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The last hope. RSI, foot/ankle problems and back pain.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by JoelA, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

  2. JoelA

    JoelA Peer Supporter

    Regarding evidence sheet

    Hi all,

    I havn't posted in this thread for some time, thought I might give you'll an update.

    Starting off with the bad news, I still struggle with belief. It is around 70-80 % right now. I'll visit a TMS doc in NY early in december, flying in from Sweden in a combined holiday and doctor visit. Does anyone have any recommendations of which doctor that would boost my confidence the most (and in a reasonable pricerange?)

    I've been following advice given and started an evidence sheet, which helps alot. Most of my symptoms are gradually disappearing, but unfortunaltly they are replaced by new "chronic ones" which gets my attention. I know of the symptome imperitive concept but it "feels so real..".

    Follwing is the evidence sheet I am working on. If anyone got any experience with hamstring and piriformis syndromes it would be appriciatated.


    • Pain goes down when with friends.
    • The pain jumps around alot.
    • Exercise lowers pain immensly.
    • Back on a bicycle again
    "older symptoms"
    • Gets worse when I get frustrated (example of when working with a computer during my summerjob (yes, a computer and a job, I thought that to be impossible in apr-13) Although I worked for 5 hours, during this time the pain lowered from 7 to 3 on a scale 1-10, due to the fact that
    • Got "RSI" in my left hand, took around 1 week and my right hand followed. Impossible?
    • my thumbs are alot better, they worked while playing videogame. I now again text with my thumbs and it doesnt bother me at all. It doesnt hurt!
    • A physiotherapist said it was psychosomatic.
    • When I journaled about the feeling of alienation in a certain event my pain went 6 -> 3
    • I could climb without any pain the day after!
    • I can use the computer mouse without problems -> especially when focusing on the task !
    Foot / Ankle / heel
    • I've been jogging 1,5 km without pain the next day!
    • The pain increase when I think "about my foot and standing up for long periods of time".
    • The pain may come and go when I sit down, not using the foot
    • It often gets worse when I feel the need to be a " social pro ". Many examples of this
    • Upper - slept and woke up with pain. It can not hurt to sleep. Impossible .
    • Middle back - getting better and better and is 90% cured.
    Newer symptoms
    Started to kick in when looking at buying a new ultrabook, a computer that is smaller then the one Ive been using for 6 years. Last time I "went smaller" my hands started to hurt, ending in me selling the computer and going back to the larger one. Now the TMSing tried to put the "fear of smaller computers" in my elbow, and I did actually avoid the ultrabook the first week, and my elbow just got worse.

    After one week I realized this was TMS. So, when I went "this is TMS, I dont give a sh*t , I do not care if it hurts etc., the pain subsided.

    Hamstring/piriformis syndrome
    • Pain "can" move from this area and cardio training relieves it. (But most of the time its there.)
    • - (no more, and this is whats worries me)
    Logically this should be TMS aswell. But I am not as confident as all the other "injuries" - and I believe this is holding me back, and I could use some advice. The trigger was a 1 month intense ashtanga yoga instructor course in June-13, which I took to mentally overcome that it was something wrong with my body. The pain came gradually, and after finishing the course an aching sensation had begun in my hamstring. It soon kicked in my (outer) buttock, aswell. Not being able to resist reading "yoga injuries" I stumbled across this http://nikivetten.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/yoga-butt/ which crashed onto me, thinking that this could actually be an injury. Visiting a physiotherapist, getting "active releasing exercises", excentric strengthening exercises and a few ones reactivating the gluteus medius that "was deactiviated" I get promised that the pain will subside after 4-6 weeks. After 3 months of intensephysio its not getting better, its only getting worse. Illogical. (flexibility hasnt increased)

    But the problem is that when I try sun salutions pain strikes in either hamstring or buttock, and it starts to get worse. I do love yoga, it makes me feel sooo good. and overstretching injuries can take time. So I do not know what to do. Can a TMS-doc distinguish this?

    Anyhow, Ill stop here. Any advice is naturally appriciated. I do make progress though.

    EDIT: Please excuse spelling errors, grammar etc. English is not my primary language (obviously)
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Joel. How have you been doing since April? Others have said it takes time, and it does.
    SteveO's book is great help with TMS healing.

    As for how to dig deeper into your subconscious mind, I think journaling back to your childhood
    will help. And recognize you have an achiever personality and may be putting too much pressure on yourself.

    SteveO posted this recently on TMSiki and it's good advice for all of us.


    If a medical examination shows your pain is not caused by structural damage, it is very likely caused by TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome), a reduction in oxygen to parts of the body caused by repressed emotions that can and usually go back to our childhood.

    Steve Ozanich, author of The Great Pain Deception, says:

    I think you do know what the conflict is (the repressed emotion such as anger, guilt, rejection, desertion, a perfectionist personality, physical or emotional abuse from a parent or sibling or others, etc.).

