1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

pain worse after exercising

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by blackdog, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. blackdog

    blackdog Peer Supporter

    Hi Guys,

    I have been working with a TMS therapist psychologically and starting to try to get myself to do some things that I have avoided for many years physically. It seems like in most of what I read that the pain is worse when people exercise, but for me it often builds up for a day or two after and then lingers. Is this also a normal TMS pattern? Thanks,

  2. phillyjoe

    phillyjoe Peer Supporter

    Blackdog: Read my post from yesterday. This is normal. This is the pattern. After 20 years this is the one area that still confuses me. But TMS is a life long recovery. The knowledge is the antibiotic. But the symptoms return when you least expect them. Do your personal psychological work and like me work through that fear. For me right now its getting back to playing some hoops. Peace.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Phillyjoe and blackdog...

    I was watching the Ken Burns tv miniseries on The Roosevelts last night
    and really loved what Eleanor Roosevelt said during the darkest days of World War II;
    "Courage is more exhilarating than fear."

    I think the same applies to TMS. Believe in TMS causing our pain and work on journaling
    and other healing techniques to find our way out of the darkness of pain.
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    BD - I notice that each time I push hard exercising - for example a big uphill hike at altitude - the TMS pain flares up as sciatica right afterwards and lasts a good long while; it used to be even into the next day. However, I also notice that with each harder "push" exercising that the after workout pain becomes less and less intense and lasts a shorter period of time. It's like each time I push the envelope into a new level of more strenuous physical activity, my TMS flares up to remind me it's still there. Finally, this year though with each "push" into the pain, I've noticed improvement in both my level of pain, flexibility and endurance. I think Dr Sarno was correct again as usual when he suggested that when you resume physical activity, you aim for achieving the most strenuous level you can. At first this is pretty painful business, but in the long run, Dr Sarno is correct. If you push hard and keep pushing harder, eventually you'll show your TMS who's the boss and it'll stop rearing up. True, it's been very slow for me, but two years ago, I'd almost stumble and fall while walking through a boulder field. Now, two years later, I might hurt and bit, but my motion is much, much more coordinated, almost normal in fact. At this rate of improvement, if I keep after it, in another two years I'll be running mountain trails again. Just keep after it and don't give up or curtail your level of physical activity because that's what TMS is trying to get you to do. Best regards.
  5. blackdog

    blackdog Peer Supporter

    I should have probably defined "lingers" a little better, as that is my concern with my original question. If I walk a bunch, for example, I may get pain in my metatarsals that will stick around for weeks or usually months (with various intensities, but generally at least somewhat present). This would just be one example, but is typical of my pain patterns. Is this possible or normal with TMS pain? Bruce and phillyjoe, even your guys' pains seem to go away pretty quick (a day or two is real quick for me). Am I just not challenging the pain enough? Thanks,

  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    My TMS pain after exercise used to follow the pattern you describe: it lingered on and on after an exercise session, sometimes for days or weeks. But by challenging my TMS, the length of time the pain has persisted after exercise has decreased. In other words, I recover much more quickly than before. Of course, this was no over-night improvement. What I'm talking about is over the course of 2 or 3 years. Sorry if you don't want to hear that, but that's what my own experience was like. What you have to do is really challenge the pattern by pushing and pushing to extremes and enduring the painful consequences with the sure knowledge that you will improve. What I guess I mean to say is that not only do you need to engage in progressively more intense exercise sessions, but you have to acquire a new positive mindset too as the same time. When you push really hard and also maintain a real positive attitude, then the TMS begins to lose its hold on you and you will make real progress. Just going out and beating your brains out exercising won't really result in improvement unless you also acquire a new positive state of consciousness too.

