Back Pain Questions and Answers
Archive 2007 Part 2

This Q&A section is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Any medical condition should be referred to a qualified medical professional. The Q&A is now closed for new submissions.


Q: I have a L5-S1 disk problem. The MRI says that there is a mild-to-moderate broad-based disk bulge which does not produce central stenosis. There is however mild-to-moderate bilateral foramina stenosis secondary to the disk bulging and settling on the disk. No focal disk herniation is seen. I was referred to possibly using the DRX-9000. From talking with different patients that have used the machine, I have several questions:1) I'm 6'1" tall... Since the table splits, which part of the table should my butt lay on? (top half, bottom half or it doesn't matter)2) Up to what pound pressure should I receive? Some said 70, some 90, some 125... Which is correct? 3) Can I go longer than the 20 treatments if the disk still isn't healed?I have talked with several patients and received different answers... Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you...Andy

Q: I've been weight training for years, and recently I'm been experiencing a sharp shooting pain in the back of my head, whenever I do a shoulder and chest. I'm completely fine when doing cardio. Any ideas what gives? Dan

Q: My doctor has given me a physical examination because I have a problem @L5-S1. The pain radiates down my butt, the back of my leg and through the calf of my left leg. I get sharp spikes of pain at different times, at rest as well as when moving. The pain wakes me up at night quite often. The front of my upper leg is numb, but... it's hard to explain... if I press into my leg with my finger, there is feeling there and it hurts. That numbness came at the same time as numbness in my my three exterior toes. My most recent bout of severe pain landed me in hospital for ten days... now I also have numbness on my shin. They are saying that scar tissue is squeezing S1 nerve and I now have a Foriminal hernia. I had a disceotomy for L5-S1 in 2002. The pain was maybe level 2 for about six months after, then it was like a "clunk" in my back and the pain went up to level 5. I took demerol for a time but the pain was almost always the same. My pain now is always at level 7 to 9. I take 120 mgslow action Morphine, Lyrica and Aventil every day. I'd like to know why the doctor put his hand on my toes and asked me to lift up my toes towards me? Thanks, Dan

Q: Hi Sensei, What is different about your book than Sarnos? I would like anything that helps but I am leary of being taken off course. Thanks Jim

Q: Hi there: Do you know whether drx 9000 treatments are available in canada? Pina

Q: I am a 42 year old female with 3 dehydrated discs L4-l56 and spinal stenosis with nerve damage. I have neck injuries as well to the point they say it's time for surgery (herniations in neck) I now have numbness in legs, arms and face and awful pain on the ball of my foot that comes and goes. the pain is constant now since my first MRI in 1991 (after being rear ended twice in a month) I have had subsequent injuries, PT only makes it worse. No one has ever diagnosed a pinched nerve. Any ideas?? Thank you so much for the great information. also what is lack of oxygen to the disc ?? Kelly

Q: For a while now I have had numbness and sensitivity in my left breast(just under where the rib bone is but also a pain in my upper left back which alot of the time feels like it's itchy but when I do that it is quite sore.) I am 30 and have been taking HRT for 10 years due to radiotherapy i had for a brain tumour that was exised 10 years ago. Miss K

Q: Hello, Just came across your website and was hoping you could help me out. My problem is all on the right side of my body. An x-ray showed a slight curvature to the right in the cervical area. My pain is located behind my right shoulder blade. It is a constant soreness like a pulled muscle. At times I feel a tingling in that area. I feel like I want to push on that muscle for some relief. My lower back on the same side is very tender next to the spine and my hip is tender to the touch and hurts when bending over. I know I have given you alot. Right now I don't have insurance but it is getting to the point where the pain is so annoying. Any help or suggestions for treatment would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again, Shannon

Q: I HAD MRI DONE AND TEST REVEALED BULDGING DISC L5 PRESSING ON NERVE I THINK S1(IS THERE SUCH THING AS F1) GOING TO CONSULT WITH SURGEON CAN I HURT THIS SITUATION MORE,SHOULD I NOT BE DOING CERTAIN THINGS.MY RIGHT BUTT AND THIGH HIP LEG ARE REALLY HURTING..WHAT CAN I DO TO EASE THIS UNTIL I SEE THE SURGEON? PICARD

Q: I'm trying to come up with doctor written articles using Botulinum (botox) for muscle spasms in the back. I'm appealing my insurance company to use Botulinum (botox) injection for chronic back pain. But I'm having trouble finding articles to help my point of view. Can you please help me? Shelly

Q: It is 03:30 am and it is another sleepless night. I am a 30y.o. male that has a herniation of L-5/S-1. It seems that my pain has exacerbated to not only keeping me up at night but driving me to my knees when I rise from a chair. The tightness and spasms are all the way up to my atlas and radiate to my arms. I know this is an abnormal presentation in the absence of leg and buttocks numbness, however, I was just yesterday an athletic and active person. I have talked with a DR. Jay Kruse who did some of my initial assessments and prescribed two epidurals without relief. What is going on? Please help. Shane

Q: Hi Sensei, Just wanted to say thanks for your great book. Having read many books on this topic before, I found yours to appeal to my particular problem with back pain and really liked the intimacy of your presentation, compared to the sometimes overly clinical style in some popular books. I recommend it often and I hope you might take the time to write another someday. I the meantime, I enjoy the site and read it every week. Thanks for your hard work. Tim

Q: My wife had a cyst on her spine that doctors said they had to go in and remove,and she is still having leg pains.Will they go away?? They called it an arachnoid cyst. They did a laminectomy to go in and remove the cyst and relieve the pressure on the nerves...They said it was quite rare..Any opinions or advice?? Todd

Q: I suffer from Spondylolisthesis in the L5/S1 area. Below are things I do at the gym. Am I helping my condition or hurting it? 1. Weight training: Bench press, Bench flies (for chest), Lat pull downs (for shoulders), Cable rows (for back), seated leg press and leg extensions (for quads), leg curls (for hamstrings) 2. Sit-ups (for stomach), Stairmaster and stationary bike (cardio).I am presently experiencing back pain. What is the best exercises to help my condition and the best things to do to reduce the back pain? Please email me a reply. Thank you! Doug