    But if it's too emotionally painful, or taboo, or unthinkable, then you can't allow it to surface, thus the physical symptoms. It wants to be let go, but the TMS stops it in its tracks.

    You don't have to know what "the" thing is that is causing your pain, or unpleasant symptoms. Over the past 12 years I've seen people get worse by trying to find the magic healing bullet. But it doesn't usually work. And--if you read the new Foreword that Dr. Sarno wrote, he said it was "fruitless" to try to make the unconscious become conscious.

    So, I tell people to look at your current life, and to forget the past for now. Your past is what got you here, it formed your personality, and how you respond to stress in your adult life. But it's gone, temporally. So you have a certain Type T persona, and your current life has you under the gun. As I wrote, I believe it is all about relationship. Check your current relationships, and let go of the past ones. Your TMS is there due to some fragmenting of a relationships, or relationships.
    TMS occurs because of a reaction. Your physical body is reacting to something. If your body didn't react, then you wouldn't have any symptoms. But the presence of TMS shows that your body is responding. The response is to over stimulation. Most people can recognize a physical reaction to stress, and tension from stress. But they usually aren't aware of "how much" they are responding due to repression and ego. The ego covertly hides how much things are bothering us. The ego is also the thing that causes the reaction, or response. If we placed no attachment to the criticisms or rejections, in relationship, there would be no TMS. The ego is the thing that causes the over reaction.

    So you have TMS because you are reacting to life. How you are reacting is how you learned to react as a child. You can change all that through letting go. Letting go is a book in itself, with many ways, and many takes.

    Healing is a personal thing, in that, no one can show you how to forgive, or to have faith or belief. No one person can tell someone how to have courage and strength. Those things come through personal revelations within the self.

    This struggle you go through to gain peace inside is life itself. This is what life is all about, the overcoming of fear and darkness through personal struggle. You don't want to jump to the end, you want to live each day turning the pages slowly, growing.

    But, there are core concepts that we all can follow. Let go, laugh more, help others, stay physically active, and socially engaged, live with a purpose, stick with a daily transparent act, never think of the body, see light where darkness exists, and BELIEVE you will be ok.
    marjrc and G.R. like this.
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Joel,
    I read your post with interest since it had "foot pain" in it. I have had a very good recovery from foot pain. Luckily I have not had so many areas of the body in pain as you. And TMS, and occasional pain is still a daily meditation.

    Reading your Evidence list, as an outsider I am struck with the amount of progress you have made, on so many areas of the body. This speaks to your determination and learning, and learning on a deep level!

    I say this with respect: I am not a doctor but I am sorry that you are in doubt when it comes to the Pirformis/Hamstring pain. Of course the doubt will be there, the fear too; that is part of the TMS. How could it be different? As an outside observer, this pain completely fits with all the other pains you describe. It seems suspicious that this one thing is an "exception." But to fear that it is an exception would be a great strategy to keep you worried about pain/body.

    But please look back above that at the long list of successes: back 90% "healed," etc. In all areas you are finding inconsistencies in the pain (exposing it as TMS) and progress. If something is truly injured, it won't feel good the next day, or after running 1.5 kilometers. You're seeing through TMS.

    In other words, objectively there is huge progress. But the mind still doubts...And kooking for physical explanations is another expression of that doubt, in my opinion.

    I think we've all been conditioned by a medical industry that doesn't know about the sources of chronic pain: they lead us to believe that these parts of our bodies are injured! It is the only way that they know how to explain the pain. Biologically, tissues repair themselves in short order, according to the "experts."

    If you have doubts, journal about them. Be there for yourself in your fear. It's OK. You've been through a lot. But don't believe them. Don't lose ground after all the learning you have done. Recognize what you have achieved, try to be patient with yourself, and the process---and observe the fearful thoughts. This article might help as a reminder. It discusses observing the stream of fearful thoughts, but not believing them. I am starting to simply count them as they arise in a ten minute period, as a way to disengage. http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Breaking_the_Pain_Cycle,_by_Alan_Gordon,_LCSW

    I can see I am being direct and trying to "pump you up." I am not trying to be critical. Best to you in your progress!!
  5. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Hi, JoelA,
    I wanted to recommend the doctor I went to in New Jersey right outside New York who was
    amazing, Dr. Paul Gwozdz. He totally confirmed the TMS diagnosis . He took a social history and then explained what events in my past and present would be causing the TMS. He, himself also had TMS before
    he went to medical school. He got a hold of Dr. Sarno's book and went to see Sarno and
    did cure himself. Dr. G. is very thorough and has a clear understanding of TMS. I highly
    recommend him. If you are coming to the states in December, I would recommend you
    make an appointment with him very soon since he might be booked up.

