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RSI in both arms, suspect this could be TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Soarer45_, Jan 10, 2021.

  1. Soarer45_

    Soarer45_ Newcomer

    Hi all,

    At the beginning of 2020 I began experiencing RSI symptoms in both of my wrists at once (specifically beginning at the base of my thumb). I suspected this was from my job since it involved filling out excel spreadsheets for 8 hours a day. I have also always been an avid gamer so the idea of it being caused by cumulative use of my hands made sense to me.

    Since then I have had MRI scans on my back, an X-ray of both of my wrists and a nerve conduction survey all to no avail. The pain has also progressed into my elbows and, more recently, my shoulder and traps. None of the doctors, physios etc. I've seen have been able to give me a clear or certain diagnosis of the problem. It's ranged from tendonitis to a pinched nerve in my back.

    In July I had to quit my job and college course due to the pain and want to get rid of this problem before proceeding with any career or education so it doesn't cause any problems in the future.

    I always had a hard time completely accepting that this was a matter of simple overuse because I had been doing this job for almost a year at the time with no problems. Furthermore, at the time the symptoms arose I had been doing little to no gaming or any activities using my hands outside of work which was unusual for me and made the timing of the symptoms all the more peculiar.

    I first heard about Dr Sarno's book 'The Mindbody Prescription' recently and bought is straight away. I was able to relate to many of the personality traits mentioned and upon reflecting on the time I first noticed the pain I realized how stressful that period of my life was (and to an extent still is). I also didn't have the smoothest of childhoods so there is much trauma to be found there as well.

    I have recently begun the structured education program and have was hoping for people's thoughts on whether I am correct in my assumption of this being caused by TMS. The pain pretty much only materializes after using my hand which supports the idea of overuse, but I know that the entire idea behind TMS is that your body doesn't want it to be noticed so this could just be deceiving me.

    I am also in a position where in order to receive unemployment from the government (which I need) I must go to a physio and talk to the doctor regularly - this is not negotiable. Is this likely to effect my recovery and stop me from completely accepting the theory?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    No. It is all in how you perceive it. We have all been told stuff by the 'structural medical world' our whole lives. When we learn about TMS and how it 'gets us' via ischemia, we need to unlearn all of that fascinating physiology we learned from back doctors, orthos, chiros and the like. Some times we have to interface them (i.e. your situation).
    I always use the Charlie Brown animated series adult voice.... When the doctor says "You have herniated, torn, strained, sprained," I go to myself, in my head "Wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah" and delete it ASAP.
    I avoid conversations that might reinforce the physical. A lot of us accidentally started identifying ourselves as a "sufferer" of this or that... we need to stop it.
    Both of my siblings have back pain and are seriously limited by the condition. I read Sarno and have been pain free for 20 plus years....they still bring up my back from time to time. "Hey...where is your weight harness..... Be careful, you'll hurt your back....." stuff like that. I politely change the subject.

    BTW I had that exact symptom in my thumb and blamed it on too much detail sanding with my hands. When the medic told me it was 'carpal whatever you ma-call-it' I instantly treated it like TMS and it went away.
  3. Jeather

    Jeather Peer Supporter

    Yes, I've had a variety of TMS pain in my wrists in different locations, including the one you describe. It eventually went away without me changing my lifestyle. Good luck!

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