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trying to determine whether or not chronic and mysterious RSI problems are TMS?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by mysteriousmonkey29, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. mysteriousmonkey29

    mysteriousmonkey29 New Member

    That sucks man. The most hopeful things I found in deciding whether or not I had it were the following:

    1) reading success stories that sounded similar to my own. In particular, the creator of the TMS wiki had a youtube video in which he laid out symptoms and a story that sounded remarkably similar to my own: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=601&v=EIXuLqxmhxs Depending on your situation, you may be able to find stories that are very similar, or not. Don't necessarily be discouraged if not, as the lack of such stories readily available on the internet doesn't necessarily mean you don't have it.
    2) reading all about TMS, and ultimately, making a pro con list in terms of things that make you think you do have it, and things that make you think you don't. My list is the original post here, so scroll to the top to see an example. I recommend posting your summary on this forum after you write it, and people will weigh in to help you decide. Notably, in this very post is where someone linked me the youtube video to Forest's description of his symptoms that finally convinced me that I had it. Feel free to link your post here, and I will read it and weigh in for you. Even if people don't comment, just putting all the information in one place is a really good way to think it over. Notably, I only had about equal pro and con lists to start, but in the end, it turned out that I had it. I think the fact that you're on this forum, commenting on posts means there's a pretty decent chance you have it too.
    3) once I did start to think I probably had it, I went back to using the computer some. Then my symptoms started going wacky. Hurting a lot more than usual sometimes, hurting less than usual others. This after being very consistent for years. This weird variation that's not correlated with physical activity is common in recovery from TMS, and is a strong indicator that the pain is mentally caused (because otherwise why would it suddenly behave differently when all you change is your mindset?). However, don't be discouraged if this doesn't happen. Just like with the stories, if it does happen, it's an argument for, but if it doesn't, it's not necessarily an argument against. I know this sounds stacked, but I really think it's true. It's much easier to prove that it is TMS than that it isn't. Which is good, because you should really want to have TMS. If you do, it's 100% curable with very little effort, basically the ideal situation. Notably, I recently got over knee pain that I believe to be caused by TMS, that initially came on from running. Running is a repetitive activity, and I was suddenly doing it a lot in quarantine, so I think it's a perfectly legitimate physical reason for pain. However, given my history, I was suspicious that it might be pyschosomatic. So I ignored it and kept running. And it hurt more, just like it would it it were pain caused by a real physical phemenon. But I was still pretty convinced it was fake, so I continued to ignore it. It got worse. I couldn't run without limping. I was still pretty sure it was fake, but at this point I wasn't convinced it would ever go away, just cause how can you not think about this agonizing pain that happens every time you go running? Then, one day, it evaporated. Hasn't come back since. True story.

    I have compiled a wealth of information on TMS, and would really like to help you decide whether or not you have it, and get better if you do. It's such an easy thing to educate on, with such a potentially large effect. If you'd like more information, let me know and I can send you my whole document dump. Or I can listen to your specific story/symptoms and tell you what I think.

    Hope this is helpful!
  2. bsouth

    bsouth Newcomer

    hey thanks again, I will link my full story when I post it. For now, a brief summary of my situation is:

    I started developing outer wrist pain in my left arm about 1 month into my first job out of college (data specialist so very repetitive typing and I was using an unergonomic mac keyboard on my couch so it makes sense). It soon started hurting my right arm, I actually remember feeling the pain move into the right arm one night when I was so worried about it that I did not sleep at all. Since then the top of my forearms to the elbow are constantly tight and achey and the wrist pain comes and goes. The pain is so convincing because it feels like muscles/tendons in my forearms are rubbing against each other in a weird way. My wrists also crack a lot, mostly the left. The most convincing sensation is a constant slight numbness in the fingers of my left hand which started a few months ago after I fell asleep with my wrist brace on too tight. The numbness is hardly noticeable but is very concerning that I may have nerve damage. Anyways, I've been off of work for 5 months and at times it has felt pretty okay but the pain always comes back. I definitely notice it the most when I'm stressing about it (reading the RSI horror stories on the web has made it so much worse). I've tried PT and acupuncture which did not help much. I got MRIs done viewing the elbows-top of my forearms which showed nothing. I will soon get an EMG done as well.

