Back Pain Questions and Answers
Archive 2009 Part 7

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: Adam, I was in a car accident 9 months ago. I have been told that I have a 3mm disc bulge between C5 & C6 that is touching the nerve that runs down into my right arm causing coldness, numbness and a tingling sensation. My doctor is recommending an epidural. Do think you this is an appropriate course of action? Thank you. Daniel

Q: Hi, First off, just stumbled on this site and I love it! It has made me feel better about my back pain. Anyways, just to start off, my name is Robin. I am 21 living in Toronto. My main passion in life is break dancing and I have been doing it for close to four years now. About 2 years ago, I started feeling pain in my lower back, which never went away. I went to see a medical doctor who directed me to physiotherapy. There, I was treated with ultrasound for a while. The pain decreased, but never fully went away. Me, being young and arrogant, ignored it and continued dancing on a regular basis. Earlier this year, I injured my back again and the pain became too great to dance. I went to physio for a month (for more ultrasound) and got fed up when I didn't see any results. I finally went and got a x-ray done and found that I had degenerative discs in my L-5 and L-4. The doctor gave me a huge scare when she told me my L-5 was completely shut. Since then, I have been seeing a chiropractor regularly and learning exercises to strengthen my back. However, I am still not able to dance too much without feeling pain the next day. So my question is, would spinal decompression be something I would benefit from? Or are there other treatments I should look into? My chiropractor told me that it is only for herniated discs, but after 2 years of bad diagnosing from doctors and therapists, I don't know what to believe. Anyways, any advice would be great! Sorry for the long post! Thanks. - Robin.

Q: I have a really bad back lately my son 7 years old has been walking on my back and cracking it, it feels so good after. My parents are telling me I am going to be sorry when I am older.I was just wondering if you could let me know if this is alright what my son is doing or if I should stop him from walking on my back? Hope to hear from you soon. Crystal

Q: I've had back problems for quite some time. I've noticed over the last several months that when sitting I get pains under my hip bones. I this related to my back issues? I can't say for sure when this stated but it is definitely annoying and makes it difficult to sit for very long. I can walk without a problem and can stand but sitting is an issue. My lower back is very tender and would like to know if the 2 are connected. Is very frustrating. Lori

Q: Hi, I'm on the second read of 'cure back pain forever' and your story sounds very similar to mine, as I'm a keen boxer and I can recognize many of the behavioral features you have wrote. Like many people I have tried everything....... and this is a new approach for me and i have ordered some of the books you have recommended. The only thing is, whilst writing down emotional conflicts I cant really think of anything relevant apart from the actual traumatic experience of been bed bound for months and the knock on effects to this, i.e developing an anxiety disorder. does this mean I need a counselor to try and dig deep for me?? If you could give me some advice I would appreciate it and I will let you know how I get on. Thanks Lee

Q: hello i am a 16 year old who inherited from both my parent degenerative disc disease it is extremely painful and hard to control i was wondering if you knew of any treatments i could do long term that would help? please email me back thank you. Rachel

Comment : Hello. I am a 37 year old female that has went through so many non-surgical treatments that didn't help. Finally my spine surgeon suggested fusion of S-I L-5 and L-5 L-4. I had that done July 28th of 2007. It has been hell trying to recover. The last 5 months I have been having increased butt and leg pain. I went back to my surgeons yesterday to see if I could get a new prescription for Physical Therapy, that I couldn't afford after my surgery. He stated to me that he thinks my L-4 L-3 is going bad with stenosis and that I need a new MRI. I told my husband to take me home. We had to file bankruptcy after my last surgery, we cant do another one...I don't think I can mentally do another one....so now I have to live with quite a bit of pain every day. Polly

Q: I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH HERNIATED DISK. I RECENTLY HAD A MRI. BETWEEN C6 AND C7 IS WHERE MY PROBLEM IS. I HAVE NUMBNESS IN MY RIGHT ARM AND IN MY FINGERS AND SOME BACK PAIN. I DO NOT LIKE TO TAKE MEDICATIONS, AND I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE SURGERY. WHAT IS SPINAL DECOMPRESSION? THEY PRESCRIBED MOBIC, BUT I HAVE NOT TAKEN IT YET. ALSO I AM A CANDIDATE FOR SURGERY. DONNA

Q: I've had herniated disk in my neck for the last two years. It happened when I did flies (lifting 20 pound weights) Twice the condition has gotten much better after refraining from weight lifting and stressful activities, but it is a delicate condition. A small movement, or sudden lift, and I re-hurt the disk. The pain spreads down to my arm and hand. The pain is bearable, but it's annoying and distracting. I have tied physical therapy, chiropractors, but they have not provided permanent treatment. What do you recommend? Thanks, Kam

Q: hi, i am suffering from back pain from last one year.i injured it doing deadlift. the problem is that there is partial reduction of the disc space between lv/5 sv/1.xray says that there is first degree anterior spondylolisthesis of lv/s due to defect at the pars inter articulars between lv/5 sv/1 Anshul

