Back Pain Questions and Answers
Archive 2009 Part 4

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: Hi, I just read your article on the psychosomatic backpain/sciatica and am convinced that i am suffering from the same thing (have been pretty sure that my back pain is in my head for quite sometime now). I've been to see doctors and physical therapists for the past two years, and I've had xrays taken and they all tell me nothing is wrong with me except for bad posture.

It used to come and go, and has been particularly bad the past two months. As well as the sciatica, what I'm feeling now is a lot of pain and stiffness in my lower back whenever i've been sitting still for more than 20 minutes, and then get up. It coincides with strong changes in my personal life, and a lot of uncertainty about my future and whether or not i'm making the right decision. I would really appreciate it if you could tell me what you did to be rid of your psychosomatic sciatica, and what I can do to get rid of mine. thanks in advance, regina

Q: Hi Sensei, I was a former Junior kickboxing coach and have been in pretty good shape for most of my youth. However since say around 23/24 I have been working in abroad in remote village and not done any training at all apart from running now and again. I am 28 years old, and back in the UK. Recently over the last 6 months, I have been waking up almost every day due to my back pain. Sometime I wake up in the middle of the night as the pain is so bad It only comes on when I'm asleep; I don't really feel it much during the day. It´s generally the lower back area, however I have noticed that if stretch much arm in the air when tired and I start feeling pain around my sides like "pulling" sensation. I haven't tried any medication, however I´ve read your website which seems to have a lot of informative details about back pain, but I was just wondering if you have had anyone else write in with similar issue. I have never had back pain before. This has just come on over the last 6 months. Shahad

Q: Hi. I had a slipped disc and when left untreated ended up causing a fractured vertebrae. I was in agony and couldn't walk. Went to a Neurologist who said a fusion was necessary and that I would have screws and a "brace" in lieu of a body cast. I went through the surgery and even though I am a smoker my follow up shows a successful fusion. I do almost everything I used to. It was at the L5 and S1. The Dr. said I shouldn't bend or twist, which I thought meant during recovery. I practice yoga and dance and I wonder if I can so these things without one day breaking something! My last theatrical play required me to "die" each performance, so I had to fall to the floor. Night after night. I know how to do this without hurting myself so I guessed it was OK. If I go too far in exercising I can feel it so I stop at that point. What are my limitations? I mean how can he say no bending or twisting - bending from where? Is it "I can't tie my shoe"? Or "I can't do extreme yoga poses"? The Doc is foreign and I have a hard time conversing with him and really understanding what he means. I was in so much pain for so long that when it finally got acute I ended up with an ulcer from pounding down Aleve I got properly diagnosed. I had no where with all in which to ask for 2nd opinions or other options. When I asked the Doc he said this was the only way to correct the problem - not artificial disks, as the vertebrae was broken. Any answer as to range of motion capabilities? Do I go by how I feel or am I taking a chance on hurting myself? Please Help! Can't seem to get anywhere with this! Thank you so much! Julie

Q: Hello, my name is Rhonda and I work for an orthopaedic surgeon in Canada. I was on Google today, trying to find the exact part of the spine was the lower, middle and upper when I came across your website. I was wondering if you had any nice big posters that show nice diagrams of the spine that I may put up in my patient's exam rooms, for right now, they are bare and sterile. Best wishes, and I am hoping to be getting some posters soon.

Q: Hi,my lower back pain started almost two years ago.since then its with me just like my shadow,troubling me from dusk to dawn. when i wake up in the morning i feel stiffness in my back.it pains when i lean forward. there are cracking sounds when i bend my self sideways to give relief to my back. i have gone with x-rays many a times but everytime the report was okay. This constant back pain has crippled my life,it's the first thing in my mind that comes when i wake up.i cannot sit for long as it starts increasing..............PLEASE HELP ME. Abhijeet

Q: hi, i am 40 yrs of age i have been training 5 days a week at the gym for 10 yrs,(light weights) I was diagnosed last august with a torn muscle L-3. at the beginning the pain was extreme, now it has been 10 months and my pain has been bothering me on everyday life chores. I have been with my chiropractor for 10 yrs and i started the last 2 months acupuncture. Now I am feeling burning, trembling and sometimes numbness in the evenings.I ware a back brace in the evenings because my legs feel weak. Any suggestions, need help. Dylan

Q: Hi,I have had back pain for almost 20 years now and it has only gotten worse lately. I have felt sciatica for almost the same length of time although it is sometimes bearable and sometimes it isn't. I'm a tradesman and the bad back has most likely been acquired from the work I've done. I have bulging discs in the lumbar(with annular tear) and thoracic area as well as herniated discs in the cervical area. I have done years of therapy, acupuncture, laser, etc. and nothing helps. The only thing I have recently found that provides some relief is epidural injections. The specialist says I can not have surgery and the condition will worsen since my back is arthritic.(DDD) When I get a major attack, I am practically hunched over in pain for about 2 to 3 weeks. Thankfully these attacks are rare and I have to watch what I lift, and the way I twist. I am intrigued on how you cured your sciatic pain though, any information that would help me to alleviate this literal pain (in the you know what) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, John

Q: i am male 31 years old. i have tried to search for the answers to my back pain but no luck, i really hope that i get it here. Firstly the area of pain is in the upper back on the left hand side, next to spine and almost exactly behind my heart. now it all started about 19 odd years a ago while i was doing squats, that i felt a sudden current in this area put no pain. thereafter i use to get the sweet itch in the same spot occasionally which used to go away by scratching it a bit hard. now there on it started building up a sweet pain+ itch and then intense pain and +itch and then only pain and then it became a continuous pain without any stops. i used to put a tennis ball at the back while driving to get a minute of relief. precisely as you say it has been a chronic pain torture. past one year the intensity has increased and i can feel the pain in the spot while i breath in. At times i feel to cut my effected muscle from the back. i have been to alot of doctors and all i get after 100 K tests is pain killers. they say its not cardiac its muscular but as you have very rightly said no permanent solution. desperately waiting for your reply. Rizvi

Q: I have a back pain that started last week. I was using the elliptical machine at the gym and I think I twisted or pulled too hard. At first it was dull, almost like a "gas" pain, but after 2 days it became a twisting "contraction" feeling pain..It does not hurt if I'm working out, but when I'm sitting or standing for a period of time it hurts. Today's spams are worse then yesterdays...It feels like its under my left shoulder blade. Sometimes the pain is followed by a "numbness" that only lasts for a few seconds.. Ive been icing, using heat,and bengay...Do you think I should see someone or let it run its course??? Michelle

Q: In October of 07, I underwent the new non invasive surgery Nucleoplasty. I was told that I was a perfect candidate with no weight issues. The disc was bulging and torn lower lumbar #5. Since the surgery, my back has gotten worse with the leg pain increasing and the numbness more intense and now located in both legs where it was located only in the left leg prior to surgery. I was told with my post op appointment that 10% of the patients that the procedure is performed on don't respond. Well 30,000.00 dollars later I am one of them. Is this common? Amy

Q: I have had several back/neck surgeries. Recently I had a cervical myelogram with CT. I immediately had right leg and buttocks pain. I was hospitalized, and now six weeks out have found that my L2 nerve has been damaged. The anesthesiologist nicked my nerve with the needle. I am still in alot of burning miserable pain. Is there a specific hospital in the US or a procedure for helping me with this damaged nerve. I am ambulating. thank you Teesh

Q: I have three bulging disc in lower back--- tried everything except surgery. Do not want surgery. Any suggestions. One of my doctors suggested that I get a DRX 9000 machine. (He said that I could get it through my Insurance, and it would pay for it. Do you know how I could go about making that happen? Thank you, Jewell

