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


Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by WeiDe, Jan 22, 2018.


Achilles pain - how to differnetiate between TMS and Tendinits

  1. Achilles

    1 vote(s)
  2. Tendonitis

    1 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. WeiDe

    WeiDe Newcomer

    Hi folks,

    i am sure there are by now countless new members that start with: i just read that Sarno book, and i it fits me perfectly...
    I did stumble across that book after 7 months of back pain. I was shocked. I read it, i thought about my medical history. I realized it must be this thing called TMS. I can give you countless examples.

    The best one beeing:

    I had kneecap pain in both knees for over a year. I ran around 3.000km that year with that, did 8 Ultras and a bunch of Marathon. I had MRIs done on both knees with the radiologist being upset afterwards: my knees looked better than any he had seen (no kidding). I still spend a huge amount of time researching what they called "plica syndrome" - guys, i tell you, with 5 years of ultrarunning and obsessive research into countless (mostly TMS) injuries, i never ever stumbled upon the brain body connection...I am sure many can relate. The pain went away eventually, which i attributed to getting tougher...The next year i started training for my first 100 Miler in Vermont. I then went into taper mode, little running 3 weeks prior. I started to get kneecap pain two weeks beforehand. I was very anxious aand the pain completely consumed me. I still flew to the event and started it. The pain was horrendous after 50 Miles. I decided to switch shoes to give me a mental boost. I then started running much quicker, felt more free cause deep inside i told myself, this event is basically done, i will quit. I will just run a bit more for fun. The pain went away after at mile 80. It didn’t hurt after the race, nor the days after that, nor the weeks later….

    When I look back, I can see a huge amount of TMS issues. Stomach ache at a child, chronic cough, asthma later when I started to enjoy going to the gym I had tennis elbow followed by my running career injuries.

    Some might even be overuse. I had real bad Achilles pain after a 100 miler in both tendons and my feet and the tendon area were swollen to a degree you could not tell where the foot started…I assume that’s not TMS ;-)

    So, without knowing about TMS for years I realized that somehow I could run through almost any injury, except Achilles pain where I had to take 5 weeks off (being pretty obvious and even creaking).

    I did take a pain killer before each run when I was in such a condition. It usually took the edge off and the pain wasn’t really worse afterwards. It allowed me to run.

    All the rest I did was wrong. I was obsessed about my injuries, I googeld, read everything, went to MRIs, physiotherapists (twice weekly for year) and so forth (I am living in Germany, here it is all for free if you were wondering -> also means it is much easier to get help and go there all the time).

    So this week end, after reading the book I tried to chronologically write down my childhood in one big template with lines etc and what I could have possibly suppressed. My back pain was gone Sunday (no kidding).

    I did also develop Plantaar Faciitis 6 months ago at a 100k race that I ran 3 days after the first back pain episode (I dismissed both injuries and ran all season, 2x 100ks in the mountains, a 50 miler, the week after a 50k and countless marathons).

    I then got an MRI: bulging of the disc, pinched / inflamed nerve. I stopped running, I felt aweful. My foot got better 4 weeks later, which I attributed to the prolonged rest.

    I started running again. I ran 3x 20k a week for 3 weeks. I felt reasonably good, back still hurt afterwards and the day after…

    I planned my first longer run, a regular 40k run I do Saturdays (almost all Saturdays when I don’t race). I felt anxious about it, would my back hold? I started the run, I was stiff to say the least. After 7km my Achilles flared up. I thought: wrong shoes, I loosened them up a but. I turned around after 10k. I was in real pain once home. I stopped running again cause I knew: Achilles, that’s bad!

    I went to the physio, he diagnosed mild swelling. I had no pain during the day, walking after 4 days was pretty ok.

    I started running again a week ago (4 weeks after the occurrence of the Achilles). It flares up after 4km, awful. Once I get home it gets better quickly. I do hurt walking down the stairs but barefoot at home is fine, up the stairs is fine.

    I know the back and many other things were TMS. But it’s hard for me to acknowledge the Achilles. I had 2 months off running because of the back before I ran the 60k a week, three weeks in a row.

