Back Pain Questions and Answers
Archive 2008 Part 6

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 just got a MRI report and was hoping someone could help explain it. At C5-C6 large left posterolateral disc herniation is seen compressing the spinal cord as well as the nerve root exiting on the left at this level. Large left posterolateral disc herniation at C5-C6 with extruded fragment behind the body of C5. Displacement and compression of the cord at this level, AP diameter of the cord is 7.9 mm. This is consistent with acquired spinal stenosis. Minimal degenerative changes of the disc at C6-C7 are also seen, narrowing and more advanced degenerative changes of C5-C6. Reversal of cervical lordosis is also seen. Is this serious?? Haven't got insurance so having hard time getting in to see someone ER did MRI after I went three times, Because I couldn't move my neck or left arm without pain. I know the pain is still there not as bad now though, but it comes and goes. Pain goes from neck to upper back and all the way down left arm. But now I have a large puffy place on my neck don't know whats going on Carol

Q: I have 3 thoracic vertebrate which have fused themselves together and the fourth is close to fusing. This causes me constant pain. I am taking 750 mg hydrodone every 6 hours and all it does is ease it a little bit. My doctor does not seem to think I should be in this much pain. Do you have any idea what I should do? I don't like taking this much pain medication. But the pain has taken over my life. I suppose you should know I am a 55 year old white male. Thank you Rick

Q: Hi, My name is Ricardo, i´m 28 and i´m suffering of herniated discs in almost all my discs and i´m really afraid of being debilitated before the forties. This method is only a way of avoid pain or really does provide a cure for the degeneration of discs?

Q: I am struggling with "what to do next." I have had two surgeries for disc herniation on the L-5/S-1. Each surgery was terrific and for 15 years I've been in terrific shape with only occasional discomfort from this disc. About 6 months ago, I started have back discomfort has progressed to the point of extreme and sudden to the point it takes my breath away and makes my legs weaken momentarily. While I have this sudden/sharp pain and my hips are achy, I do not have any significant sciatica. I have been going to a PT twice a week and this really relieves the sharp pain...until I sit for longer than an hour at a time. When I do sit longer, the pain comes back with vengeance and it's really hard for me to walk. I have to stand still for a few minutes and then slowly start moving. It requires laying down for several hours to get it under control. Last week I had an MRI which resulted in the following: "L-5/S1 broad based degenerative posterior bulging with associated endplate osteophytic sparring; some bilateral proximal mild L-5/S-1 neural foraminal spondylitic encroachment appearing slightly worse on the left; no critical spinal stenosis; no significant bulging in other discs; conus medullaris terminates normally; no mass no spondylotisthesis; no bone marrow infiltrative lesion; paravertebral musculature and stial abdominal aorta unremarkable." I am 56 years old and in great health...albeit too heavy (5'7" 190 lbs) zon the road to losing 30 pounds. Question: Is it time to face a fusion or is this diagnosis something that could be worked out another way. I took steroids for a week with no effect. I have been laying down and walking for 30 minutes a day for the last 3 days and do not have the severe pain, but there is soreness in my back and hips. Not sure what to do or how to proceed with this. If it's going to ultimately result in a fusion, I'd really just like to go ahead and get it done rather than living on the edge like this...what do you think? james

Q: Hi, I sure would appreciate an input you have concerning my symptoms. Pain is almost constant at this time. Primarily in left hip area.Bending and movement are causing loud popping or clicking in the lower portion. So loud my brother heard it and thought I passed gas.(I'm not trying to be funny) I have a hard time coming out of the sitting position, most of pain is in left hip are making it difficult to walk for a few minutes. Bending for slightly extended times ,gardening etc creates a severe burning sensation from lower back to buttocks. All pain is on left side. Walking is painful most of the time in left hip area or outside area of left hip. Laying on my left side to sleep causes pain in the hip area also If I wake on my back my lower back and both hips hurt alot. I have experienced a slight pinching feeling on the left side of lower back when I slightly twist. It is now very painful for me to cross my left leg to tie my shoe. If I bend while sitting to tie shoe I'm fine. Any bend while raising leg is very painful in the inner and outside of upper thigh ( hip area ) About 6 months ago I noticed that when I knelt I felt a sensation on the left side of my calf towards to front. Now I've found that just touching just below the kneecap will bring a numb feeling in that area tapping on that area brings shocking sensations. A few months ago I experienced unbearable cramping in my left inner thigh which came on while I slept. The pain started mild and felt like it was rolling up and down the area and got worse by the second. the pain was paralyzing until in decreased and stopped. I have had 2 episodes with this. Today I have noticed that the left side of my pubic bone is painful to the touch. Any thought on how to piece this all together would help to seek the proper help. I am a 51 year old female. Nancy

Q: Hi, Thank you for all time spent in helping me with many questions about my back pain. I spoke to my doctor concerning your advice and we worked together to revise my treatment plan. I feel better already and more functional than I have in 20 years. You are terrific! Thank you, thank you! Betty

Q: I developed pretty severe lower back pain about three weeks ago and am miserable. Gardening seems to be the exacerbator, and how I love gardening. I have a broad band across my lower back that feels like a spasm and more sharp pain at the hip joints. There may have been some swelling after I felt my back "come loose like a rubber band". Sitting and lying down are excruciating, or standing, I stiffen up quickly. Walking is uncomfortable, but the only relief, and over the counter things like aleve and motrin do nothing. I finally out of desperation and fear went to a orthopedic surgeon who says I have DDD -L6 . . . it looked OK to me on the X-ray . . . anyway, I got the feeling he just wanted to get to the next patient and he wrote a prescription for physical therapy. I am afraid that physical therapy may do more harm. I want to live with this and find preventative measures to avoid onset and ways to relieve it myself. I am 61, extremely healthy and 110 pounds. What do you think, I would appreciate you input. I need relief fast! And, I need to be well so that I can dance and garden and paint the house! Thanks, Pamela

Reply: Thanks for your note . . . I think I have an injury from chronic muscle overuse and perhaps bad angles and too much stress on the lower back. Ischemia really sounds scary! So where would be a good source for knowledge therapy for ischemia, the internet makes me feel like my back pain is going to lead to a fatal heart attack. I am extremely healthy and active and have great genes. Pamela

Q: the menstrual cycle becoming shorter , like 28,25,24,21,16 days & feeling some lower back pain. what is cause and remedy? Kumaresh

Q: I'm 65 yrs old and have suffered with lower back pain since late 20's. Osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease have progressed over the years to central canal stenosis at L3, 4 and 5. I cannot lift more than 5-8 pounds, have had a major rupture in 2008 that put me in a wheelchair for 6 weeks. I've had numerous injections, ongoing physical therapy, chiropractic treatment to no avail. Most recently an interior lumbar fusion was recommended which I've opted not to do as my bone density scan showed some osteopenia in the lumbar spine. I'm interested in finding a location near Hagerstown, MD where the DRX 9000 machine is available. Thank you for your time, nancy

