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Pulled Muscle

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by SFscribe, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. SFscribe

    SFscribe Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone --

    I wasn't able to find very much in here about pulled muscles, so I thought I'd start a new thread.

    I recently returned to playing soccer after a 7-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    I went really hard my first game and ended up with a very very sore right leg - pretty much everywhere between the hip and the knee. That eventually morphed into what felt like a genuine hip flexor strain, which, after a few more games, turned into what felt like a bonafide pulled thigh muscle.

    The next few games, the muscle would start to hurt considerably during the game and especially whenever I kicked the ball or sprinted, to the point where by the end of the game I would have to either play goalie or limp around. It would hurt for about 24 to 48 hours after the game, but then go away.

    I can feel the pain when I press on the spot where I believe the pulled muscle is, and when I do the classic standing quad stretch, I do feel it -- and the pain is consistently in the same spot.

    I can walk and run fine, though.

    But every time I start playing soccer again I feel like I "reinjure" it about 15 minutes into the game.

    I'm trying to figure out if this is TMS or a genuine "pulled" muscle. I suppose going back to soccer after 7 months off is enough to pull just about any leg muscle, but...still questioning it because it started out in my hips then went to my thigh, and it heals pretty fast after the game. Then again - the triggers are consistent: playing soccer, and specifically kicking and sprinting. And it's consistently there every time I do that quad stretch.

  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi SFscribe,

    I wonder the time-frame in your case. If it has been 6 weeks or so, you've treated it with basic treatment such as rest, ice, etc. then you may be in to a TMS pain experience. Maybe broaden this time range from 4 to 8 weeks, me not being a physician. Understand that even without prefect treatment, the injury should resolve itself. TMS is a chronic thing, which the more you try to fix it, the worse it it tends to get, or at least does not get better.

    If your time-frame stretches out, then consider a TMS approach to the pain. Otherwise, be confident it will get better with a little more time.

  3. SFscribe

    SFscribe Peer Supporter

    Thanks, Andy. It has been three weeks since my return to soccer and since the injury started. In-between games -- ie, intervals of anywhere from 3 to 4 days (since I play twice a week) -- I have been treating it as you said, with the typical ice, rest, etc...., and every time during these rest periods, within about 48 hours, the pain fades to the point where I can run, jump, do squats, etc.. with almost no pain. You make a great point about the time-frame though. It's certainly hasn't been going on long enough to be considered "chronic". Also potentially worth noting that I have dealt with and known about TMS for many years, having been through back pain and plantar fascitis - so, in that regard, I am a "full believer".
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's TMS. This is really common with the guys I play baseball with. The playing is just a trigger.... I notice that when guys haven't played in awhile they always pull up lame even though they might run three times a week.... the competition, personal life stuff and CONDITIONING make them come to expect it.... I went through a cycle of it myself when I was playing during a personal crisis about a decade ago... knew it was TMS but it kept coming early....funny, I am in worse shape now and I can run a marathon and only be sore.... But I also have way fewer responsibilities.

    I'd go back to playing and stay focused on any personal angers, less than perfect things in your life... that way you can tell it to F-off and recondition that away. That's what I have done every time one of those mystery things has 'got' me. and it always works.
  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    oh yeah... "Pulled" Muscles is one of those things Sarno said defies medical explanation along with 'sprained'.
  6. SFscribe

    SFscribe Peer Supporter

    Interesting. Thanks for your input Baseball65. Yeah it's very sneaky because it comes back when you least expect it but also when you WOULD expect it: ie, returning to a sport after a long hiatus. It's weird though because I am not going through anything tumultuous in my life right now -- well, actually there are a lot of very interesting and very GOOD developments happening (in spite of the apocalyptic state of the world) but I know from reading all the TMS literature that TMS can just as easily be triggered by good things.
    Baseball65 likes this.
  7. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's what I always say every time a new tickle happens (LOL)....
    Tumultuous doesn't always give me TMS. My friend got high on drugs and shot into my living room earlier this year. That did NOT give me TMS because it was so overtly INSANE and TUMULTUOUS . Nothing to repress.
    But... My GF coming home and mentioning she is quitting her job (subtle) can trigger my knee bugging me. Having my son work on one of my crews can make me get a neck stiff episode , even when he's doing a good job.... it's usually invisible pressures or responsibilities that make our 'child' angry.

    Also, I am super competitive. I get suspicious about anything on a sports field. We have this 'nice guy' face we present to the world, BUT the truth is I want to be a nice guy AND win the game. My personal belief is that the MRI has destroyed modern professional sports.... Guys played every game unless they had a broken bone back in the 60's and 70's.... now the little gossamers miss half a season because of (fill in blank) that the MRI found.

