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patellar tendonitis?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by lia, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. lia

    lia New Member

    both my knees started hurting way back in december 2012 and the doctor diagnosed me with patellar tendonitis. it's been 2 months going on to 3 and it's getting ridiculous. i want to work out so badly but i can't because i'm afraid that i might aggravate it even further. one doctor told me i have inflammation in my knee and gave me ibuprofen. i took that for two weeks and it did seem to help but i still have pain, "clicking" and squeaking in my knees. another doctor said i overexerted myself and did too much exercise. i only danced for around 40 minutes each day and two weeks later, this pain developed. i'm not sure if it's TMS or it's really an overuse injury, since the pain coincides with my exercise. i haven't done any daily exercise prior to this but i do dance a little bit every week. i've danced like this before to try to lose weight and i also did squats and i never got this type of pain.

    i rested and took time off exercising this whole entire time. i didn't have total immobility; i still walked, climbed stairs, did a bit of jumping and running here and there but that's it. i couldn't avoid those but i think i gave my knees enough rest. 2-3 months is way too long and i don't think this is normal.

    i've been stressed lately about my knee pain and suddenly my throat started hurting. talking became such an effort since i had to force every word out and i felt like my voice would give out any second. my dominant arm also starting hurting so much that it hurt to write and use the mouse. i even started using my left hand for everything. i realized that this might be caused by emotional stress so i pushed through the pain and now both my throat and arm are fine. so i'm thinking this might be the case with my knees too? would getting a MRI confirm whether i actually have tendonitis or not? i asked my doctor and he wouldn't give me a MRI until i finish my physical therapy session.
  2. TrueGrit

    TrueGrit New Member

    I have knee problems too (patellofemoral pain syndrom) and just started the TMS program.
    In my experience climbing stairs/jumping/running are all very aggravating and could reasonably keep your knees from healing.
    So I guess you could try resting with even more discpline.

    It won't hurt to start addressing emotional issues, but I think it is too early for you to adopt the idea that the pain is psychosomatic..
  3. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I think this is key--it's not just that your knees hurt, it's that you are fearful about your pain. This is TMS. Even regular doctors will tell you that fear and anxiety and stress make everything worse. You need to start working on lessening the fear, and your knees will get better.
    MorComm likes this.
  4. lia

    lia New Member

    so your knee problems are also caused by TMS?

    i also know jumping and running are bad for your knees so i've stopped that for two weeks but it doesn't seem to be getting much better. i read that tendinitis usually resolves itself within 2-4 weeks. i've had mines for 12. i can't really avoid climbing stairs but i try to take the elevator as much as possible. another weird thing is that my legs feel weak when i walk after not moving much (that is no walking or stair climbing). my doctor said it's because light exercise is still required. i don't know anymore. i just think it's ridiculous how two weeks of exercising can turn my knees into this mess.
  5. TrueGrit

    TrueGrit New Member

    Well I am not so sure about this TMS thing specifically, but I think the psychology is a huge factor in how my pain developed.

    Probably the same holds for you, since you posted on this forum and you developed some other random pain issues.
  6. lia

    lia New Member

    I feel like I probably did injure my knees but because I was so afraid of the pain, I amplified it. Maybe it's a bit of both..

    I also know that running/jumping/stair climbing (not too sure about that one) are aggravating to the knees but I cut down my physical activity by half and maybe more. I only did some occasional jumping and running. I think the body has a marvelous ability to heal, so I didn't think it would take so long.

    You said it's a bit too early for me to adopt the idea that the pain is psychosomatic. What do you mean?
  7. TrueGrit

    TrueGrit New Member

    Yeah I have the same feeling.

    Your knees started to hurt 2-3 months ago. I do not think that is very long per se.
    If you have a physical problem, I imagine adopting the TMS hypothesis could hurt a lot. I think I'll start a thread about that point, since it worries me a bit.
  8. lia

    lia New Member

    yes, and that's why i'm afraid to start exercising again. a MRI won't even show if i have true tendonitis or not so basically i'll never know what the problem is.

    is it possible that i did injure myself but the injury already healed and the rest is just mental? and how long would an injury have to last for it to be considered "long"?
  9. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

  10. lia

    lia New Member

    so you do think that my pain is caused by my emotions and there's no real damage? how should i go about fixing this?
  11. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Lia, have you read any of Dr. Sarno's books? That would be the first place to start. My favorite is The Mindbody Prescription. You should also explore this site, as well as tmshelp.com. I think you'll find a lot of people's stories sound similar to your own. You might also want to start the Structured Education Program, once you're familiar with the concept of TMS and believe you might have it. I don't think you have to believe 100%, but I think you have to believe a bit more than you do right now. Reading your story I was convinced right away--I mean, the throat and the arm? How can that be related to your knees except through stress? So if you don't see that, you need to learn a bit more.
  12. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Also, let me add that I was so emphatic with my "YES" because I believe this is what happened to me. I believe I really may have injured my foot last June--maybe a slight nerve irritation. But it happened during a time of deep emotional pain (my cat of 17 years had just died) so it's possible that the whole injury was conjured by my subconscious to take my mind off my emotional pain. Anyway, I became SO anxious about the foot pain (which lingered, misdiagnosed many times) that it just got worse and worse and worse, way out of control. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, had to take time off of work, which made me even more anxious, because I started catastrophizing "what if"s. What if I was permanently disabled? What if I could never work again? What if I lost my home, my car, had to move in with my sister in another state?

