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Rotator cuff tendonitis

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by sugarglider, Nov 16, 2022.

  1. sugarglider

    sugarglider Newcomer

    Hello lovely ones! I'm trying to determine whether I have TMS, because my problems are keeping me from doing what I love. Troubles started around 2019--for 2 years I had been really enjoying running and ran 5K about 3X/week, sometimes working up to long distance runs. But I developed runner's knee in one knee, which then progressed to my other knee as well. I pursued PT and aquatherapy and used Pennsaid, but none of it worked. Ultimately I stopped running, which was quite sad, but that was the only thing that got rid of it. Even now, if I go on a long hike, I'll feel some pain again, but it doesn't really interfere with my life because I replaced running with other activities.

    Later, in late December 2020, I was a couple months into learning pole dancing and lyra hoop, which was a godsend after a very, very difficult year. I stretched my arms overhead in bed one day, and had left shoulder pain starting from that incident. They said it was my rotator cuff, and I did PT, which didn't help and seemed to make it worse if anything. I stopped PT as I found out I had breast cancer and had to have surgery and then recover for about 2 months. The break seemed to help my shoulder. In April 2021 I got back into aerial training, the pain came back somewhat, but after long enough of avoiding doing moves on my left side, my shoulder pain finally went away months later.

    Trouble returned in December 2021. I was really proud of how well I was doing in my training. But I developed left wrist pain after rehearsing for a show where we had a move that was demanding on the left wrist. I was diagnosed with ECU tendonitis. I had to take maybe a 4-6 week break from everything. They gave me a wrist widget which I think made it worse, home exercises that also made it worse, and ultimately wrist braces to wear at night which seemed to help. I also made sure to wear wrist wraps during training. In January 2022 I returned somewhat, pursued teacher training, and babied my wrists enough to get by. I adapted many moves to take pressure off my wrists, and after a few months it went away. BTW, my right wrist starting hurting too during this period, but it went away more quickly than my left wrist pain. An occupational therapist had been unable to determine what was wrong with my wrist or how to treat it, but the rest, wrist wraps, and alteration of my movements seemed to make it go away, with patience.

    From April to August 2022 I was very busy with an apprenticeship program to teach lyra and pole. In May I had somewhat of a setback. After a ton of flexibility training I was finally able to do splits; I was so proud of that. But a couple weeks later, I developed groin pain mostly on one side but some on the other too. I thought maybe the passive stretching I was having done at Stretch Zone was too much, and resulted in the pull. I was diagnosed with a groin pull and given home exercises which made it worse. The groin pull did not stop me from my teaching or training, as that relies mostly on upper body, but it did prevent me from doing certain moves and of course splits. I still have some groin pain on my right side, although it has improved.

    Then in June 2022, my left shoulder pain returned. The doctor said to take a 2 week break and do home stretching exercises, and then I should be "fine". That wasn't the case. The home exercises seemed to make things worse, and the break was not enough. I returned to teaching only beginner classes and I curtailed my own training. But the pain continued despite this reduced workload and I was referred to PT. PT has not helped. NSAIDs have not helped. I got a cortisone shot 2 weeks ago which did nothing. An MRI taken a couple months ago showed mild inflammation in the supraspinatus, which does correspond to where the pain is, and I was diagnosed with rotator cuff tendonitis. Two months ago I stopped teaching entirely at the suggestion of my physical therapist, and that was a heart breaker after so much work. Teaching and training was my social and creative outlet. The shoulder pain is quite annoying even on days when I do nothing with my shoulder. I took a two week vacation to Mexico in October. But some home exercises I tried there seemed to hurt it for a few days, and the rest of the vacation I rested it but that did not seem to help. I wake up feeling pretty good, but it gets worse during the day. I can't sleep on my left side. During this time, my right shoulder developed some pain too, but that seems to have gone away.

    In the past couple weeks I learned about Dr. Sarno's work and read one of his books. I also got the Curable app and have been doing the expressive journaling exercises. Where I'm at now, I am really wondering whether I have TMS, given how many injuries I have gone through in the past few years, given that medical interventions seem to either do nothing or make things worse, and also the fact that I'm almost 5 months now into this second bout of left shoulder tendonitis. Also, the past few years have been incredibly stressful, with tons of moves, relationship problems, etc etc. However, my MRI showed inflammation, and I didn't really read anything in the book about inflammation being part of TMS even though he did say that tendonitis is in this family. Additionally, my injuries are quite clearly related to specific overuse of the particular body part that develops pain. Any thoughts on my case would be much appreciated, or if any of you have encountered educational material that addresses these types of issues?

