Back Pain Questions and Answers
Archive 2009 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 numbness from the left hip to my knee with some soreness and tenderness in the outside area of the leg. could this be from my back. i have had back surgery about 4 yrs. ago. Glen

Q: After suffering from leg numbness and shooting pain for 6 months, I went to my physician. An xray was performed and I was told I had arthritis and a bone spur. With months of physical therapy, home exercises and lots of pain, I went for a 2nd opinion. An MRI was performed and I was told I have 3 disc bulges in my lower back. Again, I've been told to go to physical therapy. I can't sleep, and am stiff most of the time. So, when will this end? I'm 48 years young, not overweight and in good general health. I just need the pain and discomfort to stop. Would the MRI show arthritis too? What now? Becky

Q: I am only 23 and have not been in any accidents and i do drink a lot of drinks and hardly any water, but have also been to doctors about my pain and they say my bladder and kidneys are fine. I have 2 kids one is 2 almost 3 and the other one is 10 mos.I have had a lot of back pain it comes and goes but its been here for almost 3 years. Here lately it has gotten worst to the point i can't do somethings i use to or even if i just sit down it hurts.The pain is below my rib cage and around or above the kidneys its on my left side but it can hurt on my right side but its mostly on my left. I do have a history of kidney problems in my family along with cancer and heart disease i am not sure what kind of kidney disease though. I was just wondering what should i do and if i should worry or not? My husband said maybe i could have lung cancer i smoked one or two cigarettes when i was 16 but that was all, but i have been smokers all my life. Should I worry? Stacie

Q: Hi Sensei, Two questions: Does your online book walk a reader through a treatment program or does it provide recommendations on the types of knowledge treatment the reader should seek? My late teen has chronic back pain. Her/His biological father (and aunts/uncles) have numerous back problems including two major surgeries on her/his father and uncle for herniated or collapsed disks. I know she/he truly has back pain, but suspect she/he has fear and anxiety around having hereditary back problem. She/He is completely closed to the idea that it could be stress or anxiety related; she/he is convinced a pain med is the way to go to get through the pain, and that surgery will be inevitable (she has a history of stress related illness and mood shifts). I disagree but am a loss at where to start. Her/His GP just refers her/him to a physical therapist. Her/His dad colludes with fears of chronic back problems. I don't know what other doctor or professional to consult since she/he will not go to a therapist. Is the book a good place to start (for us)? Any other ideas on who to consult (orthopedists, etc.) Thanks in advance. Kate

Q: from my childhood i found my back is not normal and stiff. i cant play like other boys and normal movement of my back is restricted. i visited doctors many many time they all said no any medicines for this only you have to take pain killer. one thing my L4 and L5 have very very short space left almost no space between L4 and L5. now other back example L2 L3 also coming closer. many many doctors only give me pain killer not any other medicines , now my problem is lower back pain is too much some time and if i lying on bed more painful. yesterday i been to one doctor and have x rays but found some more problem coming L4 L5 also L2 L3 coming closer. my spinal code also not very straight.some curve in my back bone. pls advice me what to do. Kamal

Q: I have been seen by my primary care physician. and i have on going for years now, severe chest pain, that they continue to diagnose as anxiety. my ekg exams come back with "oh a little irregularity" I am a out of control diabetic. as of last night my sugars have gone from 7pm 81 to 10pm 223. this morning at wake 6am 113 after meal 332. i am eating the way i should. okay my question is this, i am at this moment feeling flushed, slight tightening of the left cheek, chest pain that radiates from front to back. shoulder pain, an somewhat arm pain. i don't go the doctor because they tell me the same thing, lower your blood sugar and take your pills for anxiety. i had an angio done this year and had 30% & 40% blockage in the heart arteries, don't know where. and in the insertion point in my leg 30%. they say not enough for stenting. can this be the cause of my severe pain? ANGINA? Renee

Q: MY DAD JUST HAD AN ANTERIOR CERVICAL DISCECTOMY AND FUSION DONE. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THIS SURGERY? IS THERE ANYTHING IMPORTANT THAT I NEED TO WATCH FOR? Nichole

Q: My neck pain has been getting worse in recent years. In 2004 I had an MRI which showed: "Osteoarthritic change involving the articulation between the anterior arch of the atlas and dens. Minor posterior disc bulging at C4/5 without significant canal stenosis. Obliterated C5/6 disc space with associated degenerative change and mild central canal stenosis. Marked bony foraminal narrowing at C6/7 on the right side with potential impingement of the exiting right C7 nerve root" I take panadol osteo. Any advice would be appreciated, Peter

Q: hi my names marc, i play football in college. i had back problems and i saw several doctors, and i never got a straight answer from either of them. one doctor told i have two herniated discs, one in my lumbar ,and the other in my cervical. i tried therapy for a while and didn't help me. my arm pain and leg pain bothers me throughout the day, and i don't know what to do. i don't even know if i want to play anymore and risk the chance of a worse injury. so i am asking you from experience, what should i do. Marc

Q: I sat in a massage chair that had the rounds balls in them for 20 seconds,& i think i pinched a nerve. the pain started in my lower left side of my back for about 2 weeks, i could hardly walk & now the pain shoots down my left upper thigh & my lower part of the leg tingles. i had a x-ray nothing found. can this be fixed with P T ? Should i get a a MRI? Does it sound like i pinched a nerve? can this be fixed or am i screwed. Christopher

Q: Hi i read part of your article and the information i found comforted and reassured me and i thank you. However, i was wondering is the information in these articles factual and/or quotable in any way. for example. the information in the article. Thank you. Jackie

Q: Levator Ani Spasms, how and where can I have it treated in NYC? Holly

Q: I worked for 3 days consequently for 4am till 10 pm ,in fruit shop lifting and standing all times after that I had back pain , and firstly some muscular pain in the upper part of my back then it moved to low part of my back I went to doctor He gave me medicence VOLTAREN , and MoValis but don't work . now I had message sessions and acupuncture does it work ?? I still had back pain it lasts around one month and half ! I got headache , and digestion problems please what can I do ? thanks, Thomas

Q: Hi, I am a lady of 54 years of age and was told that I could end up paralyzed by my GP. Apparently, I have severe osteoarthritis in my spine and also my hands (along with reynards P and carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands) I had an MRI scan and this was the finding. c3/4 there is a minor disc space narrowing and a central disc prolapse which abuts the spinal cord c4/5 There is also moderate disc space narrowing at a central disc prolapse which appears to compress the spinal cord C5/6 there is also moderate disc space narrowing and a central prolapse which abuts the spinal cord C6/7 there is a small central disc prolapse which does not abut the spinal cord. I know I need to ask a question but would appreciate if several could be considered to be answered. I have gone very stressed and scared.....and in so much pain I cant describe and ibuprofen prescribed doesn't touch it sadly! Does the findings mean I will be paralyzed? What does abut mean? will osteo arthritis in my spine cause me to be paralyzed in the near future or much more quickly.ie wake up an find I am not able to move. How can I lessen the pain....I use hot water bottles and also keep active but the pain wears me out mentally and physically. I am also scared to go to bed as I am scared I will wake up not able to move. I'm also having carpal tunnel done in both hands soon and having that doesn't help the dreadful pain I'm in and that adding to it. I wear hand splints at night and have numbness and burning and loss of feeling throughout the day - at night I wear the splints to help alleviate the pain that wakes me up if I don't wear splints. I am sorry I sound like a moaning ninny, but believe me I am scared and worried for my future. Keinne

Q: i was wondering how i can purchase capsacin for my mother's spinal stenosis - it's a cream which can be applied am I correct? please help me help her? Thank you, Theresa

Q: I need help finding a pain doctor for my wife. She has spinal stenosis and is 2 months post-op. She is in chronic pain. Please help. Any good doctors in Pittsburgh. Thanks, Richard