    Although he is a medical doctor, he has a strong background in psychology. I was very impressed
    how he explained why my emotions would be causing the pain. I feel very clear now
    how to heal.
  6. JoelA

    JoelA Peer Supporter

    Hi and thanks for all the kind replies. They all help me and encourage me immensly. Reading the answers today, I realize that I see them differently then in April. I get the concept of TMS on a much deeper level. I do journal, I do meditate and I do visualize. I know it takes time. And I will let it take time. @ G.R. I got an appointment with Paul Gwozdz (how do you pronounce his last name? Gwozdojjz? Thats probably not right but he nice lady in the reception understood when I called in from Sweden. I see him in mid-December. It is really good to realize that I'm probably seeing the right guy. I will ask him about the next section of this post aswell. Regarding the hamstring/piriformis problems.If anyone got any input or experience on this particular problem it would benefit me more then anything right now. Today I saw a specialist in these sorta "injuries". Not certain that this was a good idea, but I did. He started off looking for tender points, found a few which did hurt, followed by ultrasound'ing these spots. The doc concluded that scar tissue had formed at at least two places (outer hamstring and at medius gluteus). He continued to explain (and show on the ultrasound-screen) that the new blood vessels had formed to nutriate this area during the healing process hadnt disapperad and were still there. accompanying these blood vessels, he explained, were nerves that got pinched when moving, as they werent supposed to be there in first place. He continued suggesting prolotherapy and attacking the scar tissues it with a golfball/tennisball and breaking it up with aggressive (all weight on elbow)-massage. According to him prolotherapy helps as it goes in and cuts off the blood to the specific blood vessel and thereafter the nerves disappear aswell.. or something like that. For me it sounds reasonable, but it also shatters my belief in TMS, a belief that is so fragile. I do work with journaling, meditation etc. I tried to discuss the pschyosomatic concept with him, but he just smiled and shook his head, telling me that the mind surely can amplify pain but not cause it. ESPECIALLY not this. So could this be TMS aswell? Or could it be incurable?
  7. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Hi, JoelA,
    I am just so happy you made an appointment with Dr. Gwozdz. You will be very happy that you did.
    He can answer all your questions. I would suggest writing down every question you may have; especially
    about any doubts or recommendations other doctors gave you. And, I am sure they told you to bring
    any tests you had.

    You are in excellent hands. I know I felt a lot better after I saw him. He is so down-to-earth and honest
    and above all a very good clinician.

    I know how hard it is when you have professionals telling all these different versions of what they think
    is wrong. May I suggest try to put all this medical information to rest until you see Dr. G. I have found
    TMS feeds on all our fretting about the medical information and it just increases the pain. I would
    highly recommend you stick to associating the underlying emotional reasons that is going on
    beneath the surface of your conscious. When the symptoms cry out to you and want your
    attention, take a deep breathe and say to yourself these symptoms are caused by repressed emotions
    like anger, anxiety, fear... And start thinking about what could be eating at you instead of thinking
    of the symptoms. DIFFICULT I KNOW.

    I know this is a Catch 22 but I personally know it works. At first it may seem like you are not getting
    anywhere with the symptoms because they are still raging but when we keep at talking to our
    minds/brains that we are healthy and this is due to some psychological emotion that probably is
    repressed, it works. For some quickly but I think for most people little by little you reprogram your
    brain. It is almost like you are training a dog (your brain). Take a firm stand that you are going
    to completely, 100 % heal and recover, no matter what any doctor says and no matter what your
    symptoms are saying. Just taking a firm stand, reprograms the brain for healing.

    Journaling, meditation, seeing Dr. G., these are all right things to do. Put more emphasis on these
    things than the pain. Try to keep your mind totally off the symptoms, that will help shut the symptoms
    eventually down. Remember the pain and symptoms are there to distract you what is really going
    on emotionally in our subconscious.

    You are going to get to the other side; you just wait and see. You are going to do awesome.
  8. JoelA

    JoelA Peer Supporter

    Thank you G.R. Exactly what I needed to hear at this point. It means alot that you took your time and wrote such a kind answer. Besides, that goes for everyone in this thread. It somehow feels like a safe healing haven, the wiki.
  9. Ruth_L

    Ruth_L Peer Supporter

    Hi, I can totally relate. I've had plantar fasciitis for over 15 years. I just stumbled onto tms. At night before bedtime I'm listening to Dr. Sarno read from his back book, even though it doesn't directly apply to me, what he says really does apply universally. You can get it on itunes. He makes so much sense. Also am looking at affirmations as well. Sending positive healing energy your way. For RSI (which I have) I have these glove-like things I got from an office supply store, plus these other things on my laptop which help. For my feet, I wear Olukai Ohana flip flops all the time, also bought Plantar Fasciitis orthotics by Sof Sole and wear Asics tennies. But mostly I'm wearing Olukai Ohana shoes. Everything helps. Everything.
  10. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    For me, the "better the specialist," for my foot pain, the more "wrong" things they found. I honestly don't think most of them have a clue about what causes pain.

