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Over Exercising or Sneaky TMS?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by giantsfan, Feb 9, 2023.

  1. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

    Hi everyone,

    Been doing better again with sensations and thoughts lately after I had a relapse in the past 6 months or so. Been exercising a lot and have been noticing certain sensations that I tend to wonder if it’s due to over exercising (and may be causing real damage), or if this is just TMS being sneaky again? Trying not to overthink, but sometimes I wonder if there is a true threshold in which one can overdo it and cause real tissue damage.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey Daniel - glad you've been doing better again - and that's just how TMS is for some of us, isn't it? Ups and downs. And you are asking the million-dollar question here:
    If we could answer that definitively, the TMS experience for a huge category of symptoms would be very different with that doubt component completely removed, don't you think? Unfortunately, that's never going to happen, because everyone is simply too different.

    Obviously anyone can overdo any activity and harm themselves. Realistically, however, this usually, if not almost always, happens because someone has ignored common, well-known and almost always well-publicised advice, given their experience level and/or known health conditions. Also (and someone with professional kinesiology and TMS knowledge can certainly correct me) I don't think that you can "overdo" an activity and only incur vague sensations after weeks or months. That, by definition, is TMS (RSI is an example). Injuries are acute. TMS is chronic.

    Common sense should tell us that if you are experienced at an activity and continue to do it at that level, OR you increase that level using accepted training techniques and don't go beyond recommended parameters, then there's no reason to think that you can cause "real tissue damage" until the time comes when you might have to be realistic and adjust for the reality of aging. Even then, it's not a foregone conclusion, as many extraordinary individuals of advanced years have proved. And which I don't believe you are even close to having to worry about yet, am I right?

    This is why we consult with professionals like personal trainers and physical therapists. When I decided to get more serious about exercise and also address mild osteoporosis as I approached 60 - about twelve years ago - I hired a personal trainer because I had no idea what I could or should do, and I wanted someone to push me beyond what I thought were my limits. Her speciality was older adults, and she observed me carefully, encouraged questions, and knew when it was beneficial for me to back off vs push through. I was never what I considered athletic, but I've had a lifetime of various types of activities and exercise since childhood, and I have had a good sense of my body for decades. Working with this trainer, my anxiety was provoked by some of the things she had me do (I was almost incapable of lunges the first few weeks, and eventually bench pressing 40 pounds, or deadlifting 45, were both scary to me, having never done such things in my life) but I ultimately trusted that she knew what she was doing, and at some point I also realized how to use mindfulness techniques to push through the anxiety, and to trust that I could tell the difference between twinges of pain that I sensed were TMS (they were!) vs. something that maybe I should not do (rarely).

    I am differently gendered and I think many decades older than you, but I believe that my advice applies universally:
    - develop body awareness,
    - learn to trust your instincts (for some people that takes a certain number of medical visits where "they can't find anything wrong")
    - consult with sports or activity professionals to help you achieve your physical goals,
    - talk back compassionately to your poor TMS brain and let go of catastrophizing,
    - go back to good old common sense (re the third paragraph up).

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