Q: Hi, I guess I have two things to share. One is my story and the other is a question. First, I'm a female, 30 yrs. old, teacher, mother of 2, etc. I really can't remember a time not having neck pain. I've struggled with my weight all my life. As a young girl, I dieted drastically and even became anorexic and got to the low weight of 125lbs. That is very low for my big 5'8" stocky build. As my metabolism got slower, and I began to try and eat normally after high school my weight ballooned. After my first son was born, I weighed 350lbs. When he was 15months old, I decided to undergo gastric bypass. So, in Sept. 2001(weighing 450lbs. by now) that is what I did. Today I weigh 180 lbs. and I am much healthier and happier with myself in that respect. Sorry for rambling, but most doctors always said my neck pain and upper back pain were due to poor posture due to being obese. Everything that was wrong with me in a doctor's eyes had to do with being overweight. So, fixed that problem. Now, the neck. I went to a chiropractor starting at my heaviest of 450lbs. He was great!!! I thought I was getting better! But only for a couple of weeks and the pain would come back. More burning and hurting. Sometimes the pain would be so intense I would feel as if I was going to throw up. I have even went to a neurologist who diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, and did some type of test on my legs but did nothing to help my neck. I also went to an orthopedic doctor who sent me for an MRI of just my neck and he said they didn't see a thing. So, I just let it go thinking well I guess this is in my head. I have had many doctors tell me that I am too young to have arthritis blah blah... In the meantime, I had to have a CT Scan for some nodule or something that was picked up on one of those tests just to make sure it was nothing. My doctor said the nodule was fine, but I had them fax me the report anyway. It said I had scoliosis and osteoarthritic changes in both hips and some other big works about arthritis. He never talked to me about any of that which I thought was very unprofessional. I finally got to the point about a month ago when the pain was so horrible that I just couldn't take it. I went to a different doctor and for once they listened and actually touched my neck and back. Can you believe it?! They sent me for another MRI and it showed Herniated Discs between C3 and C4 C5 and C6 and lots more stuff too. She tried to tell me over the phone, but I didn't understand it all. I have to go in next week and then they are referring me to a neurosurgeon or neurologist not sure which. My question is - Is it wise to still go to my chiropractor or to a massage therapist? I forgot to ask them on the phone. Samantha

Q: I need some help trying to determine how to deal with my bulging disk and bone spurs in my neck. I had an MRI done and it shows my bad disk and a number of bone spurs. I consider operating only as a LAST resort. Do you have any information concerning this?? tks, Maureen

Q: my girl friend is 25 years old she is having a back pain for 3 days it happens with her every month this month the pain was much more she did not have sex can you tell me what can be the reason? Bashir

Q: I get a chill just on the other side of my right shoulder blade deep down, it keeps me awake at night and some times it wakes me up. I've used hot pad and it just doesn't seem to really help much. Hope you can explain this condition. thank you, julie

Q: Hello, I ran across your website doing research for a pending surgery my husband has to have. The pain and symptoms have been building over the last 3 yrs at a rapid rate. His lower back is in severe pain, swollen immensely and never has gone down. It has just gotten bigger. His left leg and foot are numb. Then it gets over-sensitive and can't be touched by anything. He has had MRI's, 3 injections. The injections helped a year or two ago when he got them. The last injection did absolutely nothing for him. He was put on a 5 lb lifting weight restriction, which has cost him jobs.

The MRI has shown that the L1 has no cartilage left at all. It is bone on bone. His L5 is almost to that point also. There is a very thin line left and I mean very thin. He goes in for a CT Scan this weekend. He has 2 herniated discs. The Back specialist he was seeing has now sent him to a surgeon. The surgeon has given us 2 options...Cleaning the area and fusing the bone together or putting in pins and screws. The surgeon we are seeing is helping with research for Scoliosis, which is comforting and he performed the first disc replacement in our area in 2007. We are comfortable with his ability...just scared out of our minds and not sure which way to go.

In everything that I have found, pins and screws seem to have helped most people over the long haul of 10 yrs from now. Any advice would be welcome. I have a list of questions for the surgeon a mile long. We are to go back next week, so I hope to possibly hear from you by then. We have exhausted every possibility that we can find on trying to help him, and just want our life back. Thank you for your time. Cathy

Q: How long much time is needed to determine if numbness in anus, buttocks, leg and foot (CES) is needed after surgery to determine if the numbness is still due to swelling or if it is permanent? Ginny

Q: I had an x ray taken and I am waiting for a hospital appointment . The X ray confirmed that I have cervical and lumbar spondylosis with loss of cervical and lumbar lordosis I have a neck misalignment of 30 degrees and what I understand to be posterior slippage at C3 and C4 Osteophytes at C3 and C4 Wide Wedging at C5 C6 and C7 Preserved disc spaces C6 and C7 wedged anteriorly I was involved in 5 road accidents between 1989 and 1993 and in September 2005 I was assaulted when someone struck a direct blow to my head. How serious is the neck injury / Is the neck classed as being unstable and what should I do to avoid further injury. Regards, Morris

Q: My boyfriend has been told that he has spina bifida and possibly spinal stenosis. Im worried because he has been going to a pain specialist and they have been injecting him with steroids into his spine and also been burning his nerves so that he doesn't feel the pain. All of these surgeries have seemed to worsen his problems and not help the situation at all. i didn't know if you had any advice or knowledge of what could be a better solution to this problem. thanks. Jessica

Comment: well it just started to hurt and it would like switch but i ignored the pain and now 2 months later it got worst. So i went to therapy and began running at school for track. i was very good, but suddenly after track begin over my back has hurt more and now my right hip hurts,and it twitches and falls asleep. Yarisel

Q: Please help me cure my 4 months of neck pain and stiffness. I am 40. Four months ago I performed a difficult yoga move (shoulder-stand into bridge when I was unfit) and immediately afterwards experienced a sharp pain in my left lower neck area. I had some upper back soreness, few days, not too bad. A week or so later I was on a long-haul flight and had agonizing neck and left scapular pain for several hours in economy class. I had a deep tissue massage, next day, (big mistake), pain became extreme agony, ended up in ER, major muscle fasciculations in left scapular region and pricking/numbness left little finger/electric-shocks down left arm.

Since the injury I've had a left shoulder X-ray, MRI and, more recently neck investigations (MRI- mild degenerative changes mid-C spine, no disc protrusions or cervical root compression). I had nerve conduction studies and EMG today, showed old changes in C8/T1 region, definitely not recent, otherwise normal nerve function. No medical diagnosis has been reached. I have daily pain and severe tightness which moves around daily from my neck to L shoulder-blade then R shoulder-blade (electric-shock sensations have gone though). Taking amitriptiline and tramadol for 2 months.

Initially I had 6 weeks treatment with osteopath followed by change to physiotherapy past 8 weeks. My neck is probably stronger than it's ever been in my adult life, I have a full range of movement, but still pain day after day and occasional fine pricking in whole of left hand on lateral rotation to R and L side. Sometimes I wake up with pricking and slight numbness in my R little finger.

I have increasing anxiety about developing long-term pain syndrome and panic attacks of late. I experienced a major life stress a few weeks before the neck problem began. I seem to be holding my neck in a strangely tight way compared with before the injury. I talk about my difficulties freely and cry frequently when feeling over-whelmed, so don't feel I'm repressing my sadness. I also believe that chronic pain, (though physically agony) is somehow unconsciously perpetuated with trapped negative emotions, since the mind and body are inseparable.

The neck pain and panic/dread of the future are going round and round, seemingly linked. When the neck pain is milder I have less anxiety about the future and vice versa, but it's like a chicken and egg, I don't know which one causes the other. Last week I took a leap of faith and began a gently regimen of aerobic fitness - jogging and swimming, twice a week each. I'm no better and no worse for it, so I plan to gradually step it up week by week. Still is there any way I can cure my neck and shoulder pain? Deep down I fear it's not within my control. - Maria

Q: Hi I am desperately seeking help for my elderly father who is 84. He still wants to do everything and more and not ready to be tethered in a room. flew aircraft, sailed boats, raced karts for the British team, an engineer by profession and always up for anything until 3 years ago he went to the doc with a cough and hours later he was in hospital had triple by-pass, pacemaker, but progressed to pleural effusion and in jan 2009 op to improve him caused total renal failure but he bounced back to then have pneumonia in april and then bounced back ...alongside this he has persevered a hearing deterioration and a slight leaky mitral valve which troubles his breathing. most drastic of all he is living a nightmare with permanent lower back pain resulting from an injury in his younger life which is now arthritic...two vertebrae are buckled and there is no space between to cushion..he cant have certain equipment for pain relief because of pacemaker..he cant have surgery..too risky now...he asked a surgeon if they could inject anything in the area to help..no chance..not sure about acupuncture as dont know about it...he says he can put up with all the terrible things that has happened in his life and more but the back pain is the worse thing of all in his life and prays for some relief as he is not ready to be tethered! he has lots of tears in pain but doesn't like to show...he is a fighter...my mum is 83 and they are 'joined at the hip' married 64 years and she flew, sailed and raced as well and has always put up with his misery of ills..but has now had a heart attack and life has to be just a little different but she still wants to do everything as well...the back pain relief would make such a major impact in their final years and we are so desperate to find some respite relief for my dad's back..he knows that nothing can be done to make it back to normal...but just to give him time off the pain would be a god send...if you know of any temporary pain relief or persons who can help...i pray everyday for a solution to ease the pain as I know the heart can only take so much stress..no-one should endure such pain for so long and i dont think he deserves the pain he is permanently in. please please email me if you know of anything can help...many thanks for listening... rosemary

