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"Tendonitis" and "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" in both wrists

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by Typer, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Typer

    Typer New Member

    On a day in October 2015, I was playing the piano and suddenly felt a snap in my right wrist. I have played this instrument since my early teens and never had any issues. From that day on I had pain whenever I typed on a PC, used a mouse, played the piano, used the toothbrush, ate food using cutlery, or similar. I work in IT, so it’s important to me that I can use a PC. I tried to keep the right hand still, but after a couple of weeks, the pain also started in the left wrist.

    From doctor to doctor...

    During the next nine months I went to all sorts of specialists within the field of medicine: three physicians, three physiotherapists, a manual therapist, a physical medic, a neuro-physiologist, an osteopath, three hand surgeons, and a neurologist. I was diagnosed with tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), or thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). I was prescribed NSAIDs to get rid of the suspected inflammation (no effect), took an X-ray (negative), tried electromyography (EMG) to check for CTS (positive for right wrist, negative for left wrist, which did not make sense), took an MRI of the wrists (negative), took an MRI of the neck to check for TOS (negative), took a blood test to check for autoimmune diseases (negative).

    The conclusions were ambiguous and did not lead to a coherent diagnosis. The doctors told me to keep the wrists still, the physiotherapists and similar specialists told me to do exercises and to use my hands normally. One hand surgeon gave me a cortisone shot, without any effect. Another hand surgeon identified a weakness in both thumbs and said surgery may help. Since I wanted to avoid surgery based on an uncertain diagnosis, I started doing more research on the Internet.

    Half a year after it all had started (spring 2016), I was still on 80% sick leave. I could not prepare a meal due to the pain. Stroking my newborn son was uncomfortable. I could not sleep on my stomach (my favourite position) because putting my wrists down on the bed hurt. At work, I used speech recognition (Dragon NaturallySpeaking), a foot pedal for mouse clicks, and a camera mouse (by University of Boston) to move the mouse.

    Could it be TMS?

    Around that time, I stumbled over the term “TMS” (tension myositis syndrome) on http://www.rsipain.com/other-personal-stories.php (Other personal stories - Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)) when I was actually looking for information about physical exercices. Since the exercises and everything else did not work, I read “The Mindbody Prescription” by Dr. John E. Sarno, which was mentioned somewhere on that website. I was intrigued by the book and the idea that the psyche can cause pain, and recognised myself in the book to a certain degree. I went through Sarno’s program, which was described in the book, and stopped doing physical exercises as suggested. During the following weeks, I felt a slight improvement and read and studied also other TMS books: The Divided Mind (Sarno), The Great Pain Deception (Ozanich), Think Away Your Pain and The Mindbody Workbook (both Schechter), and To Be Or Not To Be Pain-Free (Sopher). Some slight improvement, but I still doubted that it really was TMS.

    In summer 2016 I went on vacation for three weeks. To my huge astonishment, the pain decreased significantly during that time, although I had not used my hands less than usual. Was it because I was away from work or from home? Finally, I could touch my kids and play with them without pain. I could use a tablet PC and play games. During that vacation, I had an appointment with a neurologist, to whom a hand surgeon had referred me weeks ago. The EMG showed normal values this time. When I asked him why I still have some pain when putting down my wrists in bed, he was uncertain but suspected possibly reduced blood flow in that area for some reason (which would actually fit the TMS diagnosis!).

    I was now pretty sure that I had TMS, but I still wanted confirmation from a TMS doctor. Since I could not find a TMS doctor in the country I live in, I made an appointment with Dr. Gwozdz in New Jersey a few weeks later, since I would be in the US on vacation.

    The confirmation

    After the summer vacation, the pain started again. A few weeks later I went on vacation in the US. The pain did not go away as quickly as on the last vacation. Too much stress? When I had the appointment with Dr. Gwozdz at the end of the vacation, he asked me about my childhood and about stress related to family and work. Possible stress sources were some issues during childhood, issues related to the job, and that I had a newborn child. He guaranteed that I had TMS, which was very important for me to hear from him face-to-face. Afterwards he checked the classic TMS trigger points on my back; they hurt, which confirmed TMS. He said that Dr. Sarno had done the same test with him.

    I admitted to Dr. Gwozdz that I still was not 100% certain that I had TMS, because I had studied TMS books for several months with only minor progress. He again confirmed that I indeed had TMS (why else would I improve during vacation although I was not using my hands less?). He suspected that my support setup at work (speech recognition, camera mouse, foot pedal) was counterproductive, because with this I was telling my brain that my pain indeed had a physical origin. He advised me to ditch all support tools and see if this helps. Finally, he suggested that I join his lecture and then start his program, modified from Sarno. The appointment lasted 90 minutes.

    A few weeks later I joined the lecture by Skype and thought it was useful. Then I went through Dr. Gwozdz’s program for the next few weeks. Since the improvement was very slow and I had some throwbacks, I ordered Sarno’s lecture on DVD, which gave me further confirmation that I indeed had TMS.

    Finally improving

    Now, after having worked with Dr. Gwozdz’s program for about six weeks (and one year after the pain started), I am 99% painfree. I am back at work 100% and can work on a PC all day long, mostly without pain. Sometimes, the wrists still hurt a little, but it’s not limiting or annoying. And now I know how to deal with it. I finally have my life back and owe Dr. Gwozdz and Dr. Sarno a debt of gratitude - thank you!
    cdub, Dorado, Jules and 1 other person like this.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing! Post your success story on Thank you, Dr. Sarno site - he will be delighted to read another triumphant confirmation of his theory.
  3. cdub

    cdub Peer Supporter

    Did you have tingling with your carpal tunnel or just pain?
  4. Typer

    Typer New Member

    I did not have tingling, but tingling can also be related to TMS.
  5. cdub

    cdub Peer Supporter

    Huh... If there wasn't tingling it certainly shouldn't have been a carpal tunnel diagnosis by your doctor then.

    I'm dealing with wrist pain and tingling in fingertips. Pain in shoulders at times too. And elbows.
  6. Typer

    Typer New Member

    Some of my doctors said that pain without tingling can also be related to carpal tunnel syndrome. Anyway, in my case the cause for the pain was not carpal tunnel syndrome (and not tendonitis). It was TMS, which lead to oxygen deprivation and thus pain in my wrists.

    The symptoms that you mentioned sound a lot like TMS to me as well. If you have not already, I recommend reading the books by Sarno and others, which are listed in my report.
  7. cdub

    cdub Peer Supporter

    I've read the books a couple of times but still having some doubts. I'm trying to use some of the thinking in that it is psychologically induced when I feel the pain. Still not sure though.

    Also carpal tunnel is horribly over used as term. If you don't have tingling in your thumb and first three fingers then it is NOT carpal tunnel and just RSI.

    I'm glad you're doing better. Hope to be doing better soon too.

    I'm in the Los Angeles area and I know there's a couple TMS docs here. Maybe I'll try to see one.

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