    So yeah, aspects of this certainly seems like TMS but other aspects (mainly the wrist cracking and finger numbness) convince me it is not. I have recently noticed the pain moving into my hand as well which is interesting because that hasn't been an issue before. I would appreciate your advice as well as any resources you have. (I have been obsessively reading/ watching success stories for a while so a lot may be the same)
  3. mysteriousmonkey29

    mysteriousmonkey29 New Member

    My 2 cents, you definitely have TMS. I doubt that it's physically caused. Reasoning:

    1) You say that you felt the pain move from one hand to another in the night, when you presumably weren't using either hand, when you were worried about it. Now, ask yourself, if it was a physical problem, wouldn't it make more sense for the pain to move to a new area when you were using that new area? Rather than just one random night when you were particularly worried? The correlation of the worry with pain, and the lack of physical sense that it makes for pain to move from one hand to another on one particular night already make me think that your pain is psychosomatic
    2) Your wrist has numbness which started from one night of restricted circulation (from wrist braces), but has continued since, despite the fact that I'm assuming you loosened your wrist braces? Doesn't seem like there's a good reason for that sensation to stick around if it was initially brought on by tight wrist braces and then you removed that stimulus. Another point in favor.
    3) As you say, it hurts the most when you're stressing about it. Merely reading about similar stories online have caused it to hurt more. I don't see any way for there not to be a psychological component to the pain if what you read increases your pain. Right?
    4) You've been to the doctors and physical therapists, they didn't see anything wrong, and their treatments didn't help. This was the same for me. Not definitive by itself (they could always miss something), but certainly increasing the already high likelihood that the pain is psychosomatic.
    5) You recently had the pain move into your hand, after at least 5 months of it not doing so (based on how long you've been off work). If the pain were caused by a physical problem caused by using the computer, and you've been using the computer on and off this whole time, why would it wait 5+ months, then suddenly move from your wrist into your hand? Also doesn't make sense physically and points to a psychological phenomenon

    On wrist cracking, different parts of different people's bodies crack while doing different activities. I wouldn't read too much into it. My brother and dad's left ankles both crack when they walk but they've never had pain. It's probably unrelated, and you're just associating it with the pain. I totally get it, it's hard not to look for a source. I just don't think this is it.

    On specific types of pain, I too was worried that my pain was not psychosomatic in the beginning because of some bruising that I developed on my arms. Basically, I, like you, couldn't imagine any way that this could be caused physically. But low and behold, this too evaporated with everything else when I decided I had TMS and stopped ignoring the pain. I really have no idea how this happens, but apparently the brain has more physical control over the body than I would have expected. I certainly don't think that making things numb is too far of a stretch. I also recently got over back pain that I thought was caused from scoliosis, that included a large numbness component. My scoliosis doctor told me he thought it might indicate nerve damage, just like you said, but then it ultimately went away when I decided it was TMS and started ignoring it.

    So congratulations, I, at least, think you have it! Which is great if true, because then you're in for a miracle cure. I still totally recommend doing all the stuff I said above--read about it, make a list of pros and cons, post here, make up your mind, and act accordingly.
  4. mysteriousmonkey29

    mysteriousmonkey29 New Member

    Here's a list of resources I put together when I was researching it to help educate others on it, and help them figure out whether or not they have it:

    60 minutes general explanation: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/The_20/20_segment_on_John_Sarno_and_TMS (The 20/20 segment on John Sarno and TMS)

    (especially 3-7 minutes, and 10 minutes)

    Chronic pain/neural pathway explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=18&v=D36yy63CHq4

    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Personality_Traits (TMS Personality Traits)

    diagnostic quiz: http://www.rsi.deas.harvard.edu/mb_diagnostic.html (Harvard RSI Action --> The Mind/Body Approach --> A Diagnostic Quiz)

    RSI story, sounds just like me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=601&v=EIXuLqxmhxs (especially 2:25-7 minutes, and 10 minutes onwards)

    Make a list of things about your symptoms that don’t make sense from a physical perspective. Such as:

    -writing hurts less than using the computer

    -was writing fine fall junior year, then suddenly couldn’t write winter junior year

    -injured left hand with WAY less repetitive activity than right

    List of success stories by symptom: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Success_Stories_by_Symptoms_%26_Diagnoses (Success Stories by Symptoms & Diagnoses)
  5. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    RSI is painful but not dangerous
  6. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    Your mind has created pain. It continues to exist because you are scared of what the pain could be. This makes an effective distraction from the conflict going on inside your own mind.

    That’s just reality.

    Now read that again. What did your mind just do to rationalize it and make the issue more complex?

    Read it 100x. Watch how your mind cannot accept that cold hard truth.

    Now come read it again when TMS is in your past. If you’d just accepted the truth when you heard it the end of this whole scenario would have begun then.
    Balsa11 likes this.

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