Q: I feel like a nerve is being pulled in my lower back and it paralyses my whole body. I think i have a misplaced disc...if not a ruptured one. My knees are starting to get weakened and it gets harder and harder to stand. Should i treat it with physical activity or do i need surgery? Thank you, Nabil

Q: Hi Sensei, I am a 44 year old male and I have recently started to have some problems in my lower back, buttocks area. I am very active sport wise and I train Muay Thai twice a week, mountain bike twice a week and play golf. I am doing something every day. I have worked out like this for many years without a problem. I recently did some heavy lifting work in garden and experienced some lower back stiffness the next day. That was about a month ago, and since that it has not really gone away. I have still continued to train and at first it's stiff and painfull, then I can usually work through it, but it returns again later. I would say it's a dull ache and stiffness more than pain. Should I stop my exercising or continue through it? I have tried Thai Masssage, but it does not seem to help. What would you suggest? Thank you for your time, I look forward to your reply. Regards, Andy

Q: Hello friend, I appreciate the information on your website. I contacted you once before and need to ask you for help with this serious dilemma that I have found myself in recently. I have read Dr. Sarno's books about 3 years ago. I deeply admire him and his recommendations worked for my muscle spasms which I kept getting every two months. His theory of mind/body connection has also helped me to thwart some other potential physical problems since then. Now, however I have developed a problem which has made me very depressed and I am trying to figure out how to cure it.

Just two months ago, for the first time in my life, I developed a condition of excessive underarm sweating even when i am doing nothing but sitting down my body sweats profusely under my arms. this problem has mortified/terrified me because it has made it difficult for me to wear my clothing (most of my clothes cannot be worn now because the sweat would show on the clothing). there is no doubt that this problem was caused by my subconscious to divert my attention from an intense emotional problem which I was anxiously thinking about just prior to this sudden onset of my excessive sweating. I am in good health and i know that this sweating problem is caused by my subsonscious mind. I keep telling my mind that I know that it is the cause of my sweating problem and that it is not going to work but so far after one week of me doing this, I have not been able to successfully stop the sweat glands from pouring out the sweat. I used to have a big wardrobe but now i have only a few items that i can wear anymore. do you have a suggestion for me on how i can use the sarno principles for something like this. in my gut, i know that this is caused by the subconsious but i don't know how to get it to stop. I have made an appt. with a good hypnotist for next week and she agreed with me that the subscious mind is responsible for this. I would genuinly appreciate ANY advice you may give me in the matter. This is truly one of the most embarrassing things that i have ever endured in my life. Aida.

Q: I HAVE SCOLIOSIS AND HAD TO WEAR A BRACE AS A CHILD. I HAVE HAD 2 CHILDREN AND AM NOW 28 YEARS OLD. IN THE LAST YEAR I HAVE HAD SEVERE ACHING LOWER BACK PAIN AND NOW I HAVE PAIN RADIATING DOWN MY RIGHT RIGHT BUTTOCK AND LEG. THIS PAIN IS SO SEVERE AND KEEPS GETTING WORST. THE PAIN SEEMS TO BE PROGRESSING. I AM AFRAID THAT AS I GET OLDER THE PAIN WILL BECOME MORE UNBEARABLE. DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT I SHOULD DO? ANGELA

Q: I have pain in my right upper side that radiants to the middle of my back.It hurts like hell getting up in the mornings and doing sleep.I have not gone to see any doctors yet.What could be the cause of this? Lee

COMMENT: Thank you so much for taking the time to inform those of us out there who so desperately seek answers. I've read Dr.Sarno's books & watched his videos. I really believe in time my back pain will be gone!! Thank you so much. I'm only just now beginning to understand the pain cycle I've been in & am seeking a psychotherapist to help me through this process. Thank you. Michelle

Q: I recently had a nasty fall and have a fractured L1 vertebrae, my question is what is the recovery time, i have been on bed rest for 10 days and have a brace to wear. But have not been told how long i have to wear the brace for. I am due to fly on the 28th June, do you think i will be able to. I hope you can help answer my questions. Thanks Lynne

Q: Do you have any comments/advice/information you can give me concerning the sciatic nerve and back pain? I have had sensations in my right hip that feel painful, achy, burning, tingly, throbbing etc. that have gotten worse over the past 15 years or so. These feelings sometimes go down my leg and knee. I feel like my sciatic nerve is involved. Thank you very much. Kathie

COMMENT: Hi Sensei, Just want to thank you one more time for all the support and good advice you have given me over the last 4 months. I really appreciate the interest you took in my case and how you continued to stay in touch with me and be there when I had questions. I feel so much better now, even though I still have work to do. I will never forget you for all the help you have given me. You are a true gentleman and a good friend, despite living on the other side of the world. You know how to reach me if I can ever do anything to repay you! Best wishes, Lena

Q: I have a herniated and a buldging disc l4 l5 s1 my Doc does not want to do surgery, he wants me to wait 3 months, I havehad the cortizone shot and it did not work, My neighbor told me about the DXR 9000. What are your thoughts on the dxr9000 ? Dave

Q: Why do I sometimes get a pinched nerve when I don't do anything to cause it? Breawna

Q: I am an active, 28 year-old female. Through adolescence I played multiple sports (field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, track and field) and as an adult I have run marathons, done distance cycling, and remain otherwise active. Ever since I was about 12, I have had lower back pain. It never really bothered me, but I knew it was there. Throughout high school and college, it became progressively worse, but still did not interfere with my activity level. Over the past two years, however, it has become so severe that I frequently lay down on my hardwood floor at night to get relief. I finally went to an orthopedist and it was discovered that I have a pretty significant scoliosis and lordosis, resulting in "mechanical back pain." I went to physical therapy, but the physical therapist did not think that exercises alone were going to fix my problem. There is some obvious nerve involvement around the area of the curve - my left leg always goes numb and my backside becomes incredibly painful when I sit for longer than 30 minutes. I am not overweight (a little over five feet tall and about 130 pounds), have decent abdominal muscles, and can still exercise (running about 6 miles at a time) without too much pain. However, by the end of the day my pain is pretty bad. Also, the pain is in the spine; I can actually touch my spine in one place and it really hurts. The doctor did not think this was a concern (he couldn't see anything on the x-ray) and said I just had brusitis resulting from the vertabrae hitting one another. However, I've had sports and running injuries, so I know that pin-point pain can indicate a stress fracture. Should I seek a second opinion? Am I destined to a lifetime of worsening back pain? I want to stay active so I'm willing to do anything! Andrea

