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RSI-Symptom Obsessing/Abnormal EMG

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by OFFGRID, May 4, 2012.


    OFFGRID New Member

    I have been reading about TMS for nearly a year, spending countless hours every other day or so trying to find an "exact" connection between my chronic rsi symptoms and the symptoms suffered by others on tmswiki and other forums. The following is my personal doubt fuel:

    1-"Pain," such as constant burning, aching, tightness and weakness in my forearms (dorsal) is one thing, but the resulting loss of dexterity and motor control skills is the most frustrating. The muscles just burn, ache, get weak and tight and give out...I just can't lift them, they are exhausted. I have yet to find anyone experiencing the same issues 24x7. The symptoms began a few months after I went from almost Zero typing to typing 16+ hours per day (school & work).

    2- I have seen 8+ medical professionals of various degrees with no relief and only "one" objective finding (abnormal EMG). An esteemed neurologist who performed the test, stated that the Extensor Digitorum Communis is definitely not working properly, as if it has been suffering from chronic denervation. This muscle's function coincides with the location of all the symptoms listed above. However, I have yet to be diagnosed with anything in the past 2 years from any of these professionals.

    I am not worried about further injury or pain...my forearms are just so tired, tight and weak. They do not work properly and that is what prevents me from typing and doing everything else in life...not pain.

    I believe TMS exists. I fit the description of a TMS personality. I have experienced several events, which could fuel TMS. But I feel I can't move forward, unless I know TMS can cause the symptoms in "1" and TMS can cause the abnormal EMG finding in "2."

    I need your help...

    Thanks in advance for your responses,

    Jake (aka offgrid)
  2. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi Jake:

    I can feel your frustration from here! I've not had RSI, but instead of focusing on the symptoms of pain and numbness, why don't you start putting thinking about TMS and how to cure your symptoms that way. Are you writing in a journal every day? This can help you to find the root cause of your problem.

    What are you doing exactly? Are you writing in a journal everyday? This can help to uncover subconscious feelings that are keeping you in pain. Are you practicing any kind of meditation? Have you tried the Structured Educational Program here on the wiki? It's a really good program and a great place to start.

    Finding what is going to work for you is going to be different than anyone else. Because you're you, and we all have different backgrounds. I know there are others who've had RSI and will probably have more words of wisdom for you. But I say that a good program, journaling, playing around on your computer instead of simply working all day - can help you to regain a life of no pain.

    Good luck and please keep asking questions

  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Heya Jake,

    It can always be a frustrating to understand just what symptoms can be included as TMS. But this doubt is part of the the TMS distraction. Whenever we question whether we have TMS, we are providing our unconscious mind the distraction it wants so much. TMS practitioner Alan Gordon recently addressed this issue as part of our Q&A program. You can read his response in the thread Is is PPD/TMS or a Structural Issue. Our mind will always find some sort of issue to try and prevent us from fully accepting the diagnosis.

    It sounds like your doubt is because your symptoms are not simply chronic pain. I'm not a doctor, so I can't say if you have TMS or not, but TMS will present itself in any form it can to distract us from our emotions. For some people this is chronic pain, but it can also manifest itself in any variety of medically unexplained symptoms. We need to recognize that our mind is very clever and powerful in the symptoms it can create. The Le Roy NY Tics case and the Desiree Jennings case are two examples of the seemingly bizzare cased TMS can create. Think of it this way, if you know that chronic pain is most likely TMS, then your mind might seek to create chronic symptoms that are not pain related, i.e. weakness or loss of control, instead, because we won't view them as TMS to begin with. Once a doctor says you won't harm yourself, I think treating the seemingly bizzare and unexplained conditions as TMS is a good idea.

    Also, you said these symptoms started occuring when we began typing a lot more for school and work. Could this school and work change have added stress in your life? How did you feel when you made this change? Investigate this time of your life and see if there was anything that could be behind these symptoms.