Q: Hi, My wife is having pain in the back. After having MRI, it is diagnosed that a nerve is getting compressed between lumbars 4 and 5 in the left side. Because of this, she has pain from hip to foot in the left part of the body.The doctor told me that this is not slip disc. Can you please suggest what are the exercises possible for this. What is this called exactly- lumbar disc bulge, herniated disc or something else. thanks in advance. Regards, Shalabh

Q: HI. I'VE HAD LOWER BACK PAIN EVER SINCE I WAS 16 & NOW 33. JUST IN THE PASS FEW MONTHS I HAVE BEEN GETTING PAIN IN MY LOWER BACK(MORE TO THE LEFT),LEFT BUTTOCKS, HIGH THIGH & HIP AREA. THE PAIN IS UNBELIEVABLE AND CANT HANDLE IT. MY DR. HAS HAD 2-3 X-RAYS, SEEN A CHIRO TWICE, STARTED MESS THERAPY LAST WEEK & WENT 2 C A HIP/BUTT SPECIALIST AND HE'S WAITING 4 A BONE SCAN & MRI WHICH COULD TAKE UPTO 1 YEAR. I CANT EVEN PLAY WITH MY 2 YEAR OLD, CANT SIT OR LAY DOWN FOR LONG PERIODS, CANT STAND ON MY LEFT LEG. MY LOWER BACK IS ALWAYS STIFF AND SORE. MY BUTTOCKS, HIGH THIGH AND HIP IS SORE AND SHARP PAIN. I DO OR SHOULD SAY I DID PLAY A LOT OF SPORTS BUT DON'T RECALL ANYTHING HAPPENING OR FELT PAIN IN A GAME. CAN YOU PLEASE GET BACK TO ME WITH YOUR THOUGHTS. THANK YOU RANDY

Q: I was in an accident about a little over a year ago. I saw a Chiro twice a week for a few months then once a week then once a month. That is about how often I go now. Pain went away after 1 month from the accident and I am just doing it for maintenance now. I dropped to once every 6 weeks for financial reasons and developed a horrible pain in my neck and put off going for 3 weeks in a row now once a week including twice this week. I am finally sensing a relief of the pain. My xrays still show a straight neck. I am fearful of degeneration and having to go to the Chiro for the rest of my life. My Chiro says I am barely at a mild level degenerations and that I show no signs. Do you think that as I age my straight neck will lead to degeneration? Any ideas on how I can prevent this? Jessica

Q: I have been suffering from 7 bulging discs for many years from hard work & power lifting. I have done IDD therapy and everything else to ease the pain, and overall have been OK and able to live my active lifestyle, until this past January. I ended up being laid off & going back to school in September of 07 & now have had a my first desk job for over a year. Suddenly while doing nothing but getting a cup of coffee I ended up on the floor for hours in agonizing pain and spasm. Since then I have been In the hospital twice and have been functioning, but struggling, for about 2 months with lots of P.T. and modern medicine. I still have horrible pain and multiple spasms in my lower back but have learned to stop & focus through. My quality of life is still not even close to what it was & I have trouble just walking & trying to play with my son. After many MRIs & doctors, I have decided to get Botox injections with the advice of my Neurologist to stop the spasms and hopefully cure the problem for awhile. I would greatly appreciate your opinion and knowledge on this matter as of side effects or anything else I should know. Thank you from one understanding sufferer to another, James

Q: Hi again, i am not sure if you remember me. i asked awhile back about what happened to me with a lower back rhizatomy. i have had so much leg pain since and next month its going on for almost 8 months now. anyway i did find a new dr. he gave me 3 injections in the lower back which has helped very little. i am going back in for more injections this coming friday. also he sent me in for a nerve test done on my leg but the nerve test came out normal. how can i have a rhizotomy done on my lower back with all this nerve pain in my leg and the nerve test come out normal. i just don't get what could have happened that my leg is so messed up. i thought for sure with this test they would have had an answer for me but i guess now i am back where i started from. don't know anything. can you give me feedback on this. i am at my wits end here. thanks linda

Q: I have severe back pain problem last 5 years. its increasing day by day. On CT scan, doctor told me for spine surgery is the only way left as my s4 & S5 disc is out and touching nerves. that is creating acute pain , even in movement also. Whenever i sat or lay in one posture it started and diminish on getting up when i wake up and move . Is any any cure ? Doing back exercises make me more painful. physiotherapy is also of not a long term solution. Please guide me if any ray of hope. Or i go for surgery which I know is always 90% failure and bed ridden chances are always high. SOS!!!!! pls help & guide how to prevent or cure Millions thanks in advance, Dixit

Q: I have been having this back pain for almost a month, almost a week ago I have got body massage done, which aggravated the pain near the left buttock. I have consulted the doctor and upon taking an X-ray, he told me that it;s because of DDD, and advised me for 3 days bed rest, with some medication (steroids). The pain reduced considerably and now he is advising me for physio therapy. I'm worried about all this. Marla

Q: Sensei Rostocki, I would like to purchase your book. Can I find it in print at any bookstore? My e-mail address is for my work and I don't have a computer at home. Jonathan

Q: Hi Adam. I have had 7 years of chronic pain consisting of knife twisting pain from the right rib and radiating right around into the back. This happened following an open cholysystectomy. In the past I have had nerve blocks,freezings and 6 weeks ago had a subcostal nerve ablation. The pain stopped in one small spot but moved higher up the rib. The surgeon has recently tried me on Morphine,Endone and Gababentin. I regularly take Panadeine Forte and Tramal(the maximum dose of both). I only get 1-2 hours sleep each night and have to spend a number of hours in bed each day. I can only lay on my right side as if I try to lay on the left side everything pulls. I am getting sore from having to do this. The pain has stopped me from being able to function normally. My husband and son have to do a lot of things for me. I am fed up and would like to have my life back. Are you able to suggest anything which may be helpful? I do not know what it is like to feel pain free or normal anymore! Wendy

Q: my name is navin i am 26 yrs old, I am suffering from sever back pain since last 2-3 yrs on left side mid back near to the spinal cord. Initially the pain was not too much but now it is so much that even a person hug me or just touch my back it takes my breath away. I have consulted so many doctors like neurosurgeon the have also took MRI's X-rays etc but these reports were normal after that they referred me to physiotherapist then also it doesn't worked. Now tell me what sort of problem this is I will be very grateful to you

Q: I have read your book through twice and have started the process of trying to deal with the underlying issues of my back pain. Right now I find that my back pain comes and goes daily. I started this process about 2 weeks ago and have actually had a few hours and even one day where I feel almost pain free. I was a very active person who was in to a lot of outdoors stuff including backpacking, portaging canoes and cutting firewood. I somehow seen to have conditioned myself to thinking I can't do this anymore.Slowly I have been trying to get more active. Today, I lifted a couple of heavy items (not really heavy, 40-50 lbs-done with proper technique)and almost right away my lower back felt sore. I probably have my answer, but I assume this is my mind working. However, my question is should I ignore this and keep on doing my work and activities, telling myself that this is not a physical defect in my back but my mind playing tricks? Any advice for these day to day situations? Thanks, Brent

Q: I have lower back pain that goes down my right leg and now I am getting a tingling sensation down to my right foot. Are there certain exercises or stretches that could help both symptoms? Thank you, Peter

Q: My name is Annie and I am 34 years old. I have been having lower back pain since 14 months. It started after a very stressful time of my life, but an extremely active time. I was working out almost everyday, then stop doing everything for 2 weeks, and then it started. I try a lot of different things and nothing worked. I had an MRI done, (it says that i have arthrosis, and some other things that i could try to translate but nothing serious). It is now the only thing i think about every day. I don't know where to get help here. Who should i go see. Annie

Q: Is the book available in a regular paperback format? My neck hurts the most while at my computer. Neck and shoulder pain are my curse, does the book cover that? Tony

