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TMS Athlete Symptoms

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by rodwilsonsr, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. rodwilsonsr

    rodwilsonsr Newcomer

    Hi All,
    I'm new to this group, but have been reading about TMS/MBS for about a year now. I will try to keep this as condensed and to the point as possible.
    Basically...I'm really having a hard time believing I have a TMS problem and I am starting to entertain going back to doctors to figure out what is wrong with me.

    Some history...
    I started running about 15 year ago to lose weight. My addictive personality took this to a level of running high mileage on a regular basis and I developed severe left hip pain after running for a couple years.
    I then sought out help for 2 years...different kinds of treatment, PT, specialist, I was told I had a laberal tear in my left hip joint and had surgery. Can I say the surgery fixed me? Eh, I cant confidently say that.
    I got back into running and biking and progressed to doing marathons, day long cycling events and long mountain bike riding.
    To keep this short...my endurance sport lifestyle still continues...I now do multi day adventure races which require covering 70+ miles while carrying heavy objects up and down mountains.
    All through these years, I have never been 100 percent pain free. Something always seems to be injured. left hip, right knee, plantar, lower leg...always something and I typically just power through it...I rarely take time off from being active.

    Last year, while training, I lifted something heavy and felt a pull in my mid back...things have not been the same since. I have seen a ton of specialist, had a ton of images done, PT, acupuncture, myofacial specialist, movement specialist, sports movement PT specialist. nothing seems to resolve the pain 100 percent.
    Some days are better than others. Sometimes doing some strength training seems to lessen the pain level.
    I did take about 2 months off during this past year and nothing changed...if anything, doing nothing seems to make it worse.
    Does the pain move around...sometimes it does...sometimes the pain gets stuck for a weeks. Sometimes it's in my back, then it hurts more in my butt, then it hurts more in my IT band, and sometimes it all hurts at once.

    I still go out and run, hike, ride and lift heavy. Lately, I can get through about a 2 hour run and the tightness starts to creep around from my butt, to the side of my hip and then into the front of my hip which then makes it hard to lift my leg...so it almost becomes debilitating. I get through it though and I am still able to train, but I stay stuck in this cycle of pain and discomfort.

    I had one doctor tell my i had spine issues and sent me to PT. another back doctor said there is nothing wrong with me and to stop doing all the training and racing and to get my head checked. I have had PT people tell me i have a severely tilted pelvis, muscle imbalances and poor posture.
    The acupuncture lady I was seeing would hook electricity up to the needles. I would consistently be in severe pain the day after a session with her.
    The amount of trigger point work, rolling, poking, pressing, rubbing became all consuming throughout my day. I would beat the crap out of my muscles with trigger point tools hoping for some relief.

    After going to all these specialist this past year, with little postitive results, I finally gave up on them and just kept working out and training. I decided to let the body do what it wants and I mentally try to tune the pain out...but it's wearing on me.

    I dont know how I came across TMS, but I'm grateful I did. I have read through a number or different TMS authors, I tried a TMS counselor for a couple weeks but I cant afford the out of pocket on a regular basis, and I seen a back doctor/TMS doctor near Boston who was very helpful.
    I will admit, that the most TMS work I have done is read several books, listen to some audio lectures and I have spent a short amount of time meditating.
    This seems to be somewhat helpful, but I'm not 100 percent sure on that.

    I want to believe this is TMS...I want to continue to enjoy adventures in the woods and pushing my limits...but I wonder if I am actually broken and need to go back to the doctors. i have entertained having my psoas surgically released because I'm told it's tight. I have entertained demanding back surgery for bulging discs.

    Can TMS really cause consistant, relentless pain that seems to never get resolved for so long? I'm litterally going on 15ish years of discomfort.

    I wont get into my life issues...all I can say is...I have had a very, very hard life, but I have survived and thrived...I have had a zillion hours of therapy throughout life, and I believe the TMS things that are said about childhood, hurt, anger, resentment are all valid things. I'm just looking for support and a way out of this cycle of pain crap.

    Thanks for reading.
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome to the forum--you wrote my story for me, now I don't have to, but I'll cite you as a reference. :)
    I used to run marathons, now I'm a hobbling senior tournament tennis player.

    Dr. Sarno says : "IF IT'S TOO HEAVY TO LIFT, YOU COULDN'T LIFT IT!" Your spontaneous "injury" sounds like the classic TMS scenario from anyone of his books.