Q: I have found this site after months of back pain and i am exited that this could be the resource i have been searching for. my back pain ONLY comes as I sleep ,i am in agony when I wake up but after a struggle and agonizing spasms the pain almost vanishes with only mild niggles throughout the day. now, I have had major life events since last June(2008), my wife was diagnosed with a life threatening illness (i wont go into detail). i have a history of anxiety and panic disorder and since my wife's diagnosis, this has went through the roof. I have found it so difficult to accept her condition and try to get on with life as normal, but i wonder if this has triggered a psychological back pain. the pain is in the right side from below the ribs to my right hip but sometimes moves to the central back area . The spasms subside after 10- 15 minutes as long as I keep calm ,then after an hour I am fine although I still feel drained with the pain experience. I would like to buy the book "cure back pain forever", can I purchase this in UK ? Tom

Q: i was diagnosed with 2 herniated discs last week, i'm going to a doctor this week. i have no insurance, and someone told me about injections, do u know anything about that? i'm 28 and don't want to have surgery at this age. Colleen

Q: I am suddenly having pain on the right side of my butt, intense enough to stop me in my tracks. I am really worried, I don't know what is contributing to this. I have had this pain on occasion, then since I woke up this morning, it comes frequently. Sabrina

Q: I'm interested in how you alleviated your back pain. I'm scared to death of having to have back surgery. My pain started about five years ago, I guess when walking the perimeter of the prison where I work became harder and harder. I was having pain in my lower back. I went to a chiropractor and when I saw the X-ray it floored me. My tail bone looked like something out of a freak show. It sticks almost straight out toward the back, not a gentle curve. But the doc said it was slight scoliosis. I didn't really get any benefit there so I stopped going after three weeks. In the fall of '07 the pain was such I went to my regular doctor who ordered an MRI and informed me I had spinal stenosis, or a herniated disc that was also slipped and was causing pressure on my sciatic nerve. This was causing numbness and tingling in my legs and feet. I went to a pain doc, had physical therapy and was controlling the pain so it was at a level could live with. Recently (In the past week)I have had extreme pain on the right side, in the hip. I know it's the sciatic nerve being pinched. I went to a local doctor because I knew getting in to see the specialist would take too long. I'm taking steroids and muscle relaxers. Sometimes I still wake in the middle of the night in extreme pain, the pain shooting down my right leg. Right now I feel OK, but I feel once the course of steroids in run I'll be back to excruciating pain. Any advice? Rebecca

Q: Hello Sir.. Let me first say I enjoy your site and it gives me a lot of hope.. I am sorry for the length of this. I have really began to explore TMS and think it may be right up my ally. I feel I have a lot of the characteristics, My biggest problem is ignoring the MRI's and the doctors words.Here is my story first with the physical stuff. It all started on April 4 2007 (yes I remember the exact date). I was working out at our gym at my work when I got a small but somewhat sharp pain in the right shoulder..It was not a constant pain but I quit working out in fear of making it worse..I have tried working out several times after the initial "injury" to see if it was better but it would always come back. Now my first clue that something was fishy with this is that it totally left my right shoulder with in a week and went to the left shoulder and middle back..For the first few months it was not really pain but a pins and needles feeling and it would come and go. I would have weeks were I was perfectly fine...Keep in mind I work in a warehouse were physical labor is the norm but it didn't really bother me at all except for making me wonder what is was and why it bother me so much to work out and lift weights. I had been working out 4 to 5 days a week prior to all this and loved doing it. It was such a stress release and I was getting in good shape.So about late summer of 07 I thought I should see a doctor to see what the problem was. I thought maybe a pinched nerve but deep down it really didn't make since..Of course he didn't know what was wrong and gave me some anti-inflammatories...That also did not to anything. This was around early fall of 07 and even though I didn't have the pain all the time when it would come on it started to feel worse.. So I go back to doctor and he sends me for an MRI of the neck and thoracic spine....Doctor tells me I have a small disc bulge and C6-C7 but no nerves were being touched...(He did not say anything about the thoracic mri)..He said nothing on the mri shows that I should be having the pain I was having. So I pretty much was back to square one...I was happy he had said that and that there was nothing to bad but I still wondered some.So pretty much from Sept 07 to July 08 I had some pain ever so often. Nothing major, I learned to live with it, I wasn't happy about it because I still felt like something was wrong with me.. I tried working out but it would always bring on more pain...This is always made me wonder how come I can do all this lifting at work and feel pretty much nothing. But I go to the gym and I start another outbreak of more pain...I pretty much told myself at this point that I need to be careful about all my lifting and totally quit the gym..I told myself I have to work for a living, I didn't want to get myself to the point were the pain got to bad to do my job...(This as it turns out is a big point of anxiety for me). On June 1 I started working 3rd shift... The first night I remember having a bout of pain..I didn't understand why because it faded later..It was the first time I had the pain in several weeks..For the first month physically I was fine. But something happened around the first of July.. The pain in my shoulder came back big time worse than ever and it would not go away..I started have headaches and muscle twitches. The twitching started in my feet but moved all over.At this point I started to really worry.. I started goggling my symptoms and I thought for sure I had MS.I was a mess... I go back to the doc and get a head mri than I go to a neurologist..I take all my MRI result with me (head,neck and thoracic). She looks at them and tells me my head mri was fine. No MS..But I told her about my shoulder and upper back. She looks at my other MRIs and says " well you do have a bulging disc in your thorasic spine T5-T6..I was like "What my doctor never told me about this" So I call up my GP and he says he doesn't know why he did tell me about it. But it still should not cause the pain I am having..About this time is when my mid back and now my lower back started hurting...I was a mess mentally I did not know what to do..I that I had maybe Fibro but the thought of that made my anxiety shoot up.. My lower back pain spread to my butt and eventually to my right calf and foot...At this point I got a new Thoracic and a Lower back MRI...The Thoracic was unchanged but the lower back showed a 2-3 mm bulge at the L3-4, a 5-6mm herniation that was touching the left nerve root and just glancing the right nerve root and a 3 to 4 mm bulge and L5-S1...Of course my Neurologist tells me I should find another job that is easier on me..(that made my fear and worry so much worse)I lost it I thought this is it I am so screwed I will have to have surgery, lose my job and be in pain all the time...I will never be able to live like I used to...How am I going to pay for back surgery, I wish I could go back in time, My best days are behind me,etc.. I was depressed, I would cry often...I didn't want to do anything...Since Christmas I had some lower back pain but mostly it has be leg and foot pain. I have had a few periods of almost no pain at all.Within the last few week I have been doing some thinking and I have noticed a few things 1)since my lower back and leg pain has increased.. My shoulder and upper back has almost entirely disappeared. 2)When I am busy at work and moving around and not thinking about pain and herniated discs I don't have pain.. I have caught this several times... 3) My pain is worse on Sunday nights (first night of work week) and is less on the weekends and last night before week end..I had a attach of shoulder pain around labor day that was as worse as any I had and lasted a week. On a friday night when I was working the pain just disappeared almost like a switch.I have some ideas as to what is going on inside me that is the cause all this...A few months before this all began in 07 I had a brake in at my house that really shook me bad...Only think that was stolen was a DVD player but I was convinced that they were going to come back and get the rest of it since they seen what I have. I sleep on the floor with a knife were they broke in at for about a week..And also the same day my house was broken into my grandfather passed away, I think all that stress at one time may have started something in me.I also think deep down I don't won't to work the 3rd shift..I miss the interaction with all my 1st shift buddies and I think that had always keep my mind off a lot of things that bother me. Now on 3rd it is just 4 of us and I like the people I work with but it isn't the same.. I have anxiety issues, that is pretty evident reading this along with obsessive thinking issues...I need to try to get to the root of those things. I have read HBP and MBP and will continue to read all I can.. I think the hardest thing right know is the MRI reports.. I wish I never had gotten them...If I could talk to a TMS doctor and get a DX of TMS I think that would be very helpful. I am only 28 and yes I worked out a lot and do a fairly physical job but alot of people do and they don't have these problems..My parents are near 60 and my mom for sure does the same type job as me and yes they have pain but it doesn't consume them like it does me, They still smile and live there life.My question is does this sound like TMS and is The MRI reports something I should worry about?..I also had a TON of blood work done that all came back fine.Also I have a ? about journaling. What exactly to I write about,stress in my life, things in my childhood that upset me? Do anyone know of TMS doctors in the Louisville Ky area? Thank you so much for reading . Again sorry about the length and any misspellings. Joe