Q: I have been in spinal decompression treatment for about six mnnths. My first MRI showed the following results c2/3 normal c3/4 mild diffuse bulging without neural impingement c4/5 minimal disc bulging c5/6 broad based disc bulging mildly effacing the ventral thecal sac without cord deformity. Mild left foraminal narrowing c5/7 minimal disc bulging c7/t1 unremarkable I had a second MRI done last Saturday It shows the same results even though my chiropractor said it looks better. My question is Which one was the vertebra they were suppose to target the c7 that was not damaged by the accident or the c5 that shows a more significant trauma. They have been targeting c -7 for 6 months. Do I have been receiving the inappropriate treatment? MY chiropractor changed the treatment (today) to target the vertebra c-5. I feel less tight today. What that is mistake done by my chiropractor? Is that was a mistake what should I do? I paid the decompression therapy clinic over $4,000.00 FOR THE TREATMENT. What is your recommendation? Maria

Q: Hi, I have had a problem with my upper buttocks area for over a month now, and the pain is getting worse and worse by the day. For the first week or so, I had a sharp shooting pain in my left upper buttocks area every time I walked, Now the walking does not hurt, however the pain gets extremely bad when I lie down. I can not move my leg at all without a sharp stabbing pain in that area. Every single time I try to move, ant movement of that leg - I get that horrible stabbing pain. When I get up in the morning, I walk with an horrible limp because I cannot put weight on that leg for the first 30 minuets or so. After walking it off, I am fine for the majority of the day. I did nothing to hurt myself I can remember. i just got up from my desk one day - and the pain was there. I went to the DR and he gave me celebrex to take as needed - but it is not working. Can you advise me on which type or DR I should go see, or anything I can do myself to get rid of this horrible pain. I am 24 with a 5 year old step son and this is getting to the point where I cannot even pay with him without hurting later. Jennifer

Comment: Thanks Sensei for the great site. That's all I've got! Bill

Q: I sustained back injury. Pain radiates from lower back to right leg and my toe is numb for the last few months. My MRI indicated following findings L1-S5: mild symmetric bulging of the annulus; there is no evidence of disc protrusion or spinal stenosis. What is the cause of such condition and what do you recommend. I have been taking nerve/pain medicines. Thank you! Neena

Q: Hi Sensei Adam Rostocki, Thank you for the quick response. I just realized it was L5-S1 and not what I indicated. My pain started when I injured my back. L5-S1 ---- what part of the body is it?? Look forward to hearing back from you, Neena

Q: hi, i am Tirtha here.30 years old. i am suffering low back pain with radiation towards left leg for last 7 years. It consists of acute spasms which increase with any activity. Light to medium load bearing or any awkward movement produces extreme muscle pain and now is producing a sharp nerve pain radiating from the spine in to the left leg. now right leg is also effected. I have had 3 nos of MRI and X-rays. the xray report ( year 2002) consist 1. sacralisation of L5 noted on left side. 2. normal lumber lordosis is lost 3.disc space are normal. REPORT OF MY MRI DONE IN 27 TH DECEMBER 2002 MRI of L.S. Spine reveals normal lordosis , no abnormal signal in the vertebrae,signal change, hypo in T2, in disc at L4-L5 level with left paracentral disc protrusion with narrowing of adjoining lateral recesses. neural foramina are narrowed in this level. ligamentum flvum is seen thickened at L4-L5 level. lower cord with conus is normal. gap are L1-L2 =20.3, L2-L3=20,L3-L4=17.8,L4-L5=11.2.L5-S1=10.2 Impression: MRI of LS spine suggests degenerative disc disease. REPORT OF MY MRI DONE IN 16 DEC 2005 IMPRESSION : Lumberisation os S1 with dessication & posterior herniation in L5-S1 disc. There is indentation on thecal sac & cauda equina nerve roots by posterior disc herniation at L5-S1, more on left side of spinal canal. There is no secondary central canal stenosis. on comparison with previous MRI dated 21.12.2002 no appreciable change is noted in lumbosacral spine.but i am suffering more than 10000 time than before. pls tell me some remedy or give me suggestion. thanking you yours faithfully, tirtha

Q: hi , I've got this problem with my back what i have had since 1993 when i had a car accident , what happens is about 6 times a year or more my back just gives away on me with the simplest thing i do i could just be sitting down normally with a good posture then all of a sudden i get the most excruciating pain in my lower back bottom of my spine and right across my disks it feels like i have been hit with a baseball bat across my back . i have only had it xrayed since it has happened i have tho had physio on it which seems to irritate it more . when my back goes on me like this i find it hard to bend straighten up walk, lye down in bed and i got a really good bed for support for my back i can hardly do anything this can last between anytime 1 week- 6 weeks . i have the problem now im standing in a awkward position why im typing this message . i went to see my GP on Tuesday and asked if he could refer me for a MRI scan which he is going to but i don't know how long the waiting list is here in UK i try to take painkillers to ease the pain but they don't work i try to get comfortable as i can but that is a challenge on its own . every time my back goes like this it gets worse every time . i am really worried that if i carry on like this one day that it will go and it will paralyze me for good . i would be very grateful for any advice you can give me as im at the end of my tether what to do whilst waiting for my MRI scan. kind regards, maria

Q: Hi,I had been experiencing lower back pair for almost five years now. I quit my job because of this pain. Xrays that I had, shows nothing. Have taken VIOXX and celebrex-nothing changed.I have done acupuncture, chiro and physio. Pain is worse now because it is radiating down my right foot. After ten minutes walking, I got the pain. That's why I dont enjoy shopping, walking and other activities that requires even a short time of standing position. Will your book helps me with the pain that I am experiencing? I don't want to spend the rest of my life having this pain. Nina

Q: I'm a woman of 50 years and have been active in sport all my life. As a teacher I've had to be careful when bending down to small tables and chairs but there are days where I feel sore and with lower back pain. I swim 3 times a week and found that soothing but not helping to get rid of short back spasms I have been enduring over the years. Thought I would go to pilates to strengthen those stomach muscles and that did help for a while but the stabbing , lower back pain has returned. I have not sought any medical advice since I was 25 years old when the osteopath advised me to strengthen my stomach that's what i turn too each time. today I had so many pins and needles in my lower back I cried out in pain. But it does go away in a minute or so and I go on with life...I should get checked out ..right? Cheryl

Q: Hello, I have recently been taking junuvia for high blood sugar, ( diabetes maybe ) I have stopped taking it because I have been getting lower back muscle pain. The pain is not sharp and it seems to move from side to side. I am also taking benecar for high blood pressure. The pain comes and goes, I play golf regularly and my back is, ( was ) in good shape. sometimes I don't pee very well especially in the morning when I wake up. There is no pain there just sometimes it dribbles when I'm almost done. The pain is at the top of my left buttocks and sometimes radiates down my leg. Nothing really bad but it is there. What do you think? and thanks. Steve