Q: hi first i want to thank u about this.I am 35 years old,playing soccer,before i got some back pain and when i saw the doctors they said nothing maybe muslus till i did scan and the scan report said A moderate sized broadbased central posterior disc protrusion is demonstrated at the L5/S1 level.The protruded disc indents the anterior thecal sac but does not encroach into the exiting neural foramina.It des however encroach slightly into the lateral recess canals on both sides and there is a suggestion on this study of a thickened lefet S1 nerve root raising the possibility of a degree of neural compromise. It clinically indicated confirmation with MRI scan is recommended. I still in a pain and my question can i play soccer or not and wat should i do, I reall sad cuz maybe i should stop soccer. Thanks again for ur help, Tom

Q: I have a question about my lordose. My lordose is quiet flat and i also have by periods severe attacks of lowerbackpain. I red books of Sarno but unconsciously this flat lordose keeps comming back as an eventual cause of my pain. It stops me from directing myself totaly towards a psychological (Sarno) approach. I still think, it might be my flat lordose. Also my spine is a bit oblique (not much). Nobody (doctor, fysio etc) says this is absolutely not the cause of your pain. They say it might or might not. I saw your text concerning a lordose which is to much bend. Mine is the opposite, flat and a bit of a oblique spine. Could you say if this could give problems. I have these problems for about 12 years. In 2004 and 2005 no problems and from beginning 2006 the lower backpain returned by periods. Iam trying to exclude all physicall causes when they are in fact harmless. In holland not much people can from their profession give a statement about this in combination with a TMS approach. Maybe you can. I hope you will answer my question. Patrick

Q: Do you have any info on spinal stenosis (treatments other than surgery, etc.,)Thanks, Neal

Q: Hello, my friends call me BigDon. I have a few questions and I'd like to tell my back pain story, if I may. My first question is "what is facet changes" the last mri noted that i showed signs of facet changes? I was hurt while working as a laboror for a large Construction Co., about 4 years ago. At first, I went to several different places own my own before reporting it to my employer. It took almost a year before they finally sent me to have a MRI but by then I was in terrible shape. Even after their doctor recommended surgery worker's comp. sent me to other doctors trying to avoid the problem. Finally had to have not one but two surgeries in the last three years. At the moment I feel like I may need yet another because I've been experiecing terrible back and leg pain. Workers comp. said that they are no longer treating me because their doctor said that I was at maximum medical improvement. My lawyer says that her hands are tied and that there is nothing she can do. SHE IS WORKING VERY HARD FOR A SETTLEMENT THOUGH. No amount of money could take away the pains I have been experiecing. I need some type of treatment. I could go on and on but that is the guts of my story. BigDon

Q: right side of nech spasm with burning pain last for days strecting does not help makes it worth where does the problem really come from is it the shoulder or spine or the neck had problemes with those symptons for 25 years on and off but never goes away x-rays does not show up for any pimched nerves am i stretching my neck too much maybe, Angie

Q: I was 28 yo when diagnosed with Disc Herniation L4/L5 & Protruded Disc L5/S1. I had the worst pain ever, it was concentrated in my right buttocks and radiated down the lateral part of my right leg. No tingling or numbness. The Neurosurgeon wanted to perform surgery asap, I declined and opted for conservative treatment in Physical Therapy. The pain was so Horrific I decided on two epidural cortisone injections during my Physical Therapy. It worked well for me and I continued religiously practicing proper posture, mechanics, stretching, exercisce, and physical therapy. Other than slight cramping on my right leg I was pain free for the next three years. This past March I began to feel slight pain on my right buttocks once again. It is not a constant pain and does not have the same intensity as originally. What happened, I was doing so well and pain free for 3 years? Do you recommend another cortisone epidural injection? Surgery? Victor

Q: I have bad lower back pain. I took X-Rays, later i went for the MRI X-Rays. The Dr. said that I have lower back muscle pain. I get this pain while doing lots of SEX . And i cant do any more missionery sex. If i do the pain starts killing me. Would you please advice me some suggestion or medicine. Waiting for your reply. Thanks, Ameer

Q: Hi, I'm 17 years old and have been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. I have been out for about a year missing my entire football season. Now after i thought it was healed the pain came back and now they say it's just scar tissue. I have 3 months left till football season and i don't want to miss it. Do you think my back will be able to hold up for at least one more season of football? Eital

Q: I was lifting a weight (30 lbs) from my side to shoulder height - and because of bad technique injured myself - under my right side of my rib cage/slightly towards my back. What did I do to myself - The bad was intense after 5 minutes - I quickly packed it in ice (30 minutes) and took two ibipropin - I also alternated with heat. I alternated with ice and heat the second day. Now, I got invited to a golf tournement and want to play - but know I should not...but Gil

Q: Im suffering from backpain since 10 years, till date i did not get any solution of this painful problem. the symptumps are: as if i sleep more than 5-6 hours then backpain get started, as long i sleep as the pain increases. after doing exsersise like touching the toe's etc. i get some relief. And i cant sit without back support, if i didnot take any support in sitting position then after 15 min. pain get started. plz advice me regarding this matter. thanks. ajay

Q: Dear Sensei, Firstly can I say what a fantastic website!! Finally somebody that understands!! My story is as follows:- I am a 27 year old female and about 5 years ago I started to have lower back pain, and pain im my left leg. I went to physio who said that my back problem was due to a leg length discrepancy and I was referred to a Podiatrist at the biomechanics dept at my local hospital. They made me a shoe raiser which I wore in my shoe for about 6 months. This did nothing to solve my problem. I went to my GP and have had blood tests, x-rays of my back and recentley an MRI Scan.- All of these have come back clear. My GP I find very unsympathetic and to be quite honest is only too happy to fill me full of pain killers and anti- depressants. As all my results have come back clear he is insisting that my problem is phycosomatic. I to be honest am not convinced, and when i said that to him - his answer was well you would say that. I have been depressed recentley but it is due to the frustrations of not being able to find out what the problem is. My doctor is only to happy to treat the symptoms but is not at all interested in investigating the causeany further. I am now at a loss of what to do my symptoms I believe are slowly getting worse I have lower back pain, pain down my left leg and I find that activity or exercise makes it worse. An example would be if I went shopping for an hour or so in town by the end of it my legs would be very tired, my feet would feel hot although they are not to touch, my legs ache like I have just run a 100 miles, I feel like a 70 year old from the waist down. Luckily I work in an office and do sit down for the majority of the day otherwise I physically would not be able to work. If i had to work in a shop for example I physically would not be able to be on my feet all day.The other thing I have noticed is that I find it uncomfortable to stand. I find myself shifting my weight from one foot to another and subconsciously looking for a seat to sit down. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Kelly