Q: I was in the gym, started a new exercise, pull overs, trying to work my waist line. Wake up next morning with chronic pain in neck and below left shoulder blade. Went 3 weeks where I could barely move. Started neck adjustments, that seemed to help a little over time. This happened 8 months ago. I still have the same pain, not as severe, but it is there every day. Especially if I try to lift anything heavy with my left arm. The pain is still in my neck back and left arm. Could this be a torn muscle? My chiro. tells me it is my rib. Does any of this sound familiar? Most of the time I wake up with neck and back pain. Penny

Q: Hello, I was wondering if you feel that neck problems could contribute to digestive problems such as inability to have bowel movements and burning in legs when going up stairs? Thank you, Pam

Q: hi, i am suffering from low back pain and pain go all the way to my right leg. I even can't walk straight. This is from last 3 months, i had seen spine surgeon he advised me to go to physio. I am going to physio from last 20 days but my pain is still same.

my MRI says: - At L4-L5, there is evidence of a broad-based right paracentral disc protrution. This results in moderate certral spinal stenosis and right lateral recess narrowing. It likely impresses upon the traversing portion of the right S1 nerve root. The exiting L4 nerve roots are grossly unremarkable. Some degenerative changes involving the facet joints are also seen. The suspected disc protrusion is somewhat lobulated and measures approximately 9 mm in craniocaudad dimension by 8mm in transverse dimension by 5 mm in AP dimension.

At L4-L5, there are mild degenerative changes involving the facet joints bilaterally. However, no significant disc protrusion or extrusion is identified and no definite central canal or neural foraminal stenosis is seen.

PLEASE ADVISE ME IF I NEED SURGERY. thanks. Johny

Q: Hello Sensei, I'm a 39 yr old female suffering from chronic thoracic spine pain flare ups with stiff neck muscles and golf ball size knots both on the sides of my neck, area between neck & shoulders & between my shoulder blades. I have to apply direct heavy pressure on the painful knots in order for them to even slightly soften. These flare ups come anywhere from twice a yr to seven times per yr. They have been occurring since I was a teen but, the symptoms have become more intense. It lasts anywhere from 4 days to 2 wks. During the flare up, I also feel fevery but, usually don't actually have a fever. I get weak & tired & often develop a fever blister in conjunction with the flare up. My back makes crackling noises (thoracic region)with the slightest movement. I was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child. I've always described this as a "sickness in my back". I'm bed bound when these occur. I get a tingling feeling along the spine too. Please tell me what you think. I no longer have insurance & cannot afford all the diagnostic tests which are more than nine thousand to pay out of pocket. Fibromyalgia? arthritis? Lupus? I'm otherwise healthy. Height/weight proportionate. No meds, allergies, injuries. I'm a vegetarian though I get protein from soy products. I don't drink milk. Could this be a problem? Maybe if I had a starting point as to which tests to eliminate at least. I'm desperate for help. Any advise would be greatly appreciated! Shana

Q: hi, i was diagnosed with cronic back pain due to a 2mm central bulge in my L5 over 6 months ago. I know longer have any problems involving pain i my low back area. My problem has mainly been near the top of my left glute and between the left glute and my low back. My doctors have said it was just probably a tight piriformis and to stretch, no matter how much i stretch i have this pain it is constant and never leaves... any ideas? kody

Q: I am a 49 year old male I have had to operations both related to a weightlifting injury I got while playing college football. In order to play the team doctor performed an l4 l5 fusion I was 19, After that season I told my team doctor I could not take the pain let alone play and they did a laminectomy. I have been living with back pain and back outtages for 25 years every year I get a new pain or a more intense pain. Over the last year the pain now keeps me from standing for 5 minutes No more Disney with kids no playing catch and I am now thinking I will not be able to coach basketball this fall. I went and had an MRI and XRAY and I was told in the last 10 years I have developed a grade 2 spondylolisthesis The Xray shows my vertabre is half 1/3 the way forward off the L5 I asked ac orthopedic surgeon his thoughts he said I would be choosing between a set of wheels and surgery someday soon. I searched the web and there are sooooo many procedures and treatments what will I do? I am 270lbs and thought a 50lb weight loss might get me to my old pain or maybe an inversion table? HELP my life is not sitting in a lazy boy until the burning makes me go to bed. Tony

Q: Hi, I have been having lower back pain for quite long time now. I am tall and also long years back i have had lower back spasm. Now for the past one year and half. I have been having severe lower back pain on a daily basis. I have tried acupuncture for long and have no solution. I have visited all kind of doctors have no solution to it. I have been working out daily and doing lot of exercises daily. But still i do not find any solution to it. For me, The pain is mainly in the lower back. I also have some kind of tingling situation some times. The pain is mainly in the lower back. Can you please suggest your solution as of what you tried? Also can you share things that i can do to avoid this problem. Thank you very much. vivek

Q: needing advice. since moving to the mid north coast nsw australia 2 yrs ago i've noticed my pain from apparently spina bifada, that i didn't know i had till a chiropractor x-rayed me ,is getting worse and to the point where i am ready to throw in my job,what means or ways can i do to get me out of the constant day to day pain of taking painkillers and going to the chiro once/2 times a week sometimes? Peter