Q: Sensei, I'm a 48-year-old mother of two. I've read Dr. Sarno's books, have seen his video lecture, and have listened to Dr. Schechter's audio lectures. I live near San Francisco and am thinking of flying down to LA to see Dr. Schechter soon.I'm writing to you because, although I believe that I have TMS (I fit the profile perfectly), I'm extremely scared. Terrified. I've spent the past couple of weeks crying on and off. Because last month I got an epidural cortisone injection for my L4/L5 herniated disc, and it made things much worse, and now I'm so scared that the orthopedist damaged something in my back -- damaged the nerve or something.I've had back pain most of my adult life, on and off. Seems that every few years I'd "do something" that made my back hurt, such as move some furniture or lift something that was heavier than I'd realized. I was first told about my herniated disc when I was in my late 20s. At first, PT cured me. Then the next time PT didn't really do it, so I tried acupuncture. That worked. Then the next time, that didn't work and either did PT. So I moved on to Egoscue exercises. They helped bit but were not the answer. So I tried osteopathic manipulations. They didn't seem to "stick" and my back pain kept returning, moving around from the left to the right side of my lower back. Finally I came across Dr. Sarno's books. The only thing I never have done, because I've heard scary things about it, is chiropractic treatment.Anyway, I "tried" Dr. Sarno's techniques (even had a couple of phone sessions with Dr. Bloch), but my lower back problems were not resolving. Finally a few months later I decided to get a new orthopedist and a new MRI (I hadn't had an MRI in almost 3 years). I thought perhaps my problems were a combination of something structural AND TMS combined. The new orthopedist said that my herniated disc had gotten worse (bulging more than previously, compared to the previous MRI report 3 years ago). He strongly recommended epidural cortisone shots. I had been avoiding them for years, but though that maybe he and my previous orthopedist were right. He swore up and down and sideways that the shots would only help me, and with PT to concentrate on building up my (very weak) core muscles, I would be able to get strong and help fix the herniation. The same sentiment was re-iterated by my friend's husband, who had seen this doctor for sciatic pain several years previously.I wanted very much to be strong again. I used to go to the gym and do all sorts of things to challenge and build my body. I used to play tennis and ride my bicycle, and lift weights. Dr. Schechter talks about a "disability pyramid." Well, now I certainly have one, because I don't do much of anything right now. I don't even carry in the groceries.I never had sciatic pain or discomfort in my left leg before -- only pain on the left side of my back near the SI joint (over the past 2 years it has sometimes been on the left, and sometimes on the right). Since getting the epidural shot, my left leg aches and tingles, especially if I walk or sit for any length of time. These feelings started after the shot -- specifically after I tried to sit at my computer for a while 3 or 4 days after getting the shot. I had pain in my left lower back and all the way down my leg to my foot. It scared me so much, I laid in bed for an entire week with ice packs trying to make it stop. I also was taking a very strong RX NSAID in addition to Tylenol. Every time I tried to resume my normal life, the pain returned.The pain is not totally debilitating. It is a dull heavy ache, and it makes me feel very tired and cranky. The pain in my left lower back, however, can become very bad if I'm not careful -- if I sit too much right now. So I am limiting my sitting.Sensei, I am beside myself. When I called the doctor to tell him about this he said that there's no way that the shot could have done this, so maybe the disc spontaneously got worse. Well how could that be possible, when all I've been doing since getting the shot is lie around doing nothing, and occasionally trying to sit or walk for a while?! I think he irritated the nerve root and he won't admit it. This doctor is supposed to be quite a renowned expert at giving shots. He's a team doctor for the SF 49'ers football team and has written chapters in textbooks about giving epidural injections! How could someone with his depth of experience screw me up like this?!I don't know what to do! I wish I'd never gotten those stupid shots. The discomfort in my leg is VERY slowly dissipating, but my back seems to be very "touchy." If I sit for more than 20 minutes, it begins to hurt. My leg feels better than it did last week, for example, but I still feel it when I try to exert myself (such as walking at a leisurely pace at the mall or whatever). I'm afraid that it will never get totally better, or that when the cortisone wears off, it will get even more painful. I'm thinking of getting an evaluation from a neurologist to (hopefully) reassure me that there isn't any nerve damage.The orthopedist wants me to get yet another MRI to prove whether or not the disc got worse. I'm not sure if I should do that -- but unfortunately now he has put this doubt in my mind and I'm very confused. I was afraid that getting a new MRI a few months ago, and seeing this orthopedist would open a can of worms. I was doing "pretty well" with Sarno's philosophy before this, but because the pain was still there sometimes I had doubts and that's why I sought a new MRI and agreed to the cortisone shots. I am a firm believer in Dr. Sarno and I know that I have a lot of emotional issues to resolve -- nothing tragic, just various issues in my life, and my self-image. I've been in therapy for almost a year but it isn't getting me very far (wrong therapist, perhaps). I'm going to give Dr. Sarno's methods another try. Since I've never actually been examined by anyone for TMS, I am going to see Dr. Schechter for a hands-on evaluation before the end of this year.But in the mean time, I'm having a very difficult time trying to convince myself that this new pain is all TMS when obviously this doctor may have done something to give me physical pain.I would really appreciate you writing back to me. I'm in a terrible way, emotionally right now. I'm even thinking that maybe I should seek out a psychiatrist for anti-depressants. I'm not suicidal or anything...just extremely obsessed with my back problem, and extremely despondent. I had some post-partum depression problems after my second child was born (12 years ago) and have taken anti-depressants on and off....although I've been off of them for almost 4 years and would frankly rather not take them, if possible. But I've read that sometimes anti-depressants can help with pain, as well. Sorry for rambling....thank you for listening, -Lynn

Q: 3 years ago I was getting ready for work,bent down to put on a shoe and my whole back just locked up in terrible pain. I was bent to one side however not wanting to think I had really hurt myself I proceeded to get myself into my car and go on a training course quietly in agony. That evening I was still in pain and then proceeded to take a week off work and visit the physio. To cut a long story short I have seen every doctor/chiro/massage/pilates you name it Ive done it! My pain will just not go away and even the scans don't really show anything major and my current physio just wants me to get more strength into the area and is dead against having a fusion. I had a discogram which did show I had pain at 3 levels l4 l5 s1. I am at my wits end with this , I have downloaded the book just this evening so I hope to report some success! Derek

