TMSHelp Forum
TMSHelp Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ | Resources | Links | Policy
Username:
Password:

Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 TMSHelp
 Success Stories
 RSI and TMS discovery
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

Staffan

Sweden
8 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2006 :  04:50:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,

Last week, I happened to find two webpages that mentioned TMS.
(http://conquerrsi.com and http://podolsky.everybody.org/rsi/).

I had never heard about TMS before.

I thought, finally a new approach! So I immediately ordered Healing Back Pain and The Mindbody Prescription by John Sarno, and also Fred Amir's book, Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain.

I little info about myself:
I'm 30 years old, have had RSI since autumn '99, when I started having pain/stiffness on the backside of my right hand. It wasn't too bad at first, since I only felt in the end of my weeks at work (i.e. Thursdays and Fridays), and I was painfree on the following Monday.

In November '99 at a computer conference in Seattle, I attended a lecture about RSI, and got to hear all the horrible things that could happen. Before the lecture was over, I suddenly noticed that my left hand had started aching as well.

After this, the pain was constant, not intermittent as before.

I continued working, but had my chair exchanged for a more ergonomic one, and some other changes as well. I took a few weeks of sick leave.
I got frustrated by the doctors' inabilities to give me a diagnosis.

I decided I had to do something myself, so I took leave of duty to do some studying, and my hands got better.
I was worrying about my future, but tried not to think about it (I guess I consciously repressed my emotions).
Since then, I have been studying in the winters, and working in the summers.

During the summers my hands get worse, and I have new kinds of problems, like numbness, and so on. During the winters my hands get better (when I stay away from computers, that is) but I started having migraines, breast pains, dizziness and was convinced that my heart was faulty, but the doctors never found anything wrong with me.

The best advice (as I see it now) I got was that it was caused by stress.
Back then I thought that was just silly, as I'm such a calm person, and I am almost never stressed (or angry for that matter).

However, back to the books.

I got them last Thursday, and it all made sense to me, and also answered all the questions I've had such as:
What's so special about what I do in front of the computer that makes my hands go numb/ache, etc?
Nothing else provokes my hands/arms.

I've thought about this a lot in the last year. When I first got the RSI problems, I was careful about what I did so as not to get worse.
Over the years, however, I have taken up my old interests (and new ones).
For example, I bike a lot (that's my main transport vehicle), I do weight training, push-ups, Ashtanga Yoga and I swim occasionally.
Also, when I repair my bike, or do any other normal activity, I might feel that my hands are slightly stiff (if I've used the computer in the last few days), but those activities do not make my hands ache, or go numb.

After reading the books, I've realized that I must be conditioned to ache when using a computer.
Also, I've realized that I associate the computer with pain.

I think overcoming this obstacle would make my worries about the future go away, and with them my migraine attacks, etc.

I've realized it won't be easy.

The other day I had some success though.
I biked to the University to use a computer to print some things from the internet.
While biking, I told myself "it will not hurt".
I used the computer for over an hour and only experienced a slight stiffness in my hands in the end (and afterwards). I also didn't wake up aching.

Yesterday, however, I used my own computer for 1 hour and had more pain than I've had for a long time, and in places, like my upper arms, where I haven't felt anything for years.

Now that I've typed this in one go (as I haven't done in years, I usually split it up in several sessions), in about 50 minutes, my left hand is a bit stiff and has started aching, but hopefully I will do better next time.
(Afterwards, both hands started to ache).

I've tried to do a plan for recovery, as suggested by Fred Amir, but it's a bit difficult as I've never checked how long it takes before my hands start to hurt (now I'd guess 20-30 minutes), and it seems to differ a lot from day to day.

It all makes so much sense, and my mood got a lot better after reading.
However, my mood swings a lot right now, one moment I'm trilled about this, and feel that "wow, I'll be able to go back to work again" and be rid of my financial worries, but the next moment (like yesterday, when it hurt so much) I go back to my old acceptance of the chronic pain....

n/a

560 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2006 :  09:44:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
there are many people on this list who have had RSI and have recovered using TMS treatment. Dr. Sarno and Dr. Marc Sopher scoffs at the idea there is even such a thing as RSI and that it is in fact another manifestation of TMS. Best wishes with your recovery. You are luck you have discovered Sarno, many people don't and suffer needlessly.
Go to Top of Page

art

1903 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2006 :  07:28:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
GReat observation in the new book...Why was it that for all those years before compters were invented, nobody ever got RSI whacking away at those clunky old typewriters...THose things were much harder on the fingers and hands than todays keyboards..
Go to Top of Page

ndb

209 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2006 :  09:32:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Staffan, good luck for your recovery. I had "RSI" type symptoms too, in addition to other symptoms. I discovered Sarno 3 weeks ago and cried with relief! The pain has gone down by a lot since then, and I am back to a lot of my physical activities which I thought I would have to give up indefinitely.