Q: I have an XRAY and wondered if you would want to view. I am in constant agony for 25 years but the last year has gone past pain to cannot stand or function for more than 10 minutes. Tony

Q: Hi again,I had previously wrote to you regarding my back pain I have experienced for the last five years, especially the last bout causing me to get rushed to the ER for the immense pain I was experiencing and stayed in the ER for 4 days only to be released with barely being able to shuffle out of the hospital (I'm the former military special forces guy) to jog your memory. In the last several months, I have been introduced to Dr. Sarno's videos and books. When I last wrote to you you suggested "Knowledge therapy" over what I thought at the time a good course of action, which was psychological therapy to uncover my demons. I am a very uptight (wired tight) A personality type and having a military back ground I find I'm irritated by things my 6 and 7 year olds do and my response is in excess for what the infraction is. I find that this makes me very tense and feel that nagging pain in my lower back. Although I have received X-rays by my chiropractor and MRI by my ortho Doc, I have been diagnosed with bulging and herniated discs L3-L4, L4-L5 and T12.

Recently I have met with my family Doctor to discuss feelings of anxiety/depression and he has prescribed zoloft as well as Diazapam (valium) for when I feel my back act up. I have only been taking the Zoloft with hopes that my anxiety / depression will subside.

In any event, My question: In Dr. Sarno's "The Divided Mind", he states that powerful emotions in the unconscious mind are threatening to become conscious and we must first acknowledge those emotions and deal with them". How do you identify those unconscious emotions when the conscious and unconscious mind are two different elements? In other words I am aware of my feelings, emotions and anger in my conscious mind (throught out the day). But how does one tap into the unconscious emotions anger and such? Fernando

Q: My automobile accident happened on august 13, 2009 a day before my daughters 4th birthday. I and another car collided which forced my car rolling into a guardrail then airborne 15ft into a tree and rolling back down hitting more trees which had stopped me. I needed to be life-flighted to Portland, Me Hospital but it was too foggy. I had arrived by ambulance within 2 hrs. I have five exploded vertebrates with bone fragments that could have and still paralyze me if they touch my spinal cord just by moving the wrong way. The neurosurgeon has decided not to do surgery and to let my back heal on its own due to being young at 22 years old. I had complete bed rest for a month before I could walk a little. I am starting to feel somewhat better but still experience extreme pain quit a lot, especially in the morning. I am or was a very active person. I did waitress for quit some time and love the outdoors such as four wheeling, snowmobiling, etc. I am extremely scared because I do not know what I will be able to do and can not find a person with the similar injuries to find how they recovered and their limitations. If you have any advice or information, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you. Heidi

Comment: Dear Adam, i bought your Ebook, it is unbelievably good and i would recommend it too all others who have come to a dead end with their pain and suffering. Thank you for your information and sharing this knowledge with others. I've started doing all the things i thought i couldn't do with a "damaged" back. Thanks again and i wish you all the very best in your life ahead. Stuart

Q: Hi thanx with your support, my situation is as follows, my wife was diagnosed with a disk prolapse L5S1, we've tried physio therapy and resting and several things and consulted 4 dr.s they all agreed on the surgery, now i have 2 opinions or 2 Dr.s one is saying that he will remove the whole disk and the other is saying that he will only remove the slipped fragment of the disk not the whole disk and am really getting confused which is the better method, my wife is 28 years old. thanks for your support, Shehab

Q: my daughter, age 38 now, had rods placed in her back to support her back when she was 13 years old. her back has not been checked since, she has a bloated stomach, could this be due to lack of exercise? she is speech impaired and cannot let me know when something could be hurting her. and also , will traveling long distance in a car or on a bus cause further problems with her back? thank you, Catherine

Q: Slip and fall from 8ft ladder at work on 8/14/2009 i have been seeing a workman's comp dr the pain is really bad its been 52day and i finely got an mri back last week the mri reads: there is anterior wedge compression fracture L4 vertebral body with marrow endema suggesting acute fracture.no retropulsion of bony fragments.diffuse spondylosis greatest left-sided L5, S1, L1-2 mild lateral disk bulging. L2-3 mild spondylosis at L3-4 diffuse intervertebral disk bulging and left facet osteoarthropathy with compromise. The workman comp Dr. said i need surgery. what is your suggestion. thank you, Minnie

Q: I am a 45 yr old male with a VERY physical job. I was injured when I slipped off the side of a work truck, I never hit the ground because I held on to the side of the truck, had I hit the ground it would have been about a 7ft fall backwards. I felt strong pains in the lower back and tried to sit down but the pain got worse. I was first told it was the SI joint and went through 3 week of trigger point injections, and very tough therapy. After therapy the first day I threw up and was in severe pain and my hands were shaking. I went to one more therapy with the same results and the therapist stopped and said I am doing more damage than good and sent me back to my doctor.The doctor also has me seeing a chiropractor who does a pro adjuster treatment, electronic stimulation and ultra sound. After the MRI 3weeks later they found numerous problems to include stenosis, degen disc d, bulging and extruding disc at the L5/S1, at the L5/L4 and L3/L4. and the nerve root impinged on the left side I have sharp burning pains in the lower center and left back, pain in the right thigh, pain in the left thigh, leg, and my foot has been numb since therapy. I loose my balance lately and fall into walls,I can sit for about 20/30 min. then I have to walk around till that starts to hurt. Sleeping is difficult and it is difficult to start urinating and I get dizzy lately. I have been referred to a surgeon on Monday the 12 of Oct and have heard bad stories about back surgery and want to know if I really need it and will I be able to do physical work again. Frank