    A few months back, I used to limp out of the gym on my way out to the parking lot after a big workout. Then, one day I just happened to notice that I was walking normally on the way out to my car. No limp. Maybe only a dull sensation where there used to be pain in the left leg. The change was so gradual that I didn't really notice that the limp was going away. It seemed to happen in fact when I was no longer monitoring my improvement. The whole obsessive TMS mindset was just gone and with it my symptoms. You begin to realize that it's the obsessive mindset that driving the whole process, not the pain symptoms per se. It seems like TMS recovery is sort of like forgetting to pay attention. Pretty subtle, huh?
    Ellen likes this.
  7. blackdog

    blackdog Peer Supporter

    Thanks Bruce, I am glad to hear that your history compares to mine. You're right, I don't really like to hear when people say that it takes years or is a life long process, but I guess that real change always is. It is frustrating to hear that some people heal in a few weeks or even a year and to not know what my healing will look like, but at times I am OK with it and other times it is more difficult to mentally bear. I think that I really do understand the dynamic of it being about obsessive thoughts and healing meaning an end to this. I can see that is when life opens up. Over the past year I have become more physically and psychologically symptomatic, but this has corresponded with an opening to the realization that it just feels like there is something greater all around me. This comes and goes, but seems to be growing. Sometimes I wonder if I can really stand the symptoms and the loss of function that it brings, but I do see that it is challenging me to develop a more compassionate mindset. I then sometimes wonder if I am a vessel capable of making the changes and holding the light, but as my therapist would say, that is just a fear thought taking away compassion and trying to hold me down. The more that I contemplate these things the more I can see that my a lot of my anger and frustration through my life has really been a reaction to what my mind is doing to me that holds no value and keeps me down rather than a reaction to the external world (although that remains difficult for me to deal with as well - social anxiety and the like).

    I also have a very obsessive mind which does not want to give up its hold. I can feel its energy in the background like a lump of heavy coal whenever I look closely. Almost as though the looking requires the exact kind of energy that is keeping me stuck. I believe that there must be another consciousness to tap into for discernment which flows through the sense of "that which is greater than me." Some people would call it God, I guess, but I wasn't brought up that way. I think that Steve often just refers to it as light or truth. Maybe it is just called peace. What a challenge!

    The idea of progressively pushing myself is difficult. Dr. Sarno stated that people should start pushing themselves physically once they have a fair amount of confidence in their TMS diagnosis. But, of course that must naturally be subjective. No one can tell me when to do this, I suppose, or to what degree. I mean, my TMS doc said I could go for a 10 mile run if I want to, but the idea of putting my feet through that does not sound possible to me. I have tried starting a routine of exercises that involve stretching parts of my body that I have heavily babied for years and so far it has gone OK (pain, but bearable). In the back of my mind, though, I fear the pain coming into my testicle that in the past felt like someone was flicking it every second for minutes at a time (I think most guys would shivers from this image!). So far I am forging ahead, and trying to notice the background thoughts that I will be stopped in my tracks. I hope to one day too be rid of my obsessive mindset. I think that would feel like heaven opened it's gates to me :)

    P.S. 1) Did you always continue to exercise even though you were having persistent pain? Is it necessary to do this to break through TMS?
    2) Is it possible to work through some pains while having a difficult time letting go of others? (My headaches and head pain lock my attention so strongly:mad:).
    3) Is a good part of the healing, in addition to the mental changes, simply a matter of muscles learning to work correctly again through loosening, strengthening and simple activity? (Though like you said this would not be enough by itself - I mean, they would be tense from the mind dynamics while working which may have led to a lot or my ills in the first place).

    I know that is a lot, but thanks a lot. I feel like I am heading out on the TMS healing highway!
  8. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    "Is a good part of the healing, in addition to the mental changes, simply a matter of muscles learning to work correctly again through loosening, strengthening and simple activity?"

    Yes, I think there is a slow reprogramming process involving the central nervous system. The longer your TMS has gone on, I think, the more you have programmed yourself.

    Everything you suggest above is true. People who heal very quickly must have less obsessive compulsive mindsets than those who take longer to rid themselves of TMS symptoms.

    Maybe I'm just a stubborn fool, but I've continue to try and work out no matter what. In retrospect, I should have probably taken it easier though. When you finally do start to get better, you'll notice a general calming state of mind that begins to set in. You'll kick yourself in the pants, and ask, "Why couldn't I have just done that sooner?"
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014

Share This Page