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Why are symptoms so good at mirroring an old injury?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by overcomingposttib, Mar 3, 2023.

  1. overcomingposttib

    overcomingposttib New Member

    I have struggled with foot pain for 2 years since I over trained for a half marathon. I got obsessed with training (cared too much about my appearance and time) and 2 weeks before the race got injured. From that point I was diagnosed with different things (post tib tendon inflammation, plantar fasciitis and bursitis). I am working through the Structured programme. I am doing reformer pilates again and can walk up to 14,000 steps with little pain (mainly aching), but running and the peloton I am struggling to overcome fear. I have built up some evidence which convinces me it is TMS, for example the other week I did 10 minutes on the peloton and then walked for an hour and half on a Saturday afternoon.. as I was walking I started to feel the pain come on and I firmly told my brain it was TMS and I am fine.. then the pain literally went away! However on Sunday I did 10 mins on the peloton (same resistance as before) and have felt pain about level 4 all week. Thinking emotionally I had a big presentation at work I was very stressed about, so surely it was that, but then it makes me fearful it could have actually been the peloton. I just want to get back to the activities I enjoyed. I'll keep at the programme and I'm also starting therapy to manage my anxiety and negative thinking.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey, OC, you might get a lot out of the most recent podcast from Nicole Sachs which dropped today. It's actually a repeat from last year, "A Deep Dive Into the Symptom Imperative" and it's really good and I think relevant to your experiences and to the question in your title.
  3. overcomingposttib

    overcomingposttib New Member

    Thank you, I had a listen and can totally relate to it. Especially with anxiety also being a symptom Imperative - as soon as one symptom goes, my anxiety comes back.
  4. overcomingposttib

    overcomingposttib New Member

    Hi Jan, I have made so much improvement since I started all this work with my foot pain. I can walk a long way, do reformer pilates which I love, and am now doing run/walks and thought I'd never run again. I am also working on strength training that I am enjoying. I have had some successful moments of talking myself out of the pain. The one thing I can't seem to do is the Peloton. After I go on it for just 10 minutes I have a flare up in my arch for days. I know the fear is there before I go on it as in the back of my mind I'm a bit fearful of pain after but I really want to get back being able to use it (is this where I am going wrong?). Maybe because I own one and I pay for the membership there is pressure around it? It just gives me doubts it is TMS after I get a flare from being on it, and i'm making such progress with all other activity. I really miss being able to use it too. Any advice would be much appreciated.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's great to hear about all your success, @overcomingposttib , that's wonderful!

    You know, for those of us with lifelong anxiety, it does seem as if "it's always f'ing something". In my 11+ years "After Sarno" I've fluctuated between 100% to 80% recovery depending on outside stressors. I'm extremely sensitive to world dysfunction, and my biggest source of TMS rage was (still is) aging. I developed RA in 2020 and I'll be 72 next month, but I'm still in waaaay better shape than in 2011 at age 60.

    Even though I know my RA was caused by stress, it is not TMS, and is well-controlled with basic medication, exercise, and drastically reducing sugar. As for TMS, I experience symptom replacement, aka the symptom imperative, all the time. If it's not reflux, it's a different GI symptom, or one of my biceps tendons, or stiff hips, or vestibular stuff, or essential tremor or... In other words, it's always f'ing something.

    The three techniques I apply regularly are:

    Breathing, for self compassion

    Self-talk, for calming and reassurance

    Expressive writing, to tease out the repressed thoughts. These are not earth-shattering, just niggly stuff that our brains think are negative and must be hidden from us.

    I think you may be on to something re the Peloton. Get out a piece of paper and a pen and just start with what you already said, then just scribble down whatever thoughts appear, no matter how random. Don't edit, don't worry about grammar or spelling or logic or even legibility, because you're not going to keep this. Studies have shown that just the act of writing down thoughts releases anxiety and related symptoms.

    Keep us posted, and keep up the great work!

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