Q: Hello, & thank you for all the posted info . It was very helpful. The one topic I did not see was how people with hypermobile joints are affected. I was born & grew up w/ mild hypermobilty (in those erroneously called "double jointed" .It was never really an issue until recently. I visted a very famous chiropractor here for a minor symptom of some tingling in a hand when I would lie down at night.I had seen this chiro 2 years prior for a foot issue with good results. He took an x-ray & found all kinds of problems. His treatment >HVLA to the neck twice in one day & again the next week. The result> 2 years later I am still somewhat disabled from that treatment!I was so injured I could barely move for the first 3 months, I slept on the floor for over 9 mon.I had PT for over 1 year,massage for over 6 months, & serious daily painful chronic spasms around my neck for the first year & I still have not gone 3 straight days withput any. I could say more but it is hard for me to sit for too long . Lara

Q: I am 42 years old. I started having this pain close to 2years now. It started as a mild pain and gradually was getting worse and gravitating towards my foot as though i was standing on my nerves. It comes usually after sitting for a long time or after a long wait in traffic jam. I had to go for an MRI scan on the 4th of December 2008 which revealed the following result:

TECHNIQUE: Sagittal T1 & Sagittal T2, Axial T1 & without and Axial T2. Findings: There is a right posterolateral protrusion of the L4/L5 disc with moderate right lateral recess stenosis. Fluid collections in the L3/L4 and L4/L5 facet joints are also noted. The above are features of intervertebral osteochondrosis and facet joint arthrosis. Since than i have been taking pain killers such as tramal and some bone shield drugs recommended by my physician. As i write, the pain is gradually affecting my manhood. I therefore will appreciate it if a lasting solution can be recommended. Many thanks, Diamond

Q: I used to be able to do sit ups just fine. Now i cant due to the fact that part of my lower spine(coccyx) i do believe protrudes slightly enough to cause pain if i roll over it. Is there any procedure or anything i can do to have this corrected? Jay

Q: I have this back pain problem,whenever I strain myself,even a little more than normal,I get the back pain.If I take rest properly for 2/3 days it will be gone. What are the remedial exercises,or any precautions to be taken? Please help. Thanking you, Sobhana

Q: Greetings, Sensei...first...have been looking into spinal problems / their solutions...and an ad for this site popped up in an unexpected place. A serendipity of sorts. Information is extensive / generous enough for a layman's mind. A great effort I'd say -- a fine information resource. Haven't read all pages ...may yet find my problem described. No luck on other sites, so have decided to pose question.Am a senior in fair shape, having done over a long duration a good variety of exercises, incl. the Eastern varieties...Taichi, Chikung, etc. About 40 years ago a chiropractor / naturopath in T.O, treated my spine for curvature, shortness of right leg. Things got better, especially with the exercising. Last chiropractic treatment was in '92 for a minor kink at one of my trochanters. Most problems since, have been able to work out myself...mentally, with self-massage, and various touchy-feely methods of my own conjuring.But the chiropractor of long ago took a full spinal x-ray and showed me space between 2 of the cervical vertebrae was smaller than should be (congenital?)...I still have that x-ray around somewhere. He said in old age, like about now, I could have some trouble there. Sure enough, to make longer story short, am seeing the slow effects of diminishing nerve energy thru both arms (worse on right), such that am easily susceptible to chilblains in hands, some numbing in right baby and ring fingers, and a faster-than-I-would-expect-for-someone-of-my-activity-background aging of the hands.Symptoms may ease once I'm out of a difficult year in which *health* is the major issue. Though this period has been astrologically determined (by myself, a long-time practitioner, which fact hopefully doesn't prejudice the reader here) to end this summer, I can't predict just yet the ensuing state of my problem whether for worse or for improvement. Stress / relaxation is an important factor. Currently, am working on various exercises tuned for my retirement, and expect I will be into more extended periods of deep relaxation as time passes. Also regenerating our first own home / property and many experiences are a first. We're living on an island off the northwest coast of BC.Question -- is there a medical term for my condition...and can reasonable health in the cervical area be maintained without medical intervention (which if necessary, I'd choose the non-surgical type...but geographical distance and cost, I feel, precludes me from such remedy) ??? Apologies for the length of this. From one (former) sensei to another, many thanks for your attention ! ...Arnaldo

Q: Hi sensei rostocki, my names nathan and I'm 21 years old. I've been suffering with what I believe to be tense back and neck muscles for about 4 years, almost every bone in my body clicks and my GP just tells me that unless my joints become swollen or inflamed then don't worry about them. I found you pages on psychosomatic pain very interesting, when I was 18 I lost my first love whom I'm loved very dearly and I got made redundant later in the same year, my pain got very noticeably worse in this year and although I don't feel as though these past issues bare any unresolved psychological affects, do you think they might be the problem? How do you suggest I go about solving this? Many thanks. Nathan

Q: I have had chronic back for almost 2 years now, Its at a point where its affecting my daily life in work and at home. I haven't been to a doctor yet in hopes that it would go away but it has only got worse. My question is where should i start? I called a pain doctor and they said i would need a referral. I have medical insurance, I'm just not sure where i need to go to and what i need to do. If you could give me some advice i would really appreciate it. Thank you for your time. Michael

Q: I am 25 years old and I have pain in my both buttocks for two years, and the pain is so hard that I have to be lying down in the bed all day. I can't be more than ten minutes siting or standing, because of the severity of pain, and I need to be lying or into the water at the swimming pool (with no gravity) for the pain to disappear. I also have pain in my shoulders. I have gone to more than 30 medical specialists including all kind of specialties and alternative therapies. I haven't improved. According to five MRI, my spine is fine, and I only have an inflammation in sciatic nerve. Even though most doctors don't know what I have, I am quite sure it's TMS. Do you think it could be another thing if pyriformis syndrome has been rule out, and my spine is OK? I have been doing knowledge therapy for TMS during four months without improvement. Do you think I should continue doing this, or must I do psychological therapy? In this case do you know if I can do psychotherapy by phone or webcam with any specialist in TMS of United States? ( I am from Europe). Thank you. Pau

Q: I've been to see chiropractors, osteopaths, paid privately, had MRI scan and referred to physio through the NHS but am no wiser how to reduce my back pain. I have low back pain, been told differing things - facet, SI etc, have had manipulation, electronic treatment. My pain is most days - sometimes a creaky dry feeling within my lower back. To touch various points on my spine at the lower part of my back, feels swollen and bruised. Every few days I bend over and my lower spine 'clicks'. I have been told not to worry about this? Really? Should I use heat treatment or cold treatment? I play sport and have been told to continue but if I could just reduce the pain? Bev

Q: I just want to know if anybody out there has any idea what i should do about my pain. I'm 27, I have a herniated disc that my doctor believes has become degenerative disc disease. I've tried everything, it won't go away. The really frustrating thing is that everything I've tried works at first, and I think my pain is gone, but it always comes back. Then I try something different and start the process all over again. It may take a week, a month or a year but eventually fantastic results will give way to complete regression to the previous condition. It's so unfair that I should be going through this in the first place, I'm very physically fit, I'm a part-time martial arts instructor, former physical trainer and I do yoga, I shouldn't have back pain! Does anybody have any helpful information on why this is happening and what I can do about it at all? Please? I desperately need help, I'm seriously close to killing myself just to make the pain stop. Rob

Q: I have been suffering with back pain and related pain (legs, neck, lost feeling in certain fingers and etc) for years, to the point that now, I'm in bed most of the time. My left hip, knee joints, feet, back (herniated disk, 'crumbling' vertebrae, double scoliosis) and neck vertebrae are all involved as well as shoulder and elbow joints.