Q: Dear Sensei, Thanks for sending me the great book. I tried Dr. Sarno with some success, but your book really helped me to connect these psychosomatic ideas to my own experiences. I really think your personal approach works very well. I am still working on my back and hip pain, but I am making steady progress these last 3 weeks. Just want to let you know that you have made a difference for me and I really can’t thank you enough. Ajani

Q: I had a MRI done on my thoracic spine and would like to know what these results mean. At T8-T9 there is a central/rightparaentral focal disc protrusion . this pears to contact the thoracic cord resultingin miimal dformity and no abnormal signal.Remaining thoracic disc levels show no significant dorsaldisc protusion or extrusion. Vertebral bodies have normal marrow signals and contour. Impressions:central/right paracentral disc protusion t T8 T9 which contacts the thoracic cord. I just had a thoracic epidural it has not helped at all. Thank you Tammy

Q: Good day, Congratulations on your excellent site. I am from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. My question is:I had back surgery (disectomy) 5 months ago now to fix an herniated disk in my lower back (L4-L5). Surgery was highly successful and I no longer have pain in my left leg (sciatica). However since a bout 3 weeks now, I am experiencing bad back spasms.I just wanted to know if this is normal as muscles are re-building in my lower back ? Also I would like to know what exercices I can do to relieve the spasms. I have been swimming almost every day at lunch time since 3 months and it really helps. I also started massage therapy last week. How many more months you think I will have bask pain from this surgery and what should I do to prevent back spasm and/or treat them. I am starting physio in a month only as prescribded by surgeon. Many thanks in advance. Jean-Pascal

Q: Can someone with a vertebral stress fracture and a bulging disk be treated with decompression therapy? Angie

Q: I really want to have an appointment with Dr. Sarno. Could you please help me to find him, It is really important for me. I have seen thousand of doctors to treat my migraine, nothing works so I really think that my problem is TMS. Thank you very much, Jeannette

Q: i fractured 7 vertabraes in an auto accident in 2004 and i have a lot of pain i have tried therapy and it made me worse. i have also shrun since the car acciden and my doc thinks it was an off measurement i know its not because i met my bf 2 years ago an i was taller than him and now shorter. should i find a doctor who will listen to me? what do i have in store for me because i also have curvature of the spine from my accident? Becca

Q: please can you help i have been suffering with a torn calf muscle and then through doing alternative exercises i have damaged the nerves in my spine and leg.I have been suffering with this for six months and have only just got a physio appointment and he said i dont have a natural cure in my spine and when he pressed on the centre of my back it hurt so much i have been suffering with pains in both my legs,i have been exercising for nine years and ive had to stop please can you help. Maxine

Q: hi, hoping you can help as I am at a loss! Had a rear end rta five months ago and have been attending hospital since. I had a fractured collarbone, fractures of the t8 and t9 and damage to my neck. After repeatedly complaning of this I finally got an mri.It was seven lines of text! It said there was disc protrusion with nerve damage at c5/c6. I have had serious loss of power on my left side,pins and needles,electric shock sensation in my hand, find it difficult to pick things up etc. also limping on my left leg. The pain is excruciating in my neck and can only sleep about a half an hour at time at night because my body locks up. I am getting no help from my doctor just continue with the physio(which I feel is making me worse)and take plenty of painkillers. Please help! Many thanks. Deborah

Q: Hi, I have been suffering from lower back pain for about year. in February of this year, an MRI diagnosed a herniated disc at L5, S1. I then started spinal decompression treatment. This treatment seemed to give me temporary relief. I then had three epidural steroid injections and a nerve block. I am still suffering from back pain, leg pain, and now recently, upper back pain and radiating arm pain, as well as chronic headaches. The pain is at times, debilitating. I am working, but only part time and I am exhausted from managing the pain, or keeping it "compartmentalized" while I work. Now I have a consultation with a surgeon, and this is not something I want to consider, but living with this pain isn't really living. I can't even go for a walk or a swim. I hope that you have some answers for me. What should I do next? Mitzi

Q: I am a 48 year old female and have always been in excellent health. No problems. I hadn't worked out in a while and asked my husband for an Elliptical after the first of the year, and got it along with a punching bag that he wanted as well. I worked out on both the Elliptical and the punching bag for a couple of months and was feeling pretty good until one day my upper right shoulder blade started feeling stiff and painful. I stopped working out and babied it for a few weeks with no relief. Finally saw an ortho MD, took X-rays, everything was fine except I have the onset of some disc degeneration in my neck that he said was moderate.

I have been seeing a PT for a few weeks, and the pain comes and goes. They have been doing ultrasound, heat, TENS, etc., but I am not getting over this. Writing this today, because I am in the middle of a painful spasm, as it hurts when I take a deep breathe. I do sit at a desk all day and stare at a computer. I have been surfing the net and came across something called myofascial syndrome. Would you please give me some advice as I am getting really tired of this, and am ready to get back to exercising. Thanks Leesa