Q: My 27 year old son is suffering with severe lower back pain. He just had his first MRI and it showed no significant problems with bone structure. My son owns his own tree service business and does all the physical work that goes along with that business. His pain originates in L5 and goes up the back of his back just about as far as he can reach, and also side to side. It will occasionally come around the front. He can't work, and will do anything to alleviate the pain. He has been taking pain medication. Some prescribed, most not. That is also starting to be as much or more of a concern. Chris

Comment: Hi, I live in the metro Detroit area & have lately been having terrible back pain & neck/head/spinal pressure. At first I thought it was from my chronic urinary tract infections (the pain is right in the area of the bladder & kidneys) but when I saw my family doctor & my urologist, my urine came back clean both times. I also have asthma & epilepsy & Sjogren's Syndrome. Because of my asthma & because of the fact that I was abused I may have that oxygen-deprived/psychological type of back pain (repressed memories/flashbacks are coming forward all the time--I'm just stuck with blocked memories & I don't know what to do about it. Consciously I can't force my subconscious. It's like I'm the present-day needed type of parent from my child in the past. I also have a neurologist, who found out I had herniated discs in my lower back & neck, & he recommended physical therapy but money was an issue so that's why I'm surfing around looking for exercises for herniated discs. I like your web site/blog. Faith

Q: Please help-I am only 34 and I have been in pain with 4 back surgeries since a 2005 motor vehicle accident and I am still in pain, fearing that I keep getting misdiagnosed. I am having sciatica and radicular pain correlating with the L4-L5 level according to diagram and my latest ct myelogram states the following for said disc. My question is that, with the following issues at this disc level, is it possible that my sciatica and other radicular pain and tingling are being caused by one or more of these issues stated on my ct myelogram, and if so, which one PLEASE? Here is what this test reads: "The L4-L5 disc is preserved with minimal central bulging barely touching the ventral aspect of the thecal sac. Degenerative facet arthropathy is morphologically mild with narrowing of the ventral aspects of the facet joints, and ligamentum flavum thickening and capsular thickening are evident. No neural encroachment is demonstrated." I can tell you my entire story on another occasion. Thank you. God Bless you. Leiah

Q: My name is Corey. I'm 19, I have had back pain for as long as I can remember. I've been to my local dr. they referred me to an orthopedist after concluding I have Spina Bifida Occulta. Dr. started me on a mild physical therapy treatment, along with a prescription for vicotin 5/500's. I felt I needed a second opinion, and went to a pain management dr., after I finished my physical therapy. This Dr. was a stubborn (pardon my french) prick. He gave me a vibe that I was just trying to get narcotics, and told me it's all in my head and gave me I think, if I can remember, Naproxen 500mg. Needless to say, it didn't work at all, and after month or two of by-weekly visits I found his attitude to be innapropriate and his knowledge to be minimal. My mother was seeing a Dr and referred me to him and he became and is still my current Dr. Along with a prescription of Norco 10/325 and skelaxin, I've had a bone scan and two MRI's

Dr. also found from my bone scan that I have mild Spinal Stenosis and a deformed S-1 that is more shaped L-6. He gave me I think two Steroid injections into the joints in my L-5,S-1. I couldn't move from my bed, let alone walk, for a week- a week 1/2 after the operations. He also insisted on nerve burnings which helped for I think three weeks and I hurt the same or worse since. My pain currently on a scale of 1-10 (ten being worst) is about a 7, good day bout a 5, bad day a 9, I don't move, I'm forced to skip school, skip work. I have pain that ranges from the middle of my back down to my butt and down the rear of my left leg, causing weakness/numbness down my leg. Sometimes it feels as if my leg needs to be yanked and dislocated from my socket.(none of the leg pain was present until after the steroid and nerve burnings) On bad days it feels like a spike is going into my back around L-4or5 and is exiting out my left heel. after the injections I could actually feel pain in my heel as if that "spike" was actually protruding 2 inches out of my ankle. I work out, lift somewhat heavy weight, nothing more than my body weight, nor, do I squat or any kind of rotational exercises. I also drink up to 8 Dr. Peppers a day which I'm learning now can reduce calcium levels and may cause back pain. I just would like some kind of advice, or, help. maybe the names of dr.s specializing in this field like I said I'm 19, there should be no reason i have stenosis let alone back pain that prevents me from being mobile on occasions. If you or anyone you may know of that can help or provide information, anything would be a great help I just don't know where to start. I feel the Dr. I'm at currently isn't the right choice. If you can reply, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank You, Corey