Originally diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I am now diagnosed as having 3 forms of arthritis, along with psoriatic and Fibromyalgia, for which I'm taking a basketful of medications every day, including Oxycodone, Lyrica and Naproxen. Morphine,Fentanyl and prior to that, Neurontin, have all been tried with only minor success. Chiropracty aided somewhat in regaining a little of the 2.5" lost in height, but naught else.

Now, a neurosurgeon wants to do a Rhizotomy and, although the incidence of other damage is very low, from what I've read, the benefits, if any, last only 6 months to a year, obviously making it necessary to have it redone and redone and on and on. This doesn't appeal to me very much. Yes, I have high blood pressure and take Ramipril to lower it. Yes, I've been diagnosed with clinical depression and have been taking Citalopram for 4 years, with Trazodone as a sleeping aid and Diazepam as an occasional aid for relaxation, thus assisting pain meds to work a bit better.

But my question this time (I have many others) is about this Rhizotomy: Weighing it's short term benefit against potentially damage, is it worth the risk? It absolutely does not appeal to me and I'll be seeing my GP about it tomorrow, but surgery of any kind is at the very bottom of my list of preferred treatment for anything, so I'm very biased and am looking for an impartial, third party opinion.

Is the pain psychosomatic? Possibly - some of it anyway, but severe pain creates a vicious circle of pain, tension, more pain, more tension - thus greater resistance to medications. The old saw "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" probably applies in my case - I know just enough about my problem(s), the meds I'm taking, etc., to jump to erroneous conclusions in many instances...so any assistance you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Kathy

Q: Hi, thank you for your time again. You told me to write back once I had my MRI and so I am. The result was only for the lower back due to insurance reasons?? I was told that I have disc herniation in L4/L5 and disc herniation w/tear of L5/S1. As I had written to you before I have scoliosis in my upper back (one shoulder blade actually protrudes more than the other). I was diagnosed in my teens and I am now 40. I had a minor car accident 6 month ago also that caused minor whiplash. I am really scared at how I have been feeling lately. It begins with a tightness betwee the shoulder blade area almost like a muscle spasm, then this tightness/sensation runs down both my arms turning into like tingling/numbness. All at the same time I am feeling lightheaded to the point where I feel sleepy like I can't keep my eyes open and then my arms feel so heavy that I am actually unable to raise either of my arms. This has happened to me 3 separate times over the past 3 months. It's is very scary and I would like to know if you have ever had someone with similar symptoms and what your opinion is. Thank you so much. Kara

Q: My wife has had four anterior/posterior fusion surgeries over the last 10 years. She has never been relieved of the pain and now has major muscle spasms in her abdomen. She is about 80% disabled due to pain. Her weight has gone from 115 LBS to 190 LBS and our lives are completely ruined. She continues to tell the doctors to remove the hardware but they do not. They call it failed back surgery syndrome and give her pills that don't work and I am certain they are hurting more than helping. She is on workers comp and I just really want know if there is something that can help her feel better and give our family back our life. Thanks, Will

Q: my boyfriend had 2 herniated disks in his lower back too. its a result of a football injury a few years ago. his pain is constant and its really bad in the night time. sometimes he just has to huddle in the fetal position because he is in so much pain. I love him so much and i hate seeing him like this. and i'm wondering what you did to cure yourself? that's amazing! if there is any tips or advice you could give that would be absolutely amazing. Julianne

Q: What causes the hairy patch sometimes seen in tethered spinal cord? Peggy

Q: I suffer from a chronic pain neck/shoulder condition and also CFS. I have read Dr. Sarno's book and ideas and I am looking for a practitioner in the Toronto area, preferably east end for TMS treatment. Possibly a psychologist in the field? Any suggestions? Many thanks. John

Comment: Hi Sensei, Thanks for your site, book and support. I know that using these resources will help me to finally beat the pain which has been making my life hell for over 11 years now! Paulie

Q: My boyfriend over the summer injured his back when he was knee boarding.. He went to his pcp and had a mri done and they found that he had 2 herniated disc in his lower back.. He is in severe pain,, he cant even bend over anymore to put his socks on.. Is there anything that you could recommend that he could try??? Thank u.. Beth

Q: I have a crawly,itchy.numbness about the middle of my back and the chiropractor tries to help but it's not working. What should I do? Gina

Q: I'm a 19yr. old female who experiences severe back pain on a daily basis. What usually sets of the pain is when i listen to music or when someone whispers in my ear or even touches me i feel a sharp-electric like shock down my back and causes a muscle on my lower right backside to tense up very severely, usually i have to shake it off and lay flat on my back. I might just have extreme sensitivity to sound or i might have nerve damage. Could this also be a result of sexual abuse from when i was a child? Jadis

Q: I have just been diagnosed with facet joint in lower back is worn out. i have had 3 back spasms which fixed me into place, and several small muscle spasms in between this time, i am going to phso. next week to get some muscle strengthening ex. the emergency doc. said that that is all i can do is strengthen the muscle in the back so they don't spasm as much. i really don't know alot about any of this. what to do or not to do i read your notes on back spasms and how to be able to move. i will have to try that next time. so far i have been lucky to have my husband here and he just carries me to the chair gives me my muscle relaxers and pain pill and heating pad. that day i can not straighten up but the next day is easier to walk etc. i work at a nursing home doing lifting etc. i would like to now more about what i can and can't do i like to ex. reg. walk was trying to do the biggest loser boot camp ex. was doing some of it before i spasmed this last time. if you have any ideas on what i should or shouldn't be doing i would app. that. thanks, linda

Q: Hi Sir, I have been suffering from severe neck pain for more than 2 yrs. Doctors suggested postural correction. But even after physiotherapy i see the symptoms going far. I now get tingling and numbness in neck region. A severe pain under my right hand shoulder blade, under arm pit and entire right hand. £ months back the MRI scan showed disc bulges in C3-C4. I do not know whether mine is Psychosomatic or real. i stay in India. What options do i have to get it relieved? Please Please reply. Nalini

Q: I am Abhishek from Delhi, India. I am of 26. Basically i am physics teacher in senior secondary school. I got back pain due to bulging of disc. I want to know that how can i get relief from it. I have many familiar responsibilities. Will i do that?

My MRI report tells.... The study reveals mild straightening of the lumbar curvature. Visualized vertebrae show normal contours and narrow siognals. Degenerative dessication of the L3-L4 and L4-L5 disc are seen with reduction of their T2 hyperintense core signals. The L3-L4 intervertebral discs shows a diffuse bulge with left paracentral disc extrusion and caudad migration of sleeve od discal material along the left lateral recess. THe extruded disc segment measures approx. 23.4 mm in craniocaudal extend and 7 mm in anteroposterior dimension. resultant severe compromise of the left lateral recess and neural exit foramen are seen. The L4-L5 disc also shows a diffuse bulge. No evidence of any significant ligamentum flavum hyper trophy or facet joint degeneration is seen. Visualized spinal cord $ conus are normal in morphology and signal intensity pattern. Pre and paraspinal soft tissues appear normal. Impression : Mr study reveals diffuse bulges of the L3-L4 and L4-L5 discs with a long segment left paracentral/forminal extrusion of the L3-L4 discs as described. Resultant mild compression of the right L3 and L4 exiting nerve roots, severe compression of the left L3 exiting nerve root and severe compression of the left traversing L4 nerve root are seen.Please help me Please help me. Here doctors says that there is no permanent treatment. You have to live with precaution only.