Q: Hi. Three years ago I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel I had surgery and couldn't do pt with my right arm. I was sent back to the doctors per my physical therapist witch I had an MRI of my neck showing cervical spondolysis and an MRI of my shoulder showing a torn rotator cuff. I went throught pt again but the physical therapist thought it was a bad idea sher was able to push my back of my shoulder all the way to the front on the right side state posterior capsule laxity. The doctor was notified but he wanted me to continue which I did only to feel a tear while performing a pt exercise. The physical therapist told me no more pt go back to doc and get surgery. Because I moved to a different state than were I was injuried for workers comp no doctor in this state will help me. In the three years of no help I have fallen numerous time an had to have MRIs of my back going from buldging disk to herniated L5-S1. Doctors again tell me this is workers comp., order an epidural shot with steroids which I got a really bad infection and was order by the emergency room doctor not to take anymore steroids. I was sent to an ENT doc to verify why I fall doctors telling me that it might be something wrong with my ears. Any the ent stated it is that my arm bone isn't staying in its socket, pulling on my neck with cervical spondolysis causing my loss of balance which has made me fall numerous times to injury my back. I wish they would have just fixed my shoulder 3 years ago. Doctor could this be the cause of my falling? Tabitha

Q: I have severe upper back pain which is affecting my breathing. Can this be possible and the doctors are telling me everything is fine and it is my head. I am interested in your e-book but I wanted to know if you have come across anyone with back pain that affects their breathing. Nitsa

Q: i hurt my back 3yrs ago when a young lady ran into the front of my truck, she was DUI n for some reason belived she could drive while sitting in the passanger side of her car. ive been getting pain that would come & go, as time went on the pain got worse n my right leg gets numb alot. this past sat the day before mothers day i was outside with my daughter. i was just standing when this very bad sharp pain came on it was so bad i fell to the ground my neighbors helped me to my home i was unable to walk i was bent over and just could NOT straighten up i asked my neighbors to lay me on the floor because i was more than sure the pain would go away i laid on the floor 3hrs i had no choice but to call the ambulance because the most i could do was lift my head. i was unable to attend to any of my personal needs and i found that very hard because im only 32yrs of age. here it is almost a wk later and the pain is still very strong. im afraid because i dont know what to expect. if im sitting walking or even laying in bed it hurt i cant lift my feet no more than 2 inches off the ground when i stand im hunched over and it takes me a while before i can get in the up right position and work has become almost impossible. please help im willing to hear any and all suggestions. Nancy

Q: Hi , I once had a very bad bed. i woke up one night and i felt my upper back body was in great pain. My muscles were really hurting. I felt like i had torn something.. the pain lasted with me for almost 1 year, i then went to a chiropractic, tried 30 session of adjustments, nothing really changed, and the pain remained the same...so then i went to a medical doctor in OHSU spine center, he told me to see his physical therapist, i have been swimming for a month , doing all the excersises they told me to do, had multiple back massage sessions and nothing has really changed, the pain is still there...What do i really do, any word of advice... I would really appreciate your help... i am really getting frustrated over this... Thank you, Yazid

Q: Hi, I found your page surfing and the info is very interesting and I am glad I found it. I am a 45 year woman, overweight(working on this lost 19lbs so far) and now have chronic burning lower back, tailbone pain. Before I went to the Chiro I only had tailbone pain but after several adjustments I not have burning pain lower buttocks and up my spine to the middle back. So far I have not found relief with Chiropractors. I have had an MRI, Sacrum Spect scan, Gallblader ultrasound, Gyne exam, numerous blood tests and various other tests. None show any disk problems, tumors or anything out of the ordinary. I am currently on muscle relaxants and NSAIDS which only dull the pain. The last Chiropractor said it was due to food allergies so I have quit soy, dairy and Caffeine. The pain started in my tailbone(sacrum) and still hurts if I sit very long. Sitting also causes pain in my Neck and Shoulders. Not sure about the food allergies but the pain got much worse after adjustments and myofascial work which led me to think this is not the right treatment. The Myo didn't hurt but everytime he adjusted me it hurt a lot. I had a another Chiro before who when adjustments were made never hurt but he doesn't take any insurance. My feeling was it was not supposed to hurt. I have been in touch with a yet another Ortho Doc. who does not do surgery. He is checking some things out(more tests) and then feels P.E. would be the next choice. I have to say I am really discouraged as I can't seem to find the answers. I found your Knowledge therapy enlighting and hope that this can be useful at least get the pain under control. I am confused as to what to do. I try to use our health club whirlpool and therapy pool to at lease keep moving. Sorry to babble on so much. So the questions are: Should an adjustment hurt? Also is it possible a Chiro could make the pain worse and cause the burning pain(nerves) that was not there before? Do think that is permanent or just lactic acid buildup? I also do acupuncture which is only short term relief. Any suggestions on therapy both emotional and Physical that you have I would be grateful.Thanks! Sheila

Q: Hi Sensei, after my accident i went to a chiropractor for 9 mths and that was a waste of time. i would leave in worse conditions so he decided to send me out for an MRI the results came back that i had 3 herniated disc 2 in my lower back and 1 in my neck and thats all i know. Nancy

Q: Hi,I was wondering if you can help me. I have a lower back pain problem.There seems to be any number of movable, oval, muscular shapes around the base of my spine,also on my hips.I have actively played cricket for many years and have had this problem but know it is chronic. I have numbness in my calfs and buttocks also...and sneezing is a real joy as you can imagine. I have had physio and they have suggested muscular problems in my 'gluts' and calcium deposits on my pelvis along with the usual lower back ailments. I wonder if you have heard of my condition, i hve searched on many internet sites but nothing seems to relate to my condition.I hope you can help. Best Wishes, Ian

Q: Dear Adam, I have a herniated disc between L4&L5 and a bulging disc between L5&S1.I also hear a click in the lower back. The pain extends into the buttock and down the back of my left calf. Please help me as I am a young person. Yours sincerely, Esther

Q: Sensei/teacher, Your info. are very informative. I hurt my back during the desert shield/desert storm era when I was active duty, it healed by itself but years after that the lower back pain becomes a menace to me. Yes I seen Chiropractors, MD's etc..X-ray and MRI with diagnosis such, disc dessication and/or osteoarthiritis. None helped very much. I was a former KARATE instructor teaching the Art of Shorin-Ryu and I love it very much. Unfortunetely lower back pain and mild carpal tunnel syndrome put me out of commissioned. I tried to practice Karate again, but everytime I practice, the aftermath is misery. I'm been taking ibuprofen and tylenol regularly for years following the dosage. Back pain ruin my dreams and career. After almost 10 years of active duty in the service I no longer reenlist because of it (there goes my career). My part time job as a Traditional Karate instructor is history. Once worked for the Sheriff as a civilian employee but back pain killed me. Now at age 36 I am planning to become a nurse, but the horrors of lumbar region back pain hunts me. Please help----Respectfully, Van

