A few years ago I was experiencing numbness and tingling in my right pinky after playing piano and lifting weights. Soon after that I was feeling the same sensation in my left pinky as well. I knew nothing about TMS during that time.
I went to a hand surgeon who had me do an EMG / Nerve conduction study. The test showed that I had a slow down in my nerves at both elbows. The doctor was also able to see that I had ulnar subluxation (nerve ‘popping’ over the medial epicondyle at both my elbows. Medication and hand therapy was not working so the doctor strongly recommended surgery. I decided to go with surgery on my right elbow, ulnar nerve transposition surgery. The surgery seemed to fix my right pinky but the numbness came back after about five months.
During that time I was afraid of playing piano and afraid of lifting weights. I decided to take a break from my two favorite hobbies, but after the six month break my problems reappeared as soon as I started again.
To make a long story short, I have healed because I got over my fear. I decided to lift weights like I normally would and play piano at least 30 minutes a day. At first I would experience the numbness, like I was used to. I used to be afraid that I was damaging my nerves. I just kept training and eventually the problem went away as my fear diminished. Some other things that helped me get over my fear was:
-Reading the TMS books, such as the Divided Mind, The Great Pain Deception, To Be Or Not To Be… Pain-Free.
- I found multiple studies that it is normal for athletes to have ulnar nerve subluxation. It was something like more than 50% of athletes have asymptomatic ulnar subluxation.
- I went to another hand doctor and even though he isn’t a TMS doc, he told me that he is 100% certain there is nothing wrong with my hands, despite the EMG tests.
It helps to hear that from a doctor.
I hope this story helps anyone who is having similar issues. For what it’s worth I can press 135lbs over my head and bench press 225lbs, which certainly requires movement of the elbow, without any of my previous issues.