Q: Hello, I am a 35 yr old single mom of a 14 & 6 yr old. I have had chronic & disabling back pain for 20 yrs. I am scheduled for surgery in a few weeks. I have 3 herniated discs, osteoarthritis, & spinal stenosis. They planning to do spinal fusions and lamenectomies. I have almost no family, money or support to get through this surgery. I keep going back & forth over going through with my surgery. I have just found your website tonight and am glued to it. I have been reading for hrs now. The more I read, the less I think I should go through with this surgery. Is there anyway that you would donate your book to me? I do not even own a credit card & can't afford another expense right now. I feel that it is urgent that I become better informed (well I actually thought I was). Thank you for your time & consideration, Vickie

Q: Hello and thanks for your kindness for helping people. 3 years ago I started having right buttock pain-starting as a bolting pain,difficult to get "fixed" in bed, difficult to walk. The pain seeming reached the area of "piriformis" After 3 years, and much PT, I started having upper right leg(almost groin) with a cramp like pain that would cause pain down to the knee and cause a limp.Many PT,s worked with me. Said I had a misalignment problem but could not stay in alignment. I also had ITB like symptoms,and aching down leg.(ALL Right side) Then, the last PT after a real good examination said I had 3cm difference in leg length,made me a heel lift of multiple layers of cardboard wrapped in tape. Within days I was totally free of pain-all the pain. Felt so good, 3 weeks ago I helped my husband use a pressure washer on cement drive plus going up and down and going up and down an inclined drive. One day after this, I started with different back pain which the PT was not positive of what we were dealing with. Orth.surgeon said SI Joint. I have started Mobic and it has taken away the lower buttock,back pain (still r. side) but upper hip (where I understand s1 joint is) is still and hurts some,same ITB symptom and sometimes a sensation in lower leg on outside. Is it possible I have a SI joint problem which is only inflammation and not the ongoing kind requiring injections and sometimes is not ever better? Also, do anti-inflammatories capable of taking care of this for good? Thanks so much for your help. Marian

Q: Dear Sensei Adam Rostocki,I had wrote you and asked you about when I sleep what it means when you sleep for 6-8 hours and my side starts hurting then I get up and it goes away, then I lay down and it comes back. You said it might be ischemic condition. Is there anyway I can treat this condition myself instead of going to a doctor. Please write me back and let me know. Thank you so much. Peggy

Q: Hi, first I would like to thank you for your time. Let me begin by saying that I have scoliosis. I was diagnosed in my teens and am now 40. I had a minor car accident 6 month ago also that caused minor whiplash. I am really scared at how I have been feeling lately. It begins with a tightness in my back in the shoulder blade area, this sensation runs down both my arms like tingling/numbness at the same time I am feeling lightheaded to the point where I feel sleepy like I can't keep my eyes open and then my arms feel so heavy that I am actually unable to raise either of my arms. This has happened to me once coming out of the shower and today twice at work. I am scheduled for an MRI today and am not sure if maybe anxiety is getting to me because I cannot stand being confined, but it still is very scary and would like to know if you have ever had someone with similar symptoms and what your opinion is. Thank you so much. Kara

Q: i have had a herniated disc in the L4-L5 area of my lower back since march 2007. The neurosurgeon says that the disc is slowly degenerating and i also experience sciatica, although the sciatica symptoms have decreased in the past few months. The pain in my back is a nightmare. I don't just experience low back pain, i have shoulder, neck, mid back, and pain in my left knee. I haven't worked since 2007 and now to top it off, i am 3 months pregnant and i worry about further injury to my back. I have tried steroid injections, Physical therapy, bed rest, percacet, flexiril, heat, cold, inversion, massage, proper posture and bending techniques, and none of these have done me any good! I am fearful but also trying to stay positive. Since I am pregnant, I can't take meds or do inversion and they were the only relief i could find. where do i go from here? What happens once all the disc has degenerated and the bone is rubbing on bone? I worry alot~ I HOPE YOU CAN HELP ME! thanks :) Shana

Q: I have spondylolisthesis would using a static bike be useful safe as an exercise?? Any other hints as to how to minimize symptoms appreciated. Spider

Q: Dear Sir, Will the back pain be cured ---- Suffering from severe back and neck pain from past 1 year. 6 years before CERVICAL PAIN started and MRI REPORT SHOWED DISC BULGE. No treatment , only little bit free hand exercise.. Now her condition is very bad...... In that cervical pain , completed studies and job also as a IT professional. Today, because of pain , had to resign her job.... Can't sit for more than 1/2 hr. Can't bend, can't pick weight, can't travel , etc.... Is having severe lower back pain , and also cervical pain is still there. Financial condition is very bad, lot of doctors shown, nobody could find the exact cure. Her latest MRI REPORT showing the following finding - BULGE OF C3/4 TO C5/6 INTERVERTEBRAL DISC WITH POSTERIOR OSTEOPHYTES CAUSING COMPRESSION OF NERVE ROOTS AT NEURAL FORMANIA. Please tell will this pain has any cure ?????????????? Please help.... Preety

Q: Hi, I write on behalf of my mother who has suffered chronic back pain for years. It's a stabbing pain and it's usually on one side of her back, although it will move to the other side and sometimes move up the back. It even moved into her arm the other day but is now in her back. It's like a stabbing pain - she's been told she has a crumbling spine. I would like to order your book but am going through PayPal, so do I pay in Canadian dollars or US dollars? Thank you. Regards, Vicki

Q: Is there something I can do to prevent cauda equina from setting in? L5/SI broad disc bulge with bilateral facet and ligamentum flavum hpertrophy-nero forminal severly narrowed. L4/5 broad disc with annular tear, also bilateral facet and ligamentum flavum moderate spinal stenosis and severe bilateral neuro foraminal encroachment. Bilateral facet in L34 and L23. I have developed drop foot in the right foot. Janice

Q: I am a 50 year old female that fell on stairs when they were icy and ended up with a compression fracture of the T8 T7 swollen 11 and 12 also had something but no fractures to them. They have tried many pain meds and still I am in constant pain and can not work.It has been a year now and I am now fighting with the pension people because they seem to think I will be able to work. I have lost my house I can no longer work in my job that I loved, I am a cnc machinist and very good at it being a female.I need to know if what they are going to do next is what I should try. They want me to see the anesthesiologist at the hospital and I am really very scared. I wish I had more info so I can be more at ease. The things I read on the internet is getting my anxiety going through the roof.can you help me with any kind of answers for me. Leigh

Q: I initially had lower back pain (on my right side) which spread to my hip. I visited a chiropractor, who referred to my problem as being "stuck up". He proceeded to do an adjustment on my right side which did relieve the discomfort. However, he also adjusted my left side and when I woke up the following day, I had a numb feeling from my knee to my ankle on my left side (on the top side). (This was done in early October). Since that time the numbness has not really subsided, and to make matters worse my thigh muscle from below my buttock to about six inches above my knee actually hurt to sit. This is not once in awhile, this is pretty much every day. Occasionally, however, my left side will also be uncomfortable. It hurts to press on the tissue and muscle in this area. Could this have been a result of an adjustment that may have pinched something? I am concerned to go back to a chiropractor in the event it makes matters worse. I would appreciate your thoughts. Sandy

Q: Hi Adam. Dave from Hawaii here.Just checking in for some guidance/advice. I've been going full tilt with the PIPS approach for the last 2 weeks. Lumbar pillow gone. Back brace gone. I'm now bending from the waist, walking at least 2 miles a day. Running 5 miles every other day on the elliptical at the gym. Swimming regularly. Basically doing more exercise in a day than the average American does in a week.None of this activity either improves or worsens my pain. Strange things are happening with my body and mind. (or mindbody to use the correct terminology.)I have been experiencing the same level of pain, but it is moving around like a speed demon. Sometimes it will be in my sacral/lumbar region...sometimes in my Thoracic region...sometimes posterior ribcage...sometimes abdominal wall (and I've noticed my stomach has been sensitive)...and now oddly into my old chronic shoulder and neck (I've never had neck pain before). It sometimes moves around with such rapidity that is is impossible to take it seriously from a physiological standpoint. It can shift from/to several locations in a matter of minutes. It just does not fit any of the current physiological models that i have been fed. I have also been an emotional YoYo. Up one minute and depressed, anxious and in pain the next. I had a dream last night that woke me up and i was experiencing intense anger to the point of rage. This is all very,very strange and i just wanted to know if any of this fits with your experience and are these encouraging signs? All the best, Dave.