Q: I had a couple of incidents when I was small, involving my head and neck. I suffered from amnesia as a result of it. Now, first hit in the side of the head, causing a TMJ and a concussion that left me unable to do anything much, according to my mother. I was not taken to the hospital or doctor, because of fear of me being put into a foster home. The second episode, involved some crazy individuals that held my head and neck by rope, not quite dangled without support at all but was tugged by a rope by my neck, which two took me forever to remember how that felt. I do realize both episodes could leave me with any type of brain damage, but I had lost my memory and I had suffered a learning disorder for a length of time thereafter. Now not realizing in depth the effects of my back and head issues were, until recent accident that caused these old injuries more wear and tear and their relevance became more clear to me and due to the pain arising and some remarkable notations arising from areas I had no precise idea what was wrong. I found that my neck is too straight, I have never been diagnosed with scoliosis, and when I were in high school we had been checked for it. I was told there was a small curvature, but nothing notable or comparable to scoliosis. Yet my memory takes me back to relating my neck condition to a time my neck was in a rope, and I had been in this position till I passed out. Not understanding the time frame I had been toyed with this way, but I understand the way it felt. My question is; could it be possible that my straight neck condition is the after effect of a child hood accident of being toyed with in a noose around my neck? Lori

Q: Thanks for your book on back pain. It really helped my daughter with her back and knee pain. I am a Radiologist and would like to talk with you and personally thank you on the phone. George

Q: can a Bloated disc cause pain in in the right side and stomach pain and your stomach to bloat? Tracy

Q: My name is Ravinder and I am 23 years old, I am suffering for disk prolapsed since 18 months now. Initially it was just a pain in my hamstring muscle so I though I pulled over my muscle and though it would go off with time but it didn't and slowly it went on increasing and finally reached a stage that I couldn't walk or stand for more than 5 mins then I went and saw a PT & ortho they told me to get a x-ray & MRI done.

Then I was told to see a neurosurgeon and he inturn suggested 2 weeks or rest and if the pain increases I have to take a operation. I had done some research on wed and found out a clinic who specialize in spinal decompression using DRX- 9000 and I have joined this and completed my 20 session treatment.

After treatment my back pain is almost gone and the pain and numbness in the left leg is there but significantly much lower then that I had before treatment . however I still have pain in my hamstring muscle and I have little numbness. Doctor says that I have lot of muscle spasm in the hamstring muscle and its not responding to medication and straight let raising test suggest that I still have pressure on the nerves, he suggest to do some muscle stretching exercises to release spasm in case if it doesn't work I have to take a surgery after waiting for 6 weeks.

My problem doesn't end over here I have psychological weakness and I get anxiety attacks when I visit a hospital or when I see little blood and I crash out, so I wanted to avoid surgery at any cost as I can't stand to it that I have to visit a hospital and I have to take a surgery. Very thought of surgery freaks me out and I have this problem for childhood so I don't think it could be fixed soon. So I am reaching out for your suggestions on now surgical treatment for me, thanks in anticipation. MRI findings: straightening of lumbar spine altered signal intensity of l5-s1( hypo on t1) suggestive of degeneration. postero-central and left paracentral disc protrusion at l5-s1 causing significant indentation over the thecal sac and causing narrowing of left lateral recess and causing compression over the tranversing nerve roots on left side. Thanks & Regards, Ravinder

Q: Dear Sensei. My mom, Val,has chronic back pain in the region of the back of her bra strap(mid back, left side). This developed about a year after she suffered from unexpected, untreatable kidney failure at the age of 62. Her MRI is clear. The pain is better for heat, worse for movement and the Synap Forte she is taking is not really helping anymore and is affecting her stomach. She sits in an armchair for 4 hours every second day at Dialysis which could be problematic. She has had extensive physio, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture and has seen a biokinetisist. The pain often wakes her at night. Any advice would be appreciated. regards Janet

Q: sir i have pain in my back since four years. it is just near to the below side of shoulder. i did see lots of doctors but in vain. so sir what i should i do? please sir recommend me medicines. it pains alot whenever i sit before computer. farman

Q: Sir, Interesting reading. My story to a 'T'! I,also, have just experienced 'vertigo' just last summer. One more stressor to complicate an already complicated situation.....smile.. Jay

Q: I've been having the odd sharp pain for years. its not continuous is only now then, its sharp and happens in the top of my back on the lef tside and sometimes in the front left side of my chest. what could be causing this? as i am to scared to go to the doctors or hospital. Chantelle

Q: Dear Sir I have my daughters back braces with the bandage used to wear underneath in excellent condition I wonder if I could donate them to needed ppl. thanks, Hala

Q: Hi my name is Manjula. I am 33yrs. I pinched a nerve in my neck and the pain is excruciating since. I have been to my GP, chiropractor, but each time the pain reduces for a couple of days and then it is back with a throbbing headache and severe upper back pain. Taking pain killers has not helped me much. Could you please suggest something so that I get some relief with the pain. I work as a receptionist and its been really hard for me to cope at work with the pain. It has been 6 weeks now with the pain. kind regards

Q: i have been told i have DDD. they did a MRI and found this after i started having real bad back pain in Feb. 2009. i have been going to a chiro for about 3 months 2 times a week. the pain is still there!!!!! i then went to get the shot in my back. WOW 3 days pain free :( i'm 25 yrs old and need help. what do you think about the the Back To Life machine? Kayce

Q: Hello, I had a left knee realignment in 1996, had severe atrophy and was in therapy for a year because my muscle girth would not respond. The first day of physical therapy the Therapist asked how I was doing and I had NO control of the leg.. Well shortly after that I started having lower back pain, hip pain and ankle pain. I have seen many Dr. from Neurologist,Pain Management,Chiropractor,Acupuncturist, and still cannot figure where the pain is coming from. I have had 7 MRI over the years and nothing shows up that they can treat. The only thing that has been said is that my pelvis rotates to the left and tilts. In one of the MRI's it shows my Sacrum was partially fused to my lower lumbar. So my conclusion is when I had the knee surgery followed by atrophy it created a structural weakness which causes instability of my pelvis. Now the question would be without surgery how can this be stabilized or controlled? Are there any test to conclude my theory? Thank you, Cindy

Q: Hello: I had a cervical fusion on 2 levels C4/5 and 5/6 in 1999. I am now 49 yo. We used my bone, and the graft was solid. I went skydiving yesterday. After a few hours, my neck got sore. Not enough for me to be concerned, but I have another jump scheduled, and am wondering if I am pushing my luck. Thoughts would be most welcome! Thanks - Lou.

Q: hi as i mention above my name is pandurang from India. and my age is 22yrs. and from last 4-5 month i am feeling too much pain in my back. i have consult many doctors but there is no effect in my back so please give me solution as soon as possible to cure my back.

Q: I have been recently diagnosed with chronic lumbo sprains involving the l5-S1 and sacroiliac joints. I have been having this problem for over 10 years. I am now 38 years old. I have been on Percocets and Vicodin ES for the last year and have tried numerous Steroid, Muscle relaxants etc. Just this last week I had a series of lumbar injections.. 3 days later and I feel the same. I JUST had an xray done of my spine and have not gotten the results. NO MRI though. I have off and on numbing of the pinky and ring fingers on both hands.. my arms fall asleep at night.. but generally I don't have alot of pain in my upper neck/spine

My Question to you, is you said you had Vertigo symptoms? I have been to the doctor for the last month for something he thinks is acid reflux, I am feeling dizzy and nausea usually after moving suddenly or exercising which causes me to vomit. This started maybe once a week several months ago to progressing to several episodes a day. I am now on an anti-nausea medication that seems to be cutting it mostly out, but the side effects are like taking sleeping pills.