Q: 47 year-old female with no major prior LBP complaints. Overweight, sedentary however otherwise general health is OK. Acute onset mid July 2008 after driving 10 hours in one day. L5-S1 herniated disk with fragmented "jelly", multiple level other bulging disks, Ehler-Danlos III, scoliosis, DDD, arthritis, stenosis, mild spina bifida (missing bottom vertebrea - that is, only have cartilage). Continue to experience radiating pain down left leg with numbness in the lateral left foot and 3 toes. Pain in piriformis muscle area, however nerve conduction study indicates problem in spine, not with piriformis muscle or trochanter bone point of attachment. Two MRI of lower spine area, CT scan, and X-ray modality already performed. Experimental 2nd generation "decompression" treatment (chiropractic - approximately 25 treatments) w/ 3 epidural injection treatments (spine medicine Dr.) have performed miracle. Continue to have residual pain in left buttock (at times very sharp other times dull ache), behind left calf (burning) and foot/toe numbness. Compared to initial pain though, this is "nothing". No longer on pain medications. Neurosurgeon indicates procedure for hemilamina foraminotomy w/ possible fusion to free up nerve root. Very concerned regarding scarring due to Ehler-Danlos III conditions as prior surgeries in other areas have scarred significantly (requiring follow-on adhesion excision). Although surgery is scheduled, after much research considering post-poning procedure to permit more time to heal on own. Don't understand why left buttock/leg/foot continue to be bothered if jelly is no longer impinging on the nerve root. What other types of treatments assist in minimizing pain, and increase movement in back area to avoid surgery for this type of presentation? Thank you very much. Janet

Q: About five months ago I was in the gym and got a back spasm after I had finished my workout, I could hardly walk all the muscles in my back just started to tighten up, a few days later I noticed this severe pain in the left side of my back underneath the left shoulder blade and the pain has not stopped since, the pain feels like a sharp pin being jabbed into to my back, I also sometimes get a back spasm in the middle muscles on either side of the spine when I go for a walk, I have no pain in the morning when I wake up and do not usually get any pain until later on in the day. I seen my doctor and he done blood tests and also checked for Rheumatoid Arthritis and nothing showed up he then advised me to see an orthopedic surgeon which I did and the orthopedic surgeon sent me for an MRI Scan on my spine and nothing showed up, he informed me that it was a posture problem and advised me to sit up straight and go swimming, I went Swimming and would have no pain while swimming but when I got out of the water the pain would be their in the left side of my back and I found it really hard to stand up, I went to see a physio therapist and he worked on my back and advised me to see an osteopath, I went to see an Osteopath and she done some manipulation work on my back and advised to get an x-ray to make sure I did not have a tear in my lung, the x-ray was clear as well, I informed the osteopath and she then advised me to see a neurologist to check if I had nerve damage in my back, I went to see a neurologist and he done a MRI scan on my neck and also the left side of my chest and nothing showed up and also said it was not nerve damage, I then went for a Bone scan of my whole body and the scan come back as normal, I am now seeing the physio therapist again to see if they can sort out the problem. I also bought a memory foam mattress in March 2008 and these pains started developing in May 2008 and I thought that this could be causing the problem because when I lie on my back my hips sink deep into the mattress and thought this could be causing problems with my back muscles, Do you have any idea what might be causing the pain? John

Q: 2 years ago I noticed some mild back pain after a day of heavy lifting around the yard. That night I was sitting on the floor leaning against the couch watching a movie with my family. When I got up from that position I experienced sharp pain in the lumber area. I tried to play golf the next morning but I had to quit after one hole. I went for an MRI that indicated a herniated disc L4-L5. My doctor told me to wait it out to see if the discomfort would go away and it did about a month or so later. I have been pretty active all my adult life (I am 46). I enjoy running, skiing, biking, swimming, hiking and golf. I also do weight training twice a week.

I had resumed all activities after the pain resolved but a few months later I started to notice a pain that seemed to originate from deep in the hip. Nothing debilitating but it was persistent. I had a hip x-ray that was negative and I was referred to PT. They started me on some core exercise that I kept up with. I ran a road race on Thanksgiving morning 2007 and then, as I do every year, cut back on running for the winter to allow my body to recover. About a week later I had intense pain primarily in my right buttocks with mild pain shooting down the leg. It was worse at night and I could not sleep. I went back to the doctor in January 2008 and they did an epidural cortisone injection that took the edge off. This went on for a few months and I ended up have 2 more injections in February and then again in March 2008. I read all of the books by John Sarno and hie philosophy made sense to me. I had started to exercise again in fact that was when I felt the least amount of pain. I had taken up Yogo and was doing more swimming and biking but was not doing much running. Sleeping and sitting were the most uncomfortable. By June/July 2008 the pain was getting worse and I could not exercise. I started taking Percoset. I had microdiscectomy surgery on August 1. The pain disappeared and I was able to sleep and sit. I was told to do nothing but walk. I think I may have done too much walking and sitting too soon because that sciatica pain started coming back about 3 weeks later. One night a few weeks ago I got up to go to the bathroom and the pain was so bad I could not get comfortable in any position the Percoset did not work. My wife took me to the hospital the next morning and they admitted me for pain management and an MRI that indicated that the same disc had reherniated and was pressing even more directly on the nerve root. They gave me another epidural injection and I went home. Although the pain was reduced I cannot stay on my feet for any more than half an hour or so. I feel most comfortable on my back on the floor. I am working from home on my knees leaning over an exercise ball (as I type this). I take 6 - 8 Percoset a day. The doctor is going to do another discectomy. I am so desperate. I cannot get to work. I cannot walk for more than a few minutes. I really believed in the Sarno theory and I tried hard to identify rage and anger that was the likely source of my pain but I can't seem to make the connection. I think I need some sessions with a psychologist but I am not sure if they believe in the Sarno theory. I live in the Boston area. Are there any counselors in this area that you are aware of that could help me dig deeper and get behind this? Mike

Q: Hi, I'm about to have minimally invasive back surgery for my herniated disc but came across your website---I'm not quite sure what your book talks about other that what I have found on internet in that it is comparable to Dr Sarno--is it about emotions and how that affects your physical symptoms---I'd like to have a bit more info before i buy your book. Also, i don't have a paypal account (by choice !)--is there another way to buy the book ? Thanks for your time, Vicky

Q: You have a big section about back pain and it being in your head. I am very stressed and think from what I have been reading. that I may be able to overcome some of the pain in my head fro my back. You ended that you fixed your pain this way. But left nothing about how you did it. So, who do you start and get it done? Demetrios

Q: Hello and thank you for your time. I was injured 01-13-2008 in an M.V.A. (car accident). 9 months later although my neck and thoracic areas have healed my lumbar has not. I have been to a chiro and done physical therapy for many months and while this helps some it never did cure my back. Have also taken pain killers and steroids wich help but do not relieve my low back pain. The pain has localized now on my right side. It consists of acute spasms which increase with any activity. Light to medium load bearing produces extreme muscle pain and now is producing a sharp nerve pain radiating from the spine in to the right buttocks. Right leg is directly related to this area on my back. So when I move it my back hurts more. I have had an MRI and X-rays. First were X-rays and they said "there is increased posterior wedging of the L5-S1 disc, Impression: possible facetal imbrication at L5-S1". MRI which I had later, and was interpreted by a new doctor, "showed nothing of interest and was unremarkable". My questions are: here I am 9 months later in severe pain unable to do much of anything and my primary Dr. who read my MRI film keeps saying "its just a strain/sprain" while physical therapist and everyone else say bulging disc which is what my lay research has also indicated, which is more likely? Also my insurance is now cut off because of this finding. Why are the doctors so scared to tell me I have a bulging disc? So mainly, whats going on with this Dr,what is wring with me and why did MRI not show anything? Also what do the X-ray results mean? Jason

