knee pain when going downhill, and last night I ended up watching Youtube videos about how to strenghten your knees before hiking because otherwise you're bound to have pain...
  2. Ludmilla

    Ludmilla Peer Supporter

    Went on a 18km hike today (even ground). Knees hurt during and after... I went with confidence that I would enjoy the hike whatever happened, but I ended up checking my knees all along.

    I SO want it to be gone for my big hike in 2 weeks, but I know it's counterproductive to set a date on healing. Plus I did yoga a few days ago and my sciatica is baaack (had it the first time after a yoga class years ago - early onset TMS). We are talking about 1 or 2/10 pain here (knees and sciatica), I'm just obsessive over it and afraid it's gonna get worse if I maintain my backpacking trip...

    Doesn't help that I'm doing medical treatment for infertility due to PCOS and I'm in the middle of a progesterone course, which always makes my mood swing back and forth.
  3. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    I often talk about @TG957’s great little tms book Defying The Verdict. If you have room to take this book on your trip, it might be nice. However, right now is where Claire Weeks came in, in Tamara’s book. She was going on a long back pack hiking trip and was fearful, I’m sure worried about conditioned responses: like expecting pain, and when pain comes it hurts a little extra because your mind was right there with it. The most exciting thing is that Tamara’s pain left her for periods of time on her trip. She enjoyed much of it!
    But she learned to deal with the fear and anxiety of it from Dr. Weeks. You can download this book for free on some library apps and it’s on Audible too.
  4. Ludmilla

    Ludmilla Peer Supporter

    Thanks Cactusflower, I'll check this book (although I live in Europe, so not sure if I can get it in time) ! And I'll definitely check Claire Weekes', too ; I've wanted to do it for some time and always postponed.

    I'm currently thinking about asking my partner to change our plans and do an easier backpacking trip (the one we want to do is said to be one of the hardest in our country). But I feel like this might let TMS win, in a sense ? Or would it be a good tactic ?

    I know I've invested a lot in my "hiking identity" (feels ridiculous just typing that lol) and I'll be really disappointed if I can't stick to the initial plan. Apart from TMS in my knees, I'm definitely at the level required to do this trip.
  5. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wanting to listen to the book and not, is you not being there for YOU. All of these things contribute to your wellness. Part of TMS is not prioritizing your wants and needs, being afraid to express them, making “wrong” decisions because you worry too much about what others think over your own needs.
    If your knee pain is all tms in your belief, then there is nothing all structurally wrong?
    Where is your real fear? What are you feeling when you think about this stuff?
    I am confident you can answer your own questions!
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm with Cactusflower, @Ludmilla - you are perfectly capable of deciding what you really want, rejecting the negative manipulations of your TMS brain, and answering your questions with self-love and self-compassion.

    Recognize the negativity for what it is, and don't let your TMS brain be in charge.

    You know what to do.
  7. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    I’m absolutely confident in @Ludmilla, why? Because I understand her apprehension and thought process . It can seem to eat at you, but as Jan says, that’s just tms.
    I can’t wait to hear about this trip.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  8. Ludmilla

    Ludmilla Peer Supporter

    Thank you both :) !! You are both right of course, I know the answer and I should stop seeking for reassurance !

    As for the hiking trip, we had to cancel it, but not because of my knee : I've just learnt that I'm pregnant after 6 months of fertility treatment !!! So this is for a good cause lol. And, coincidentally, my left knee pain just disappeared overnight but my vulvodynia/pelvic pain is back... At this point TMS is so obvious it's almost funny (just before, I had GERD that went quietly away as my knee pain came back :rolleyes:). Not surprising I'm getting pelvic symptoms again, now that I'm focusing on what's going on down there and possible bad outcomes of labor (yeah, I'm only 2 weeks... did I mention that I catastrophize a lot ?).

    Anyway, thanks again for your support, it may not seem like much but it means a lot to me !
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Congratulations Ludmilla, that's very exciting. Now, more than ever, requires that you do your best to maintain your equanimity, practicing techniques all day, every day, to reduce anxiety and stress. Therapeutic breathing throughout the day, first thing in the morning, last thing at night. And, meditation. And write to your baby every day and practice gratitude! You can have a mindful pregnancy, which is an awesome idea!

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