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TMS and RSI Introduction

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by tmsrsi, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. tmsrsi

    tmsrsi Newcomer

    Hi Everyone. I'm Josh. I've had RSI in my hand, wrist, forearm and recently other parts of my arm going on almost 10 years. I used to be self employed selling different products on the internet and remember the pain started during a time when I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to be able to sell a lot, so that I could make a living. For the most part I've been able to manage to a certain degree by buying different ergonomic products, using braces, and sometimes taking ibuprofen. Within the past year I've gotten a couple tests done on both arms to determine if there was nerve issues and everything came back normal. Additionally, I was examined by a hand specialist and he could not find anything either. They told me that they didn't think it was carpal tunnel, so they couldn't recommend me for the surgery and they thought I might have tendonitis. They told me that I should just try and find a comfortable position at work and that they could give me a referral for physical therapy. I did not do physical therapy and I have just pretty much been managing up until this point. Although it seems like it has started getting uncomfortable even using all my "ergonomic" products. I'm currently working in an office environment at a computer all day and am going to be starting a new job with another company very shortly. I really want to get some resolution and closure to this problem as I have had some concerns about the amount of discomfort I have been feeling at work.

    I've had the Mind Body Prescription book for about 6 months now, but admittedly when I first got it I kind of dismissed it. This weekend I read the entire book and it honestly felt like I was being described in a lot of what was being written. I really believe in my heart of hearts that I am somehow causing this pain with my emotional state. I feel that my RSI pain is TMS. I made a list last night of all the things that were bothering me and stressing me out.

    When I got to work today I ditched my ergonomic keyboard and mouse and typed on my laptop and used an old wired basic dell mouse today. I worked for about 8 hours typing on my laptop and with the junky mouse. Honestly, it was a little uncomfortable. The discomfort came in waves and I would sometimes feel it in different parts of my arm. Everytime I found my self focusing on my arm I tried to interrupt my focus by focusing on the things that were stressing me out or the idea that the pain was being caused by my emotions and that it would not cause me any permanent damage.

    I noticed that a lot of people with TMS RSI and carpal tunnel symptoms tend to ramp their computer usage up a lot slower. Maybe just doing 30 minutes a day, then 1 hour and so on. I don't have that ability because I'm making a living on the computer currently. So, is it a good idea to ditch the ergonomic products totally at home and at work and go completely cold turkey and work on the computer for 8 plus hours a day without these products that do provide me some relief? Or should I use my products for part of the time and gradually ween myself off of them? I do have some concerns that the pain might build and be worse tomorrow than it was today as my arms feel very worn out right now. I'm currently typing this at home with a more "ergonomic" setup.

    Any advice or suggestions are more than welcome!

  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dear tmsrsi,

    Welcome, and congratulations on your quick application of Dr. Sarno's methods! Everyone handles how fast to taper off physical supports differently. I can't give you a recommendation on that. As you know, the more you think ergonomic devices are doing something, the longer you keep your mind anchored in "physical" rather than psychological thinking.

    I would recommend you start an "evidence sheet" where you record all the exceptions to the pain patterns. Such as today when you didn't have much pain, despite the lack of gear, and long day. Then you review this, so that the message goes deep that you are seeing breaks in the pain patterns, so the reasons for pain are not physical.

    Another thing you can do is really question that fear at the end of the day, about how you might feel tomorrow. That questioning really helped me. One night I was out pushing my bike through the mud, because I became lost on a desert route.

    I had to push and push the bike through thick mud, not knowing for sure the way out. I could feel a lot of fear arising about how much my foot would hurt the next day, being as I had not actually used my feet like this in about 4 years, and they were not even in "condition" from all the pain and lack of use I had undergone. I was pushing as hard as I could! I witnessed the fear, and realized I had no idea how the feet would feel the next day. This really helped. The next day my feet were fine. In a month or two I was backpacking again after many years of being disabled.

    Good luck in your TMS cure!

    Andy B.
  3. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    Yep, well done on finding TMS so soon. Forrest, the founder of this forum battled RSI symptoms so you can rest assured he knows the struggle. Also Harvard RSI is meant to be a good resource but you won't find anything there u can't get here.
    Take it easy, keep journaling and think through what might be bothering you. Knowing it was a benign condition was the biggest thing for me as I had freaked out thinking my body was completely beyond redemption. It's a scandal how chronic pain is treated at present in Allopathic medicine but that will be corrected in the coming years.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, tmsrsi. You're doing great. The main thing is doctors have said your symptoms are not structural,
    so you know they are from TMS, repressed emotions and/or a perfectionist-goodist personality.

    If you haven't yet, I urge you to start the Structured Educational Program, free on that subforum of
    this web site. Id has helped many, many TMsers to heal.

    And practice deep breathing and also laughing. Laughing has driven my worries, anxieties, and pain away
    every time I laugh. Even if don't watch a funny movie or tv show, I just pretend there is something funny
    and laugh. Even just a few seconds of laughing and I forget what bothered me.
  5. tmsrsi

    tmsrsi Newcomer

    Thank you for the replies Andy, IrishSceptic, and Walt. I did take a look at the Harvard RSI information (I found it to be very useful) and I also have taken a look at the structured educational program. Laughing and deep breathing is a great idea Walt! Andy the evidence sheet has been very helpful.

    On Monday and Tuesday, of this past week the pain was a bit more intense, but I realized the first hour of my work I didn't have much pain at all. I've really been trying to focus on any time I feel pain creeping in to start thinking about what stressful things might be causing the pain and then to also remind myself that using a keyboard or a mouse does not cause pain, but rather it is my emotions.

    I was off of work on Wednesday as I went to an interview. When I returned on Thursday I worked for about half the day with very little pain and then the pain started creeping in for the next half. I continued to try and interrupt the pain and my focus on it by focusing on the emotional causes.

    On Friday I felt like I kept the pain at bay for almost the whole day. There were a few times it crept in but I was able to get it to dissipate pretty quickly.

    A couple observations I made were as follows. On Monday the pain was more focused in my forearm muscle. On Tuesday the pain was focused in my hand and on Thursday the pain felt like it was in the tendons of my forearm. If there was truly something structurally wrong then the pain should be more acute to one area. I used this as evidence that the pain is caused by my emotions.

    Additionally on Tuesday I performed a test when my hand was aching from mousing. I kept my hand in the same cupped position it created over top of the mouse and moved it off the mouse and set my hand on top of my desk in that position. Interestingly my hand did not hurt when it was no longer on my mouse, but as soon as I set it back on top of my mouse I noticed some pain starting to creep back into my hand. Clearly this is a conditioned response as there is no reason that my hand should simply hurt the moment it is set on top of the mouse.

    Another piece of evidence that I continue to remind myself of is all the typewriters that people used for years in very poor ergonomic conditions and yet RSI and carpal tunnel weren't prevalent at all.

    On a side note....I've also had plantar fasciitis for a couple years and on Monday I got rid of all my orthotics from my shoes and stopped wearing my plantar fasciitis brace at night. I've now gone out running a couple times with very little pain. Running without my orthotics would have caused a lot of pain prior to reading the Mind Body Prescription.

    Anyway, I would say the pain in my hands is down to about 20-30% of what it was and I am looking forward to have this completely eliminated. It is crazy to think how this has weighed on my mind for so many years, and at one point I was even thinking of changing careers. But now, I really feel like I am getting a handle on things and am eliminating the pain.

  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi tmsrsi,
    Great to hear your report. The examples above really jumped out at me. You are embracing this material so well, so quickly. Many blessings in becoming more and more pain free.
    Andy B.

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