Q: Dear Sensei, I was severely injured by a chiropractor in 1992. I suffer from endless radiating pain running down both my arms and the front of both my legs. I have whiplash at the c5-6 level. I have tried acupuncture, prolotherapy, physical therapy, steroids, NBE. All a complete waste of time and money. The pain has ruined my life. I do not want to have surgery since it does not have a high success rate. Is there anything that can help that you might know of for facet joint or ligament damage? Rachel

Q: MY STEPMOTHER HAS HAD SEVERE BACK PAIN FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS. SHE IS NOW IN A WHEEL CHAIR AND CAN NOT EVEN GET OUT OF BED WITHOUT HELP. SHE IS TAKING PAIN MEDICINE FOR QUITE SOME TIME AND IS LIVING A MISERABLE LIFE. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY ADIVCE. Her neck was hurt at work in 1996 (i am not sure what the exact injury was) and she had surgery. She was still in the neck brace when she was in a car accident. The car hit her from behind and slammed her into the car infront of her. She was sent to the hospital at that time because of back pain and they put her on a back board for about two hours. Her pain was unbearable but they had to put her through it so that they could x ray her. When my father picked her up from the hospital she could not stand up streight. She has been walking half bent over ever since. This has been going on for over 10 years. The doctor that she was seeing diagnoced her with bulging disks, herniated disks and degenerative disk disease. For quite some time she has been taking a number of pain medications. These include, methadone, Dilaudid, Baclofen and Valume. Her doctor past away after treating her for about 6 years. She has been through a number of doctors since then but all they seem to want to do is give her more pain medicine and have her come back once a month. She wants to eventually stop taking the pain medicine and find some sort of treatment so that she can have atleast half of a life again. If my father has to go out of town to work, she has to call 911 to come help her get out of bed. She is miserable. Her pain is mostly in her neck and her lower back. Recently, she has been experiencing pain in her arms and legs. Please help! THANK YOU. Angela

Q: I'm 22. For the past 10 years I've had scheuermann's kyphosis. I've been in the milwaukee brace, dr. alan cope's brace, and several others. I've tried chiroprators and different exercises. In 5 weeks I'm going to have surgery. My curve is 90 degrees. I've seen 2 doctors. One wants to go in from the front and the back, the other just wants to open from my back. Which way is best? I'm scared out of my mind. I live in constant pain and heavy duty painkillers have become my best friend. I'm married and I want to have kids one day, but just lifting my work bag can hurt like... well you know. What do you suggest? Which surgery would work best? I also have a scoliosis curve in the middle of my spine. Tandy

Q: I am tired of reading WebMD, and a dozen others. I was hurt Oct.'06, lumbosacral strain/sprain. I had physical therapy, got an MRI which said NOTHING about my bones,and recovered enough to return to work in Jan.'7, briefly. Recently I had a dexascan for R/O osteoporosis. Is it very typical for that dexascan to report "significantly increased" density in my lumbar vertebrae compared to 3 years ago??? Oh, and I still have pain lifting my 22lb. grandaughter. Levena

Q: Thank you for such an informative page. I hope you can give me some info. My husband had a slipped disc (L4) in 2002 - the pain was all in his right leg so it took the doctors 7 months to actually look at his back - by then the nerve damage occured and despite the surgery he is in a lot of pain (both back and leg). He's been on every pain killer known to man, tried acupuncture (made it worse), massage (nice but no relief) and has seen some good doctors who give a "sucks to be you" look. He's been getting worse lately and an MRI showed that he's got another slipped disc. The neurologist said that no doctor will operate on him again but we're still waiting for an appointment. One option I have not looked into is chiropractic treatment (I'm somewhat sceptical), but we are running out of options. Do you think a chiropractor can help him or could actually make him feel worse? Do you know any good chiropractors with experience in slipped discs - my husband might be scared to have someone crack his back. Any info will help - Thanks, Magda

Q: Hi, I saw the info on oxygen-dep back pain and was wondering about something... I have had to have multiple blood and iron-transfusions for the last four years and just recently my hemoglobin has started staying at normal levels (it had been below 9.0 for most of the previous period). Anyhow, I know that my eyes would clear up with transfusions due to my oxygen level being increased... I have had to have back surgery (last year) and am currently having more problems with my back (I just had a CT myleogram and they found a cyst at S1 and a bulge at L5; I previously had to have two discs replaced with cages and a rod put in my back (spinal fusion)). I'm just wondering if the lack of oxygen that I'd had previously may have been a contributing factor in all of this...??? Your help is greatly appreciated. I just want to get on with my life... Deanna

Q: Hello, I am 33 yrs old and about a yr ago I had some minor pain in my lower back that wasn't going away. I am very active and try to hit the gym at least 6 times per week (that's the goal at least). After I visited a couple of different doctors, it was discovered that I have two herniated disks, some degeneration, and a large Tarlov cyst. The cyst is asymptomatic (thankfully). The spine docs said I'm probably about 10 yrs away from a fusion surgery, but after watching my father go thru 4 of those operations where none of them gave him any kind of relief, I don't want to go down that road. I've been doing Pilates for the past 4 months, and that has helped a lot, but while my back may be getting stronger, it's not getting better. I've investigated decompression and found the DRX9000 but heard they were being investigated for fraud. Recently, I found the Accu-Spina machine which claims to be the, "newest and best treatment". I was wondering if you have heard about decompression therapy along w/ Tarlov cysts (is it risky?) and also about the Accu Spina machine. It was recently featured on webmd.com so there is a video on it if you care to take a look. I look forward to any info on recon you can provide. Please feel free to post my question on a blog if that helps others too. Thanks! Eric