    Could that mother%$%&% of a pain there also be TMS? Could the brain be really that cruel to pick that one injury I really fear….Speechless.

    Regardless I went for runs after the book, 5k, then 7k (physically I don’t feel that at all). Achilles noticeable after around 20 Minutes.

    I might go back to my strategy to take an Aleeve and ignore the pain, just push through it and at the same time continue to read the books (ordered a lot more) and work on the methods as it clearly is what fixed my back!

    Just wanted to share that with you guys, and if you have tips of how to know the difference for real, how to overcome that anxiousness, that’s helpful (although I found a lot here already).

    Couldn’t find a TMS therapist in Germany…Anyone knows any?

    Wish you all a painful day (life)! In a way, I am glad I had back pain, cause I read that book.
    Mr Hip Guy and runningyogi like this.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi WeiDe,

    Yes, TMS is a genius at choosing what we most fear. I am not a doctor, but it seems the Achilles should heal in four weeks of rest. You might check that exact question with your physio...

    Also a clue about your Achilles is that you have pain in different areas: back, foot, Achilles, so this points to TMS in general.

    Also this points to TMS.
    So this week end, after reading the book I tried to chronologically write down my childhood in one big template with lines etc and what I could have possibly suppressed. My back pain was gone Sunday (no kidding).

    I think you're onto a good inquiry: "If other symptoms are TMS, is my Achilles?"

    Good luck in your investigation.

    Also, many TMS helpers work long distance, if you can't find one in Germany.

    Andy B
  3. WeiDe

    WeiDe Newcomer

    Thanks Andy!

    It is very new to me. I am really fascinated by what i learned. There is an internal conflict to pick up running again through the achilles pain to give the theory a real test and the fear of beeing sidelined and missing the spring marathons.

    The more i reflect the more TMS flags i see though.

    The idea is so simple that it is incredible no one has ever given me that advice. When i was injured it was usually the general:“ what are you running away from.“ But it is not the running, it is the fact i love running that my subconscious chooses it to pick those tendons for injuries that are crucial for running.

    I am absolutely astonished as how the brain works and how it / i seem to pick the injuries i fear most, maybe as a last resort when i started to discard the backpain and resumed running again...

    I am surely motivated to learn more and to get better at reflecting (which i have never done in depth). It would mean a new qualitative life for me, as i constantly sidelined or sick or have other issues, which lead to countless hours at the doc, physio etc. Pure frustration for decades in my case.

    So thanks for listening and mental support!
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is the "inner growth" aspect of TMS. It is powerful to understand your symptoms as a light that is shining toward what you want to understand about your life, down deep ---perhaps what your 'soul' wants to understand. An invitation to be more intimate and attuned to your life. Many have taken this journey, all based on inquiring into the real causes of pain.
  5. WeiDe

    WeiDe Newcomer

    One more question Andy; is it common to have a tingling sensation in that area when the pain is about to dissipate? I went for a 6km walk up and down stairs yesterday with work colleagues and tendon felt better with esch step. I also realized that it was absolutely pointless to continue having pain when i was working on the emotional aspect now. This morning it is tingling a lot and is pain free...
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I would say that this is not common, but in your case it means that the pain is gone. TMS can cause tingling, burning, buzzing feelings, numbness --almost any sensation, not just pain. Please don't get hung up on particulars, but rather, work the information deep down into your brain, over time. Simply "knowing" that the emotional stuff is the cause, and that the emotional stuff is more important to you, by your choice, this is a very powerful stance to take, and one that works more and more in time. You are doing this!!
  7. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Welcome here! I also had some problems with the Achilles tendon, and I am not a runner! My left Achilles tendon was inflamed, it was thick and you could feel that there was hard tissue around it. The doctors told me to take pain killers and do stretching exercises. I didn't take the pain killer and did the exercises sometimes. When I started to do yoga, the Achilles tendon also stopped aching. And now there is no inflammation, nothing, no hard tissue. I am not sure if this was TMS. Though I am quite sure that the back pain I have right now is very clearly TMS: Today I should have gone on a weekend trip with a friend, but was not finished with some work. Yesterday, when I cleaned the car I felt this cramp in my back and then Lumbago!! Great, this was pretty obvious. Now I can already walk and sit, so no problem at all. Tomorrow it will be almost gone. But these Achilles tendons did annoy me. As soon as I feel some irritation there I start stretching. That usually helps.
    I guess this was not so much help for you ... you are a sports guy and very active. Have you ever considered that you sometimes might be too ambitious? Just a thought ...It's not that simple that your are running away from something.
  8. WeiDe

