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Symptoms other than pain (swelling and muscle spasms)

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by TG957, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello, everyone!

    New to this forum and wanted to say hi. I am on week 3 with Dr. Sarno's book and on Day 10 of the SEP. I have had this mysterious condition for 5 months now, but still have no clear diagnosis. I understand that in the sea of back pain, my symptoms are not well represented, so I am looking for validation whether I am in a right place.

    I do think my symptoms are TMS but they are not very common. They are more in line with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (or CRPS). I have it in both hands : swollen, stiff hands and fingers, tendons in fingers get very tight at random and at random loosen up, middle fingers are constantly numb and very often tingly, skin breaks out in red blotchy areas and then clears up, extremely sensitive to cold, sometimes I feel cold to the bones, sometimes my fingers feel very hot. I can make a fist or straighten out fingers for a few minutes at times, but most of the time they are curled in and very stiff. I can't write by hand, struggle with typing due to swollen, painful fingertips. recently stiffness, muscle contractures and pain spread into the right forearm. All the tests for RA, B-12, magnesium, thyroid etc. came back normal. Nerve conduction study showed some degradation of the nerve function in both hands.

    Dr. Sarno mentions RSD/CRPS as a TMS case, but very little said about successes treating it with Dr. Sarno's methodology when symptoms other than pain are present. I, with really nowhere to go (GP does not know, hand surgeon confirmed that that most of my symptoms are NOT carpal tunnel, rheumatologist looks lost, pain management MD is reluctant to call it RSD/CRPS because of nerve conduction study) am working through Dr.Sarno's book and just found your amazing recovery program but would LOVE to have a bit more confidence that I am on the right track and in fact have TMS.
    Have anyone seen successes with Dr. Sarno's approach when swelling and muscle/tendons contractures are present?
    Would be delighted to contribute to this forum for other miserable souls punished by RSD. Many, many thanks in advance !!!!!!
  2. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had all of your symptoms except I wasn't sensitive to cold. My fingers at time feel like burning. The tips feel sensitive and hurt when I typed. Can't hold my chopsticks and have to eat with big handle fork and spoon.
    My old and wise doctor told me: "I don't exactly know what you got but I have never seen anyone die from it or permanently disable by it".
    Since conventional med really don't help much, why don't you just take a leap of faith and really really treating as tms for a month and see how it go. Got to really devote and go for it %100. even %99 won't work.
  3. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    balto, many many thanks!

    i finally found someone with the same symptoms, it gives me more confidence. After a week or so of doubts, i have been going 100% for it, doing the SEP on this site (forever grateful to Alan Gordon and his colleagues for putting it together), reading Sarno's book and pushing my physical exercise every day inch forward. I did not buy the CTS diagnosis that Kaiser doctors are trying to sell me, along with steriod injections and surgery.

    The more I think about randomness of the spasms and how they travel from place to place, the more I believe it is my brain playing with me. I have a 30-year long history of severe migraines and lower back pains, which, incidentally, disappeared not long before this ordeal started. I found at least couple posts on the RSD/CRPS forum from people who used either Sarno or somewhat similar approach to heal.

    BTW, 17 years ago, I was able to beat back severe lower back pain to a nearly recovery by just ignoring pain and pushing forward, but I did not realize how tied it was to all the extreme stresses i was going through at the time.

    Best of luck to you and all those of you on this forum!
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Balto has it right. TMS healing belief has to be 100 percent or some pain will remain, sometimes lots of it. It's like Dorothy clicking her ruby red slippers together in "The Wizard of Oz." She got home again because she believed she could. We heal from TMS pain because we believe we can, and we do.
    Marytabby likes this.
  5. Grateful17

    Grateful17 Well known member

    Hi TG957,
    Something you said in this last post, made me think of what I learned with TMS healing. And that is SI. (Symptom Imperative). You said that your 30 year history of severe migraines and lower back pains incidentally disappeared not long before this ordeal started (your hand issues, RSD)......BINGO. The brain still feels the need to overprotect you with a physical diversion (TMS) and the more real or scary it seems, the more it has you focused on your body. Fear & Focus will fuel the symptoms.