    Now I am back at work and my foot is a bit better, but all those "what if"s are still in the back of my mind, and I have to work every day to try and stay in the present, be positive, and not worry about the pain. It's the worrying that made everything worse, and worrying is part of the TMS personality.
  13. lia

    lia New Member

    i also had those "what if" thoughts. i love dancing very much and i thought, what if i can't dance anymore? also, what if I can't run or do sports anymore? why is this happening to me? i'm still very young and thinking about those things made me really depressed.

    i am not sure whether i have TMS or not because my knee pain coincides with my exercising. one day when i was dancing, i couldn't move my legs anymore. but it also coincides with a very depressing time of my life. i started developing some health issues back in February last year and this depressed me so much. my grades went down and i cried so much more than usual. things started looking up in september but i still get pretty emotional sometimes. i started working out because i wanted to improve my health and when i developed knee pain, i started beating myself up over it. i thought stuff like, why did you do that? why did you dance? now you have knee problems too! why did this happen to me? i just wanted to be healthier.

    i'm not sure because there's a big time span between february and december.

    no, i haven't read his books. i just found out about TMS around a week ago.
    i'm pretty convinced that my throat and arm pain is caused by emotional issues but i'm just unsure about the knee pain
  14. lia

    lia New Member

    i've also read that your brain likes to develop pain in places where you would not think of it as tension related. so maybe my brain developed knee pain because it knows i would associate the pain with exercise instead of internal issues?
  15. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Had you ever danced or exercised before? Had this ever happened before? If not, it's probably TMS.

    This is exactly what I was saying in June. I went on a really long walk one day and developed blisters. The next day, while wearing different shoes, I suddenly felt sharp stabbing pains in one foot. I went to doctor after doctor for treatment but the pain just kept getting worse. Whenever anyone asked me what happened and I answered, I went on a long walk, I knew how silly it sounded. I'd gone on long walks before! My therapist was the first to suggest this might have something to do with my cat's death and I shut her down completely at first. I didn't want to hear the "it's in your mind" answer. I didn't make the connection to TMS till I happened to be re-reading Sarno in November for some hip pain that developed. I thought, wow, what if what's in my foot is TMS? But I found it so hard to believe!

    Now I realize that since I already knew about TMS in my back, hip, etc., my mind doesn't find that a useful site anymore. It's too easy for me to get rid of it. So it went for my foot, knowing I would attribute it to my long walk and not to TMS. It was ideal, if you think about it.
  16. lia

    lia New Member

    yes, i've danced and exercised before. i used dance to lose weight a few years back. i did hurt my knee once through dancing but that was only a small injury that went away in a week or even less.

    i think that might be the same case for me. if pain develops in my knee, i would associate it with my exercising and i wouldn't ever think that it would be TMS. now that i think about it, i also had back pain. that started a few days before my knee pain.. but my back pain went away. so basically my throat, arm and back pain went away but my knee pain is persisting. i just assumed everything had to do with exercise. i also thought my throat hurt due to my improper singing techniques (i used to sing like mad to release stress) and dismissed it for a week until i couldn't stand it any longer. i went to a ENT doctor and he told me that the pain is due to stress.
  17. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Lia and Welcome to the wiki,

    First learning about TMS is challenging for everyone, primarily because it is a fundamental change in how we view our symptoms. It is okay if it takes some time for the ideas to sink in. That is only natural. Reading one of Dr. Sarno's books is a great place to start out, but I would also recommend watching the 20/20 video as well.

    Your question about if your symptoms are either TMS or an overuse injury is actually quite common. A TMS physician, John Stracks, actually responded to a similar question a while ago as part of our Q&A with an Expert program, in response to the question: How do I tell the difference between an injury and TMS? . He said:

    There are a few things that stand out to me when I read this. First, is that most overuse injuries, including tendonitis, heal in a matter of weeks. Even if a broken leg heals in a few months. When the pain persists past a normal recovery time, then it is almost always TMS. As pointed out in this thread, your symptoms may have actually started out as a real injury, but then triggered a TMS response. It is very common in people with TMS to develop symptoms after an injury.

    It sounds like your symptoms have been going on for longer then it would take your leg to heal from an acute injury. Add that to the variety of other symptoms you have, and it sounds like TMS is the culprit. I know it is always difficult to have 100% confidence in TMS when you are first starting out, but something to remember is that worrying if it is TMS or a structural issue is the TMS distraction at work. Regardless of how much confidence you have in the approach at first, if you begin to think psychologically and go through the motions you will begin to have some progress.

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