Q: Dear Mr Adam - first, thank you very much for this website. information here is truly very inspiring. My symptoms are very similar to what you have mentioned. did have chronic pain for last 5 years but an year ago, I had an acute pain which is causing my left leg weakness and muscle atrophy. like you, I began my back pain battle year ago, when the pain made me realize how bad things can get if care did not start right away. not resorting to medicine or external help, I have been doing Yoga for both strength and stretching but the progress has been very slow. Please comment (I do not want to be specific - as back pain can never be specific) whatever you can on the recovery pace and my return to normal life based on above and below.... 1. I did have quite a big fracture on my left forearm 20 years ago (when I was 15 year old) which i think is the culprit for today's herniated disk (l5/s1 and l4/l5) and left leg weakness. what do you say. I do have my right shoulder little lower and forward than my left. 2. I do say that I had a reasonable success (self supported) in life in every aspect which came with quite a bit of hard work after repeated failures and humiliations. 3. I was quite heavy during my 20s (close to 220 lbs for a height of 5'7'') but now I am like 150 lbs. I am now 34. you can imagine how much I would have worked out to reduce close to 70 lbs. sometimes went overboard which I think must have stressed my bones and joints instead of the muscles, I mean, I must have overdone the exercises the wrong way. so, Please tell me in your view if my condition today is just structural or non-structural or a mix of both. thank you very much....Kiran

Comment: while playing street hockey got a pain in my right butt cheek. the pain makes hard to sit for more than 15- 20 minutes. pain also shoots down mt leg to my toes just on the right side. Ralph

Q: I have chronic neck pain that doesn't seem to respond to anything. I've been involved in 3 car accidents and worked at a desk job for about 20 years. I was a runner for about 5 years and now can't run because of the pain. I have scoliosis and degenerative disc disease with advance arthritis. I also have a reverse curvature in my cervical spine. I am currently going to a physical therapist with no relief. I take anti-inflamatories every evening and tried heat, ice packs, massage, stretching and traction. The pain/stiffness used to just come and go and now it has been constant for about 5 months and driving me crazy. I have met with a neuro surgeon for a consult for surgery but he thinks its just advanced arthritis with kyphosis and has ordered more xrays so here I wait some more time in pain. Any advice of something else I could try to get relief from this pain & stiffness? Peggy

Q: Do you know anyone who has had a back pinched nerve and both legs went numb? Thanks, Diane

Q: I run about 3 miles 3 times a week, I had a month of and when i started back up i got a pain in my hip. its not hurting when i run but when i walk up stairs or after get up from sitting down. but once i get going it eases off. the longer i sit the worse it feels when i get up. hope you can help. Kindest regards. Frances

Q: Hi, I read Jimmy's story. What is a spine decompression? Thanks, Katie

Q: Hi, My name is Debra and I had a spinal fusion because I had a spondylosyndesis. I got up off a chair and fell to the ground not good I went through 2 years of pain till I had the fusion It saved my life I had three little boys to raise and could not live with pain and I could not walk. My husband was with me all the way. It was a success story for 23 years, now at 53 I am having trouble the bone is dissolving and I do not know all of what is wrong I am waiting for test results, I am in pain all day every day just like I was in the beginning, I didn't know that it could go bad after all these years. I am scared in pain and do not know what to do next. If you have any suggestions I'm listening. Thanks

Comment: I had Spondylolisthesis and my left leg hurt so badly beginning in February of 2004. I endured the pain, xrays, scans, epidurals and those didn't do anything to help with the pain either. Then a back doctor that I was recommended too that put me through a test at the hospital shouting some dye into my spine, and it was very painful. After the test he then decided that it was in fact Spondylolisthesis that showed up on the original xray that my orthopedic doctor took when he sent me to the back doctor. He then proceeded to tell me that I would need to have a back fusion and he did not do fusions. My mother-in-law then recommended a back doctor that she had seen many years ago. By this time it was August 2004 and I had to go on disability early and was flat on my back for 6 weeks before the surgeon got my surgery scheduled. I love my doctor and my pain disappeared as soon as the surgery was completed. I have a fusion between my L5 & S1 with metal plates on each side and screws. My doctor used a protein to do the fusion rather than a bone graft from my hip. It worked and I was in the hospital for about 6 days and then went home. Because I had already been off work 6 weeks before the surgery I had used up part of my 90 days disability and so I went back to work in mid November so that I would still have a job. My doctor really wanted me to wait until the end of December before going back but I had to go back. I wore my back brace to work and finally retired the back brace to the attic. My doctor did warn my husband and me that there was a possibility of stress occurring above or below the fusion. I can walk again and would do it again if I had to walk and be pain free.In March of 2008 I have started having pain in my hip so I went back to my wonderful back doctor and he said that it looked like I was now having some stress above the fusion and asked if I was ready for surgery again. I told him that I was not at that point yet. I did another series of epidurals and that alleviated the pain. It is now the end of September and I am having great pain in my right leg, thigh area. I have had pain in this right thigh since I was pregnant with my 22 year old. My baby doctor said that he had laid on my sciatic nerve and I only had pain & numbness to the knee when I stood for 1/2 hr. or so. When I got off of it the pain went away. This is pain that I have just lived with all this time and never had mentioned it to my back doctor because at the time I didn't realize that it might be related to my back. I started a second job cashiering at a McDonald's an since I stand all the time it is hurting most of the time. At lease until 2 weeks ago and it aches all the time now. I started getting shooting pains shoot through my thigh. I went back to the orthopedic doctor that originally diagnosed my Spondylolisthesis. He said that if it was nerve damage that my leg would be the same and not get worse, like it has, and that I needed to see my surgeon again, he thinks that it is problems with the 3rd & 4th vertebrae I have an appt. with the surgeon on 10\\21\\2008. I am hoping that epidurals will eliminate the pain for awhile because I can afford to take time off work, but mainly the cut in pay while on disability. We are do far in debt that the cut in pay would create huge problems. My experience might be exceptional but I love my surgeon and I would do it all over again if I needed to. Melody

Comment: Hi there. Just wanted to say a simple thank you for a terrific site! I learned alot and think that your dedication to the topic is amazing! Thanks! Susie Marie

Q: Are your books translated in different languages? If so do you have any in Italian? My Sister has TMS and I want to send her your book(she does not know English)!!! Thank you,Pinnusia.