Q: when I sleep for 6 to 8 hours my sides hurt. But then I get up and walk around and it will go away, but then when I lay back down then after a little while the pain comes back. I am not sure what it could be. Can you please write be back and give me some answers. Thank you Peggy

Q: I'm due to have a operation to have a disk removed because it has trapped my Sciatic nerve. Pain is really bad back some days and ok other day. Can you tell me how long the recovery process is after the operation? I'm also getting pain near mt hip bone round the groin area is this normal? Jason

Q: I have had upper back for six months now, it started about six weeks after my mother died. I feel like I'm dealing with that ok. I am on an antidepressant and a stimulant and mood stabilizer. It hurts in the center of my back only worse with activity. no abnormal mri. Marie

Q: I have an MRI report of my back. Can you give me your input on it? Zoe

Q: Good Afternoon, Just needed some clarification as I am very confused about my situation. To make a long story short I started having tremendous pain, getting in my car, getting off the toilet etc, it then turned into if I would walk I would fall to the floor, i am now receiving lumbar injections along with going to a pain management clinic. I am confused with my mri reading. Impression: Intervertebral disk protrusion at l5-s1 that results in moderate to severe left neural foraminal stenosis and moderate central canal and right neural foraminal stenosis. In English i am troubled? Any help would be appreciated thank you. Jennifer

Q: First of I must say you have a great site. I've spent many sleep nights lately till I can across yours. my story started 3 Fridays ago I play Floor Hockey every Friday night I'm goalie age 39, 160lbs 5.7 good shape no six pack but I have endurance I have been playing hockey since I was Six on ice on street on floor always in nets. Well that particular night I left my net and dived out to freeze the ball picture I fully out stretched on gym floor hands way out ahead of me. The forward player from the other team came across and instead of stepping over me he came down full force both knees one on each side of my spine landing on my lower back and hip bone those round ball like bones in lower back on each side. I felt the air come out of my lungs he was about 190lbs I would say. Thing is the pain did not come right away. I finished game and played another the following Sunday, but then Monday night about 3am I woke up in extreme pain it felt like I had two huge belts like wrestling championship belts wrapped around my lower back and tightened to the max. Could barely move. I spent a week popping Advil to get through the days and nights. Finally wet to Doctor last Monday he prescribed me a muscle relaxant that worked amazing for 12-16hours I was pain free. But if I stop taking pills within 2 hours back tights up all though I would say now it is a little less. He also suggested physiotherapy but I'm worried if I do this while on the medication I will not know my limits and cause more damage. as I sit here now I just took a pill I went 5 hours past my due time for it but I need to sleep. have two girls that need me every day and a job to go to. Hot showers work great. My simple question is how long do you think this will last I usually heal very fast? And when should I start physiotherapy? Any other info would be greatly appreciated thank you for your valued time. have a good night. Sam

Q: I wanted your opinion for the best stretches and exercises to strengthen my SI joint. Twice now it has become very inflamed needing cortisone shots into the joint. I play a lot of golf. thank you gary

Q: hi! my grandfather has a severe pain in his back since i can't remember! the doctors can't figure out what's wrong with him..please,i'm waiting for your reply! thanks.. Latifa

COMMENT: Thanks for your book Sensei Adam. I am feeling better day by day, just like you said I would. I hope you are well also. Robert

Q: when i scratch my back on the left side i can feel tingling sensation in my left leg, and there's a general weakness/partial numbness in leg-why could this be? when i cycle my exercise bike i also feel tingling down my left leg and leg feels uncomfortable when i walk. Tony

COMMENT: I've had lower back pain for years which started in 1976 with a slipped disc. In 1996 I had a lumbar decompression and discectomy L4/L5 but have not really benefited from this operation. I am always in pain, and feel as time goes by I am becoming more unable to deal with simple everyday tasks. Trying to put on socks is not easy, I would love to go on Safari but know I could not cope with a bumpy journey in a jeep, I dread a strange bed as I know I will wake up with a stiff back in the morning. I feel I am missing out a great deal in life as I like to be active, dancing being my passion, and recently I have become unable to do that due to chronic back and groin pain radiating down my leg. People in general really don't understand what it is like to have back pain as I look very healthy, had I a plaster cast on my leg or arm I would get all the sympathy of the day. At work when I say I cannot carry anything heavy, I am sure they think I am just avoiding work. I am almost 60 years of age and I am fearful of the not to distant future when I see no end to the misery of back pain. Jenny

Q: i have for some years experienced a serious back pain. i have consulted a number of doctors in vain, can you please help? Tsepo

Q: My name is Alan. I had spinal fusion done on 5-1-08 on my L-3/L4 with 4 screws 2 rods. My xray looks like the letter H. From the minute I woke up my left leg was/is numb from the knee down to the ankle & from the small of my back to the left butt cheek to the left side of my thigh hurts with a sharp pain. In my lower left side of my back feels like something is stuck there and it gets worse with activities like cutting toe nails, washing my hair in the sink, or ANY activity lasting longer then 15 minutes. What causes this? The Doctor says my "xRays are perfect". But why does it hurt & feel like something is stuck in my back. Also the weird thing is before my surgery all my problems were on the right side. Please help me. . . not knowing whats wrong is very frustrating. -Alan

Q: Hi, My father, aged 54 experiences tingling and sharp pain (like electric current) in his left arm, sometimes unbearable. My doctor suggests hospitalization based on the following remarks from the MRI study: 1. Loss of normal cervical lordosis 2. Normal signal density without evidence of focal lesion 3. Small anterior marginal osteophytes from C3-C6 4. Posterocentral protrusion of C3-4 disc seen indenting anterior subarachnoid space, abutting the cord 5. Left foraminal bulge of C6-7 disc seen indenting left C7 nerve root 6. Mild posterior bulges of C4-5 and C5-6 seen

Everything else remains normal.Please suggest apt treatment for the above case. I'd be grateful if you can help me with this. Thanks. HBS

Q: I am suffering from Back pain for the past 3 days. I have been going to gym for the past 1 month. Suddenly, 3 days back pain started building up on my upper left back side. I am feeling the pain while taking deep breath and also while bending. Please inform me what had happened. Manoj

Q: Did you need a doctor's prescription to do the oxygen treatments you mention? Thank you, Larry

Q: Good afternoon, I have suffered chronic back pain for 25 years and in 2006 an elderly lady hit my car sideways. As a result, I have a herniated disc at L4/L5 and stenosis. My cervical area shows stenosis as well. My right Tmj was displaced. I had surgery a year a go hoping to flush the joint and have the condular head move back into position, but it did not really do anything. My family doctor did not care and said disc bulges are normal as you age. He refused to prescribe me any medication and said all narcotics due is damage your organs. he then proceeded to say, go on and get, there's nothing else I can do for you! So here I am in 2009 and in absolute agony. I can barely walk, I work as a secretary everyday and live by myself. Day to day tasks are unbearable anymore. He also mentioned, your foot has not even dropped yet, those are the people who have the best success rate! My Chiropractor is furious! I contine to see her once a week and prey for a miracle. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Brenda