Art, I remember reading this line about the typewriters...just to play devil's advocate, someone might say what if its a combination of keyboarding and staring at a monitor. I thought of this when I read the line, but finally told myself..."I bet though the typewriting people also had to look down at the sheet of paper, which can't be any more comfortable either" :)

ndb

Edited by - ndb on 05/13/2006 09:35:04
Go to Top of Page

HilaryN

United Kingdom
878 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2006 :  14:32:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Welcome, Staffan.

I had RSI for over 10 years and recovered through Sarno. If you do a search on this forum for RSI you’ll find others. Also if you search on “SuccessStory” (no space) you’ll find some encouraging stories.

All the best,

Hilary N
Go to Top of Page

art

1903 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2006 :  11:19:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ndb

Staffan, good luck for your recovery. I had "RSI" type symptoms too, in addition to other symptoms. I discovered Sarno 3 weeks ago and cried with relief! The pain has gone down by a lot since then, and I am back to a lot of my physical activities which I thought I would have to give up indefinitely.

Art, I remember reading this line about the typewriters...just to play devil's advocate, someone might say what if its a combination of keyboarding and staring at a monitor. I thought of this when I read the line, but finally told myself..."I bet though the typewriting people also had to look down at the sheet of paper, which can't be any more comfortable either" :)

ndb




I'm thinking about this and not seeing what looking at a monitor, or a piece of paper for that matter, would have to do with hurting one's hands...

I'm old enough to remember those old typewriters...You had to really pound on them much more forcefully than today's keyboards...
Go to Top of Page

ndb

209 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2006 :  12:12:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi art,

Some people with RSI have neck and upper back pain along with arm/shoulder/elbow pain. A lot of physical therapists seem to say that neck pain can be aggravated by staring fixedly at a monitor and maybe not moving your neck around much or sitting with bad posture while using a computer etc. I started out my having neck pain, and it later 'spread' to my shoulders and arms.

ndb
Go to Top of Page

art

1903 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2006 :  13:58:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ndb

Hi art,

Some people with RSI have neck and upper back pain along with arm/shoulder/elbow pain. A lot of physical therapists seem to say that neck pain can be aggravated by staring fixedly at a monitor and maybe not moving your neck around much or sitting with bad posture while using a computer etc. I started out my having neck pain, and it later 'spread' to my shoulders and arms.

ndb




I know they're well-intentioned, but when a physical therapist makes any kind of cause and effect statement like that, he's simply guessing.

For many decades, typists would sit at their desks with their head turned to one side (no doubt almost always the same side) with their eyes trained on whatever it is they were copying...They would sit like that for hours, in some case many more hours than is common today I'll bet, and nobody was getting carpal tunnel syndrome...To me, this is very compelling evidence for Sarno's take on things.

Edited by - art on 05/14/2006 14:00:24
Go to Top of Page

ndb

209 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2006 :  15:18:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
art, I agree.
Go to Top of Page

Staffan

Sweden
8 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2006 :  03:44:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That sounds very sensible. Maybe I should fetch my old typewriter from my parents, just to try typing a bit, to get the feel of it again.

I remember reading that using a keyboard was bad because it's like punching your fingers against concrete, as the keys make such sudden stops after pushing past the "click" point of resistance.

But I guess typewriters weren't that much better.. :-)
Go to Top of Page

art

1903 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2006 :  06:54:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Staffan

That sounds very sensible. Maybe I should fetch my old typewriter from my parents, just to try typing a bit, to get the feel of it again.

I remember reading that using a keyboard was bad because it's like punching your fingers against concrete, as the keys make such sudden stops after pushing past the "click" point of resistance.

But I guess typewriters weren't that much better..



Those clunky old non-electric typewriters were terrible. You really had to punch down on the keys...Clack, clack, clack....Well, you get the picture..
Go to Top of Page

armchairlinguist

USA
1397 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2006 :  13:36:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Staffan,

I am another one on this board who has recovered from RSI using the TMS method. I had RSI for three years that was so severe it affected almost everything I did with my hands. A month after starting with the Sarno method I am almost pain-free and fully functional. I still have some pain that bugs me, but it no longer stops me or worries me.

I don't believe in structural RSI anymore (which can be tough since I have a few friends with RSI who are not open to the Sarno material!). Nate and Rachel's sites are great resources. What has also worked for me lots of time reading MBP and Sarno's new book, a list of my pressures, and Schechter's structured journal. I found the reward/punishment material in the Amir book really good as well. My inner child loves ice cream sandwiches!

It sounds like you are on the right track and making good progress. Good luck in your healing journey.

Edited by - armchairlinguist on 05/15/2006 13:37:16
Go to Top of Page

Staffan

Sweden
8 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2006 :  09:45:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just thought I'd make a short update..

After what I wrote about before, I did the following:
First, I realized that I had been conditioned to expect pain when using a computer.
Previously, I always avoided the computer for a few days when I had more aches in my hands. I also tried avoiding typing / clicking as much as possible.
I read some of Sarno's books (first/second), but for some reason, I have still not read the newest one, but I'm going to do so soon.

I made myself the following plan:
1. Use a computer every day.
2. Try to make myself believe that RSI isn't harmful.

