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Finger -DIP joint pain

Discussion in 'Mindbody Video Library' started by Mina55, Nov 25, 2022.

  1. Mina55

    Mina55 New Member

    My father passed away last year and this year when it was 1 year of his passing I work up with horrible middle finger joint pain. It is just in one finger-middle finger at the top joint close to the nail . It only hurts in the morning, and if I move my finger. Lasts for maximum 30 minutes and goes away. I went to a doctor, we did all the blood work which came back good, and we did x-ray which is showing mild arthritis on dip join on the finger. I am 43 years old just to let you know.
    My right hand is my dominant hand because my left hand is 90 %paralyzed since I was a baby. I had accident where my nerves were damaged . I can’t move fingers at all on my left hand, so now experiencing really bad pain on middle finger on the right hand is frightening me. I read all the books from Dr. Sarno and I understand that it could be due to my emotions . I started journaling but no improvement. Yesterday I had slight pain in finger which lasted 2 minutes today it is really bad pain. I have to say that I got so scared I started having really bad pain in my left hand too ,which is paralyzed ,but in the base of the thumb and muscle pain all over the arm.
    My pain started on October 5th and my finger hurts every morning. I don’t know what to do:(
    If I have osteoarthritis in fingers, can that be TMS?
    Thank you so much!
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Nobody can actually answer your question with any assurance - including the medical community. What we do know is that arthritis is an inflammatory condition, and even the traditional medical community accepts that stress can increase inflammation.

    Journaling is great, and I am a big advocate, but you might need or want more structure so that you are also learning about TMS from sources other than Dr. Sarno, who wrote his last book before 2010, and retired not long after 2010. Knowledge about the physiological effects of chronic stress, and advances in the neurological aspects of treating chronic pain, have come a long way since then. I highly recommend the interview with Howard Schubiner MD, introduced and discussed on this thread (in one of my posts on the thread I provide the podcast link for those who prefer audio) and I also mention how to effectively watch it - because it's long. And totally worth it.

    Our free SEP (Structured Educational Program on the main wiki) is somewhat out of date, but hey, it's free - and it will guide you towards effective journaling, unless you are already following a guided program, such as Nicole Sachs or Dr. Schubiner (and others). The Curable app is affordable (with a free trial) and offers up-to-date curated content, and lots of extras in addition to its guided program.

    As you journal, are you considering the topic of abandonment, as it relates to the death of your father? it's a biggie. Abandonment and isolation are huge emotional issues for us homo sapiens, and they are topics not discussed openly enough. Mortality, of course, is another one - the death of a parent inevitably brings up our own fears of mortality, and that topic is taboo amongst many people.

    Good luck,

  3. Mina55

    Mina55 New Member

    Thank you Jan for your response.
    Osteoarthritis is very confusing for me because Dr. Sarno and Dr. Schubiner all say that osteoarthritis is part of TMS. But if back, knees, hip are tms pain, wouldn’t the fingers be too? I am confused why fingers are not mentioned. I just read Unlearn your pain book yesterday and there is a part about saying osteoarthritis is TMS . I know one lady, she is my neighbor… here toes are on top of each other, she can’t walk and her hands are so deformed but she has Zero pain. She said she never had pain… How is this possible? I am so confused. How can someone have mild arthritis changes and be in so much pain and someone is very disabled buy deformities and no pain. Thank you again for your response!
    I will start doing all that you suggest.
    Best regards
  4. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    You might be interested in the answer provided by neuroscientist Tasha Stanton whose research specialty is osteoarthritis. Her presentation is the first 52 minutes (approximately) of the video. She also talks about how to reduce or eliminate osteoarthritis pain. Her focus in the video is on knee osteoarthritis, but as she indicates in the video, what she says about that is applicable to osteoarthritis anywhere in the body.

    BloodMoon likes this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ah - the answer to that is because all pain originates in the brain, and our brains create the level of pain they think is needed under the circumstances. Pain (or any other physical sensation) is NOT generated from the location of the injury, illness, or other condition - the pain is generated by the brain in response to nerve signals from those areas, but the pain type and level is totally controlled by the brain. Not only that, but our brains are completely capable of creating physical sensations without any message from an injured body part, but in response to fear, or to our brain's perception that we need to be fearful and on the alert for danger. As Dr. Sarno explains, this is why we blush (a real physiological response to 100% emotional input) and why stage fright causes stomach upset.

