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Ulnar Nueritis/cubital tunnel

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Micheal89, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. Micheal89

    Micheal89 Newcomer

    Hi all,

    I'm very new to the theory of tms and have just finished reading the mindbody prescription.The story of how I ended up here is a fairly long one, but I'll keep it as short as I can.

    Basically for the past 2 years I have been having tingling, numbness and all sorts of strange nerve sensations all around my body. Along with intense arm and elbow pain. I have also had a quite debilitating pain in my left calf that I really struggle to walk on. The strangest part of it, is it all essentially turned on like a switch. I was sitting watching tv, and I just started tingling in my hands and feet. Things just spiralled from there. It's like every nerve in my body is hypersensitive. Even the smallest vibrations can be seriously uncomfortable, through my hands and even my feet. An example would be the engine vibration through the accelerator pedal of my car. I normally would never feel that but now its uncomfortable.

    I have seen multiple doctors and neurologists, had mri's, bloodtests, nerve studies etc. You name it I've had it.

    They all show that I am in great health, with the only issue being I had bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome which showed up on the nerve conduction test. Being a steel worker they put it down to repetitve strain, and I had surgery which I would say was only moderately successful. The arm and elbow pain was still just as before, and the numbness in the wrist and hand was lessened, but still remained. It can come and go almost randomly.

    After reading about tms recently, I feel like I'm constantly reading about myself. In the months leading up to my symptoms starting, I was not in a good headspace. I was very stressed out, along with quite alot of irrational fears such as losing my family. I was doing things like taking out life insurance and not purchasing things as I really felt like my time was coming. That's the short version, if I went in to detail I could write a book. But in a nutshell, those few months leading up I absolutely was not mentally well. I have also been extremely unhappy at work for a few years now, feeling extremely unnapreciate despite always striving to deliver the best product I can. It's like no matter how well I do it goes un noticed. I also fit the goodism profile I feel.

    I really could go on for ages about how I feel fit the mould but I am trying to keep this short.

    These things have been taking their toll on my quality of life and also my family's life. But to finally get to my main question, only a couple of months ago I had an ultrasound on both of my elbows, which showed the ulnar nerve has thickened through the cubital tunnel on both sides.

    Visual thickening of the nerves through my elbows. Is this possible with tms? To actually be able to see it? Nerve conduction studies are coming back fine, no issue with the nerve other than the thickening. I'm being told the way this is presenting is very strange by every person I have consulted.

    The more I study TMS the more I am convinced its playing a massive role in the issues throughout my body. But this really has me wondering. I feel like drs have no answers and are just guessing.

    Thanks for reading.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, welcome to the forum!

    I had nerve conduction study actually showing substantial degradation, yet, I fully recovered through pure TMS approach.

    I am not familiar with nerve thickening, but my guess is that in lieu of obvious diagnosis the doctors are splitting hairs. Considering that you are doing physical work, your body may have adjusted in that way.

    You seem to be very confident that you fit the mold. Why don't you just try TMS method? It will not hurt you, unlike surgery, and it is very likely to do you good, like it has done for many of us.
  3. Future Canadian

    Future Canadian Newcomer

    Hi TG and Michael,

    Could you provide more detail about your nerve issues and recovery? I have been diagnosed with cubital tunnel syndrome and my symptoms fit the diagnosis perfectly. I compressed my ulnar nerve on a desk for 2 days, and as a result my pinky, ring finger, and outside of my palm have been numb for over a month. Only slight weakness. Nerve conduction/EMG showed abnormality.

    What were your symptoms? How long did you have them? Did you do any type of physical management–such as night splinting or nerve flossing–in addition to the TMS approach?

    I have battled TMS before and came out on top, curing all the pain that was afflicting me. But this is something completely different, and I haven't been able to accept that it is solely a TMS problem. At the same time this is an extremely stressful period in my life and I could see TMS as a possibility. If this is real it could radically alter my life–I need my hand for guitar, climbing, work... basically everything I'm passionate about.

    Any detail you could provide would be very, very appreciated.


