When this first blew up in April 2001 and I could not continue any longer (there were, of course, many warning signs that were ignorable), my symptoms were:
- burning along the backs of both forearms;
- swelling in the first section of all fingers;
- swelling of left forearm (or rather SENSATION of swelling) just below watch strap;
- ache/pain behind both elbows;
- ache in both upper arms;
- symptoms very much aggravated by the COLD, even opening the fridge! Some blue or white discoloration of nail beds/finger tips almost immediately (I thought I’d got Raynauds!);
- arms feeling too heavy and needed supporting by pillows under the elbows.
- severe fatigue in arms, especially upper, unable to do anything. The iron weighed a ton, and even washing my hair in the shower would leave me exhausted;
- a full range of movement in all joints etc., the only restriction being muscle pain. That was the worst-case scenario, when I finally had to stop.
Over the next few weeks, the symptoms gradually began to resolve but would reappear, so something I thought was better would reoccur a few days later and then go again. I had no real feeling of progression, just good days and bad days, but could not do much for very long, even on a good day. I am now in my eighth week off sick, but I have had the first IMS treatment and looking forward to the next one tomorrow… My arms on the whole are much better already. I can iron for 30 minutes now (yippee?), which was unthinkable 8 days ago. I am conscious of the change in the weather, however, and do wonder how much can be attributed to the rise in temperature (although my central heating had been on constantly before!). The point is, although my symptoms were bilateral (one side worse than other), one side of my spine is more affected than the other. It is quite possible that you have only one side of your spine affected, giving you pain in one side only. Of course it may not be anything to do with your spine at all… The problem is, as everyone on this list knows, unless you find a doctor that has an interest in it, you get nowhere.
I consider myself very lucky to have found Dr. Grahame Brown! Next time I see him, I shall ask if he knows of others nationwide of his specialty (Consultant in Musculo-skeletal and Sports and Fitness Medicine) and post their names on this list for you. He has to be a good bet; Orthopods and Rheumatologists (on the whole) are only interested in bones and joints, not what surrounds them! Your question regarding whether IMS is different to other acupuncture I cannot answer directly, as I did not know much about it until last week, and have not had much time to “surf” for info. However, check out the website below for details of IMS: www.istop-pain.com (appropriate address!). Hope this helps, and good luck to everyone!
Comment 1: Dr. Grahame Brown sounds like a good find… where is he? I had a look at the website and it is interesting. I wonder if one can find a list of UK practitioners. Could you ask your “therapist” next time you go?
Comment 2: I know of two IMS practitioners in Enfield and trained Canada by ‘Gunn’ himself. It’s the Varney practice and the consultants trained are Steven and Mike Varney. Mike is in the process of compiling a website upon which he has promised to put a list of UK practitioners – I do know that there aren’t very many! This is the treatment I keep going on about on this site as turned my life around. The link you recommend is really good and explains it clearly.