    OFFGRID New Member

    Sadly, I have intentionally not done any of the work. I thought that as long as TMS was a viable solution I would always have hope. If I work a program and it doesn't work...I will have no hope left. I just re-read that last sentence...that was really sad (pathetic actually).

    "Also, you said these symptoms started occuring when we began typing a lot more for school and work. Could this school and work change have added stress in your life? How did you feel when you made this change? Investigate this time of your life and see if there was anything that could be behind these symptoms."

    The amount of stress I have/had endured during this time was epic (work and school were the least of my worries). I recall having at least 1 or 2 panic attacks and I started to leave the T.V. on while I was falling asleep so I would be distracted from the flood of negative thoughts...I have easily definable reasons for TMS to occur.

    "The Le Roy NY Tics case and the Desiree Jennings case are two examples of the seemingly bizzare cased TMS can create."

    I completely forgot about the Le Roy students...actually I never made the connection before now. The idea of TMS just seems so illogical and downright EVIL!

    I am starting the TMSwiki program tonight.

    Thanks again for the responses,

    Jake (aka OFFGRID)

    PS - I might be interested in professional assistance via Psychologist...any idea what I would be looking for in a therapist (CBT, other)? There are no TMS therapists located near Pittsburgh.
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is good to hear that you are going to give the program a try. It is unfortante that there is not a TMS psychologist in your area. There is a guy, Larry Montemurro, in Mount Pleasent, PA but that may be a long drive for you. His info is on the Find a Doctor page. I would also recommend checking out the How to Choose a Therapist page. The important thing in finding a therapist is to look for someone who you are comfortable with. When you first meet them it would probably be a good idea to ask them if they have any experience treating clients who are recovering from chronic pain.

    This is exactly what TMS wants you to think. The idea that TMS is illogical is the thought that fuels the symptoms. It can, and is, frustrating at times, but if we understand how powerful our minds are, we can gain the knowledge to overcome these symptoms, no matter how illogical they may seem. It sounds like there is a lot of stress and anxiety going on in your life. These kind of situations can create a wide range of physical problems. Seeing a psychologist could really help you sort through some of these emotions as you go through your recovery.
  6. Justina

    Justina Peer Supporter

    Jake, I might be being a little dense here but I'm trying to help pick apart your points. Wouldn't chronic denervation lead to less pain/sensation in your arm, rather than more? You're clearly an intelligent person, how do you feel about a diagnosis of "lack of nerve sensation" to explain chronic feelings of aching and burning?

    I have RSI-like symptoms in my arms and lately I've had a lot of peripheral neuropathy (numbness, tingling, weakness, twitches) that's been fully examined with no definitive cause. These sensations have started to subside along with the pain and I'm confident they're part of TMS too.

    OFFGRID New Member

    Thank you Justina for your response...The ortho referred me to a vascular surgeon for venous/arterial tos, after the neuro's ncs/emg. The nerves apparently are not the issue, according to him...? The emg did have me puzzled, mainly because it coincided with my dysfunction (extensor digitorum/finger extension etc.), however, I am going to beat the hell out of my arms. No more holding back. If I am this weak and fragile at 30, then so be it! Let me fall apart! Thank you for your response...Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is the right attitude to have! It takes a bit of stubborness almost to say I'm not weak, I'm not fragile, and I'm going to do this. Sure it may take a bit to see results, but the more stubborn and committed you are to this approach the more progress you will see. The more you say to your brain, I am not worrying about the symptoms, I am going to do this, this quicker you will recover.
  9. Justina

    Justina Peer Supporter

    I've been trying hard to just get on with living and not worrying about the pain/fear.

    So last night... I played a computer game! Using a computer without need to! Frivolous clicking! It was amazing. I had a bit of pain then and still do, but it's nothing like what it was or what I imagined it would be.
  10. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    that is great to hear Justina! I went through something similar when I first started typing heavily again. I thought the pain would be really bad, but the more I typed and was on the computer the more my symptoms decreased. I really think that when we are active we show our unconscious mind that we are not fragile and this really helps us accept the diagnosis and break the pain cycle.

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