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Persistent knee pain (over 2 years!). UPDATED!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by 7dani4, Oct 16, 2022.

  1. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    I first posted here 7 years ago (!!) about how I healed my back pain. All these years later, I'm still amazed at my experience. I still talk about the book Healing Back Pain to everyone with awe.

    Unfortunately, these past 2 years I've been suffering from knee pain which I've diagnosed as patellar tendinopathy. I got this injury through running through pain until it turned chronic. I managed to somewhat heal it through exercises but it always kept coming back.

    I never thought it could be TMS until yesterday, a particularly stressful day, when I was practically unable to walk. How did dull (persistent but not very painful at all) pain suddenly turn into awful pain?

    I haven't ran in 2 years, I've tried exercises, physio, etc etc. Nothing has worked and I'm pretty scared. I'm not certain it's TMS yet and I'm hesitant to simply resume all activity as if nothing was wrong, in case I actually make it worse.

    Not sure what I should do here, but I'll start with rereading the book and trying to calm down a bit (always been a worrier). If anyone else has had experience with TMS related knee pain, I'd love some tips!
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Well known member

    Question: Why have you diagnosed your knee pain? Are you a doctor?
    If you are not a doctor, I suggest you get it checked out if you have not. My MIL has had chronic knee pain for many years. Her doctors can not find a medical reason but she is not interested in knowing about TMS. Her knee pain began after several deaths in the family and has become more chronic (plus other symptoms) after another death. She is still chasing medical or alternative means to relieve the pain which helps only for short times.
    The best thing we have been able to do is get her to stop googling and trying to diagnose her own pain.
    TMS knee pain is TMS - it is no different than back pain, head aches, etc. Reviewing the science behind pain can help remind you of the mechanisms of chronic pain:
    Injury is often healed with 6 weeks. Chronic pain lasts beyond 3 months. So your running injury may no longer be effecting your knee at all. Your mind and your emotions may be effecting your knee.
    You identify as a worrier. Worry is a habit, and the great news is, it can change! The free Structured Educational Program here offers help with understanding your internal mechanisms and personality traits and helps you deal with the fear towards symptoms: https://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Structured_Educational_Program (Structured Educational Program)

    good luck!
  3. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    Thank you for the response! I've had it diagnosed by a physio. I can't believe I didn't think that it might be TMS after how much I suffered with and cured my back pain years ago. Simply reading a few of the posts from the Pain Recovery Program has eased my pain a bit.

    I should've taken more steps to get rid of this habit of worrying years ago! This particular year has been incredibly stressful with me buying a house, traveling a lot, work stress, etc. I'd also say I have bad health anxiety. My body must have taken my most recent healed injury (at one point it was healed) and projected my emotional pain onto it.

    Thank you for the video and the program, I'll check them out!
  4. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    My knee pain is almost nonexistent today!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    No knee pain today. Going to go on a run and see how it is.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. Mr Hip Guy

    Mr Hip Guy Well known member


    Do you even need any other evidence?
  7. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    I've been lifting weights all week and finally went on a run today and had NO PAIN. Even the pain in my foot that I thought was an actual injury went away.

    After I just healed a several year long pain, this is all the evidence I need that I can heal anything :D
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    @7dani4, I hope you don't mind, I edited your thread title a little bit, now it says "UPDATED!" instead of "Anyone else?" to encourage members to read about your excellent progress :D
  9. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    ofc it's fine! :)
  10. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    Knee pain has come back. Trying to convince myself it's TMS and not just making the injury worse. Sometimes it hurts really bad, sometimes not at all.
  11. Mr Hip Guy

    Mr Hip Guy Well known member

    Sorry to hear that, I have issues with my knee as well (see my long thread in this forum just a few threads down from yours) so I can sympathize. In your case though, look back a few days when you erased your pain as evidence.
    7dani4 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  12. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    Will read your thread :)

    This injury is harder to heal as I've been like this for 2 years, vs my back pain which was only 3 months! The pain really did go away, but now I'm having doubts that I just placebo'd it away or was fooling myself.
  13. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    One realization I had today was that I'm so used to the pain being there, that it feels empty when there's no pain. I'm expecting it, which might be part of the issue. Today along with the knee pain I've had sciatica type pain along my legs which I know very well is TMS. Generally my life is very very stressful right now so I understand why my body is putting me through all this.