Q: I have a herniated disc between L4 & L5. I also have sacroiliac joint pain. I don't currently have numbness anywhere. I consider my pain to be non-severe but chronic and unwanted. I cycle daily and would like to do it without pain. Sitting straight in a chair is the worst position for me. I have less pain when I'm on the bicycle than I do sitting in a chair. Please offer any suggestions. Thanks,Randy

Q: i had a laminectomy and disectomy L2345and L45 my sciatic is really bothering me after surgery unbearable at times any ideas. Al

Q: I am a 55 yr old female in good health overall. I have always been very active and love to garden, fish, ride my 4 wheeler, sew, cook etc. The last few years I have been experiencing hip pain in both hips. I went to my Dr. for the pain in my hips and in my hands. I am not a big complainer about pain and my Dr. was really surprised at how much arthritis was in my hands after taking an x ray on my hands and another on my hips. He said my hips looked normal. The pain has gotten worse & worse so I went back to the Dr. last week and requested an MRI and it too came back normal. I was shocked because my hips hurt soooo bad!! Once I get going the pain does ease but never goes away....ever! If I sit too long and get up I walk like I am 85 not 55 and they hurt when I go to bed etc. Now I go Fri. for another MRI on my back. He thinks my back can be causing my hips to hurt because the MRI on my hips was normal. Have you heard of this and can you explain it to me please? Melody

Q: I recently fell off a horse about 2 weeks ago. I have a large bruise on my butt (left side) but that doesn't hurt. The strange thing is, the right side of my butt hurts. It could be an injured tailbone, because I can no longer go jogging without it hurting. If you are looking at the back of my spine, it hurts about an inch to the right. I have been using a heating pad. Can you advise? Thank you so much. Emily

Q: I'm wondering where I'd go for disc decompression (neck herniation) and if insurance covers it. I like the concept of nocebo. Very much. I'm a psychotherapist and it speaks volumes to me. Best, Anonymous

Q: hi ya, during my board exams i sat for about 12 hrs a day to study maths. the consequence,i got back pain. somehow i took pills and gave the exams with a lot of difficulty. after the exams the pain was neutral, but i started playing comp games and then the pain took its full form, and now, within 4 months whether i sit, stand,lie i mostly encounter pain in the back. i am very irritated. sometimes i even feel like crying. i now can neither study, or play pain free. what to do??? Manav

Q: Dear Sir. I have neck pain for last seven years. Recently it increased. Consulted an orthopaedic surgeon. Suggested X-ray and MRI. Found minimal defuse posterior bulge of C-3, C-4, C-5 C-6 in vertebral disc with peridiscal osteophytes causing compression over thecal sac. Doctor suggested some medicine of pain killer and traction and physiotherapy. I am not sure whether the compression or gap existed will be eliminated. Is there any permanent cure for this? Kindly advise. I am from India. Raju

Q: Hello...may I just say your website is fab and very informative. My son age 18 has been diagnosed as having idiopathic adolescent kyphosis yet on 2 occasions i have had to rush him into A + E with tremendous pain and unable to function his legs, arms etc. Firstly an e-ray showed that his spinal column had collapsed...oh no!!! then after an MRI scan which was normal I am told that it hasn't collapsed and he has kyphosis????? der.... don't know who to believe??? Hoping to see another spinal surgeon to have him reassessed. Would love to hear your comments.....Many thanks, Paula

Q: I was diagnosed with a moderate sized disc bulge at L5-S1 with associated neural foramen narrowing, worse on the right. No obvious nerve root impingement is seen, however the neural foramen on the right is tight and there may be some irritation of the exiting right L5 nerve root.Could you give some ideas or exercises that would help, I am a 42 year old male. Mike

Q: I had a mva in 2008 i have serious headaches now i was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis cervical facet atrophy cervical degenerative disc disease i think there was bulging in c4-c7 and l2-s1. I am trying to see is the headaches a result of the wreck. I have never had headaches prior and if so explain what is causing the headaches. Keisha

Q: I have an 86 year old mother who has been diagnosed with a blown disc C4 and C5 and a synovial cyst on C4 and C5. She is a life long suffer of bi-polar disorder and has not been diagnosed as of yet , but it is the belief of the family and immediate friends that she has alzheimers/dementia. I have read healing back pain and the mindbody prescription by Dr. Sarno and talked briefly with him. My dilemma is that my parents are going to proceed with back surgery. They have an excellent spinal surgeon and I have been present for several of the meetings as well as the injections to her spine. She experienced minimal relief from the injections and is in severe pain. The pain is, I believe, from old unresolved childhood memories and traumas both psychological and physical in nature. She spent 5 years 3-8 in a hospital with a broken pelvis, TB, and scarlet fever. She lost her brother in the war to whom she was attached at the hip so to speak and this has devastated her all her life, but even more so now that she is loosing her grip on life and her world is getting smaller and smaller. She is and has always been a very needy person and life is extremely demanding for my 88 year old father and the rest of us. I don't believe that she is mind wise capable of doing the work of Dr. Sarno but I fully believe that her issues are emotionally related....I am not so sure that surgery will be the answer and may in fact make her worse emotionally in the long run. I would welcome your feedback on this issue. My wellness chiropractor told me that he would recommend a month of intensive Cox treatment first, but it is hard to relate this important information to my dad as he is witnessing my mom's writhing pain. It is a curious thing to watch her rolling about on the floor with the dog one minute and then I will call and the visit with my brother and his wife will cease, she hobbles off to the bedroom to writhe in pain again. Or we will be enjoying a campfire on the porch with friends and family and then she feels that she is not being the center of activity so she gets up walks in the house and writhes in pain once again in bed. This to me is a clear indication that the pain is more psychological than organic in nature. Thanks for reading this rather lengthy e-mail and I hope to hear back from you soon. I will be in MA for a week but look forward to having an e-mail when I return home. Thank you again for your time and attention. sincerely, Marci