    Any change that makes me feel 'out of control' is a candidate. If you read that Strauss-Rahe stress scale about half of the culprits are changes with a positive connotation.

    keep playing. Hard.
  8. mugwump

    mugwump Well known member

    Keep moving and no one can stop you!
  9. SFscribe

    SFscribe Peer Supporter

    So... played soccer today once again and my leg is fine. Actually I'm now feeling it more in my groin :) Clearly it is TMS. You were right, Baseball65. An odd thing happened last week before I played. I was on the beach the morning of mid-week game and I stepped on a bee. I felt a burning sensation on the bottom of my foot and it continued to itch and throb and burn for a few hours afterwards, right into the soccer game. I was so focused on the bee sting that I had forgotten about my thigh/leg issues. Then, after the game, I realized I had played through it 100% just fine with no issues at all.

    To attempt to add something to the overall TMS literature from this experience, I am trying to figure out what could have happened to lead me to conclude that it was indeed a pulled muscle - ie, a structural issue - and not TMS. Would the pain have needed to keep going, then I would have needed to see a doctor, get an MRI, and the MRI would have needed to have show some kind of tear??

    Anyway... TMS really is sneaky and will look for any way it can to get back into your life. This was the shorts episode of TMS I've ever had, though, lasting only about a month. My back issues - what first led me to learn about TMS - lasted two years, and plantar fascitis about a year.
    Baseball65 likes this.
  10. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    This was interesting and perhaps timely and helpful. I won't go into the very long saga here, but earlier this week I 'pulled' my back moving a weight. I felt it spasm and I knew it was TMS because I haven't had a back flare for a very long time - I've had much larger issues to deal with (essentially, I got pneumonia, then appendicitis, now my gut has stopped working). Two days after a long-awaited colonoscopy - from which I was still exhausted and drained because of the extended fasting I had to do - I was finally feeling some relief that it was over with, finally, so decided to get into my gym and train. That's when my back went, not even mid-exercise, but when I was moving a heavy plate. I knew it as soon as it happened, because the timing is impeccable (two days after the dreaded colonoscopy which I was no longer stressing over), that it had to be TMS because I've had no back pain for quite a long time, but a huge focus on GI issues. But even though I know it's TMS, it's stopped me from training; I didn't want to load up my spine with a barbell and heavy weights and do heavy squats, so it successfully derailed my training plan. Now I don't know what I should have done, ignored it and gone ahead anyway or done as I have, which is to rest up for a few days until it improves. It's not 100% better, but I really want to get back into my training routine.
    Regarding symptom focus, when I was in hospital in April with appendicitis for 3 days, my chronic reflux disappeared, even though I was drinking more coffee which I thought was a trigger. It returned the day I came home. Two months later, when the offending appendix had to come out, again, I was in hospital 4 days, and again my reflux disappeared - to my body, getting cut open and surviving surgery and getting up and moving again and doing basic things like taking a shower became the imperative. Reflux again returned when I came home.
    It seems to me that when we are more focused on another pain or condition, less significant ones disappear.
  11. SFscribe

    SFscribe Peer Supporter

    That's a great point, Miss Metta. Wow - sounds like you've had a pretty rough go of things and I'm sorry for everything you've been through. Hope you push on as always though since you already know it's TMS :)
  12. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was so focused on my damaged hand after a two story fall that I didn't have them check anything else (freaked out I wouldn't be able to play guitar)
    about 18 months later when I was getting check for Gall bladder crap is when They told me I had broken vertebrae in my spine during the fall. My obsession with my hand kept me from paying attention to, or caring about anything else.

    When I learned about TMS I looked back over my whole life. I realized that many times when I didn't have pain it was because there was some other scary/painful/dramatic thing going on in my life. I usually only get TMS when I am 'OK'. OK means calm cool, collected but usually ignoring the build up of some irritation in my life....or in the case of sports, unwilling to admit to myself how much I care about winning and performing perfectly
    That is a great question.
    I remember how much worse my back pain got after I was told I had a herniated disc.

    Sarno said he really thinks stuff like arthritic build-up, meniscus tears, shoulder damage is just 'there' as part of natural aging and it is only blamed for pain when our TMS symptoms are in that general area.

    I am glad to hear you got through it. Many people don't have access to the same insight's we've been given.

    Play Hard!
  13. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Thank you. It's been far more gruelling ,convoluted, frightening and not to mention just plain damn lucky than I've mentioned in that sentence. It's not over yet :(. But thank you for your words, means a lot.
  14. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    This made me sit up, eyes wide. I have wondered for a long time now whether my TMS is a way my mind is creating drama, something important to focus on, and dammit, something to just DO.
  15. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I read some of your other posts....particularly the one with all of the stomach issues/appendicitis. I don't know you or your medical deal BUT if someone was to describe it to me I would guess it was all mindbody conversion symptoms. I have learned a lot about myself and I always assume most people are more or less the same. As Sarno said, we're all a little neurotic rendering the term meaningless.

    When I learned about TMS and all of it's manifestations I never believed in pain again. But, I have gotten ill, had accidents and other peculiarly timed distractions that always corresponded eerily well with times of great interior tumult. When I was going through my divorce, my otherwise healthy kids had more illness's and accidents than ever before or after.

    I could be totally 'scientific' and write these off to statistical flukes, but they smell really funny. Nowadays when something starts smelling funny I give a look under the sofa even if it isn't the usual Musculo-skeletal type pain that brought me to this process.

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