    I bet I know who he was--what did he tell you and why didn't his advice "CURE" you? Why are you still doctor shopping? Why don't you stick with a TMS doctor who can be objective, taking the emotions into account as well as the structural causes of dis-ease?

    He was right on the "head-checking"--that's the TMS "work"--"when you feel the pain, think psychological". I don't agree with him in the stop exercising department--stopping all exercise for me, only resulted in "clinical depression".

    I sure HOPE so! bangheada

    Your last paragraph could/should be your first from the TMS perspective--I support you, for what that's worth--I just called "my ortho's" office about some new fatty stem cell therapy they are offering in an e-flash--along with cosmetic surgeries, maybe I'll get my gf a gift cert for some collagen treatments while I'm there. ;)

    g'luck! I just want to be able to jump over the net if I win a gold ball.
    plum, Gigalos and FredAmir like this.
  3. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Hi Rod,

    Tom said it all. Just remember if you can run for two hours before you feel pain, then it is TMS.

    I had a client who had no problem walking but running hurt. I told him. "If you can walk, you can run." So he started running and he was fine.

    Do your best to ignore, minimize, and push against the pain mentally as you do physically until you are pain-free.
    plum and Tennis Tom like this.
  4. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Imho your story screams TMS.

    I believe you are tired of therapy for a good reason. Maybe therefore meditation/mindfulness is the way to go for you. See for example what happens in your body and mind when you have to do without your obsession/distraction (working out, pushing your limits, not having to deal with other stuff). How does that make you feel? It is about accepting those emotions instead of resisting them. You can also use it to focus on pain in the same way, giving the brain a message that it is no reason for fear. Put serious effort in it, often the first obstacle is becoming able to not be distracted by brain noise and also it can take time to learn recognize feelings without reacting or resisting, so a couple of sessions may not be enough to say if it works for you or not.

    hope it helps, take care
    plum likes this.
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    OP, are you still out there? What do you think? Some feedback from you would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully you are out of internet range on an ultra race in the Sierras or cross-country bike ride.
  6. rodwilsonsr

    rodwilsonsr Newcomer

    Hey there...thanks so much for the responses. Yea, I'm still "out there". I'm leaving tomorrow to run the Barkley Fall Classic 50k on Saturday. It's a shortened version of the Barkley Marathons, check out the documentary on netflix. So I'm pretty stressed and anxious about performing well, or will I quit, or will my pain make me quit, or can I ignore the pain, or maybe the pain will disappear. I so dont want to quit, quitting is unacceptable...but it's a hard, hard race.

    Anyhow...I do almost fully believe I have TMS issues. I guess I am still in disbelief that it can be discomfort around the clock. alot of times, I actually get out of bed with significant pain...how in hell can sleeping cause hip pain??? I have changed mattresses, sleeping positions...and now I just say screw it, I'm just going to sleep how I sleep and tolerate the tightness and discomfort when I get up.

    I feel like part of TMS is an OCD thing. I obsess about the pain and the causes, and my compulsion is to post here, ask for reassurance, ask to be convinced, read multiple books, and then I go back to doubting this is a "mental" issue.

    I have real moments, seconds, sometimes minutes of relief, and it feels so good, until the next twinge of pain...then I'm back in the cycle of being consummed with what is wrong with me.
    I read your story Tennis Tom...your list of remedies looks EXACTLY like mine. I was in walgreens last night looking for Chamomile pills because I read it's a good holistic relaxer...needless to say, they didnt have any on the shelf.

    One thing I think about...my older brother who is 50 has been riddled with pain all his life...debilitating pain...he has every diagnosis under the sun and there has been no relief for him. I look back over his upbringing, and I can tell you hands down, he took the brunt of the abuse we grew up with...so it makes me more curious about TMS.

    Anyhow...the journey to healing seems to be exactly that...a journey. I certainly am not one of those that read the book and was healed. I have had moments while reading that I felt better.

    Currently, I am a self employed IT consultant with 4 employees. I went through a DISASTER of a divorce a couple years ago after 20 years of marriage. I have a weekly alimony payment of 700.00 dollars for the next 10 years. I basically was left with nothing after the divorce. My two boys have taken sides and didnt speak to me for the past few years...it's been a hard road of patience.
    I pretty much exist in fear, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of financial failure, fear of not doing good enough, always feeling like I'm coming up short.
    I will out myself, that I am also in recovery from drug use...4.5 years clean now and actually working a program of recovery.
    Seems like I'm painting a picture of someone that is a train wreck...but I promise, I'm fairly normal. A high function addict is what some would label me as. I have worked hard and survived my whole life. People would look on the outsides and see the cars, toys, acheivements, seemingly financial success...but no one really knows what goes on, on the insides. Scared, lonely, more scared, uncertain, having a hard time feeling FREE and good about myself.