Q: hi, my lower back pain was caused by weight lifting and sports. About 6 months ago i had back soreness and stiffness which soon started giving me sciatica. i had an MRI and the doctor said that my herniation or bulge is only 2mm. i have been taking NSAIDs and going to physical therapy for only about a month now for this, but nothing has been helping my sore/stiffness of my lower back or my sciatic nerve problems. my questions are should i expect a longer healing time than a only a month? and if you had any advice or suggestions? thanks, Kody

Q: I am a disabled police officer for the past 8 years. This annual physical the employers Dr. said I was never injured and its DDD. My MRI shows that but I also have two bulging discs with nerve root displacement. L4-L5 and L5-S1. now i'm fighting in court on who is right. I can not go back and do police work as much as i would like to. I feel like the city DR. was paid off , or something. I hate to think someone would do this to a person. Jerry

Q: hi, it is regarding my nephew he is in extreme pain from what he calls crumbling discs, i looked on the net and established it is called degenerative disc disease. i also read that people may be diagnosed with the condition but it could;d be wrongly diagnosed. i am aware that people shorten in height as they get older perhaps ddd is the answer for that. it is confirmed that he has lost 2 and a half inches in height and he is only in his early twenty's, what i am asking ? is there any new medical break through or any science on a verge of breakthrough for ddd i would also like any information you have on that condition thank you very much Dan

Q: Hi, I am someone who is suffering from a herniated disk problem in my neck, and i really need help into how i may need to solve this issue. It is very hard for me to wake up in the morning without feeling pain, and is hard to continue my day. I am not able to work at the moment because of this injury, and i am wondering what solutions or methods i should take. Josh

Q: Good Day I WAS Drinking For 15Years Then Stop. It Has Been 11 Sense I Have Had A Drink But The Day I Quit I Have Been Having Muscle spasms in my Legs So Bad They Wake Me From A Deep Sleep. I Have Been Taking Calcium magnesium vitamin d and zinc in liquid form Plus Vitamin C All bForms Also NutriFlex For The Joint Pain. Also Liquid Form These Products Are From A Health Store. I Have Been Taking This For A year Now And I Do Feel A Little Better But I Get Very Little Sleep Because Every Muscle Will Tense Up And Go Into A Spasm.I Have Been To My Doctor But Little Results. He Gave Me Pills To Help Sleep. Name Of Pills Are clonazepam 2mg one a niteBut I Still Am Waking Up .Hope You Have Some Advice For Me I Am Tired Of Being Tired Thanks Ann.

Q: hi i am trying to bring a point to my dad that his bad posture - when he sit will indirectly contribute to his bad pain. I have told him many time but he doesn't believe me. As he don't read English and I don't read Chinese I find it very difficult to provide him some reading materials on this subject. Do you know where I can get some articles in Mandarin regarding the importance of posture. He likes to sit 45 degree. I am most grateful if anyone can tell me or give me the link to such articles in Mandarin. Loomeibeng

Q: My name is Jake, I'm 25 from KS. I have extreme god awful lower back pain. It feels like it is originating on the left side. When I stand up for a couple mins my right leg will shoot sharp pains then go numb. I feel like no one understands how terrible this is. Walking 15 steps is a serious challenge, I dread the thought of moving at all. This pain is starting to consume me. I was a very active and in shape, I use to to workout 5 times a week. Now my girlfriend has to put my socks on in the morning for me (pathetic I know). I have my first Dr appt this Wednesday... Any words of wisdom until then?

Q: I am a 42 year old female and I suspect that I have TMS with low back and sciatica manifestations. Is there a TMS practitioner in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada area? Helen

Q: My story s this I have an extensive lower lumbar surgeries starting at L5S1 which began with microdisectomy with no relief out of the gate . I continued 15 months in intense and excruciating pain and met with another neurosurgeon who finally did an exploration and found a synovial cyst the size of a walnut sitting on the S1 nerve root and additional disc rupture. I went well for about 6 months and 3rd surgery was po. lumbar interbody fusion. within next year I developed groin, hip, and thigh pain , MRI showed a large focal far lateral disc rupture. surgery was done ASAP. I achieved some relief again but only for 6 months. Xrays showed subluxation of that level. A pos. interbody fusion was done. within next 9-10months I ruptured again this time @L2L3 this was another far lateral disc rupture which my doc says was extremely rare given the fact I already had that type of rupture before. another 6 months passed pain came back with a vengeance repeat MRI show recurring disc rupture at that level once again surgery was done. Months went by and now my pain had not subsided at all . Symptoms of various dermatones were effected. A team of various neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons felt the best course of action would be my final and 8 lumbar surgery to stabilize the area with 5" titanium rods thru posterior approach. This seemed to be the ticket. It helped tremendously. Until 1 year ago not by my fault I fell down 8 hardwood steps and sustained some injury in my buttock, left side and caused my original lumbar fusion @L5S1 to have movement. Very disappointing to make thins worse I also had a L1L2 central radial tear which my docs say is very painful and explained why surgery was not an option I was then put back into a hard lumbar brace for four months.

Now here is the good part. Back in September I started to experience right side C7 radiculopathy. I had been having tingling and numbness in my hand and fingers at onset it was my thumb and pointer finger then that subsided and it seem to settle in my middle finger only. I then developed a severe left sided facial palsy with excruciating pain along the upper and lower jaw tingling and numbness. The brain mri was done it it appeared that the VII cranial nerve showed damage but 3 doctors believe that I have trigeminal neuralgia in addition to the findings. When pain paroxsymal attaks began it finally brought me to the ER 3 times Pain was something I have been living with my back but this was by far the most excruciating pain I had ever had. What is ironic is that the symptoms I was having 4 months prior to these events that had finally brought me to the ER I developed left side bicep and tricep pain that was coming for my neck and it radiated to my thumb and pointer finger. I thought because I had been in facial pain for four months that it was possibly muscular. I waited 6 weeks and my doctor did an MRI of the cervical vertebrae because he felt strongly that this was all from my neck.Here are the results to these examination. There are @C2-C3 tiny central disc protrusion-no big deal could be incidental finding C3-C4 central disc bulge with minimal thecal sac impression C4-C5 concentric disc bulge contacting and minimally flattening the ventral cord C5-C6 broad based osteophyte complex effacing the ventral and dorsal subarachnoid space mildly flattening ventral cord and narrowing the central canal to an AP of 8mm C6C7 small left paramedian protrusion mildly flattening the Left ventral cord. My doctor spoke with me yesterday and feels strongly that C6 is indeed the culprit that has made me very symptomatic. He also felt that given my history of such inordinary events with the lower lumbar are(L5S1 synovial cyst, 2 not 1 far lateral disc ruptures)that these findings although may be small does in his opinion require surgical intervention. I would like to know form an expert what their thought are on my case Thank you for bearing with me on my history which is long but necessary to explain to truly understand where health of my spine is. Joanne

Q: I was told yesterday by my doctor that I have a herniated disc in my neck. I was experiencing some pain in my shoulder area and around the top of my arm. Then my hand and finders and sometimes my arm has tingles and feels like it is going to asleep. He did not give me much info. Should he have told me which disc is herniated and at least showed me the MRI? He was only reading from some paper work in my file not an actual xray or MRI Film. He told me I should try the cortisone shot in my neck to see if it would relieve some of the swelling and pain. Not sure if I should get the shot or not - please advise? Barbara

