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Real weakness vs perceived weakness

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Wilcox2969, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. Wilcox2969

    Wilcox2969 New Member

    I've been dealing with pychosomatic pain for the last 10 years, and I can generally tell when it's real pain vs tms type of pain. But I'm not sure if that is the same thing with weakness. I am having a real sciatic issue, and I've never had this type of pain/weakness ever since I've been dealing with back pain. This weakness is real, along with numbness and pain (from tension...I think).

    There seems to be two different camps in the tms world these days, one that is "everything is tms" and "there are some structural things that CAN cause pain. After this most recent injury, I am starting to think that there may be an actual physical problem that is causing the issues. I've had REAL numbness and REAL weakness in my calf and foot after this recent injury. I've read a lot of recovery stories where people had surgery for a disk hernation and after which did solve the numbness and weakness issue. But these people still chaulk it up to tms? I don't know if I fully believe that it is JUST the tms in these instances.

    At any rate...I'm stuck on this, which I find disheartening because up until the injury (not sure what I did?) the tms idea was working wonders with me...
  2. joshcm

    joshcm Peer Supporter

    Hi Wilcox2969,

    Been in this boat, felt the fear, doubted, even panicked. Long story short. Had two disk herniations on MRI. Two separate bouts of complete calf paralyzation in each leg. First time around it took about 6 months to fully heal and I stopped everything aside from walking. But by the second time it happened, I was on to it and ready to attack it. I healed in a few months by engaging in heavy lifting and Crossfit. There is no medical logic for healing in this way - in fact, it should have made it much worse. So for me, it was/is TMS. I still suffer symptoms but I get on top of it, I can even feel bouts of pain instantly when I let my mind wander to a thought that is causing me anxiety. Serves as a reminder of what length my mind will go to.

    If you no sure what you did (injury) then that should explain everything. Your body can't just break down structurally without serious trauma......

    Best of luck!
    MindBodyPT likes this.
  3. Wilcox2969

    Wilcox2969 New Member

    Well, I sort of know what I did...I spent 2 hours paddle boarding...I felt fine during that time. After i sat down for 20 min, everything locked up, and then the muscle twitching began and didn't let up for 3 days! After that it was numbness and weakness in the right leg. Been going on since with some relief over the past 2 months. Anyway, it seems worse than anything I've ever known in my tms thinking. Thanks for the input
  4. joshcm

    joshcm Peer Supporter

    2hrs of SUP is not going to cause you any structural damage - if it had you would have felt it instantly not 20mins after. Your back is one of the strongest parts of your body......
    Delton3 likes this.
  5. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Wilcox,

    I agree with Josh as above. Your numbness and weakness can be very "real" (as in, you are experiencing them), and their nature, degree and severity is not indicative of whether or not they are TMS-caused or not. Yes, the truth is that some symptoms are TMS, some are structural and some are a combination. But the "combo" ones tend to be more like pain amplified by structural injuries, or healed old structural injuries that TMS piggybacks onto.

    Pain and symptoms from the sciatic nerve (which runs all the way down the leg), in chronic form, are basically always caused by TMS save a few rare instances. Recall a strong placebo effect that can occur from any surgery, including disc herniations. I've said many times on this forum that, as a PT, the few times i've seen someone whose issues are TRULY originating from a spinal abnormality, there is frequently no pain, just a functional issue. The rare person with a disc herniation so bad that it causes real structural issues will have specific symptoms but not necessarily any pain.

    Hope that helps...remember, statistically you (and all of us!) are not special, and your issues are overwhelmingly likely to be due to TMS.

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