Do you think this could be related? Is this similar to what was happening to you? I told my doctor about the numb fingers and he said carpal tunnel.. but I don't think I have this. I know this is a lot of info, but it is really hard to find someone out there that has gone through similar circumstances. Rod

Q: In January 2009 I fell down a flight of stairs. I was very sore but thought it was just muscle and bruise and I had a doctor appointment coming up in 4 days so I waited. My doctor did not take me seriously and said it would get better on it's own with some advil and ice/heat - he did not give me a thorough examination or send me for xrays he sent me to a message therapist. I continually had intense pain between my shoulder blades and so I went back to the clinic and saw another doctor, told her my story and asked for an xray and an injection so i could have some relief. she said it's muscle, no quick fix, no xray necessary and offered me valium, which I took as an insult thinking she thought I was nuts. I went for message therapy, however, she continually recommended I go back to my doctor since my muscles were incredibly tight each time I went, she said I may need a chiropractor.I went back to my doctor, who again said it was muscle and it will take some time. I went to another doctor who also said it was muscle, even though I had been complaining all along that i felt like I had a huge wedge stuck in my back, she offered me amnytipiline, which I did not take. Again the suffering continued. I went back to my doctor with a whole letter, I was angry and frustrated, he read it and still didn't figure I needed an xray,however, he decided to appease me and sent me for a T xray. Today, after suffering for 5 months, I got the results. I had fractured the large vertebrae between my shoulder blades, and in fact a chunk off one side is gone. he said that it has healed the way it is and also informed me that I have osteoporosis and should take calcium and vitamin D. He offered my no further information. I am 45 years old women. I have no idea what to expect now, I still have pain and it at times is very hard pain and goes into my chest and makes me think I am having a heart attack. My muscles still want to form a cast around my spine so I am continually trying to combat that with ice, heat and a tennis ball against the wall. I lean back and crack my back often, and my neck as well. I have no idea if there is anything that can be done now, or what to expect for the future. Please help! Lorraine

Q: Hi, I have been suffering from (lower) back pain for almost 4 years now owing to herniated discs. I am 24 now and have been doing some (so called) back strengthening exercises almost daily. This keeps me from pain, however, i am unable to be physically active. If i stretch my body (especially any activity that bends my body) then the pain aggravates and almost paralyzes me. I have tried physiotherapy also but the condition doesn't seem to have improved over the years. Could you please suggest a cure for this (Except surgery)? Awaiting your reply, Naren

Q: It's important for you to acknowledge in your website that there are people like me out there: 16 years ago a sudden nagging back discomfort turned in the course of a few weeks into a limp, then a constant pain, then searing, crippling agony that did not allow me to walk, pee standing up, clean myself, etc. By definition, it certainly must hurt more to have a limb torn off, or to be burned alive, or something awful like that, but I had trouble imagining that it could be much worse. This was curl-up-and-sob, wish-you-were-dead back pain. Once I had an MRI, my GP and a neurosurgeon both agreed that surgery would be necessary to remove the ejecta that had been deposited in my spinal column by a ruptured disc. Because I was uninsured at that time in my life, the entire process, from diagnosis to surgery, took several months, and I can tell you that I don't think I'm likely to go through that much pain again ever in my life, even if I die of a horribly painful disease. The period ended with a laminectomy/discectomy that relieved 100% of my pain and allowed me to go back to a fully active lifestyle, which I've been enjoying for 16 years. Yes, the data supports all of your suggestions that surgery is often unnecessary and that back pain is often misdiagnosed, but you need to acknowledge on your website that there are some cut-and-dried cases where the most effective solution is to remove the problem. I know a lot of sorry idiots who are ignoring medical information and insisting on "alternative" or "holistic" methods of treatment that are NOT working for them, and they think their back pain is a necessary evil. Again, I acknowledge that for common back ailments, these methods CAN be effective, but sometimes they are not. Your site seems to be pretty comprehensive, but it seems to exist in denial of people like me who have MRI's that show a clear and extreme condition that is best treated with easy and minimally invasive surgery. Rob

Q: Dear Sensei, I stumbled onto your website while researching back pain. I don't generally trust websites unless they are from proven institutions (NIH, Menninger Clinic, Mayo Clinic,etc.) However, after reading through much of your site, I was struck by your apparent sincerity, tone of genuineness, and depth knowledge. So I decided to take it another step and share my story and ask for your thoughts.

I am 62. Since age 17, I have suffered from mild to moderate right-side back pain. The cause was very specific: I had Osgood's Slaughter's Disease (swollen tibia) in my right knee at age 17 which left a bone chip in my patellar tendon. At 37 I had the chip surgically removed. My whole life I have modified my walking and running such that I carry my weight on the back ball of my right foot and avoided putting pressure on the front ball as this puts painful pressure on the patellar tendon. This in turn puts a constant twisting & pulling on my right SI tendon tissue.

About four years ago, my back pain spread to my whole lower back both sides and became ever present and more severe. Most nights I can't sleep or don't sleep well and the cumulative effect is taking a toll. My orthopedist has taken X Rays and determined that my spine is perfectly healthy and that I have only the mildest of arthritis in my SI area. I have been through massage therapy (great relief lasting less than a couple of hours), drug therapy consisting of nightly Vicoden with Extra Strength Excederin at bed time(good nights sleep & great relief for up to 24 hours) but Vicoden is not a viable long term solution. I am weighing the possibility of possible a psychosomatic cause. I have suffered from mild depression since early childhood and tend to fall into the sensitive self conscious category. I have benefited from psychotherapy at times. However, I am not convinced. Well, that's my (rather long) story). Any thoughts? Brent

Q: Hi Adam, My back began at age 17 and was a dull chronic lower pain, accompanied by loud cracking/clunking noises which were a little scary! I'm not aware of any specific event where I injured my back, it just came on gradually. I had various x-rays and eventually an MRI which showed bulging to several of my lumbar disks. I was referred for physio, which never really helped. My first acute episode of pain was age 21 and I remember it vividly as the pain was unlike any pain I'd felt before. I literally couldn't move let alone walk. Everytime anyone tried to make me put weight on my legs they just buckled!

Since I've had regular bouts of acute pain, where I've ended up in A&E because of the severity of the pain. Each time, I can't remember any specific action that caused it. I'm now age 25 and after one particularly bad episode I went back to my doctor who referred me to a different hospital with a back specialist. They did another MRI and nothing had really changed in there (which was a relief). I'm now booked in for facet joint injections and an epidural. I really have no idea what to expect and whether they will help... Any advice would be appreciated! Cat

Q: i was born with spina-bifida and i just found out today i have a bulging disc and slipped disc in my back. i have been in severe pain for a week that referred me to a neurologist. what questions should i ask my neurologist and what are the treatments they may try with me? they also said i got alot of scar tissue on my spinal cord. Christy

Q: hello! my age is 21 years old. i i bent over at work on Christmas nite at work and when i came up i couldn't move. i was sent to the hospital and then seen a neurosurgeon. he told me i had herniated a disc in my lower back.. i've been going to physical therapy for months and i also had back surgery(microdisectomy).therapy has kind of helped, but i'm still in pain mostly all the time. my question to you is what worked best for you in helping you with your pain? Kevin

Q: Hi, I am sanjeev from India, i am 3o years old and works on computers in a sitting job, one year back i had an accident in a swimming pool on that time i have never think that my disc has been damaged because i realized a simple pain i took some muscle relaxants and after two or three days i was all right. after three or four months once i was doing some stretching exercise then i felt some numbness on my right leg, i was unknown about the symptoms of herniated disc pain and i did not care about that, now after one year the numbness increased , i used lumber belt for 15 days but it is also useless now, when i take MR tablet then i feel comfortable, i have a flexible body, can you please suggest me what will be the right treatment for that. thanks, sanjeev

Q: Hi, I have been diagnosed as having spondolysis in the upper left back - not yet serious but i have lots of pain at the back and sometimes in front - what can be done. Terrible headaches at the base of my head.Thanks, Leeann

Q: Hi, I have an MRI showing 'moderate to severe facet syndrome' and have been getting continual treatment for about 5 years. I am very active and constantly in pain with training and competing. Tried pills but no more and currently getting massage with minimal relief (but some). Have not paddled my Ocean Ski now for 1 month hoping to get it right....but no difference so i'am going paddling again to hell with it. Saw your sight and story...sounds interesting and wonder if thats me. Also, Where can i buy your book in Sydney? Chris

Q: if a chiropractor is working on the thoracic area of the back feeling the spine for need of adjustment, would he be able to tell if i had a curved spine that was off set by 1/2 to 3/4 to the right side ? then after pushing on back to make adjustment with 2 fast thrusts and the patients muscles spasms, where very extreme. would like your opinion on this and should i look for another chiropractor? Bob

Q: HI, I know a person whose limbs are paralyzed because something is wrong with his vertebrae or one of his disc is missing. Thus he can't walk. He was like that when he was born. Is there any treatments to fix this problem? What about stem cell treatment which i just heard about? Boman