Q: Hello! I am so happy i stumbled upon your website. I Have had back pain for a long time. A few years back i had my neck x-rayed by an orthogonal chiropractor. My vertebrae were stair casing forward. With his treatment, my neck straightened out, but every once in a while it pops out. I also bartended for many years and I have psoriatic arthritis. With all this, on top of the fact that i smoke, i can't remember the last day I went without pain. Lately it's manifested as sharp pains in my solar plexus are,my neck muscles are like piano wires,my hips crack constantly...basically I'm 35 going on 80. Please send back when you can.What the hell do I do? I can't live like this anymore! Hopefully waiting, Christian

Comment: I am a 53 year old female. My serious back pain started only recently, however I have endured "bearable" pain on and off for years. I can actually trace back to an exact time when I injured my lower back horseback riding. The horse bucked and I felt my back "go." That was about 10 years ago. About 3 days ago serious pain started in earnest, and now I can barely move. I also have acute muscle pain in my right calf, so I am starting to think I have fibromyalgia or some generalized pain disorder. I have Kaiser, and because of this I am getting next to no help. I would rather no endure weeks to months to years of this pain before I find a solution and/or find myself permanently disabled and unemployed because of it. Thanks for listening. Barbara

Q: Last week, I had knots in my scapula area mostly on the right side. The massage therapist was able to help relieve the pain and knot. Now, over the past few days, I have developed a knot in my left scapula are and NOW I have nerve pain running down my upper left outer arm to the elbow. I have an excellent chiropractor. From the x-rays, he is saying that I have a C5-C6 nerve compression and the C5-C6 vertebra has a narrowing of height. I am very upset. My neck is now rather loose and feels good. The knots are better in my back...however, I have pain in the left upper arm on the outside that runs into the upper part of the upper arm. I am not sure how long to wait before having an MRI ordered on my neck ? It seems my arm pain makes get hurting worse and I scream form the discomfort when I sit at my computer typing in the middle of the day. Should I ask an MD for anit inflammatories and/or prednisone to help heal the nerve pain. To be honest, the nerve pain (mostly aches and with temperature loss on the back of the hand) feels like it could be permanent. I am worried. My neck actually feels pretty loose after manipulation and it mever really hurt to begin with. What really hurt and preceded the nerve pain in my arm was the knots in my upper back and soreness across the scapulas. Please advise.... Tom

Q: I am having back pain on the right side of my back and it is coming through to the front just under my rib cage. It feels just like the pain I went through 11 years ago when I had gall stones. I had my gall bladder out. It isn't possible for it to grow back, is it? It just constantly aches. I am even having trouble when I am driving the car. It aches so bad and hurts under my ribs. Lynn

Q: I have pain in my lower back and down both legs. The left side goes into the ankle and bottom of the foot. The pain started out about 12 years ago in my right knee. I was told I needed a knee replacement. Afraid of the surgery I tried everything I could and got some relief and it was not lasting. Now, both knees hurt as well as my lower back and the front back of both legs. The back of the left knee is extremely painful. The pain is so terrific and at times I really can't stand it. Cannot sit, sleep, stand or walk. Thank you. Annette

Comment: i was having back pain for a long time when my family doctor decided it was time for me to have an mri which showed disc herniation of c4 and c5. i was referred to a spinal doctor who immediately suggested a discectomy. i agreed at this point it seemed the last option. i was scheduled for surgery that Saturday. that was back in January and i am still experiencing constant pain. I had another mri done last week and there is a recurrence of a bulging disc at c5. I tried seeing a new doctor but he said there was nothing he could do for me and suggested i went back to my previous surgeon. I am in constant pain and feel suicidal at times. i can't imagine the rest of my life being this way. I wish I knew what avenue to try next. And just as I am writing this I got a phone call from the second doctor telling me he was just my second opinion doctor. And would give me no information on his findings and suggested again I go back to my first surgeon. So be careful cause the good ole boys club plays a role in advice you are given. Christine

Q: Dear Sir, I am from Chennai, India. I have coccyx pain, my profession is an Accountant, recently from last 5 to 6 months its started, now its very much pain, if i visited the few doctors, i did not get any improvement. Can you help me, Regards, Venkatesh