Q: hi,i'm 25 years old and my sciatic pain started recently like 4 weeks back.i do work long hours and on my feet for long hours. the lower back hurts ,,,my right buttock hurts sometimes the thigh and shin area too...i take ipbruphin and have scheduled an appointment with the chiropractor it a very serious problem i have never experienced it before and i'm very scared that it will effect my career as a pilot. please guide regards, kiran

Q: Very long story leading up to the back story so I will just start with the back story, here goes... I now have two bulging discs in my lower back. While vacationing at Cape Cod with family I had a couple falls (due to sleep walking from medication, another part of the story) and now have a herniated disc in my lower back. I have never had any back problems and feel like my back is going to break in half. I am currently receiving physical therapy and facet injections followed by trigger point injections to stop the muscle spasms that I get from the facet injections. They are helping, but it is a long and painful process. Especially since I have two small children, two lab puppies that weight 100lbs and 80lbs and am on disability for a year and a half and going crazy. Any help whatsoever would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks so much for your encouragement. Sincerely, Karen.

Q: hi there,i hope you can started around 9 months ago.i got lower back lower back went down my buttocks and into my hamstrings.both legs at once. i've had several pain killers, which work then fade. i've had a mri scan which showed nothing doctors says the next thing is to see a phsyio. when i have the ache ( not really a bad pain )the feeling is like a trapped nerve. im now getting numbness in my right leg around the knee joint.this clears after several minutes.have you any idea on this one? many thanks Jason

Q: Okay, I bought Dr.Sarno's book and my back pain is 95% better. However I have moderate gut pain,testing shows everything is normal. How do I go about curing this pain? Does your book address this issue? Mary

Q: I have a friend who is a Quadriplegic. He had an accident about 7 years ago. I was just wondering how long do Quadriplegics normally live? Or does their injury not have an effect on their life span. Thanks!! Ann

Q: I had chronic neck pain for years. It getting worst. One MD looked the XRAY and told me the gap between discs is widened. others told my cervical spine is narrow. Please advise what should I do to get rid of this problem. Thank you, George

Q: Hello Sir,I heartly appreciate your courage, the way you dealt with your back pain. Even I salute your gesture to help people suffering from this evil disease. I am 22, from last 2 years I've been suffering from back pain. I really don't know what actually my disease is. The pain start from around the neck upto the lower back along only right side of the spine. It spreads to my thighs right up to my toes and even my right shoulder. I've coped with it for my academics and now when I am working, I am suffering a lot. Each and every day of my life seems to be a struggle to me. Please help me if you can. In India, we don't get good orthopaedics easily. Moreover, there are handful of physiotherapists available. Let me know what should be my course of action. Eager for a response. Harjot

Q: Hi,I have had an addiction to many very strong pain medications for many years. two day ago I fell down the stairs and bruised my tail bone...I am 5 days clean and refuse any types of pain meds. can you recommend anything that may take this horrible pain away. I cant sit, it is very hard to stand, and walking is difficult. I am 42 years old and need someones help. Thank You, June

Q: hi,i just want to ask about the knowledge therapy,correct if i am wrong,but does this therapy point out that there is no physical reasons that is causing me pain?so in other words i can go back to the normal things i usually do?like going to the gym playing basketball and stuff?because i already had my MRI the result is i most likely have muscle spasm,but i am experiencing pain for around 6 months now,i have tingling sensation that radiates down to my legs,and i cant walk for a long period of time. Rap

Q: I woke up with a sudden, severe pain on my lower spine. It feels like a knife is in my back and nothing give it relief. I am 6 weeks pregnant as well. Could it possible have anything to do with that? I have had not trauma or injury at all lately. Please help. Thank you. Courtney

Q: Hi,I'm 57 male. in good athletic shape.. have had chronic back pain for years and I have tolerated it up till this point. Have seen a GP so far and x-ray'd the area not MRI. X-ray shows bulging disk and I can feel it like I have been kicked in the back on one side. Nothing serious but it's a life style change. Can't exercise, walk vigorously, etc. Have been on anti-inflams for a week and still feels the same. Doc will not do an MRI until it's really necessary. the pain has subsided about 10% but it's still sharp, on a 1-10 scale about a 6. I can't stand up for too long because it hurts. Pain radiates down to my butt but not down my leg. No bowel problems due to nerve damage. is back surgery an option? what about Decompression treatment?I refuse to give up and wait this out. Please advise. Thanks much, Jim

Q: When I yawn I get a muscle spasm in the front right side of my neck. Should I be concerned ? It doesn't last very long but is painful. I also have a cervical fusion could this the cause? Barbara

Q: I was in an accident about half a year ago where my neck was whipped to the side extremely fast and hard and I heard it pop. I was suffering acute pain at the time but it went away. Recently, I have noticed that I have a column of pinched nerves going up my neck on both sides of spinal chord and are about the size of a knuckle. I am also experiencing lower back pain and sometimes have spasms in my hands or weakness. Do you think I could possibly have a herniated disc in my neck? If so, what kind of medical treatment should i pursue? Angela

Q: hey friend, I am glad to hear all things for you with you back has gotten better, I too hope I will live a life without back pain. I'm 21 and I had back pain since I was 14. Its my lower right back and there is a ball like feeling in my back. I had MRI done and all. And they can't find nothing. I notice that some times at night I will get pains like no other and I freeze because of painful cramps, also while I'm in pain at these random nights the ball would shrink and eventually grow back. Any clue what might be causing this? John

Q: I am into s/w industry for close to 6yrs now and also a student from this year. I have lower back pain between the shoulder blades, in the spinal cord. It seems like its exactly at the middle of the two shoulder blades. I think its my posture of sitting on computers. But I am not sure... Not sure if its related or not, but, my neck region, where it meets the shoulders feels a little uncomfortable. It does not pain, but I feel its free movement is being hindered. And i have to stretch my head on either side to feel a little jitter and hear a light creek. I am pretty sure I am doing something wrong. Will start to sleep on hard bed from today, and now using a straight back chair to sit. But unless I know what am i doing wrong, I am not sure, if I am doing it right now. Kindly share your experience and help. Best Regards, Raj

Q: My daughter has been told she has a couple of degenerating discs, she is 15. Please send me any links to information that you think might be helpful to us. Thank you! Krista

Q: I had surgery on my neck around 4 weeks ago. C4-C5, C5-C6 Discectomy, fusion and whatever. I now have a plate and 3 screws and the new bone in place of the old discs and am in the process of waiting for it to go through the healing process. All this was done by going through the front of my neck. When I get up and walk around much at all, I get this terible throbbing that brings me to tear at times. It starts in the front of my upper chest neck area in front then goes through me and seeming out the back of my neck shoulder area. It seems to throb in tempo with my heartbeat but my heart must be beating awfuly fast when this happens. Sometimes it lasts 15 -20 seconds...other times about 45 minutes which will bring a man to tears by the way. Just wondering if anyone knows how long it normally takes this part of the healing process to go away. Yesterday was not soon enough for me. Thanks. Mark

Comment: Hello, Just wanted to say a quick thanks to you. I had a problem downloading your book and you helped me figure it out so fast! I have already read it twice in 2 days and love it! I think it will help me over the next few weeks as I struggle to overcome my pain. I have experienced lower back pain for almost a year and think I have finally found my answer. Thanks again, Beth