    This is a very primitive survival mechanism, and I'm not convinced it was a all that great during primitive times. It's definitely not helpful for those of us who are lucky enough to live safely in the modern world. Unfortunately, we have to deal with it - which means learning to live with it and ultimately take control over it.

    Anyway, the fact that all pain is generated in the brain explains why we have phantom limb pain, for example: the pain is real, and it still exists even after the body part that "caused" the pain is removed. This is because the pain related to the injury was always generated by the brain, and the brain, for whatever reason, such as conditioning and expectation, continues to produce the pain sensation in the location where there is no longer a limb. Phantom limb pain, not surprisingly, is often combined with PTSD, which means that there will be a TMS component.

    This all explains my experience when I ended up in the ER in 2008 after a bike crash, with pain in my hip that felt like an 8 to me - and I was freaking out over the thought of being totally disabled for 6 or 8 weeks. When the ER doc came back with my x-rays and said it was a simple fracture in the neck of my femur, and that they could pin it up and have me on crutches in two days, my pain level immediately plummeted. They asked if I wanted drugs, and I said that some ibuprofen would be fine, and that's all I ever took. After the surgery they kept coming by to ask about my pain level, to which I finally said "I've had cramps worse than this, you really can stop asking". Knowing what was wrong, what they could do, and what I needed to do to heal quickly, was more important than the pain at that point. I had not had surgery since my tonsils were removed at age 5, but I decided there was no reason to fear it. I utterly failed to catastrophize the situation once I knew the prognosis, and it's like the pain was optional. It was there to remind me what not to do (obviously) while recovering, but that's it. This happened three years "before Sarno" for me, by the way. I've had anxiety all my life, but this situation provided me with a lot of certainty, and a clear plan of action in which I had faith, and which I was happy to follow to the letter.

    Another example of the power of our minds: my ex is on a number of medications for health conditions, including a chemo drug to kill off excess (although not cancerous) blood platelets that caused a stroke about four or five years ago. He also went through treatment for prostate cancer a few years ago, and he has A-fib. He suffered extreme fatigue during radiation, but when I asked him about all the meds, he said he doesn't think he's ever had any side effects from them. He's still fit and active at age 70, working part time, working on his house (and mine), volunteering at a tool library, and riding his bicycle all over Seattle (electric-assisted - we have a lot of hills). I told him that he must not believe in side effects, and he laughed and said that's actually true, although he'd never thought about it consciously.

    Obviously there are meds with known side effects that must be monitored and taken seriously. But then there's that other list - the "possible" side effects that are generally not considered serious and typically don't last too long. Have you ever noticed that headaches, GI distress, and dizziness are usually at the top of that list?
    Question: what are three of the major physical symptoms of anxiety?
    Follow-up Question: what is a major side effect of being diagnosed with something that needs medication?

    Speaking of anxiety, in spite of my positive experience in 2008, a lifetime of anxiety and (I realized later) various TMS symptoms coming and going over decades, I ended up with a growing storm of multiple TMS symptoms that came to a crisis point in 2011, the year I turned 60. Aging did have a lot to do with it. But unlike the broken hip, the problem with TMS is that "they" can't find anything wrong, there is no certainty, and they can't provide a definitive plan of action.

    Which is where you are at. What you do have is a clear connection to the anniversary of your father's death, which your fearful survival brain does not want you to contemplate for some reason. In order to keep you on the alert and in fear, it's giving you a symptom absolutely custom-designed just for you due to the disability in your other hand - a symptom designed to scare the living daylights out of you. Is it rational? Not at all, but the whole premise of Sarno's revamped Freudian theory is that there is nothing rational about our repressed unconscious fearful brains, which are still connected to our childish and self-centered egos.

    Some of the emotional work asks us to connect to our very young selves. It's our very youngest selves that need to be comforted and given compassion, especially when we lose a parent. It feels very risky to go there, but it's worth it.

    You can do this, Mina - keep us posted!


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