    Have you read the best book on TMS ever???? The Great Pain Deception by Steven Ozanich. Amazon.com has it. Fantastic read.

    Learning to let go of the fear and pre-occupation around the symptoms is key to recovery. It seems cruel, but the brain really is just trying to protect us when it comes to TMS.

    Based on your past history and symptoms you mention it sure does sound very convincing that this is TMS and what you are dealing with now is just the most recent ploy the brain is using.

    There is a book called The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal. When I looked up HANDS in her book, here is what it says:

    Inability to handle life. Saying, "I Can't deal with things."
    Lending a helping hand to everybody else in need but yourself.
    Experiencing Stiffness and Fist Clenching.
    Too much criticism and worry, which creates arthritic hands.
    Fear of the future, which creates hands that grip too tightly and lack faith in their ability to create.

    Some or all of this may resinate with you or not. I have had these hand issues in the past and they resolved with TMS knowledge, journaling, mindfulness and tapping.

    The first time I ever noticed it was after I had written out some Christmas Cards one year. The next day, I woke up and BOTH hands were extremely painful, stiff, slightly swollen, cold, etc. I remember thinking at the time, WOW, all I did was write out some cards, there is no reason for this crazy pain. (I did not know about TMS at the time) So it slowly self resolved but would come back at times. Only after learning of TMS, did I make the connection and it has not happened since.
  6. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle


    Thank you for your wonderful response! I am working on two Sarno's books and Ozanich's book is next on my list. I think my hands story started much like yours. I just was given a bad diagnosis by MD, who also proved to be one of the most heartless MDs I met in my life (yes, an 'unloading all of it' letter to her is already in my TMS journal). I just need a good psychoanalyst to talk my mess through and figure out how to allow myself cry again.
    Grateful17 likes this.
  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you!
  8. Fal

    Fal New Member

    I know this is an old post but I feel like I’m in a similar situation and have since read your success story but not your book as of yet.

    Two years ago I started with having painful hands whenever I tried to make a fist, the more I did it though the easier it became until I slept and then I would have to do it again. As time went on my I struggled to put my hand palm down on anything and straighten my arm as pain would shoot right up my forearm. I notice even to this day my index and middle fingers will raise from the floor when I try to straighten my arm which says to me a muscle is tight.

    I went to a rhuematologist who tested me for RA but clearly told me this was a muscular skeletal issue and passed me on to a physio. Physio also agreed and gave me “stretches” to make it better. My stress levels and anxiety were very high as I truly believed I had something seriously wrong.

    After a panic attack at work I was taken to hospital, and eventually given anti depressants. Fast forward 3 months and all of sudden my forearms realeased (looking back this was my first evidence of TMS being the cause). Fingers were looser and I could straighten my arm a lot better, left arm fully and right arm 90 percent.

    Thought I was finally on the path to recovery but then I had to do a stool sample, told me it was abnormal and that I had pancreatis despite having no symptoms of it. Stress and anxiety increased again and I had already stopped the anti depressants by this point. Went gluten free due to thinking I had a leaky gut (which partly I think did due to a poor diet) and a lot random stuff I was dealing with went away.

    Food intolerance place told me after a test that I was intolerant to a lot of things and needed to take pro and pre biotics.

    All was fine until October last year, when I started getting trigger finger in my both my index fingers and my attempts to fix it by stretching my hands then caused pain in the rest of my fingers and wrists. This is when I found out about TMS.

    As of right now every morning I will wake up and my fingers will be slightly stiff, feel swollen for about an hour in a morning and then they will be fine for the rest of the day unless they get cold and the pain would be worse. I’ve had periods of cold hands despite the room being warm, the trigger finger has stopped though the nodules have almost gone. I also have pain in my shoulders (more so in my right one) and the muscle behind my knees also hurt whenever I get up after sitting.

    I know I have tight muscles but no amount of stretching or exercises stops it so I’m fully of the belief it’s TMS but some mornings I get down about it.
  9. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Best of luck! You are on the right path and you will succeed!

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