Comment: Hi Adam, I have written to you before and appreciate your help with my own lower back pain (which incidentally feels so much better-thanks again!). This time I am writing to say thanks for your info on fibromyalgia. My niece has been struggling with it for years and never found any help from doctors (except tons of drugs). She is working on your bok now and I think it will help her like it helped me. I never even knew ou have a fibro section on the site, but she found it on her own and then we compared notes. Anyway... Thanks again, now from both of us. (sherry and niece Tina)

Q: Have you ever heard of a bulging disc causing stroke like symptoms in the arm and leg, my husband can't walk without help because his left leg he says feels like jello and he also can't use his left arm, he was told this is being caused by a bulging disc. Have you ever come across this before? Thank you, Amy

Q: I'm really wondering if anyone can help me. This is actually a neck pain story that has not got worse and I am at my wits end. I had a car accident 9 months ago and had pretty bad neck been kicked in back of head by a horse - but was told to keep working. Then in August I collapsed with the first of about 30 muscle spasms. These would last for days if I didn't take anything and meant the muscles in my neck, shoulder blades and arms would be so tight I couldn't lie down and sometimes pain would spread up to my ears and the back of my throat. I was put on morphine and diazepam at high levels but went to a pain specialist and have got myself off them. He tried trigger point and facet injections. Then just before Xmas the osteopath I was under moved my neck and I got severe shooting pains immediately and had to stop because I was crying so much. I then developed a burning sensation when I tried to lie down and really bad muscle pain from shoulder blades downwards and tenderness of spine. At the time I thought the spasms were to blame so had botox injections into side of my neck. The spasms went but the burning and muscle pain has got worse and worse. One weekend for no reason every nerve in my body went into overdrive and I couldn't be touched or have anything touching me. It was the most pain I have ever felt. I'm under a neuro physio who says neck has healed but my pain has gone global and my body needs de-sensitising so am doing hydrotherapy and exercises. Now the muscle pain has gone but I feel very tender to the touch all over the top half of my body to the extent that tight clothes or leaning against a chair are really unpleasant. Also my head is totally hypersensitive so have to sleep on hot water bottles. I am on pregabalin and amitripyline which I don't think make much difference. My specialist seems to think it is my brain sending my nerves awry and there's nothing more he can do. I am wondering if this has now turned into something like allodynia which I dread or whether this is from a pinched nerve since these burning and over-sensitive feelings all seem to spring from the osteopath session. Any ideas? And any ideas what to do from now? Abbie

Q: I am a 28 year old woman, on November 26 2008 I slipped at work, I didn't fall down because I could regain balance and hold on the the machine yet right when it happened I could feel something hurt in my lower back right away. I am not a girly girl and was always told to not be a baby and walk it off if possible... either way I kept going but 2 min later while cleaning up the oil I slipped on in the first place I slipped a little again and did the same thing again ( yes I am a blonde) either way I reported the incident because I figured this is gonna hurt tomorrow and I'm going to be stiff so I might want that day off... well I agreed to finish as long as I could (I work night shift ) had my partner bring over painkiller and tigerbalm to rub it on and sit it out... I was getting stiff and in more pain by the minute... I really thought I was going to finish the night but after 1 hr of not knowing if I should sit or stand or cry I gave up went home and next day I went to the doctor. They gave me lots of medication and diagnosed me with a strained muscle. The medication didn't work all it did was made me drool and pass out so stopped taking those, I am very allergic to the anti inflammatory so I can't take any of those. I was send for an mri I have the very common L5/s1 bulging discs and know that is not what is still giving me pain. I was send to a orthopedic doctor and they confirmed the bulging disc isn't what cause my pain... how ever today feb 5 2009 I am still not recovered and I am very eager to get back to work, I love my job but without me getting a clean bill of health they won't let me go back to work... my pain isn't as painful during the day like it used to be but it has this habit of hurting so bad at night I can't sleep. Which they give me pills for of course! Drug people up so the doctors get their sponsor money... either way I was wondering how is it that my back still hurts? And why is it that now at night my right hip hurts so bad even more after I do my exercises or even do little things in the house as dusting or vacuum the floor...I know how to not make vacuum a hard job and how to correctly stand ... last time the doctor gave me injections in my back which made it hurt insanely the first 3 days and then seemed to get better but now 2 weeks later the pain is back and seems to be spreading more... my right butt cheek goes tingly and the pain shoots down to my knee when I am laying down.. I am really lost about what to do next.. I am ready to just go to work and ignore everything and take sleeping pills every day to atleast get sleep.. Any ideas would be welcome! Sheryl

Q: Hello well, i hurt myself on the job and did some major damage to my lower back. 2002 it all started. Since then I've had three back surgeries and this last one was a spinal fusion. After that one, I've been in soooo much pain in my legs , back, buttocks, on my God, even when laying down i still hurt so bad. Many meds I've had , many and still in pain all the time. Its frustrating, depressing, like i can not be help.. I try home therapy, hot baths, heating pads, etc. I get some relief, but on moving around, it all starts again. But I'm hanging in there. Thank God, is there any thing else i can try. My nerve damage after the fusion is something.. Any assistance i will appreciate..... Victor

Q: I will make this MRI report as quick as I can without giving you a bunch of background information.Impression: 1) Severe inflammatory facet disease at L5/S1, especially on the right side. There is moderate to severe right sided neural foraminal stenosis. 2) Right far lateral broad-based disc protrusion abutting the exiting right L5 nerve root. 3) Facet disease at L4/5 resulting in moderate left sided neural foraminal stenosis.I moved from Jax, Fl to Houston, TX and am trying to find a pain management doctor here to no avail. The MRI was done in the ER. The main pain for me is my right hip - I just about want to die than feel this pain anymore. Based on what you read above - do you believe this is valid pain? Thank you, Cindy PS There was no previous injury of any kind. One day it just hit my entire back.

Q: Hello, I have been diagnosed an annular disc bulge in the L4- L5 discs and I have been suffering from back pain for more than six years. I have problems standing in one position or even walking continuously for more than 20 minutes, after which my back becomes completely stiff. The pain is in the left side of my lower back and when I turn or bend to one side, I feel as if a nerve is getting compressed. I read your story and would like to know how best could I cure my back pain without ant medication. Thanks Regards, Niyati

Q: I just finally got diagnosed with a herniation and degenerated disk in my C6-7 vert.The disk is pushing the nerve, I have major pain in my shoulder,Tingling and numbness running down my right arm, and into the fingers. My Bicep has turned to jello, and i have no power. I am told I need surgery (anterior)..to remove the disk, bone graph fusion, and the metal plate for stability. My insurance covers this, but I had an offer for therapy to try to work out the nerve from the Disk. My surgeon said NOTHING will help but Surgery..??? Any ideas? My insurance will not cover the therapy...Thanks...Michael

Q: my brother had an operation for benign tumor near bottom of spine, he has sex which causes pain in testes and is suffering pain in legs and hips.he saw a neurosurgeon today who has seen a white patch somewhere in back region and has referred him to another specialist (possibly bone) and neither of them have any idea what the cause is. any help would be greatly appreciated, no matter how small. thank you - c

Q: Hi, I have been a follower of Dr. Sarno and TMS since I had RSI and other ailments in 1999. Now I am branching out to meditation as one of a four-pronged attack on high blood pressure. I live in Cambridge, MA. and wondered if there were any programs that you know of where I might learn how to help others with these problems keeping in mind I am 58 with limited resources and only a BA. Thanks in advance for any suggestions. - Mark

Q: I HAD A BACK SURGERY ON T5,T4 AND L5 THEY REPLACE IT WITH TITANIUM. BECAUSE THEY FIND SOME TUMOR . WHAT KINK OF PHYS THERAPY I NEED AND HOW LONG I SHOULD STAY IN THE BED? ETTY