Q: I am a martial artist as well, holding a 4th dan in Taekwondo and a brown belt in Okinawan Kenpo. I injured my back about a year and a half ago, while grappling in the dojang and it hasn't been the same since. I figured, being 18 at the time, I would bounce back like I normally did, but I have suffered from chronic lower back pain since then. I've gone to a chiropractor several times and he told me that I had several twisted vertebrae, but never actually went into treatment options with me. He just told me to keep coming back each week, which seemed like a scam to me. So here I am, 19 and still with chronic back pain, made worse by exercise or any martial arts training. I'll take any advice that you have to offer. Thanks, Pam

Q: Hi, I'm a 19 year old male who has been suffering chronic back pain for over 5 years now and i feel as though i have tried almost every option. I've tried a firmer mattress, i've tried a softer mattress, I've tried altering my diet and taking up exercises. I've visited my doctor on several occasions only to be prescribed a case of pain killers which, granted, do kill the pain but do not give long term relief from my condition. I've visited a physiotherapist and an osteopath, neither of which was able to offer me any aid. I feel at my wits end as this condition is causing me constant pain and is affecting my working life as a salesman, my social life and my sex life. Please help, Craig

Q: I have been seeing many different chiropractors since i was 35, i am now 40. I have finally found 2 that have been able 2 give me some relief.It all started with lower lumbar pain. then after x-rays, he found c-1-7 no natural curvature, then found scoliosis in the thoracic region, then L5-7 ,then spondilosis, and a problem with the joint that is in the sacrum that is causing my hip to feel like it is falling out of place. I have noticed a lot of pelvic pain. All of this pain and problems are on the left side of my body.. I have been through mechanical traction treatments 4 over 1 year. With some relief, but the minute i get active or which iam not one to sit still long. I'm in pain again ,and have to go back at least 1 time a weak.. WELL recently i am working in a school cafeteria and am lifting bending and trying to make a living.I woke up one morning with severe pain in the lumbar left side again. I went to work anyway and tried to deal with the pain and could not any longer than 4 hours... A lady i work with recommended me to a chiropractor across the street.. So i went and i told her the story im telling you now.She said lets get u out of this pain.. Well i laid on the hydrolic machine as usual expecting to lose my breathe as usual when she just started to rub the base of my neck and then my shoulders then came down to my spine in the middle of my back where there is always a tender spot rubbed there, then touched my lower back with light rubbing motions.. Then she touch the left side of my hip right on all of my points of pain. she even found my acl repair in my right leg.I found this different than any other doctor i have been to..After about 10 min. she raised me up and said step back very slowly.. I felt no pain at all and very light headed. SO i took a few min. to get my bearings. she told me 2 go home and ice the areas of pain 20mins on and off. I was out of pain 4 at least a week..Then right back 2 work 4 a few more days.The numbness and tingling of my left arm and hands and fingers alarmed me along with my foot hot sensations.Well i went back to her hoping she could fix me again.I told her of this and she got really concerned. I want u to go to your family doctor and tell him about these pains and have an mri done.So i did, he put me on FLEXERIL 10mg 3x daily and vicodin 5mg 2 tablets every 4-6 hours. Well im off work for a week the drugs make me so screwed up i cannot function..I get the results they said i have arthritis in L5 and L7..They are recommending physical therapy... He did not take any mri of the cervical or the thoracic regions...I have an appointment with him on the 25th of sept..Well i stopped taking the drugs and the pain has diminished a little until i go back 2 work and now it is so sever in the lumbar region on the left side again. With all this information what am i 2 do? I still feel young and feel in my mind i can do anything but is this all going to get worse as i age and how much more pain will i be dealing with My original chiropractor had told me there is a bone at the end of what looks like my tail bone that never fully formed and it is a very important little part in the sacrum.. All this did not effect my life until about the age of 30 and it is getting worse with age.. I have done all heavy labor occupations most of my life. Was always active in sports in mt teens was the dare devil of the neighbor hood as a teen and road motorcycles bmx bikes skate boarding swimming basketball from 4th grade till high school.. Now my ambition to become a message therapist for spas and start schooling in august of next year for this occupation is looking very dim..Can i do this physically demanding work or should i just dump my dream of becoming a message therapist? Can u give me any advice on what i should do? I would appreciate anything that could give me an out look on what i need to do. THANK YOU, Robin

Q: I wanna reduce my tummy. Many exercises that help reduce tummy are not suitable for me since I had a lumbar spinal back surgery. Are there Pilates exercises suitable for my balanced body make-up? Wohid

Q: sir I'm 39 years and have a back injury,though since june 1 1991 when i suffered a compression fracture of t-12 an l-1 vertebra in my back the military said id recovered the pain has all ways been there.two years ago a doctor told me that i had nerve damage that was causing numbness and tingling and that i needed to change careers.after a career modification i felt somewhat good.then i was hit from the rear on my Harley and now then pain has returned x10 with hot burning sensations down my left leg and the bottom of my feet burning with my lower back feels like its about to break so if anyone has any ideas i would like to hear them, Toby

Q: I'M kuberan past 2 year's i suffered low back pain for disc bulge....i consult dr they told reduce age now 23 present no need operation don't strain that much .but i have pain ...can't able to walk,sleep that much what kind of treatment will do send answer...L4-s1 ,L5 ...and also full back pain

Q: Hello my father last December was hurt due to a construction accident and because of it he had tbi and with that had brain surgery that lasted 10 hours. Recently his neurologist ordered an MRI of the neck and shoulders because he was complaining of neck pain with that we found out that he has a compressed spinal cord injury it ha s been an horrible experience. My question to you is IS SURGERY THE ONLY OPTION? He always complaints of pain the neck is always swollen has a hard time with his hands they always swell up he is in constant pain,is there some miracle drug? that could help him? thank you Carmela.

Q: i've had lower back pain for 17 years on and of,it came back 3 years ago and it wont go away,the doc has sent me for all the tests but nothing found,the pain clinic say its a mechanical problem,[what is it] i'm on dehidcodine 120mgx2 morning+night time plus i'm on parasetamol 500. the pain never goes away it is always there,any help would be fantastic kind regards rob

Q: Greetings,Thank you for your great book, it really helped me alot. I felt alot of relief just from knowing someone had the same situation as me. I read your book about a month ago...and as soon as I read it my pain started to become more manageable, almost instantly. Then as you had said in your book, the pain moved about a week ago...from my lower back to my neck...and now it really is a pain in the neck! I feel good about it however, because I know I am affecting it in someway, and my back pain is no longer of yet i am just waiting for it to disappear but it has I am trying to be proactive and talk to the pain as you seems like its really hanging on for dear seems a little harder to get a grip on it....and i always want to reach for some kind of cure all...but i hold my self back....thank u for all u have done....any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again, Oscar