Q: Have you every heard of anyone that had a procedure called nucleoplasty for herniated disc, for levels l5 l4? its being done at Brigham and womens hospital in Boston MA and does it help? if so for how long or is this just and other placebo? I am a 53 old male 5' 7" 140 lbs that has suffered from EXTREME CHRONIC LOWER BACK PAIN for the last 31 years. It seems to be set off in a car accident when I was rear ended, started out with some neck pain then after six weeks that ended and lower back pain started after a year. I could not stand for more then two hour,after five years I could not stand with out large doses of meds and in the last ten years I have to lie down for 20 hours a day and the more I move now the higher the pain goes and the longer it take to get it down to were it was. I HAVE BEEN TO MOST HOSPITALS IN BOSTON and had so many procedures (five different nervr blocks),RFA radio frequency ablation in the facet joints, Bone spect scan, Discography on l4 L5,Myelogram ECT. Had a few EMG last in 97 shows chronic L2/L3/L4 Polyradiculopathy on the right as well as a mild, ChronicL5/S1 Polyradiculopathy on the right.EMG of selected muscles in the right leg representing the L2-S1 myotomes revealed mild to moderate. MRI have indicated of course DDD FJD and bulging discs @ l3-4-5 and s1-2,and st. As for my observation of the MRI I can see four discs that are leaking the have tear drop leaks that extend below the disc space. There is so much more medical Info but I am sure you heard it all. If there is any info that you can give that would help find the origin of my pain it would be great appreciated. Sincerely, John

Q: I have a ruptured bottom disc in my back that started out as hip pain and sciatica about 3 years ago. The initial chiropractic treatments moved the pain from my hip to my lower back. I had a CT scan and discovered the ruptured disc. At the worst point I was totally out for 3 days. I found a good physio who did manipulation of the muscles, decompression and acupuncture. I gradually got better. My back was never perfect but I managed to do fine if I took it easy. This spring I put in a lot of hard work in the garden, cut 4 chords of firewood and wrestled an 85 pound canoe on my truck. Last week the pain started up again and now I am very sore. I will go back to physio (waiting list) but I want to know what type of exercise I should be working on to strengthen my back? Normally I cycle to work but the last ride really killed me. What about swimming, yoga? How soon after my back going out can I start crunches? Can someone recommend some reading? I am about 10 lbs over my body mass index ( 5ft 10 in-180 lbs) would weight loss help? Thanks, Brent

Q: Hello Adam: My story is the story of sudden onset of low back pain in 1997. I have had every type of medical and alternative medical treatment except of back surgery and hypnotherapy. I am considering hypnotherapy now! My back pain has had changed in characteristic over the years. It started out with left sided pain and it migrated to the right side and now it is across the entire expanse of my lumbar/sacral spinal area. Initially, doctors thought I was suffering from some kind of post partum residual hormonal imbalance because the pains onset was within 1 year after my last baby was born. However, since then (its been 12 years) the pain has gradually worsened and I have been having chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy 2 times weekly, pain injections, medications, orthopedic treatments, acupressure, acupuncture, physical therapy, limited sacral cranial therapies, etc... It all served to cause my back pain to deteriorate to more severe pain. Now, I have constant back pain which is exacerbated by any type of activity. Sitting is the only remedy to the pain! I cannot walk for long distances, I cannot stand longer than 5-10 minutes, my life is significantly compromised due to the back pain. As I get older, it seems to get worse. I have had multiple back MRI screens and other xrays, and the doctors do not see any significant physical defects. I have had the abdominal and back muscles tested in physical therapy sessions and am told that I have an inordinately strong back and abs muscles for someone who suffers from so much back pain. That is because I have exercised for years strengthening my back and abdominal muscles in the hope to have some back pain relief, but the exercises on cause even more back pain. Do you think your book will help me? I believe I have some type of somato-emotional back pain process going on I have some type of psychological component to my misery, since the xrays and MRIs do not reveal any obvious pathology. I had a very emotionally difficult marriage to a narcissistic and abusive man and the trauma continues as we are divorcing. It occurs to me that this type of emotional trauma could lead to psychosomatic back pain. Additionally, I am suffering from residual cognitive, short term memory, and comprehension issues so that I can no longer read without mental fatigue and comprehension difficulties. So I read by listening to audio books. These problems are a result of a temporal lobe brain tumor surgery operation a 2 years ago. Do you think my brain deficits are also related in some way? I anxiously await your responses. Bonnie

Q: Hi i was wondering if u can help me i'm 30 this year and this back pain i have bin experiencing is very painful its just above my buttocks and its very very painful most when i walk for 10 mins if i'm walking i have to stop for 5 mins it takes me about an hour 2 get to a shopping centre when i'm in town If i don't stop the pain actually brings tears to my eyes and my body shakes and i get hot and have to sit or lean on something for the pain to ease off. Please can u help me i'll do anything to stop this pain so i can enjoy going out again thank u. Lindsey

Q: hi my name is toni. i am 19 and i have a back problem that has been bothering me since i was about 11. i've never been check out for it but i would like to. my lower back around the back of my pelvis on my right side feels like it grinds or gets stuck or something. i have baby and when i carry him on my left side. it causes tension in that specific area. or if i'm sitting down and go to stand up it does the same thing.and if i am laying down to long it again causes tension and hurts so bad like sometimes i cant move because of it. do u have any idea what it could be. please help me. i'm desperate to find out. Toni

Q: Hi Adam, my story begins in 2002 when i was 24. i went backpacking for about a year and whilst messing around in the sea in Fiji i was hit by a wave which took me by surprise. i was propelled forward and i felt a crack in my spine about half way up my back. i hadn't had any issues before so i shook it off, had a massage and i was fine. about 3 weeks later in New Zealand i got food poisoning and was bed ridden for about 4-5 days and my back seized up. once i was up and around again i felt fine and within a few days went bungy jumping. Over time thee acute episodes gradually increased in frequency as did my obsession with caring /babying for my back. Fast forward 7 years and i was in almost complete discomfort all the time. severe acute episodes were possibly 4 or 5 times a year, but i had pain and numbness/weakness sensation almost every day varying in degree and location. My treatments have generally been physiotherapy, pilates, chiropractor, acupuncture, and i was doing exercises and stretches every day for about 30-45 mins both before and after work. i think to some extent all these things helped but did not cure my problem, and could not explain why i had pain in several places (not just the initially injured area). i decided that part of my problem was psychological, the daily routines, the fear, and decided to do a bit of research into this. if i`m honest i was completely dejected with my problem. my marriage has certainly suffered and my wife wants to start having children soon. this depressed me even more, how could i have a child like this. i was almost at the point were i wanted to tell my wife that i dont want children, even though nothing could be further from the truth. i was a mess. it saddens me that prior to 7 weeks ago at certain points i felt that i couldn't go on, i just wanted everything to end. i just wanted to go and sit in the dark and not come out. i think the hardest thing for me was that my limitations changed everyday. i would wake up and i had no idea whether i would have pain or discomfort, i had no idea whether i would get through the day or whether i would be completely fine. Then i found your website. i was skeptical at first, but i downloaded your book and read it straight away. i think the thing that struck me most was that i could recognize myself throughout the book, both in terms of symptoms and personality. in the last 7 weeks i have read 3 John Sarno books and have just begun Andrew Weils spontaneous healing. its still early days yet, i still have some pain, but i feel much better, i`m exercising again and i see great hope for the future. basically i wanted to personally say thank you for pointing me in the right direction. i`m appalled that although i might have seen 8 or 9 doctors/physios/chiropractors etc etc that not one has suggested that i pursue this kind of treatment. even if there was only a 1% chance that it could have provided me with some improvement it would have been worth them suggesting it. i hope i never have to visit these people again. i feel betrayed that they couldn't open their mind for one second and suggest an alternative even at the risk of losing their £28 per hour every 2 or 3 weeks. having said all this i do still have one problem which i`m hoping you might be able to help with. i am an accountant and spend most of my day sat at my desk. i have incredibly tight hamstrings (which was one reason attributed to my back pain) and after a few hours sat at my desk the top of my hamstrings / buttocks feel uncomfortable and sore. i have not seen or heard of anything on the website or in the book that describes this. have you encountered this, does it fall under the Pips/TMS diagnosis or is this just a result of my hamstrings.,thanks again, i hope to be able to report back in a years time that i`m cured. i`m confident that that will be the case. paul