    PS: Here's a relevant story from when I first developed TMS. I woke up one day in 2016 and could not bend my arm past 90 degrees if my palm was facing up. It would just stop. Some sort of paralysis. It made no sense and I didn't understand why it was happening. It stayed like that for maybe two weeks before I went on a long, multi-day hike. At some point during the hike, I realized I was able to bend my arm freely again. It just fixed itself seemingly spontaneously. At the time I attributed it to the high heart rate and increased bloodflow from hiking all day. But years later I realized that the same day my arm fixed itself, my knee started to hurt. It was the TMS moving from my arm to my knee. And the knee was definitely TMS, so that seems like a strong indication that TMS can affect nerve motor function. I mean what are the chances the arm fixes itself and then I develop TMS in my knee at the same time, when I had had no prior TMS issues before?
  4. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    My entire story is written down in the most concise form here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0834Q46SM . And here is what I find interesting. I am a hiker, too. My symptoms disappeared for several hours during a multi-day long hike. They returned later, but I took it as a sign that my condition was TMS and continued down my path, and few months later I recovered full dexterity in my hands. Based on my experience, I now believe firmly that what is known as movement disorders (directly associated with the nerve motor function as you accurately point out) is, in fact, TMS. Sarno even suspected that Parkinson's could be TMS - but that is much harder to prove. Your story of compressing your nerve for 2 days does remind me that my pain and uncontrolled contraction of the muscles started with scraping paint. Supposedly. I beleive that scraping paint was just a coincidence. It could have not caused such a severe neuropathy and other symptoms if there was not TMS in play. If I were you - I would give the TMS method your best effort. Best of luck to you!
  5. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Hi, Future Canadian. After macular hole eye surgery, I had to maintain a certain head position for a week. Under the circumstances (I was in a hotel room with limited furniture), the only way I could maintain the required head position for that period was a prone body posture that compressed my ulnar nerve at the elbow. After doing that for a week, I had numbness in my pinky finger and ring finger. After a few months of no improvement, I consulted a neurologist. He said that the extended period of compression damaged the ulnar nerve at my elbow. He explained that damaged nerves regenerate from the cell body (near the spine) at the rate of about one inch a month. He measured the distance from my spine to my elbow at about 18 inches, so he said I would be fine in about 18 months. He was right. I have had TMS elsewhere in my body; this was not TMS. You should be fine in roughly a year and a half, depending on your torso width and arm length, unless your have a fourth or fifth degree nerve injury, which requires surgery, but it seems unlikely the the physician who did the nerve conduction test would have missed that.
  6. Future Canadian

    Future Canadian Newcomer

    Oh wow, that seems directly comparable. Thank you for your input. Guess I have a long road ahead of me. I'm getting a steroid injection tomorrow per the recommendation of my neurologist, so we'll see if that speeds things up. From the literature I've read, it's possible but unlikely that it will help. I feel like I've lost so many years in my 20's to TMS and now this, but at least it seems this won't be permanent.

    Thank you Duggit and TG for your help. I will keep trying the TMS approach for the sake of it, and perhaps even take a long hike!
  7. Future Canadian

    Future Canadian Newcomer

    Hi Duggit,

    Another month has gone by and no improvement, as you might have predicted. I also got a steroid shot which did nothing. I'm curious whether you had to restrict any activity while you were healing? Did you splint during night and day? I play hockey, love to work out, swim, etc. but it seems like those things might aggravate it because I'm bending the elbow frequently. Any thoughts?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    Future Canadian
  8. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    The doctor never told me to restrict any activity or splint the elbow. I was in my mid-60s, and the doctor probably assumed (correctly) that I was not playing hockey, working out, swimming, etc. I don't know whether he would have cautioned me about elbow-bending activity if I had been younger. On my own initiative I tried not to bend my elbow at a sharp angle while sleeping. Whether I actually accomplished that when asleep I could not say.
  9. Future Canadian

    Future Canadian Newcomer

    Hi Duggit,

    Still no improvement 5 months in. Hand surgeon recommends surgery (no surprise there) but I'm doing a month of PT before deciding whether I want to go through with it. I wanted to ask if you experienced any weakness? I have some mild weakness and even a tiny bit of atrophy.
  10. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    It has been fifteen years so my recollection is hazy, but I don't recall having any weakness. Nerve injuries are graded by degrees, and my understanding (for what that is or is not worth) is that fourth and fifth degree injuries require surgery. First degree injuries heal fairly quickly. I did not heal quickly, but I did not need surgery. I must have had a second or third degree injury.
  11. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Rachel, your case is not a typical TMS case. COVID is uncharted waters for everybody. COVID is known to impact the nervous system. However, you need to know that nerves have the ability to regenerate and nerve damage is not permanent, it is called neuroplasticity. I experienced both numbness and sensation of current passing through my hands. It is all mostly gone. I still have some minor residual numbness but it fades away, very slowly. The books that really helped me to understand the power of neuroplasticity are these, by Norman Doidge:


    You also need to understand that catastrophic thinking is what often makes our health problems worse. I am one of those who have such tendency and I know first hand how damaging it can be. Start telling yourself that you can and you will get better. You can simply keep assuring yourself that it will go away. Don't be afraid of it, fear is our worst enemy. I also highly recommend meditation as the best way to stabilize and strengthen your nervous system.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020

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