    I just bought some land and a cabin in a remote part of Vermont. Stressed about maintaining that mortgage payment...but if I could do WHAT I WANT to do, I would leave my business and go cut wood for a living in VT. Make things simple for once and live to have a minimal lifestyle.

    Anyhow...random thoughts...
    plum likes this.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    If you're even thinking about doing a 50K, you are not a sick person! As far as finishing, you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself that adds to the TMS stress reservoir--think PARTICIPATION--not finishing! 99.9% of the people on the planet probably can't run a mile without stopping.

    What did the TMS doctor tell you? If he said it's TMS, why do you not believe him?. Forget the chamomile tea and the rest of that crap--THINK PARTICIPATION--not about finishing--Walt Stack said while giving out the ribbons to the winners at the end of the DSE races, "If it weren't for us turkeys at the end of the pack, you hot-shots wouldn't look so good." Those who cheer on the runners along the route are important too.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
    plum and Gigalos like this.
  8. rodwilsonsr

    rodwilsonsr Newcomer

    Hey TT
    Participation....seems to be a theme in my life lately.
    When I went to the tms/ spine doc, I brought my mri and Xrays of my lower back and hip area.
    He showed me a bunch of examples of backs that were worse looking and ones that were perfect.
    The reasoning for pain levels in these patients was all over the map. So it showed me that the bone structure and seemingly deformation of the spine doesnt dictate pain level.
    He could not see anything wrong with my images.
    My issue is that I think I need a second, third and fourth opinion to make sure we have uncovered all the possibilities.
    The doc and I talked for a while about tms and he shared his personal experience with recovering from it. He works hard at it and suggested I start doing meditative relaxation stuff.
    I still walk around thinking I have some unique muscle tear, tendon rupture, imbalance going on in my body.
    I also wonder quite a bit how there is so much truth that the body heals itself. Broken bones mend, cuts heal. I have had injuries heal and I can't remembered where the injury was now.

    But this back and hip thing has stuck for a long ass time.
    I read about the emotions being held in the hips. The psoas being a dominant muscle effected by emotion.

    Idk man...i feel like I am just babbling now.

  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Most people and I would be jumping for joy with your TMS physician's objective DX!!! I can see why you need your TMS symptoms as a PROTECTOR defense mechanism with all the shit you've been through--THANK IT for doing it's job.

    Since your sub-c needs more "proof" it's TMS, maybe plan a cross-country run benefiting TMS research. You can run and see ALL the TMS physicians, authors and practitioners on the list here and get their opinions--you could probably get many for free if you tell them it's a TMS charity run. If you make it cross country and you still think you have TMS, you can run back across and get a "second", "second" opinion from them.

    Your conscious mind is not doing the babbling--it's your sub-conscious mind that is. "Pity me that the heart is slow to learn, what the swift mind beholds at every turn.", Edna St. Vincent Millay, by way of Dr. Sarno.
    There's a TV show that deals with "mystery illnesses"--maybe you could pitch them to see if they can find anything wrong, that all the other have missed.

    g'luck on your run, keep reading your Sarno, it will eventually sink down into your glutes.
    plum likes this.
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    This does well. It's a great point of power.

    This is entirely normal with TMS. Sanity retreats, madness consumes us. It does get easier and one glorious day the penny really drops. At this point you can challenge the chaos cycle with increasing gains.

    Few of us are. Welcome to the fold and find comfort in the legions of people who have recovered from seemingly endless variants of TMS.

    What's stopping you?
    I don't miss my old stressful public life one iota. The quiet and simple life affords you the luxury of deep, inner transformation. Step outside, gaze at stars, muse on how short our time here is and go wild.

  11. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh, yes. Fibromyalgia is consistant, relentless pain that often moves around. Fibromyalgia is TMS. I had it for 20 years, but am now finally pain free after treating it as TMS. It took about a year to get rid of it. I never used a therapist, but followed the self-help program in Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain and the SEP found for free here. These techniques work. You are in the right place. You can recover from TMS.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I forgot to tell you to look at the HOLMES-RAHE LIST of stressful events that cause TMS dis-ease. There's the "scientific proof" you are looking for whether you may have TMS or not. Dr. Sarno refers to the HOLMES RAHE in his books. Take the test and see how you score on it.

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017

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