Q: I just came across your website and am for the first time in years very hopeful there is a cure for my disease. I've had back pain before but for the last six months it has been agonizing. My back gets so tight that I cry in pain and think that if I died I would be better off. I need help soon and believe that I have psychosomatic back pain. I have a small successful construction company in which I have to work hard everyday and I could lose everything very fast if I am not at work daily. I try to crack my back but when it is tight which usually starts around ten in the morning I can't even get one crack out of it. My family thinks I'm crazy and I am desperate to turn to someone. I feel that I don't have an actual injury because when I get the pain I feel on edge which is one of the symptoms I read about. Also if I get a phone call and something good has happened like I sold a big job my tightness instantly goes away for about five minutes then returns as bad as before. For those five minutes I literally can cry with happiness. When I come home from work which I can't wait to do all day because I know that hot shower is the first temporary relief of my pain. My second relief is percocet which I been taking and it gets me through the rest of the night until ten am the next morning. I believe from reading your website that I don't need to take prescription drugs to relive my pain anymore. I have had pancreatitus twice in my life from super high triglicerides and this pain is worse. I am 29 years old and need help. Anthony

Q: My diagnostic the 5 Lumbar vertebrae (backbones between the chest/ribs and the hips) are separate, distinct bones, just like the 19 above them (12 thoracic or dorsal that typically each have ribs, and the 7 cervical in your neck). Sometimes the bottom lumbar vertebra (#5) looks like it's trying to fuse with the sacrum. It's not completely separate, but it's not completely fused (usually) like the other bones in the sacrum (which form the triangular bottom of the spine and connect to the two hip bones through the sacroiliac joints). that therapy recommends ?? thank you, Daniel

Q: Help!!! I have a 16 year old daughter who has unbearable back pain. She has had this pain since she was about 12. We have taken her to the hospital, doctor and sports medicine facility. We have had x-rays done. We also had a MRI done about 3 months ago. They found nothing. They have given her muscle relaxers and pain meds and those were no help. She hurts at night, when she sits at her desk at school, when she stands, when she drives. Basically she always hurts. What do you suggest we try next? We are desperate. Tara

Q: Hi Sensei Adam, Thank you for all your help from your site, book and email to me. I am doing a paper for grad school and would like to cite some of your work. I am writing to ask permission. Is this ok? Thanks, Rupert

Q: i've been suffering from back pain since my first delivery. my second delivery worsened it. my MRI report says this 1)straightening of the lumbar spine seen with loss of normal lordosis 2) dorsal disc bulge noted at c4-c5, c5-c6 and d6-d7 levels with mild ventral thecal sac indentation. pls explain to me about this, Sheena

Q: hi, i have had pains in my lower back for about two years, though on and off. i have complained to the doctor and my gynecologist who both recommended an x-ray. though they say its just stress because i sew, i just have the feeling its not just stress. i have stopped sewing for about 6 months and the pain still persists. i am frustrated, what do i do and where and how do i get experts on this area of my pain? Eki

Q: Dear Sirs, I herniated a disk (L5 I believe) about 1 1/2 years ago. In the hospital I noticed that my baby toe and the one next to it on the right foot were numb; I had a CAT scan a few days later. I saw my physiotherapist shortly after this and found that I couldn't stand on my toes with my right foot; I just couldn't raise the foot at all. Seven months later I saw a back specialist and although I could now stand on my toes, the foot was still very weak, the two aforementioned toes were still numb, and the reflexes were also weak. I was also told that I have prematurely worn facet joints. The specialist informed me that there is a lot of scar tissue, some bone spurs (I think that is what he called them)and that it is evident that the area has been injured over a long period of time. I have injured my back about 5 times over the years; I have probably had trouble since my early 20's and I am now 51. I also have slight scoliosis and flat feet and pronated ankles.

I have been able to exercise, mostly swimming, walking and bicycling, and although this has helped, my core is still weak and I still suffer back pain, although, I am very lucky, not all the time. Standing in one place is painful, and I seem to often have a "kink" in my right buttock. My questions are: Is it likely that the disk that herniated will reduce in size and stop pressing on the nerve that makes my toes numb? What can you do about prematurely worn facet joints? When I change position, ie standing, kneeling down and then getting up again, I notice fairly sharp pain and find it difficult to stand up straight. Lying on a fitness ball on my stomach for a few moments seems to release the "lock" and stop the pain. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Liz

Q: Hi, Last week Wednesday I was doing a backflip (I can usually do them), and I decided to try to get more height, and by doing so I forgot to tuck and I ended landing on my head with my back absorbing most of the shock. I went to a medical clinic where the doctor examined my back, and ended up prescribing me some 'Yunnan Baiyao' which is a famous Chinese hemostatic powdered medicine, and some cream/lotion for my back. My back got better day by day from Wednesday to Friday, however I feel that it has not made much progress after that, I woke up on Saturday, and had Morning back pain. After I get up and shower, wait a bit the pain goes away, and I feel normal, there is still a hint of back pain during the day but it is not significant unless I do certain movements like jumping or running, motions that may create shock will trigger my back. This kind of pain has stayed this way and has stayed the same from Saturday to today (Wednesday 1 week after the injury) and the pain in my back is kind of focused on the right side on the middle section of my back. Is this normal for the healing process? Because it feels like I've gotten to this point where my back has stopped healing, cause I my back has been the same from Saturday to today. Thanks! Edmond

Q: Approximately four years ago I herniated my C6 C7 cervical disc. The pain was intense, along with numbness and some loss of movement in my right arm. I saw an orthopedic spine surgeon who prescribed anti-inflamitories and physical therapy. Over several weeks I regained the strength in my arm and also regained most of the feeling in my fingers. I felt I recovered well, but still have some pain from time to time. A month later a saw a neurosurgeon. I had the appointment already scheduled so I figured I would see him. He advised the orthopedic surgeon was not a neurosurgeon, and did not understand my issues. He advised I needed to have surgery. I was now terrified and did not feel comfortable with the neurosurgeon.

I saw another neurosurgeon who agreed with the orthopedic surgeon but for the last three years, the first neurosurgeon's words have stuck in my mind. Since I do have pain from time to time I was wondering how effective/same spinal decompression is. I have a friend who is a chiropractor and has the decompression machine. He insists he could help me but I'm still skeptical. Any advice? Chris

Q: I saw your site and your advertised book. I just wanna know what method are you using and what makes your method so unique for curing the back pain. Are you using more of a mental approach like EFT or stretching, strengthening, exercising etc. The rehash of the book contents would be great to see if the book is really worth buying and not just a marketing hype Thanks for the info, Matjaz

Q: Thank you for your excellent website. I have 2 slipped vertebrae (grade 1) and dealt with a herniated disc twice over the last 2 years. Prior to my diagnosis, I ran my first marathon. I teach spin and pilates classes. I am just recovering from a herniated disc (stupidity/shoveling) and this weekend will walk a half marathon. I also coach and swim masters. Here's my question: should I give up running altogether or could I continue to run? If I could do 2 or 3 half marathons a year, I would be happy. That would only require running 3X a week - one long run a week. I just turned 50. What do you think?? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated! Laura

Q: My boyfriend suffers from bouts of severe back pain, when he hurts, he really hurts. He cant even walk properly. He describes one of the symptoms as a 'liquid feeling' running down his back, and we have no idea what it is...... Have you heard of anything like this before? Anti Inflammatories seem to help, so long as they're the strongest pain relief there is.......please help! Sammy

Q: Hello, I have had 2 MRI's in the past 3 years and have been told my neck's a wreck by my doctor. He sent me to see a specialist about surgery who said no way, I was too young and not with my neck. I was a bit confused as I talk to people all the time who have had herniated disc surgery. Would the fact that my cervical spine being straight as an arrow complicate things? I have c5,c6, &c7 herniating and was told with my neck surgery was not an option. Ginger

Q: I have recently been diagnosed with 2 slipped discs in my lower 2 vertebrae. Its upsetting me to no end as i am only 28 and used to be an extremely active woman, dedicated to martial arts and achieving my full human power. I read an article which i think was written by you (it didn't seem to clearly list the author) about how your discs were not the cause of your pain and how you cured it alternatively. I am VERY interested in how you did this as i refuse to submit to this condition as if i have no control over it. I would appreciate some sort of reply before i consider buying your book, there really isn't enough info here for me to make a decision and as I'm unable to sit down at the computer, i cant spend hours reading net posted text. Thanks, i really look forward to your reply. Joanna