    Apologies for the long post! It's been a long and winding road the past few years, and I didn't want to leave out anything that could be important.
  2. mbo

    mbo Well known member

    Overuse leads to a "nicked knife" in your body. But pain is "another thing". It is the result of the evaluation from your brain of such "notchs". A nicked knife is less functional that a new one, but still works,...and has no pain ..... becase has no brain!
    You are in the right site.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    You need updated information about everything that has been learned about the mindbody connection since Dr. Sarno. He's still the basis of this work, but it's also come a long way since then. That includes the medical fact (now widely recognized) that stress causes inflammation.

    Start with the interview posted and discussed on this recent thread. It's with Dr. Howard Schubiner (a TMS luminary who worked with Dr Sarno back in the day) and I can't recommend it highly enough. I posted a comment about how I watched it (it's long) and I included the podcast link in case you prefer that to YouTube.

    Then you need to "do the work" (as Dr. Schu mentions). This is the emotional work. Your injuries and diagnoses or lack of diagnoses and lack of effective treatment are all irrelevant at this point since you have been thoroughly examined and there's nothing more that "they" can do. The emotional work is not physically invasive, and on our site it's free. Out in the mindbody world, there are many many options, including some very good ones that are not free. But to get started, the first free one that I recommend is our own SEP - the Structured Educational Program which you will find on our site: tmswiki.org

    Today is the day that you stop explaining or describing your injuries, diagnoses, treatments, and symptoms in any detail whatsoever. Find a short generic phrase when mentioning them. For example, "my shoulder pain" or "shoulder symptoms". That's all we want to know here (we aren't medical professionals, so the technical details are wasted on us). This thread will show up in your profile history so you can look back on it later and rejoice. Or you could copy into your Profile Story as the basis for your introduction.

    All that being said, you are certainly welcome to do a keyword search on your symptoms, and read posts from our Success Stories subforum, to gather evidence of how others have recovered from similar issues. Reading Success Stories is an excellent way to find inspiration.
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    A lot of the problems that get blamed for symptoms are 'just there'... the timing of onset is waaay more important than what they found. I have thrown things as hard as I can for 57 years. I imagine if my shoulder hurt they would find all sorts of things. However, after doing this for so long whenever ANYTHING hurts my first thought is 'what is going on in my life that I am not looking at?' Not "what have I done?"

    Interesting thing happened in the sports world this weekend. QB from UT Knoxville fell to the ground without even being hit?? After being MRI'd, apparently some ligament or other is deficient and he needs season ending surgery.

    wait a minute. He was running fine earlier in the game... But his team was getting absolutely Slaughtered by a team that wasn't even supposed to touch them...a week after another surprise loss, when they got knocked out of the top ranking in the nation (largely because of said QB)

    Rage? Shock? Embarrassment?

    If you are a modern sports fan you have to conclude one of two things...either we are de-evolving and becoming weaker as a species OR Modern diagnostic tools like the MRI are finding stuff that was always there in every athlete but now blaming symptoms on those formerly'normal' deviations from 'perfect'
  5. sugarglider

    sugarglider Newcomer

    Thanks so much Jan for linking me to all these resources! The SEP had a recommendation to look over Alan Gordon's program page first, and when I did so I really loved the "evidence list" exercise where you compile all the evidence that what you are experiencing is not structurally based pain. It made things real, fast, because my list was very, very long; it made it clear that this is the right path. I continue to also work my way through the Curable app, and I journal everyday using Nicole Sach's method. My shoulder sensations are now quite minimal--the difference is huge, and in my attitude as well. I continue to go to PT but now with the goal of getting stronger, not to reduce my pain. I'm able to do more and more movements that would have caused a major flare up previously. Most of all I'm not so scared to move in certain ways or thinking it will be so catastrophic if I do have a bit of a flare-up. I am very eager to see what more happens as I keep working.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. sugarglider

    sugarglider Newcomer

    Thanks so much for these insights! I have had the same thought off and on as well over the years, although I didn't put two and two together before I started diving into all this. I wondered why the body was so fragile that these overuse injuries were happening so frequently, and how our ancestors or even some other cultures today can survive the continual, repetitive physical demands they must meet. I also wondered, specifically, why *my* body was so fragile and what was wrong with me that this kept happening. I am now trying to learn to think of my body as strong, healthy, and resilient. :)
    Baseball65 likes this.

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