Q: Hi Adam, I found your website through your posts on the TMS Help Forum. I'm writing this because you seem very knowledgeable regarding muscle pain/treatment. I've had a relapse with my frozen shoulder, possibly from overusing it or overextending it. The pain has spread into both shoulders now, although only the left one is partially immobile. This pain runs along the trapezius muscles and back of my neck, with both acromion very tender, and tight painful shoulder caps (deltoid?). Sometimes the pain, tightness and spasming extend vertically down through the shoulder blade all the way into my hip, wrapping around the front into my left abdomenal area. Exercising is a disaster; efforts in that direction, other than walking, literally cripple me for days! You've read my posts on TMS Help Forum. To reiterate, I think this is all TMS-related because I could be a poster child for Sarno's books, and because it periodically gets better to the point that the pain is almost gone. However, contrary to Sarno's theories, I do believe there is considerable inflammation present in the areas I've described. I've talked to other people with so-called frozen shoulder, and have concluded there's more than one cause/treatment, and that some frozen shoulders are much worse than others. I have been rereading the Sarno books and have begun journaling again, but I would like to find specifics on helping myself to free up this frozen shoulder, which I've had for about a year and a half now. I've ordered Fred Amir's book and am thinking about getting the Schechter workbook, although I don't know if either would be helpful. There are no TMS practitioners in my area, and the usual round of doctors/PT's made me significantly worse. I am therefore reluctant (putting it mildly) to try that route again. Your website doesn't really address shoulder pain/frozen shoulder. Do you know of any that do? Also, do you have any specific info on this? I don't mind if you post this question/answer on your website, but I would very much appreciate it if you would take a minute to email me as well. Thanks much....Shary

Q: Hi Sensei, I have just read your book. I think it's great. More grids to work with. I only have 1 question. In your book you refer to the subconscious as the place of origin of PIPS. Sarno refers to the unconscious. My question is do you mean the same domain? Cause what i learned is there are 3, the conscious, sub-, and unconscious. To my knowledge they have different functions. I presume you mean the same but give it another name. I don't won't my brain to have a foot between the door. I know how i am. I can say (unconscious) that the programs conflict and that might be less effective, i wan't to exclude all doubt. I hope you will answer my question. This PIPS/TMS thing is no sh.. but I keep up the good work. Also thanks to you, great book/great site. Greetings Patrick from Holland

Q: I am actually having NECK problems which relates to excruciating sharp, stabbing pain in the back of my LEFT leg, and into my buttocks and groin. When I move my head forward and back, there is that sharp pain, and even if I cough, or swallow pills and jet my head back, the pain is UN-BEARABLE, and the shooting, stabbing pain is there. Also when ZI am sitting, like I am now, there is intermittent stabbing pain down the back of my leg by my buttocks. I do not sleep well, and this pain stops me in my tracks. I am 59 years *young* and retired, but I LOVE yardwork and do alot of it. Of course this exacerbates this pain, but when I'm doing the gardening, I don't notice it untill I stop, and then the next day when I get up, I can barely function. I see a Chiropractor who practices the BEST method, and he has helped me tremendously in the past. It is about pressure points, and there are very few who do this type of healing. So, I have an appointment this Monday, as the pain has become UNBEARABLE. What do you think is going on?? I think it is a pinched nerve, and the problem is in my neck and is affecting my lower lumbar and sciatica. I think I'm going to ask my doctor for Methadone for the pain. Don't know what else to do. Thanks~Lynda

Q: I had back surgery two years ago in May and continue to have lower back pain and now some leg pain. I am on muscle relaxer, Lyrica, to name a few. The pain specialist thinks it is stress above and below the fusion but the injections only helped once and that lasted about 5 months. I exercise six days a week after paying for a trainer to show me some exercises that might help. I have a lot of pain more so in the right buttock area that is like a very sore constant pain that nothing helps and sometimes across the lower back. This all has made me depessed because it doesn't seem to be getting any better after all this time and no one seems to be able to help.I hate living like this. Debbie

Q: i woke up three weeks ago with a still neck, thought i slept wrong, then the following morning my left arm hurt so bad that i ended up in the ER. They gave me medicine and sent me hom, no X-rays or anything i left stii crying. The following day my pointing finger is numb...my arm huirts so bad from my shoulder on the outside of my arm to my wrist. i was at the ER again they took one x-ray of my shoulder and said its not broke gave me more meds, In the mean time i dont sleep and my back shoulder blade hurts me also in one spot what do i do? Christie

Q: Hey there, For a year and two months I have had extremely tight muscles in my lumbar region of the back, mainly in the upper lumbar on both sides (The lumbar region is like the back's ab muscles; the two parallel vertical muscles). I'm pretty sure I hurt them doing deadlifts and squats with too much weight and improper form. That was Spring of 2006. Since then, I've biked, ran, played soccer and swam almost continuously up through February. I have taken about three months off strenuous cardio exercise, been to physical therapy and have been doing some exercises which help somewhat, but when I get back on the bike or run the tightness and pain flares right back up again and it's pretty uncomfortable to run and swim and do all the things I used to do without serious tightness. (It's definately not disc pain, I've had xrays and stress fracture tests). Now, I know a little over a year is just a drop in the bucket compared to 18 YEARS of pain for yourself. I was hoping though, with your knowledge and experience, that you could shed some insight into my dilemna. Thank-you very much for reading this, any response would be greatly appreciated. Michael

Q: I have found that most of your comments and answers dont support the use of chiropractic care to treat any back problems. I find this to be false, especially since I have been receiveing chiropractic care and have had great success with my treatment. I was advised about chiropractic care from someone else whom had great results. I think that sometimes people overlook the simple things such as chiropractic care for answers to their problems. They rather skip to surgery or drugs and pills for help. Why not let your body heal on its own. These are just my thoughts. thanks James

Q: Hello Sensei, My husband has been suffering from disabling chronic back and sciatic pain since 1984. His back problems began with a work related injury due to heavy lifting. He has had four back surgeries on S1/L5/L4/L3 due to ruptured discs. He of course was told he has DDD. The last surgery was in the early 90's. Since that time he has been suffering from another ruptured disc in L3 & L4. He has had 8 myelograms and 6 MRI's. He has tried everything under the sun for pain, including a Ratz catheter which aggravated his pain even more. I tip my hat to him for trying very hard not to rely on pain pills...but it seems now the pain is becoming unbearable. He also has been diagnosed with Arachnoiditis - complications due to scar tissue. He has continual sciatica down his right leg, his right foot is numb - hardly any sensation at all. Along with all this, in the last two years he has developed bladder control issues - which has been attributed to his nerve damage in his back. In the last year he is experiencing a problem with his penis - where when he sits for extended lengths of time - it literally "sucks up" inside to where it is flush with his body. Dear Sensei, he needs some help - he does not trust the medical world at all - he knows that they actually compounded and made things worse. I read your impressions on the DRX9000. It sounds like it might be a promising form of healing and relief for him...do you think that also? We live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I can't seem to find any specialists who offer this machine in our area. There are a couple that are 2-3 hours away from us. Problem is, the drive. Sitting for 2-3 hours. We really would appreciate your thoughts and help. We are desperate! Helen

