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TMS or just overdoing it with running.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by sunshyne, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. sunshyne

    sunshyne Newcomer

    Hey all, I am 100% convinced about TMS. My 6+ mos with plantar fasciitis and recurring knee pain from a ski accident went away since day 1 of reading The Great Pain Deception. As did, my years-long battle with chronic insomnia. YAY!

    My question is: How can I know if I am getting pain from overdoing exercise versus TMS (I call it 'phantom') pain? I am a serious runner who competes at a fairly high level, and I can be aggressive with my training. Since reading the book, I feel great, occasionally I get a minor pain here and there but it's pretty much gone by the next day.

    However, if I am running and I feel a twinge of pain, how can I know if it is TMS and I should keep going or if it's something more serious?

    At this point if I feel pain, I typically ask myself, "What is bothering me?" and I figure it out and the pain goes away. However barring that, just wondering if there is any way a person can differentiate between TMS and "real" pain and at what point they should go see a doctor about a pain issue.

    Thank you!
    Sienna likes this.
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dunno. Structural pain is pretty generally injury site specific. My experience is that TMS has a life of its own and tends to wander around following some kind of strange inner logic. Bet Alan Gordon might want to field your question in Ask an Expert. Think your question has been asked before, so a site search might be produce several answers.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
    Sienna likes this.
  3. sunshyne

    sunshyne Newcomer

    I read some previous posts; it seems like people just assume their pain is tms and continue.

    I guess question is, is there any such thing as an overuse/overtraining injury or no?

    From what I'm gathering an acute injury (fall, cut, etc) are real injuries but chronic ones must not be? If there is repeated pain that cannot be run through then go to a doctor. If s/he cannot find structural damage then it's TMS. Is this right?
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's been my personal experience that I get more pain/cramps/stiffness in my left leg/hip/back after a long workout. That is, TMS seems to flare up more on the side where it usually occurs any way without the added stress of a big work out. For example, yesterday I went for a fast 20 mile bike ride with a few hills and came back to the car just fine. My legs were tired but no TMS symptoms to speak of. In fact, pumping a lot of O2 through my legs seemed to banish it. However, late in the middle of the night, when I got up to relieve myself, my left leg did cramp up when I stood up from a reclining posture on the bed. Not too bad and it wasn't there in the morning when I got up. This seems to confirm Dr Sarno's theory about mild oxygen reduction being the root cause of TMS pain. At 4 am, your circulation isn't as good as when you get up fully rested. From this, I would conclude that TMS intensifies symptoms that are already there due to exercise. Of course, this avoids the other theory about TMS being caused by programmed pain pathways in the brain and central nervous system. A lot of TMS does seem to be conditioned by psychologically charged symbolism in your physical and emotional environments, but that - as they say - is a whole different kettle of fish! So my tentative conclusion is that TMS intensifies pain symptoms that would be there anyway after a hard physical workout. This probably contradicts what I said above, doesn't it? Scot verdict: Not proven!
    Sienna and sunshyne like this.
  5. sunshyne

    sunshyne Newcomer

    I feel like what I read about TMS totally blows my mind especially in relation to fatigue, overuse and sports injuries, pain management during exercise and even preventative "maintenance" to avoid injury. I feel like now that I know about TMS I am actually _less_ sore during workouts and after. I use some of the techniques that Steven Ozanich talks about in his book, "The Great Pain Deception." For example if something starts to hurt while running, I focus on something else that feels good - like my other leg or foot or even my elbow or hand, and then I also ask myself, what is bothering me? And eventually I have no pain. If something is stiff after a workout, for example if I've been sitting for a while - I will ignore it and walk around anyway and that will go away too. Previously I'd be sore for a couple days after a hard workout, but after finding out about TMS, I may be a bit fatigued, but now I generally feel good!

    Some say leg cramps could be electrolyte depletion, while other studies have failed to show a correlation. It does make me suspicious that it would be TMS related too.

    I love not living in fear of injury. I feel like it gives me so much more freedom. However how far does one take it? I have bought so many supplements to reduce post-workout inflammation and pain. I guess I should get rid of these too?

    I am guessing that if something is supposed to help me run faster - say dynamic stretching or exercise routine to make my legs stronger - go ahead and do those. But doing exercises/stretching to help a supposed/un-diagnosed injury or out of fear of being injured - skip. Some say post-workout ice baths help an athlete recover faster... I'm on the fence. I guess it's not specifically to prevent injury so I may still do that once in a while... ? I had plantar fasciitis for over six months and did not feel icing helped the problem, and it turns out it was TMS. The foot pain went away in the days I read (actually, listened to while running) Ozanich's book.
    Sienna likes this.
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I do find it strange how TMS never flares up in my left leg/hip/lower lumbar area when I'm doing a whole sequence of 12 leg lifting stations upstairs in the weights area of my gym. But it does act up in my left leg whenever I walk downhill on trails in the nature preserve near my house. Never out spinning on a real road bike out on the pavement either, only on one stationary bike in the gym. Just goes to show how much TMS is a conditioned behavior dependent on different features in your physical and, by implication, psychological environment. In any case, my own experience sure invalidates the structural explanations offered by PTs and orthopedic surgeons!
    Sienna likes this.
  7. sunshyne

    sunshyne Newcomer

    When you say your "TMS flares up" or "TMS acts up" it sounds like you are treating it as an injury. Are you? Are you expecting it to happen, and so it does? Just wondering.
  8. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Expectation, conditioning and programming are huge parts of TMS. Don't think of TMS as a real physical injury though, just a pain or cramp symptom that occurs as a delayed response to a strenuous workout. However, the response is decreasing in intensity and duration more and more over an extended period of time as I work out harder and harder. For me, TMS "deprogramming" has taken longer, but then again my emotionally repressive coping style may be more ingrained and stubborn. The diminishing stimulus-delayed pain response must vary from individual case to individual case. We're all different. For example, a year ago after bouldering at the climbing gym I would limp out the door and back to my car in the parking lot. Now after an hour of strenuous bouldering and jumping down off of boulder problems there will be a dull ache in my left leg that goes away as I walk out the door and down the sidewalk back to my car. Much better you'll have to agree! Not thinking about it as much either, not grabbing my attention as much.
  9. sunshyne

    sunshyne Newcomer

    Yeah I just try not to think about it at all, other than learning about what it is. I just found out there was a technical term for all this last week. If anything I am trying to deprogram myself from thinking about my body at all, other than if I feel something: "What is this pain/feeling telling me?"
  10. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    Hi Sunshyne :) How ya feelin?

    When I have a pain I tend to ask when it started and what I was feeling at the time other than pain.

    Sounds like your doing a great job and listening and being intuitive :)
    Sienna likes this.

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