    My left foot is also painful but I can't tell if it's a real injury or not yet. I'll give that one some time.
  14. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    The Way Out, by Alan Gordon, is his new book on Pain Reprocessing Therapy, which specifically addresses chronic neuroplastic pain that has become learned - and how to unlearn it. I feel like PRT is perfect for people who fully-understand TMS theory AND have had significant success with TMS theory - and are struggling with the fact that their brains need to be rewired to not expect pain.

    That being said, and this is for anyone reading this thread, I feel that PRT, like TMS knowledge alone, will not be effective in the long run for anyone who has a history of trauma and/or or childhood adversity and who has not really done the emotional work. Just sayin'. I welcome discussion on this topic, because I think it's an important one!
  15. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    Oo will check that book out! Thank you!

    I do have a history of childhood trauma and unpleasant situations. It’s stuff I haven’t gotten over and it impacts me every day. In addition I’m just a more sensitive person and I fully understand some of this is manifesting as physical pain. This week has been really stressful and I’m having a slew of random pains here and there.

    In addition my left knee has started hurting too which makes zero sense, I’ve done nothing to injure it.

    I’m willing to put in the work, I just hope the pain doesn’t last for years of my life or become unbearable.
  16. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Classic TMS. As frustrating as it is, it’s good news when TMS reveals itself in such an an undeniable way.

    You got this!
  17. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Which is when you have to put your emotional skills (journaling, mindfulness) back to work to uncover what it is about these current stressors that is threatening your primitive brain's survival instincts, probably related to the dysfunctional fight-or-flight instincts you had to employ as a child. Assuming you have put in the work to develop those skills. Again, if you haven't, I don't think that PRT will work long-term. You always need that emotional toolkit as the strong base.
  18. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Hi Jan, I think you might be right that TMSers with a history of trauma and/or childhood adversity need to do emotional work rather than pain reprocessing therapy. The efficacy of Alan’s Pain Reprocessing Therapy was tested in what we on this forum know as the Boulder Back Pain Study, which was a randomized controlled trial of PRT against two other treatments. There were 151 patients in the study. Fifty were in the PRT arm. The abstract of the JAMA Psychiatry report on the study states: "Of 151 total participants, 33 of 50 participants (66%) randomized to PRT were pain-free or nearly pain-free at post-treatment (reporting a pain intensity score of 0 or 1 of 10), compared with 10 of 51 participants (20%) randomized to placebo and 5 of 50 participants (10%) randomized to usual care. Treatment effects were maintained at 1-year follow-up . . . .” It seems to me to be a reasonable hypothesis that, regarding the 50 patients in the PRT arm, perhaps most if not all of the the successful 33 did not have a history of trauma and/or childhood adversity and a good many of the unsuccessful 17 did have such a history.

    Striking, I think, that the placebo arm of the study did twice as well as the usual back pain care arm.

  19. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    Yep it's annoying but also nice to receive confirmation that it's TMS. Today my left foot has been aching a lot. It feels awful, don't know if it's a real injury or not as I've mentioned here, since I did do a ton of walking last month and I did injure it a year ago (healed fully though). There's no reason for me to have such a painful injury from some walking at my grand old age of 25.

    Thank you guys for the reply. I definitely need to emotional work. I feel much calmer when I meditate but the demons come back for the rest of the day :D I've never journaled and I sense that it may help.
  20. 7dani4

    7dani4 Peer Supporter

    Almost no pain in knees or foot today (which is surprising considering yesterday's intense pain). So so inconsistent.

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