Q: i am 15 and i have had back spasms for a couple of weeks off and on i went to the emergency room and nothing was fractured or broke but the back spasms won't go away and are very painful what should i do or be tested for? Shelby

Q: I have a grinding noise in my cervical spine when I rotate side to side or tilt in flexion or extension. Sometimes it is a"pop" sound. There is no pain or soreness or stiffness and I have full range of motion. This grinding has been going on for a few months. At times, it seems to diminish, but then returns. I am 54 years old and in great health. I do exercise, including Pilates, and I watch my nutrition and am not overweight. I worry this grinding noise is going to lead to pain. Do I need a full medical evaluation? Thank you. Donna

Q: Hello sir my name is Rahul. I student of India. I have overwhelmed with back pain. My back main so increased i cannot sit continue 30 minutes. I am also doing yoga and other exercise to cure my this problem. Sir am very obliged to you if you please consult on my back pain and tell me about diet. rahul

Q: I have had coccygynia for the last 4-5 years. I tried chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical therapy. Sat on donut pillows everywhere I could. My pain level was at a 10 when going from the sitting position to standing. My friend introduced me to a nutritional drink. Besides some other incredible results, after 3 weeks on the products my pain level was down to a 3-4. After 5 weeks I was sitting on wood chairs for 20 minutes with no pain. after 7 weeks I am virtually pain free. This has been life changing to me. I feel like I have my life back. Now not everything revolves around whether I have to sit and when I need to stand up anymore. I would love to offer hope to anyone else who suffers with this terrible pain. Send me an e-mail. Kathryn

Q: Adam, I feel as if it is a miracle to find you website. I have been praying for one for days now..I will not bore you with my story but suffice it to say it is very similar to yours. I am a Registered Nurse and an age group triathlete..recently had (yet another) episode of debilitating back pain..rather am in the midst of this episode. have been diagnosed with scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, foraminal stenosis etc..This all just prior to my Half IRONMAN SEASON...h-m-m-m had (yet another) MRI which showed the same crap and some especially 'lit up' areas. Have Si joint dysfunction which is quite painful at times..

As an extremely healthy and health aware individual I am stunned at how fearful I am now.having recovered this several times in the past. i am not able to get a handle on this and feeling like I am being run by my back pain which is an ugly thought. The terror is just overwhelming..that somehow I will not get well again..that I have used up all my 'get well' ability..and that 'they' are going to find something horribly wrong with me that is unfixable.

Your story so resonates with me..I must confess to having suicidal thoughts as well as the pain is very intense. I also take no meds..I am beginning to read your book and was hoping for some encouraging words from you and a way to stop this fear. Thank you much, Joan

Q: My Boyfriend suffers from severe BACK PAINS, he has a slipped disc. This pain is crucial for both him and me, I hurt everytime I see him cry, from the discomforts that he feels because of this pain. I was doing research when I discovered your website, his parents have spent alot of money for chiropractors and other doctors and still no solution, now the pain is worse and doesn't seem to be getting any better, I would really appreciate a contact or further advise on how to eradicate this BACK PAIN, so that he can feel normal again. Thanks in advance!!! Samantha

Q: Where can I purchase a hard back copy of your book to send to a friend overseas? Thanks, Jonathan

Q: hi, its me again. yes my MRI was normal. i was told my muscles are weak and that's why neck hurts, specially from the nape of my neck to my scapula. i do have certain tender points. this pain can get aggravated at any moment, but specially if i strain my neck for about twenty minutes. eg while performing a surgery. i think its either myo-fascial pain syndrome or fibromyalgia! I have been having the pain for the last 2 years and its ruining my career goals!! Dr. Damodar

Comment: I would like to thank you for the information your site provides. I'll try & make this the Reader's Digest version! I was diagnosed with scoliosis at 14, put in a body cast for approximately 12 months in order to "hold" the spine straight. In March of 1999, I woke up & was unable to get out of bed the pain was so severe. I suffered for several months & finally went to the doctor. I ended up having epidurals with limited success. In Sept. 2008, I had a foraminotomy to relieve the pain going down the leg. The surgery did eliminate this pain. However, due to the scoliosis, I am in constant pain. I have been told that there is nothing that can be done. I wear a pain patch & take oral meds for pain which really don't help. I have been to Cedars, UCLA, SCOI, & countless others without finding anyone to help. I certainly would not wish this life on anyone. At age 59, I really thought I would be having the time of my life. This is a very different life than I had planned. Oh well, so much for plans! Thank you again for your site. Marleina

Q: My name is Joseph and I have been suffering for some time now. About 4 years ago, I woke up one morning extremely dizzy...so dizzy I threw up. I was taken to a doctor who took some blood tests and fluids. He told me I had vertigo and gave me medication to help alleviate it. Although the severe dizziness decreased gradually, the effects of that one moment have endured for the past 4 years. They have endured in different forms and have changed over time. I currently, and have been for more than 2 years, been having severe back tightness and pain, trouble with vision, tight muscles, pain and inflammation in my joints and tendons, and even stiff and painful hands. This is extremely frustrating due to the fact that I try so hard to be fit and healthy. I exercise and play sports a lot. I have had almost every test that I can think of and still no results. I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety which are also issues but, I feel like they have only intensified due to this condition and the hopelessness of having to deal with it. Please help me if you can. I just need to know what I can do because I'd do anything to feel good again. Joseph

Q: my 70 year old mom fell and hurt her lower back and hip 3 weeks ago. The pain is still very intense (she rates it a 7). Her doctor says she doesn't need x-rays. He is not being very cooperative, as she has requested imaging and he says the pain she is feeling is normal when you hurt your back. She cannot go back to work like this. Is it normal for the pain to be this intense? Bobbi

Q: I guess it started about 5 years ago when I was lying down in the floor relaxing after work, I was kinda tired and dozed off, well while snoozing there I was using my arm as a pillow and as I rolled over I had a sharp pain and a loud pop come from my shoulder. So, I got up and shook it out the best I could and when on. That night when I went to bed I noticed that my shoulder was still swore, I just figured a good nights sleep would make it all better. Boy was I wrong, I woke up 3 or 4 hours later crying in pain and couldn't move my right arm or hand and it was as if my whole arm was on fire. I've had tests ran, and had so many X-Rays done I'm surprised I still have hair, but for some reason no one has had me have an MRI or a Cat scan. Well, that was about 5 years ago and I still wake up the same way after a few hours sleep if I take a muscle relaxer and 2 800mg ibuprofen then I can make it for a good 6-8 hours before it wakes me up. Then during the day it will go numb off and on all day but I've noticed that if I have this pain in the center of my back between my shoulder blades the symptoms are much more severe. I did how ever have about 2 days of bliss a few weeks ago when I was in bed about to go to sleep I let out a big sigh, I felt and heard something in my back where that pain has been forever, something moved and popped I could actually fell it slide almost like it was sliding back in place and it was like my prayers had been answered, I felt 0 pain in my back and the pain in my arm was almost gone it was down to just a dull ache. I thanked the Lord for getting rid of the pain and dropped off to the deepest sleep I've had in years. It truly was a blessing. But you know what they say good things don't last forever. Well, it sadly ended after 1 week of work in the factory. The pain in my back had returned and I was back to square one. You should know that I make parts for trailers and I spend most of my 10 hour shift lifting and carrying parts that weigh from 1lb to over 200lbs. If you could help me I would be most grateful. Thank you. Keith

Q: i have really bad lower back pain and i have been told its my facet joint that is giving me this pain i cant stand probably or bend or sleep putting heat on my back and taking painkillers was told by a back consultant to rest but how long will this take to settle been in pain for 3 to 4 days now Jackie

Q: Sensei Rostocki, I have had back surgery in the past ( 5 yrs ago). L3 and L5 were dissected at that time. It took care of the numbness in my left leg, but left me with alot of pain. So I take alot of pain meds. One of which is the fentanyl patch 75mcg/hour. My question is, that I sometimes get twitching in my arm and legs that just wont quit. To the point where it looks like I'm having a convulsion of some kind. But it's not a convulsion, it's a creepy feeling in my muscles that causes me to keep moving my arms and legs. This keeps me awake, and there is no reprieve until it just decides to go away. Then, I can recover and wait for the next time. Do you know what this is? It feels like restless leg syndrome, but it's in my arms and shoulders and legs. Any advise for me? Could this be nerve compression? Thanks, Laurie