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Alex B. RSI and TMS

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    I had TMS in my back for 8 years. Found the book last year, it saved my life. Now I am worried I wont be able to once again have a normal life because of the RSI symptoms I am experiencing every time I type or write or drive or even brush my teeth. I have read the section on Carpel tunnel in the MindBody Prescription but have not experienced relief. Any advice of different sections to read or how to be able to type or write again without extreme discomfort. My symptoms are a numbness/tingling from my elbow to my pinky and ring finger, often in my left arm (dominant) but also often switching sides or in both sides.
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi and thanks for the question.

    Let's start with some good news: RSI is a very common TMS symptom. I've seen it in many of my clients and it is definitely something that can be managed. Secondly, your pain seems to be variable and it's moving around and changing a lot. This is one of the surest signs that what you're dealing with is psychogenic, i.e. TMS. So, to reiterate, it seems very likely indeed that what you are experiencing is the result not of damage to your body, hands and arms, but rather something that is going on internally.

    It seems as though you have a fairly strong conditioned response with regards to typing and writing. This can happen when a certain activity becomes associated with pain and symptoms. You begin to fear that every time you undertake these activities the pain will come in and make things miserable. You start to expect it and even look for it. This is essentially like opening the door for pain. Part of overcoming TMS involves questioning and challenging the pain - when you expect it, when it arrives and you aren't in the least surprised, it becomes that much more difficult to really question and confront it.

    Finally, you don't mention here if you've taken this step or not, but seeing a physician who's familiar with TMS could be helpful. They might be able to give you some clarity and peace of mind with regards to whether you have structural issues that can account for your symptoms or not.


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     
    Walt Oleksy likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Guest, I like the reply you got from Alex Bloom. You seem to have gotten a conditioned reflex,
    associating hand pain with typing or daily personal care activities. Another person posted about
    the same problem today and my advice to them and you is the same: deprogram your mind
    that your pain is associated with an activity. Accept the pain, then use distractions to get it out
    of your mind. And keep working to discover the repressed emotion(s) that cause the pain.

    Take time out to enjoy the day. Find things to do and think about that can take you to a happier state of mind.
    I find that relaxation videos on Youtube are great for that. I watch them while deep breathing.

    I've also recently discovered how relaxing it is to rub a little Vicks Vaporub on my temples and forehead
    and under my eyes and nose. It's a very comforting self-massage, and while doing it I tell myself
    that any stress is from TMS.
     

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