1. Our TMS drop-in chat is today (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM DST Eastern U.S. (New York). It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support. BruceMC is today's host. Click here for more info or just look for the red flag on the menu bar at 3pm Eastern.
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Day 1 new beginnings

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by AndrewThomson, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. AndrewThomson

    AndrewThomson New Member

    Hi All,

    My name is Andrew and I have been diagnosed with bilateral epicondyllitis or "tennis elbow".

    The pain arrived like a roman legion in November 2013 during a particuarly stressful time at work. I was working longer hours than usual (all in front of a computer), but it was the intensity and chaos of the work which was different to usual. Towards the end of the project my arms were hurting from 9:00am and throbbing overnight. I also spend most of my free time in front of a computer playing video games and training to be a game designer. So in all I spent up to 12 hours a day using a mouse and keyboard.

    I was ordered to see a Doctor by work and they told me not to work for a few weeks. At the same time I begun a weekly phsyio treatment. I returned to work after a few weeks and have been "taking it easy" for the last ten months.

    My physical treatment consisted of massage, dry-needling, stretches and strengthening. While I know this forum is about TMS, I must admit that the physical therapy has brought me from totally unable to use my arms to being able to go through the day/week at work and play with only annoying levels of discomfort. At any one time now I don't think my pain would go past a 4/10. But I am not satisfied with that. I want 0/10.

    Curiously, my employer, the physio and I came to the conclusion recently that physical therapy had run its course. The next natural step would be surgical or invasive treatments like plasma injections. I really don't want to go down that path as I know tennis elbow surgery has a low success rate, and those who do have success often develop early onset arthritis. I am 32, I don't want to have arthritis by 40.

    In a desperate effort to find an alternative treatment path I stumbled by RSI Warrior which mentioned TMS. Curious, I googled and came here.

    I have been reading over the TMS Recovery Program and see a lot of myself in the description. I have ordered Dr Sarno's books but being in Australia everything takes forever to arrive.

    Since discovering TMS as an option 6 days ago I have definitely had changes in my pain levels including 4 days at no more than a 1/10, strange onset of lower backpain with no catalyst, and a slight shifting of the site of my arm pain to the wrist, other side of the elbow etc. I gather this is all evidence that the brain is creating new avenues of distraction?

    In a bid to deny my brain the power over me, I have made myself type more rather than using voice recognition and have started doing things that usually I would avoid, like weights.

    Right now though pain has crept up a little more and the fear thoughts with it. "What if TMS is BS?" "What if my pain is different?" "If TMS is wrong is stopping using voice recognition going to injure my arms even more?"

    As Dr Gordon recommended I have been keeping a log of critical, pressure and fear thoughts. Even after a few days I can see the fear column is getting a lot longer than the others.

    As for emotional triggers, I suspect (and my wife has always thought) that I have repressed anger. I sometimes have dreams about raging at my family, but the dream never goes into why. I am trying to find a suitable therapist in Melbourne, Australia to help with that side of it.

    Here's hoping I have found the silver bullet to my pain.

    Thank you for reading my story.

    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi Andrew and welcome to the forum,

    You've definitely come to the right place! Sounds like you've had success already and you haven't even received Dr. Sarno's books yet! That's fantastic. The structured program has helped me tremendously in terms of identifying repressed emotions from childhood and those in the present as well. I never thought the simple act of journaling for 20 minutes a day could be so powerful.

    Although I haven't experienced symptoms that move to another part of the body, I have heard about it quite a lot here on the forum. It seems to be pretty typical tms. Apparently our brains do that to keep us fearful and preoccupied with the pain instead of with whatever we are repressing.

    Wishing you all the best on your journey!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Andrew and welcome to our great community! I will echo everything Blake said, and in addition, I would like to turn your attention to this amazing study about the placebo effect: http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/the-placebo-phenomenon

    It may explain why physical therapy helped your pain as much as it did.

    Good luck, and keep posting - I have a feeling you are in the right place and in the right frame of mind to be here!


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