After a week of doing this, I went back to my old job last of May, and have been working since.
In the beginning I did only those, less computer intensive, tasks that I was given (due to my request).
Over the first month or so, the following things happened:
I started using my computer at home more and more.
I started chatting on MSN more and more.
At work, I started doing more keyboard work.

By July, I was using computers about as much as I did before RSI (6 years ago).
This whole summer, I've worked full time. Almost every day, I've been sitting in front of my computer at home.. And not just a moment, but very frequently from the moment I got home until I went to bed.
I've been chatting for hours a day, and writing emails far longer than I did even think of writing before.

Did the pain suddenly go away?
- No. It did not. In the beginning, I still felt pain / stiffness in my fingers after a while. But as I had decided that RSI is harmless, I didn't care.
After a few weeks, I suddenly realised that I could type for a much longer time before experiencing any pain.
By July, I didn't even ache every day.
End of July, I had only aches occationally.
I typed and typed, from the morning until the evening.

I've noticed that my hands start aching on days when I have a lot to do (= lots of stress).

I've gradually started getting rid of the thought that the computer is harmful.

I've had a few setbacks though. The worst one happened in August. One day my hands were really aching. I had really frightening sensations in my arms.
I thought - now I've damaged my arms permanently. I shouldn't have believed in TMS.
But then I started thinking.. Why now? Why not on some of those days that I had been typing for 12+ hours?
Possible reasons:
1. I had slept far too little for a week or more.
2. I was really stressed out at work, as there was so much to do, and so little time.
3. I had become more and more worried about something concerning a dear friend.

I solved this, once I realised the problems..
1. I slept as much as I could during a weekend.
2. I stopped accepting more jobs than I could handle.
3. I called the lady aquaintance on the phone, and it turned out that I had really no need to worry.

And my hands got better over night....

I'm still not cured, but I do work 100% right now, and I do use the computer at home.
I've also started playing the guitar again, which I had read could be a problem for people with RSI. (Had not played for 15 years though).

Right now, my hands are aching a bit (started yesterday). But then, I've been very tired for a few weeks, and need to try going to bed a bit earlier again, so that I get my 8 hours (and not 4-5...).
I also haven't read the Sarno books for far too long, and I feel that I should start reading the rest of them, to get the TMS concept back into my mind.

But, as I know I have been about 95% better for so long, I also know that it's just a question of time before I really get better.

Edited by - Staffan on 09/14/2006 11:55:49
Go to Top of Page

armchairlinguist

USA
1397 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2006 :  11:04:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Awesome, Staffan! So glad to hear you're doing well. Tagging this SuccessStory: so people will find it when looking for successes.

I'm curious about your issues with sleep deprivation. I actually found that as I got better I didn't need to worry much about lack of sleep anymore, because I wasn't "injured" and I wasn't as tired. Is it just that when you aren't sleeping much it's because of work and stress? Or perhaps you've also come to associate lack of sleep with pain?

Doing a bit more reading sounds like an excellent idea if you've been away from the TMS material for a while. I found Fred Amir's reward techniques really helpful for getting rid of the remainder of my pain once the bulk had gone away.

--
Wherever you go, there you are.
Go to Top of Page

Staffan

Sweden
8 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2006 :  12:25:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by armchairlinguist

I'm curious about your issues with sleep deprivation. I actually found that as I got better I didn't need to worry much about lack of sleep anymore, because I wasn't "injured" and I wasn't as tired. Is it just that when you aren't sleeping much it's because of work and stress? Or perhaps you've also come to associate lack of sleep with pain?



I'm not sure. I guess I've always been worried about not getting enough sleep. Also, I generally don't like feeling tired all the time.

But of course, now that you mention it - there could be a connection between the common notions (and wisdom), like "sleep is a healer", and that I unconciously connect pain with injury, and that I need more sleep to heal, but you can't heal what's not broken..

And it also goes hand in hand with the amount of stress. I get to bed earlier, and sleep better, when the stress levels are a bit lower.

But, my theory is this:
When I'm not tired, I have lots of energy, and I can manage both to do my job, and conciously apply the TMS thinking as soon as I feel the slightest thing in my hands/arms. I think "typing is harmless", and force myself to believe it. I sometimes feel a faint ache in my fingers during the day, but normally it goes away quite soon.

When I'm really tired, however, (like now), and out of energy (I can hardly read a page in a book without falling asleep), I still manage my job (but maybe not as well as usual), but when it comes to the TMS thinking, I guess I don't manage it as well as I usually do. I think that I unconciously fall back to my old routines. Pain = too much typing. I think it is too deeply ingrained in my brain to totally get rid of this so soon.

It's much easier to learn something new when you're not tired. This might apply to unlearning everything about RSI as well.

Edited by - Staffan on 09/14/2006 12:29:51
Go to Top of Page

jcmailer

5 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2007 :  07:18:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Steffan,

How are you doing now? I've RSI and have started studying TMS, and have found your story encouraging.

Thanks.
Go to Top of Page

patils

72 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2009 :  10:05:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,How are you doing now? I've same symptoms like you and found your story encouraging.

Thanks.
[/quote]
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
TMSHelp Forum © TMSHelp.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000