1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Rsi folks

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by mr tms, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. mr tms

    mr tms New Member

    Hey guys,

    I am a 15 year sufferer of rsi in my hands and forearms for which I am currently off of work after a bad relapse and 24/7 pain. Have had all sorts of tests, treatments, and "conditions" over the years with little to no luck, and the only finding on ultrasound was moderate tendonosis of my right flexor tendon. Given my wide and bilateral distribution of pain in these areas, that obviously doesn't correlate with my symptoms.

    this and many other factors has led me to tms as my real logical issue. I accept it plainly, but there is certainly doubt about how to resume activity quickly as I am going back to work next month and have been unable to type for more than brief periods. It seems like most of the success stories on this took a cautious and very gradual approach, but I was wondering if you could go into a little more detail on how quickly you ramped back up. And, if you had little time and had to dive right back in full bore, do you really believe you would have been ok? As I've been testing things lately, my pain has been increasing, so I'm unsure if it is smart to go back to work yet or not. Thanks so much for the help.
  2. mr tms

    mr tms New Member

    Also of note is that speech recognition has given me voice issues, like forest. :)
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Those voice issues were one of the worst things that happened to me because it was yet another symptom preventing me from doing what I loved to do. My recovery was pretty quick compared to some others. I gradually started increasing my activity and when things didn't go horribly wrong I believe in TMS increased significantly. My symptoms did increase a bit at first, but it stabilized and began to reduce over time. One of my biggest fears was what would happen if I was active. My fear of what would happen was always worse than my actual symptoms, even though they were severe. Seeing that my symptoms didn't continue to worsen helped me overcome my fear and gain believe that my symptoms were benign, which is the ultimate goal of TMS.

    Resuming activity really depends on the individual person. Dr. Sarno suggested that one resumes physical activity once their symptoms reduce. This will help ensure that your confidence in the approach won't be shaken if/when your symptoms increase due to being active. Of course, other people (and I include myself in this) also had success by being active earlier. It is more about your own level of believe and where you are in your recovery.

    The effects that pressure has on preventing one to recover cannot be stated enough. We do not go through our recovery in a vacuum. You are obviously going to have other things going on in your life be it attending a wedding, running a race, or returning to work. It can be difficult to avoid doing these things, so it is important to understand the effect they are having on our health. When you know you have to go back to work in a month you are putting a tremendous amount of pressure on yourself to recover right away. This activates your stress response and makes you hyper-activated, which increases your symptoms and generates more anxiety. It is hard to believe your symptoms are benign and allow your emotions to be present when you are overwhelmed by anxiety.

    One of the most beneficial things you can do is to identify how this pressure is manifesting itself in your body. It is amazing at how inept TMSers are at recognizing when we are stressed out and anxious. Simply monitoring when our body is hyperaroused and activated can help us reduce the effects stress and pressure have on us. There is a great article on this called Self Monitor. It is also always important to understand why certain events create pressure and stress. Why is returning to work creating pressure? What does the job mean to you? How would you feel if you cannot go back to work right away? Being able to answer questions like these will help you identify some of the reasons why you repress emotions and have TMS.

    Two other really great wiki articles are: Be a Scientist and Living Tension Free.
    Ellen and gailnyc like this.
  4. Stock Trader

    Stock Trader Peer Supporter

    These are good articles to re-read to bring full confidence on oneself. Thanks for sharing these.
  5. mr tms

    mr tms New Member

    Yes, the voice issues just make you feel totally inept as a person...I can't even talk normally??? LOL.

    My biggest problem is my activation/tension stemming from my fear of my symptoms. It's hard for me to get my head around my symptoms being benign after pushing through the pain before and getting bitten severely. This is what is holding me back from success and is why my initial tms "tests" have not gone as well as I might have hoped and why my symptoms have spiked while typing. I think I need to tale the long term view and that I won't necessarily be better on a return to work, but that I dont need to fear a major relapse. By the way, how did you handle relapses? Continue on as if nothing happened or back off until things settled down? I'm currently backing off due to the fear really, but know that I have to jump back in soon and get over it.

    The articles were very helpful in processing this, so thanks. You guys were incredibly brave to set the course on this for us folowers. I would never attempt this without all the success stories. Kudos.
  6. Moose

    Moose Peer Supporter

    Hi mr tms,

    I've had 'RSI' for about a year and a half. I found this site about 2 months ago and now my hands are about 80% better! I didn't have the option of a gradual approach to recovery, as I am a full-time software developer. So I just dove right in and worked 40 hours a week, PLUS a bit of computer games on the side.

    I'm not going to lie, there was about 2 weeks of really bad pain from this near the beginning. I began to realise I was not going have a 'miracle' cure that some people seem to have with TMS. But then it did start to ease off gradually, as my confidence in the TMS diagnosis rose and my fear receded. This is the big thing for me - even if I still get pain, I no longer fear using a computer or writing, like I used to. I KNOW I can carry on regardless. Having the fear recede really helped me accept that I might be in pain for some time and my recovery might take many months - because suddenly it didn't matter so much, because I had got my life back.

    So if you're starting work soon, please try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You need to accept that you might be in some pain when you work - and that pain might be intense - but KNOW that it will pass. Because it will. There are many ways to heal, and going slow or jumping right in can both work. Re-evaluate your success criteria: a good day at work will not be one that is pain-free, but one where you were not bothered by your pain and you did exactly what you want regardless. See Alan Gordon's post on 'outcome independence' here for more info: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/a-word-about-outcome-independence.562/

    I'd also recommend spending some time really thinking about what triggers your symptoms - aside from the obvious 'computer use' and (perhaps also obvious) 'stress'. For me, I realised a big trigger was feeling out of my depth - as in, being faced with a problem I don't know if I can solve/deal with, or feeling very time-pressured. Realising that there is a link between your psychological state and your symptoms (and there almost certainly will be) is important for accepting the diagnosis.

    Anyway, if you haven't yet, you should look at the Structured education program and think about working through it: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Structured_Educational_Program

    Let us know how you're getting on!
  7. mr tms

    mr tms New Member


    Thanks so much for your reply. I had seen your earlier thread about you having severe pain at the get go. I was hoping to hear that you had progressed since then. So glad to hear that things are on the way back down. You should be very proud of yourself for the courage you showed to believe through that.

    Your reply has really helped to down my fears. I am certainly willing to endure pain increases, even severe, on return to work if I can have confidence it will level out and go back down. Ready to do this now...hope to check back in with a success story at some point. At least I will settle for getting my life back. :)
  8. Moose

    Moose Peer Supporter

    Glad to help :) I should also mention that my pain actually got worse about a week or two into the TMS program. This can happen when you are deconditioning yourself - it's called an 'extinction burst' (described here: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Breaking_the_Pain_Cycle,_by_Alan_Gordon,_LCSW), so don't be too worried if your pain seems to get worse before it gets better!

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