Q: I am getting impatient with the doctors and need some advice. I hurt my back 18 months ago and am still in agonizing pain. I cannot sit or stand or lay down for long periods of time. I can't do much of anything without pain. I have been told it was muscle strain then they say it is arthritis, they say I have DDD but that doesn't cause pain, They found a cyst and small disc bulge in the MRI but say that doesn't cause pain, I did the whole physical therapy, medications, facet injections...nothing has helped. The last time I went to the doctors he said: Chronic lumbar strain with some mechanical deconditioning, facet degenerative changes and early disc degeneration changes. He also states I am at a medical endpoint. Do you have any advice, other than go to another doctor, which I am in the process of doing? Alicia

Q: HI Sensei, Reddy here suffering from lower back pain from past two months due to long hours of bad sitting posture at my work. Now I unable to sit at least 3omin in any posture.I can't ride the bike.I am now 24 years old, can you please suggest me remedy for this problem. Regards, Reddy

Q: Hi...I am 40 year old lady .. I do exercises , 4 years back i fallen on a rock and i had severe pain, took medicine from physician.. i could relieve from pain.. my problem is from that time i cant sit in one poster for half an hour, and if i bend i will get pain at spinal cord and hips.. Nowadays i put on weight, because i cant bent ,i cant exercise more.. Please advise me. Veena

Q: I am 46 years old and have been diagnosed with MS 15 years ago. July 29, 2008 I underwent a right adrenalectomy due to a 5.6 cm mass the surgery was done with a scope and I had 4 incisions on my right side. I was placed on my left side for the surgery on a bean bag. The surgery lasted 5 1/2 hours due to 2 instruments breaking. When I woke, I found myself in severe pain on my left side. When I touched my side and back there were scratches and blisters on my left side. The incision side (right side) had no pain. My back from the bottom of my ribs to my left knee had a numb feeling but had what it felt like shocks radiating from my left side to my spinal cord. While I was in the hospital they were having problems controlling my oxygen levels. I had an anaphylactic shock due to a nectarine. ( That was a first, I eat fruit all the time). I had several x rays done and they found fluid in my lungs, and started giving me breathing treatments. I was up and walking ever since the first day because I know how important it is to move around after surgery. The left side of my body was and still is very sensitive to the touch. The top of my left foot feels numb. I would think by now it would go away. Also, on August 8th I found my self back in the hospital ER with abdominal pain for 5 hours until they finally had a CT scan done. When they got the CT results they discovered I had a small cut just under my diaphragm which produced a hernia and my appendix was inflamed and had to be removed. Two hours later they took me in for surgery and by that time my appendix ruptured. After I woke from that surgery I still had the severe back pain. The doctors who completed the surgery could not figure out what was going on. Before my post-op I made an appointment with my neurologist, because I thought it was either my MS flaring up due to the trauma or a pinched nerve. I had and MRI done which showed DDD L4, L5( which I had known that for a while and stenosis. Also discovered was paraspinal muscle edema and fluid collection. My neurologist decided to have a CT scan done a week later which was now negative for paraspinal edema and fluid. It did show L4-L5 disc bulge, facet hypertrophy and moderate central stenosis. I called my PCP and met with her and she has now referred me to a back specialist who cannot see me until sometime in November. I am very frustrated because I am very social and very active. I mentally cannot stay home with this back pain for long I need to get back to work. I work with kids and it is killing me not being able to see them. I am a little uneasy driving right now because of the pain from trying to sit up. I also have difficulty with walking too much. I try to walk around as much as possible, when I go to the grocery store with one of my family members I have to really hold onto the carriage because of the pain, then I get very sweaty, light headed and sick to my stomach. I stop walking for a few minutes to collect myself then start walking again. Its funny because no matter how fast I try to move my legs I feel I am in slow motion and my family say I walk like I had an accident in my pants. At least they have a sense of humor. May I please have some advice of what to do, I am going out of my mind staying home, and in alot of pain. Thank You Lisa

Q: I was referred to a chiropractor last October after complaining of headaches. I was told my spine form and posture were contributing to this problem. I received spinal manipulation for 3 months (2-3 times week). He wanted me to continue this treatment for at least 1 year. I felt great while getting treated. But it was after quitting treatment (ran out of money) that my back started hurting. And it has only gotten worse. It has been 9 months that I have been living with chronic back pain (which I never had before I started seeing the chiropractor). I have had an MRI which shows nothing and have tried physical therapy, to no relief. I am so frustrated with this pain. I used to work out all of the time, run, do yoga, and now cannot do anything bc of my back pain. I think the chiropractor ruined my back. Any advice? Katie

Q: Need help deciphering MRI report of spine. I have a close friend in the hospital with intractable back pain and they have done a MRI of her spine. I am having trouble deciphering the results, and the doc's say that there is nothing they can do for her pain. The results are (abnormal's only): Cervical spine- Small focus of signal abnormality of the superior C4 vertebral body near the end plate likely represents focal fatty marrow replacement. There is a small focus of focal fatty marrow replacement superiorly at T2. There are very minimal bulges at C4-5, and C6-7 which do not result in significant marrow compromise. IMPRESSION: no significant compromise or cord signal abnormalities. Thoracic spine- small focus of fatty marrow replacement superiorly of T6 at the end plate. IMPRESSION: same as above Lumbar spine- Posterior annular fissure at L4-5. There is disc dessication with mild narrowing of the L4-5 and L5-S1 intervertebral disc spaces. There are hemangiomas or foci of fatty marrow replacement of L3 and superiorly of L5. There is focal protrusion and left paracentral extrusion at L5-S1 which contacts the ventral surface of the descending left S1 nerve. Mild narrowing of the left neural foramen at L5-S1. Minimal protrusion at L4-5. IMPRESSION: Left paracentral disc extrusion at L5-S1, which lightly contacts the ventral surface of the descending left S1 nerve. Not only is she in severe pain, but she is having trouble urinating and walking. Her left leg keeps giving out. She has minimal nerve reflexes in bilateral. legs. She has been battling back pain for 5 years now, undergone the back injections, with no relief and doesn't know what to do. Tell me what you think! I would like to help relieve her pain. Thank you. Kristi

Q: Hello Sensei, My sister has been suffering from a "severely herniated disc" in the c5/6 level. She has gone through a lot in the past months since the onset of pain occurred. She has gotten substantially better through time. She is no longer laying in bed all day, her pain level has decreased significantly, her numbness is mild, her strength has increased, the pain down her arm has begun to climb away from her hand, wrist and forearm. She rides a stationary and mobile bike every day and she has over all, seemingly, gotten better. Two days ago she tilted her neck in an awkward way and has said that her pain levels are increased, that neurological pains are more defined and intense and her arm is hurting her. She has had bad days before but her experience has been so traumatic that she cannot compare this time with last time. For the past two days she has only wanted to sleep and take muscle relaxers. I am worried she maybe relapsing or putting herself in a position to make things worse. What do you recommend she do? Jeanette

Q: How do I cure myself???? My back pain is getting a little bit longer every time. 30. Thanks. Javier