    I went to a sports medicine dr who keeps Olympic athletes healthy. He spent two hours examining both left and right feet and calves, etc. I had come into him with a diagnosis of "nerve damage" and "plantar facciitis." After two hours of probing, he assured me I those two problems, and then added 4 more highly specific issues to the list.

    None of it matters now. Hang in there and forget the physical explanations, is my hope for you.
    Ellen likes this.
  11. JoelA

    JoelA Peer Supporter

    An update:

    Now it's 2 months ago since I last posted. I met with Dr Gwozdz in NJ at the 9th of December. He reassured that I had TMS and summerized me as a classical case and that I should be an "easy heal". Following his and Dr Sarnos protocol for approximately 4 weeks (going through the list of items between 10-20 times a day, momentarily acknowledging them one by one) have led up to two things.

    Firstly, I've developed a light tinnitus in my right ear and with this a strong shift of focus to the whizzing sound.
    Secondly, the pain level of my body has been lowered.

    It has only been a few days and I don't want to draw any conclusions from this yet, but in TMS-theory this could imply that I have it "on the run". Nonetheless, a symptom that can't be fixed by exercising is in nature more proof to me then anything that this actually can work.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
  12. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle


    I am so happy that you have gotten the diagnosis from Dr. G. and that you are seeing a shift in the symptoms. My story is not like yours (with so many symptoms), but what I see is that you are accepting the diagnosis of TMS. I think you are really on your way, and I would encourage you to review the evidence that this is TMS, every time your mind doubts the diagnosis, or fear comes up. The mind takes (in my case) some time to turn itself away from the pain strategy, and what helps is the strong evidence, or any evidence that excites you, that the pain is TMS based. This shakes up the pattern of belief that the pain is physical. So I am excited for you.

    I am now running four miles in the hills every other day, and less than a year ago, I was getting ready for nerve surgery, barely able to hobble to the bathroom. Keep up the good work!!

  13. JoelA

    JoelA Peer Supporter

    Half a year later since my last post and a year+ since my first I'd like to give you all an update.

    I have gotten ALOT better. I have more energy, gained weight, I can exercise more and my fear and worry is losing its tight grip. I am healing. Today, right now, my RSI/foot/back pain is down to 20-30% of the original pain. I throw kettlebells around in the gym again, practising jumping and I use the computer as much as I want. My hamstring/buttock pain is much better aswell. I just do things. I am slowly changing habits and regaining my life. Soon I'll move in with a friend in Stockholm city and ill take up dance/cooking classes, meet more ppl and just continue on the road to a happy life.

    So what has worked for me so far? Firstly,something that didnt work, was the approach of Dr Gwozdz with "thinking about the things you dont want to think about"-list. However it gave me confidence in the diagnosis. What had me leaping forward was Hillbillys approach (TMShelp-forum) who described TMS more of a anxiety/tension-disorder rather then the more symbolic language that Sarno & co uses, which clicked with me better. Also, SteveO, his book and persona, is an amazing source of healing. HAPPINESS COMES FIRST, THEN GOOD HEALTH WILL FOLLOW!. That is THE key.

    I'm not completely there yet though. I still have traces of pain and flare ups and tinnitus has taken over as the main symptom. I know its TMS though as it can disappear for long periods and sometimes just go away when back pain or w/e kicks in.

    But in general, I am just dead tired of having fear eating me alive. With this post I'm hoping to get a little push in the right direction.

    These sources have helped me and might help you aswell:

    DR Millers Abolish Anxiety (just awesome relaxation)
    Andrew Weils/Martin Rossmans guided imagery (I picture my stress as wide open scared eyes or a red nervous system, both of which I surround with a blue shimmering healing light.)
    SteveOs book. (It makes me feel safe and is probably the best book around there)
    Mind over medicine (Lissa Rankin. It gave me a strong connection of "conventional" medicine and TMS. Truly helpful)
    7 habits of highly effective ppl (it is about how and why habits are important to change - and it is easily translated into a TMS perspective)
    You are the Placebo (scientific, does not include spirituality, God or religion. it explains BELIEF in a way that clicks with me. Also explained habits scientificily)
    Hillbillys post at TMSHELP (it clicked)

    So anyhow. Please just confirm that tinnitus is TMS, tell me to continue to enjoy life and thanks to all of you.
  14. tmsandrew

    tmsandrew Peer Supporter

    yes, tinnitus can definitely be TMS as well (I used to have this....)

    Great to hear you are on the road back to enjoying your life again!

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