Q: Hi I am a 23 year old female. Today is Sept 15th 2009. On July 31st I fell from the fourth concrete stair and landed on the corner of the first stair on my tailbone. I went unconscious for a brief moment. When i came to i was about to throw up could not see was pale white and in the worst pain of my life. My sister who is a paramedic brought me to the ER right away. I was confused and had vision trouble for over an hour. They did CT scans and nothing was broken. I suffer extreme pain in my lower tailbone region. Sitting or getting out of the car almost makes me vomit in pain. If I am to sit for a long period of time and move forward with my butt in the same place a snap or movement occurs which is extremely painful. What kind of specialty doctor would you recommend and what is your take on it?? Andrea

Q: My 22-year-old son has had back pain since 7th grade. His most current diagnosis is "Scheurmann's variant defective end plates." This does not seem to be a condition that could be helped by some of the things like "knowledge therapy" that you discuss, and it's hard to convince my son to even consider your theories. Do you think your recommendations would be relevant to his condition? Jill

Q: Currently having major back pain between the shoulder blades and from the lumbar to the center of my shoulder blades. I was hit by a person doing a 160km in a truck and was T-boned. I am having muscle spasms on the front right side of my chest. The pain feels like it is deeper than my back, it has a constant burn feeling and unable to lift anything at the moment. I have had X-rays, and a cat scan of my chest only not my back. I have loss of bladder control and have been for tow months now. Any help or suggestions you could offer me I would be most grateful. Sheldon

Q: I have been in chronic pain for 4yrs now, seen many Dr's, blood work, MRI's, I just can't get help. I have pain in my legs, feet, and R hip. It's sometimes a burning sensation, other times a horrible aching. My back does not hurt most of the time. Any advice would be so appreciated, I just don't know how much longer I can stand this! Thanks for listening. Nancy

Q: I came across your site and found it very interesting as it pertains to TMS. I have recently read Dr Sarno's books and fully understand his concept and believe that emotional anguish is the cause. I'm only 42 and have been in the ER twice in the last 5 years for what seemed at the time of surprise onset of tremendously debilitating back pain. I have two young kids that I wish I could play with and not feel guarded about my activities. This alone brings me to tears as I think about it. I tell my wife that as a former special forces military guy, I am not looking to do the things i had done in younger years but rather would rather just enjoy my life and family.

My Question is: How can I locate a TMS doctor who has partnered with a team of psychologist that will help me dig deep inside and unlock my demons. I want to break away from this and be the dad and husband that I know I can be. Desperately seeking help. Fernando

Q: I have pain in my middle to upper back. During the day I have no pain and can work and do things just fine have great physical strength and do okay. My back problems are my back aches and wakes me up at 4:00 am every morning. Could you tell me what you think. Thank you for having such compassion on your fellow back pain sufferers. Shaun

Q: Upon standing, my lat muscles in back go quite weak resulting in having to lie down to alleviate. What possible causes are there? I have wondered if maybe a lifetime of sitting in bad posture hunched has "overstretched" or "over-stressed" those muscles to where they struggle to support weight when standing. They do not hurt when sitting. Thanks. David

Q: Does physiotherapy work for sciatica? Helen

Q: Hi In 1997 i slipped 2 discs in my lower back, it started with a gradual pain in the lower back and a couple of weeks later it got to the point where i couldn't stand or sit. I went to my doctors who said the waiting list for treatment was about 6-7 weeks so i went privately to an osteopath who i still see on a regular basis. I had an MRI scan in 2000 which showed that one disc had gone back and the other disc had crumbled and my facet joints had enlarged and taken the place of the disc and there was also a bit of arthritis starting to show up. I have never been pain free since 1997. There are lots of things i cannot do now like household chores, cycling, gardening and long walks to name but a few. I recently had a flare up and was off sick for 6 weeks in January this year. Since then i begged my doctor to refer me for some physio which i have had until June but all the physio did was to give me an extra exercise each week. He hasn't felt my back at all so how does he know whats wrong with it. I have been suffering with a hamstring problem since March and pains in my knees and both my hips are aslo painful, i have had dreadful sciatica in the past in my other leg but this has not been a problem of late. I had a hospital appointment earlier this week for an MRI scan but i was told i didn't need this as all my pain would clear up within 6 months. The consultant said that it was difficult to say where the pain was actually coming from and discharged from the physio, told to keep doing the exercises. I am at a point that i don't know what to do to get help. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Gina

Q: i have been diagnosed with lumbar lordosis and o/a changes to my spine it is now starting to effect my left hip and feels some times that i have something stuck between my legs i have been to my own GP on a couple of occasions and they just make you feel like your wasting there time and i do not feel comfortable in returning to them cold you please give me advise on this matter many thanks, Avril