Q: Hey, Chad here. I am no stranger to back pain. I was plagued for eight years with server chronic neuropathy (stinging, stabbing, pins/needles and nerve pain I could not even explain). The pain started stabbing in my heart and then after the first couple of years the pains started migrating to other parts of my body. Every few seconds my whole rib cage would just start stinging/burning & stabbing, my eyeballs stung, my tongue would sting, my bones would hurt(dual pains), as well as every other part of my body from head to toe. The pain was mostly sporatic(out of nowhere) and it would sometimes pulsate or stay in a certain area for a few minutes. I thought it was because of my spine (due to crushed nerves in my spine). Every main stream doctor/specialist could find nothing wrong with me and gave me many medications to try to see if anything would help and would you believe it none of it worked at all! A spine specialist and sports pain doctor said all my x-rays and mri's came back normal but I was mental because I was experiencing these insane pains. Every online about nerve pain was pretty grim at least in the medical route(pain killers and other hard core drugs for the rest of my life no to mention the 101 possible side effects). After several years and trips to the doctors and as the pain got more intense and more frequent I started to get hopeless (suicidal) and I'm a 28 yr old Christian man with 3 young kids. I for several years cursed God as I was losing my personality and my mind (my friends and family were worried about me because I was not acting goofy anymore and was very quit) because I thought he could care less about my situation. I then turned back to God knowing that this was a test of life and believing that He was going to led me thew this painful situation and use me to be a testimony for other people that are afflicted with this horrible pain. I began to pray that God would direct me to a natural solution that did not have 101 side effect. 3/1/06(date) He first guided me to a Christian Chiropractor which said he thought that my problem was my spine, I started treatment with him and for the first three months the pain got way more intense although he helped me with bad breathing problems that I was having. At this time I believe that God was telling me to get an inversion table to help my painful condition. I then got an inversion table and stared to use it for a month with no success. I then started to doubt God's advice. Then He implied that I break it back out again and force my spine to stretch with my arms. Around this same time I got a new type of oil base b-vitamins(your spinal fluid contains a lot of vitamin B-1 and B-12 for nerve transmit ion). I took them at the time I started to force my spine to stretch. About three weeks after forcing my spine to stretch 3 times a day my spine popped loudly about 4 times(several time small pops), and would you believe about 2 weeks later the pain that plagued my body for eight years was about 80% less intense and frequent. I now have my personality and sanity back and I feel awesome thanks to my chiropractor, oil base B vitamins, and mostly God and my inversion table! Never lose hope, I almost did and if I would have given into suicidal hopelessness I would not be here today enjoying my awesome family and a successful plumbing business! I give all glory to Jesus Christ, God whom designed a awesome creation in me! Please feel free post my testimony if you wish to give others hope. Chad

Q: Hi,Thanks for creating this website - it looks like it has a lot of interesting information. I have slight scoliosis, spondylosisthesis, and couple of bulging discs. Until recently, I would get flare ups which would last a few weeks at the most, but this time my pain hasn't gone away -it's been 3 1/2 months. Physical therapy has helped somewhat, but the pain is still there. I'm only 26, so I hate to think what it's going to be like in 10 or 20 years. I've noticed that my back doesn't absorb "shock" very well - when sitting on a hard surface (ie. wooden chair) or wearing any shoes other than workout shoes, my pain gets worse. I was thinking that it would be helpful to get a self-inflatable pillow which I could carry around with me in case I end up sitting on an uncomfortable chair. Something inconspicuous... Do you know if a product like that exists? Also, are you aware of special shoe inserts for absorbing shock? I would appreciate your input. Thanks, Krystyna

Q: Hi. I have a question. I had back surgery two months ago for spondylolisthesis, which was pinching the nervs going down my legs and causing pain there. The surgery went well, and I am happy to say that I can stand up streight now! The problem I am having now is that when I am not wearing my brace (in the morning while showering and getting ready for my day) my whole spine crackles and seems "loose" for lack of a better way of putting it. It dosen't hurt when this happens, but it bothers me. I do still have some pain at the surgery site mostly when I wake up in the morning and am still lying in bed. My doctor said not to worry about it unless the crackling and moving starts to hurt. Any ideas what this may be or what is causing it? Kathryn

Q: Hi, About 2 years ago, I was running and injured my back. I originally thought that I strained my QL in my lower left back. I started to see a Physio. He pulled on my left leg really hard. I feel like he has re-injured me, and even more. I have been in major pain now for 4 weeks. The pain is in my L2-L3 area, down the left side to my hip and buttox. I think that the physio has injured my facet joint. My question to you is, can facet joint/cartilage damage heal? If so, what is the recovery period. I am scheduled for a CT scan in the near future to find out for sure what is wrong. Thank you kindly, Jenna

Q: Your story is sounding just like what is starting to happen to me - albeit not as extreme ... yet. I'm 29 and I've had 6-8 weeks of nagging, dull low back pain that won't go away. This is the 1st time this has happenned to me. Just this week I found a chiropractor who took Xrays and similar to you it should and apparent issue with L5/S1. I'm doing the ice just like you did. Getting the same reasons from the chiropractor like you did. I spent a few hours looking around your site. Correct me if I'm wrong and I maybe over simplifying, but the biggest point seems to be "A large percentage of back pain complaints are not caused by a physical problem. Yes, a physical abnormality might exist, but the condition is purely coincidental and not the actual reason for the pain." I'm open to considering this ideology and learning more ... but I am concerned about this physical problem. I see it on the Xray. It just makes sense to me that if the L5 and S1 start to get so close in the next few years as to rub ... well let's just say that is not a good thing. How does this seeming physical reality fit in with this ideology? Also, any suggestions you could quickly give me would be welcomed. Thank you for your wonderful site and your time, Dave