    WeiDe Newcomer

    Could a creaking achilles that is very painful during a run be TMS or doesnt TMS create creaking? even my wife was able to feel that today...
  9. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    You can have "friction" inside tissue, in my experience, without pain. Easy for the mind-body to attach pain to anything which seems "off."
    WeiDe likes this.
  10. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    I am not an expert on this. I would ask a doctor or PT. I think all TMS work presuppose that there is a clear diagnosis. Of course with shifting pain this might turn out to be difficult. If you feel that the Achilles’ tendon is thick, with tissue around it and very hard, then it might be an inflammation. But as I said, i am not an expert. And
  11. houseplant

    houseplant Newcomer

    I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to offer hope to others and mention that I specifically suffered some serious achilles tendon issues that were 100% TMS related. (FYI, I am also now a long distance runner!)

    Brief summary of how I figured out that my achilles issues (and other tendons) turned out to be TMS:

    Went to haiti, got sick when I came back. Doctors gave cipro, which "can" cause tendon issues. This was my mental 'in' for future tendon problems. The following summer, I started to have achilles pain in my left leg, burning sensation. I was fit/healthy at the time, running (not crazy distances) in the snowy winter, but other than this there was no clear 'causal' event (although in retrospect I was stressed out at work, not enjoying my job.) Went to the doctor, couldn't find anything, but they prescribed a leg boot, just to give the tendon some rest. Wore that for months, didn't help. Then it spread to tendon pain in my forearms due to 'typing injuries' related to work. Then to my other leg. My lower arm and leg tendons were on fire. Doctors couldn't find a cause, thought maybe lyme disease or some autoimmune response (they didn't think it was Cipro related - no visible tendon damage/tear on imaging - but in my mind the door was open for this to be a cause), but they more or less just prescribed rest and pain pills. I took leave due to my work injuries and waited, and nothing was getting better... At the low, I wasn't leaving the house, was in too much pain.

    Then I discovered Sarno's books. The day I read his first book, I went out and discovered that I could (with mental focus) 'move' the primary pain (when walking) from the more severe achilles to the less severe one. At that point it clicked that this was all mental. Within a day I was back on my feet, and within a week I was cured, although still working through mind control.

    Fast forward, I run about 50 miles/week now, and compete in trail marathons. I still occasionally run into issues with muscle guarding, etc. (including an "old sports injury" that mysteriously comes back during my marathon tapers.) But I know I'm healthy and that it's TMS rearing its head, trying to convince me that a light sprain or one bad step is some sort of chronic injury.

    So, long story short - yes, if you suffer from Achilles tendon swelling/pain/fire that doesn't really show up as a tear or tie back to specific trauma, then 100% this could be TMS. :)
    Mr Hip Guy likes this.
  12. Mr Hip Guy

    Mr Hip Guy Well known member

    As a fellow ultrarunner, I can definitely commiserate on this aspect of obsessing over various niggling injuries. For me, the key thing to remember is that they were all threats to doing what I wanted to do (run). I've had just about every running injury in the book and looking back I think almost all of them were TMS-related. Even some of those that started out "real" ended up being TMS later, once the normal healing period would've expired.

    Currently I am wrestling with some knee pain and struggling with therapy to resolve it. I had some early success but it has returned with a vengeance and I haven't been able to find the next step yet to fix. Just the fact it went away previously is giving me confidence that it's "just" TMS and being obstinate about going way for good.
  13. Mr Hip Guy

    Mr Hip Guy Well known member

    This is very insightful. There is such a thing as "taper madness" which refers to the period in a marathon taper where all kinds of injuries crop up - makes sense from a TMS perspective as so much is riding on our plans for the upcoming marathon that we're stressed and on-edge.

Share This Page