1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Toe Weirdness

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by gailnyc, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    The pain and sensitivity in my right foot has been getting better and better, though very slowly, over the last few months. Although I accept the TMS diagnosis 100% on a conscious level, I wonder if the pain is not decreasing more quickly because subconsciously I still have doubts.

    I think the one major thing that leaves room for doubt is that my toes actually physically LOOK different. My second and third toes have moved apart slightly so there is a larger space than usual between them when I'm standing. I can also feel them doing something weird sometimes when I walk--it's hard to tell what, since I have my shoes on. I don't really have pain in them anymore but I do suspect that the muscles may be either tense or weak due to TMS.

    I asked Dr. Rashbaum about this today, and unfortunately he mentioned sending me to a foot and ankle orthopedist to get it checked out. I was really upset--this was not the response that I wanted. I mentioned to him that Dr. Alexander says in his book that muscle tension can actually make bones move. Dr. Rashbaum said that Dr. Alexander is not an M.D. (I thought that was a bit rude, as he and Dr. Sarno are not psychiatrists and yet they deal with people's psyches all the time!) But then he did say that he had seen people with "temporary" scoliosis, whose bones had been moved by muscle tension, which was resolved using TMS treatment. So I was heartened by that. However he did admit he'd never seen toes that had moved.

    I have searched on this forum and on tmshelp for "moving toes," to no avail. I don't expect anyone on here to have this symptom, but I would love to hear from people that actual physical abnormalities that you can see have turned out to be TMS. (You can't see pain!) I also have "hyper mobile" feet and I am actually able to move my toes so that the spacing is more normal. But on their own they don't look normal.

    Any help or support will be greatly appreciated. Actually, Bruce McC's reply to my recent query here about built-up stress in the body was more helpful than what Dr. Rashbaum said today when I posed the same question! So I really do appreciate it greatly when people answer.
    frenchgazelle likes this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    When there is an actual physical change, I think it can be challenging to say if something is TMS or not, before having it checked out, at least this is probably what most doctors would say. I do know, though, that TMS can manifest itself in all sorts of symptoms, and our unconscious is always trying to find a new symptom to distract us with. This is one reason why there is always "in vogue" symptoms such as ulcers, back pain, RSI pain, and gastrointestinal issues.

    Again, I'm not a doctor so I don't want to say not to follow Dr. Rashbaum's advice, but I do think it is a good sign that the pain has improved, even if it is slowly. Different symptoms heal at a different rate, primarily because some symptoms serve as a better distraction. Try not to worry if you accept TMS on an unconscious level. There is not really a way to no if you do or not. If you keep doing the work, the message will sink in, and all of you symptoms will eventually fade away.
  3. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I haven't experience moving "toes" specifically, but that might be on the agenda for next week now that I've put the idea into my sub-conscious bag of tricks:rolleyes: The movement I have experienced that results in a visible physical abnormality from TMS is my shoulders. When my muscles are tense my shoulders roll forward in the front and the shoulder blades (left far more visible than right) stick out so far I look more like a bird than a human from the back. I was given some sort of semi-nonsensical reasoning that it was the result of spending too much time at a computer keyboard, with my arms in front of me typing all day the chest muscles shortened and weakened and the back/shoulder muscles lengthened and stretched. I don't know about that so much, but what I do know is that when I am tensing the shoulder blades stick out - sort of reminds me of those plastic meat thermometers that come in turkeys, when the pressure inside gets to a certain level they pop out to let me know it's time to get out of the oven!
    frenchgazelle likes this.
  4. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I'm positive it's TMS. I've had my feet checked by four podiatrists/orthopedists and they've all said there's nothing wrong with them. I guess I was hoping Dr. Rashbaum would give me that extra bit of validation. However, the fact that he is willing to continue treating me for TMS (and said that I should see the foot/ankle doctor if I was 'concerned'--not that HE is concerned about it) will have to be enough.

    Seeing my toes look weird is a HUGE distraction. Good job, brain! I just have to keep reminding myself of that, and continue to work on letting go of fear.
  5. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Ha! Nice metaphor!

    Thank you for this reply. I have read LOTS of stories of people with physical weirdness--some much more extreme than ours--and yet for some reason I get stuck on my toes. I have been reading Dr. Alexander's book lately and he has some very extreme examples of people with physical deformities who nevertheless are able to get rid of their pain. I just need to keep reminding myself of this, and not let my brain distract me with such things.

Share This Page