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Struggling with knee pain and swelling being TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by ragis45, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. ragis45

    ragis45 New Member

    I'll be brief with my background.
    I first was examined by Dr. Sarno back in the late 70's for serious back pain. I was in my early 20's at the time and was told I would need surgery to repair a degenerated disc (sounds funny now as to how someone in their 20's could have that bad of a case of degeneration). In any event, the pain eventually disappeared and I have been an advocate/disciple ever since. With that said, I have had a long and storied history with TMS equivalents; IBS, restless leg, various skin issues, prostatitis, allergies, bilateral knee pain, insomnia etc. I have unfortunately dealt with anxiety, panic and would consider myself mildly depressive. I have been in therapy and deal with childhood trauma, anger and esteem issues.
    Currently I am struggling with left knee pain and swelling. I had the knee scoped years ago for meniscus damage and it hasn't been the same since. Until recently though it was not a physical hinderance as I am very athletic. This past year it has become a problem as the stiffness, swelling and pain are preventing me from doing the things I enjoy.
    It was diagnosed as mild degenerative athritis.
    I am well along the way to treating this as another TMS equivalent. I have read a lot of research which implicates muscle issues as the real cause of pain in arthritis. And obviously from there one moves away from structural issues to muscular involvemnt and subsequently TMS.
    Sarno has said that in many cases the diagnosis of arthitis is incorrect and that it is really TMS at work. The one problem I have with this is, if arthritis pain/swelling can be addressed as TMS, then why do dogs get arthritis? Are they suppressing rage like us humans? Are they being misdiagnosed? Is it really arthritis they have when they get older and limp around? How do you make the distinction between pain from muscle involvement and pain the result of a true structural issue?
    Can anyone shed some light on this?
    Griffy's Mom likes this.
  2. Ollin

    Ollin Peer Supporter

    Hi Ragis45.

    You're asking a lot of interesting questions. Not being a TMS specialist I can only guess that true arthritis resulting from joint degeneration (structural problem) as an inflammation would produce some level of pain. While some believe that inflammation is a sign of a structural problem and cannot be TMS, others claim that even cancer can have emotional basis. But TMS can surely exacerbate the pain level one would feel from structural problems (Dr Sarno quotes stats that most spinal degeneration cases are asymptomatic).
    Do dogs get arthritis? Sure. All animals that live beyond their reproductive age are subject to some degeneration. The question is to what extent these structural changes should limit their capabilities, i.e. is the fear of being somewhat disadvantaged (TMS) making them feel more pain than the actual joint damage. Do dogs suppress rage? Yes! All animals subject to social order rules and responsibilities are bound to repress their feelings in order to be accepted/approved of by other dogs or their human owners.

    I think TMS is not unique to us humans, but I wonder if any pet owners here had experiences with medically unexplained symptoms in their companions?
    Griffy's Mom likes this.
  3. ragis45

    ragis45 New Member


    Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful comments. I realize that the issue of osteoarthritis is a complex one. I am struck, though, by the numerous studies that have been done that find uneven correlation between structural abnormalities as demonstrated in x-rays and pain; significantly as relates to the knee.
    As a TMS disciple, and one who has seen the Sarno method work first hand, I am convinced that TMS or the mind of the individual plays into pain of arthritis. I am also convinced that for most arthritic conditions the real pain and dis-ease is in the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the abnormal joint. This also points towards a TMS syndrome. The question I have is when does a structual issue in and of itself cause pain? Do most people who complain of arthritic pain/swelling not have the type and extent of structural issues that should cause pain? Are most people 'trained' to associate pain/swelling with the diagnosis of arthritis and then be default are captured in the pain syndrome? I wonder what would happen if, like back pain, it became more acceptable to think of arthritic pain as not structural, but muscular and brought on by stress, tension, anger, repressed rage etc.
    This is all like an onion in the more you peel back the more questions arise.

    PS Interestingly, personally I can relate a very difficult emotional time to the onset of my current knee pain and swelling. And the pieces of the puzzle continue to fit in.....
    Griffy's Mom likes this.

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