Q: hi there. Was just reading a few things on your page that caught my eye and i thought id ask for your advice. My fiance has had lower back pain for the past 1 plus year and it doesn't seem to get better. Last year we thought he may have pinched his nerve but we aren't sure what the exact problem is he cant sit properly not for too long anyways and he used to get really bad pains now he is seeing a chiropractor which made his pain different he says its like a current going through his back. Icing it seems to help but the pain is still there he is getting very frustrated and i think he is starting to loose all hope of it getting better. There isn't anything i can do to help which makes me feel even worse! Please email me back thanks del

Comment: I am forty one years old, Have had pain in my left leg for years. Just recently i has x-rays to find out i have stenosis,narrowing of the spine. A few months ago i was washing dishes when i felt this strange crampy knotting feeling in my stomach, I sat down and before i could do another thing this terrifying uncontrollable pain traveled from my front to my ribs,back and shoulder blades. I WAS IN SHOCK,I HAVE NEVER WITNESSED SO MUCH PAIN AND AGONY IN MY LIFE,I NEARLY STOPPED breathing,i just wanted to die. It's hard to describe unless you have been there. Now i am always on edge, I have suffered about five of these attacks,the last one lasted over an hour.Iwas drained and my energy and life was a nightmare. I am scared to drive,to do anything,no pain killers or muscle relaxers work, it is pointless.S o i prod along with life praying this will go. I really do feel for anyone in my situation. But life is so frail,like china. I try to make the most of every second, not take my days for granted.This is my story,my life. Maria

Q: I had a very bad cold and coughed for about 4 weeks. Now I have pain in the upper left side of my chest that hurts almost all of the time, as well as in my back right between my shoulder blades. My cough has gotten better but the muscle pain is still there. Will this go away after awhile or have I pulled/ strained the muscles? Jeanette

Q: I hurt my neck and left shoulder in an incident in 2006. I have been looked at by every available specialist that I can find. The last specialist today told me that an operation would not cure my problem as there is no physical reason for me to experience the pain that I do. He says he thinks that I sustained nerve injury and that my nerves are relaying incorrect messages to my brain. He never used the word psychosomatic, he said my damaged nerve endings are like a faulty fire alarm going off for no apparent reason. I am at the end of my tether emotionally and cannot bear the thought that I might have to spend the rest of my life like this. I take up to 8 pain killers a day, as well as amitytrypteline and tegretol, and nothing seems to relieve the pain at all. Can you tell me if I am a hypochondriac or is there something wrong with me that can be cured somehow or another. Before the injury, I was a happy, strong confidant person who enjoyed a very active lifestyle, now I can hardly do my own housework and gardening and I really miss being so active in my sport as well/ Thanks for listening Tehillah

Q: I have suffer from back pain since July 1994. my two disc are extruded & I have nerve stenosis also. I have taken Ozone therapy(Non surgical) for two times. But I have no relief, I also have coccyx pain from 7-8 years. Please suggest me what I can do. Thanks, Rajesh

Q: Author, Your site is extremely good. I have read few pages and now I have started understanding my lower back pain (sciatica pain) better. I will continue reading rest of pages on sciatica pain. I have been having lower back pain since last 8 weeks or more. I have consulted three Doctors so far and now taking help from Ayurveda discipline. I would appreciate if you can guide me and resolving my pain issue completely as this sciatica pain is impacting on my work (Software Development) pretty badly. Thanking you again! Regards,Rajesh

Q: Hi Sensei, I just recently had a left L5/S1 microdiscectomy 6 days ago. I am unable to get a hold of the surgeon and was wondering how much exercise, when and what types I should be doing. My movement is still somewhat limited but the pain in my leg is pretty much gone. Thanks Derick

Q: I recently injured my lower back during bowling. The injury was sudden and unexpected, and bad enough that I had to be placed on my back. Now, a day later, it seems the most likely diagnosis is that I sprained or strained the lower back muscle and that the only remedy is simply rest and time. However, I am concerned with the fact that I can't seem to stand up straight; that is, not from the side, but when facing the mirror, I see a curve in my torso, as if my body froze in the shape it was in when I injured it while twisting during bowling. I am able to straighten it, but it causes discomfort to mild pain. Do you think I am standing this way to favor the injured side - in which case it would correct itself over time as I heal? Or could be something more serious like a herniated disc, or something else I've missed altogether? Thanks for the help! Tom

Q: I was wondering if you ever heard of a situation where a back surgery patient was sent back to work 3 days after receiving a laminectomy/discectomy? This is my case. I received this operation and was returned to work 3 days later with 14 staples in my lower back. Shortly after, I developed a MRSA infection and that's when the real fun began. Just wondering if this is a common occurrence or somebody is a real idiot. Joe

Q: Is your book still available in print? Thanks, Lanell

Q: I have had two back surgeries called chipping to alleviate pain in my legs. I an now experiencing a burning pain on the sides of my legs between knees and thighs. Why? Diana

Q: Dear sir, with due regards, I request that kindly help me my back pain is due to while I was 19 years old I got physically hit by accident now I am 36 years old I can not pick up little heavy things it started paining. Thanking you, manichandra

Q: About 20 years ago I saw a chiropractor, that look at my x-ray and told he knew exactly what was wrong. He then placed me in the supine position on a table that had a vertical padded board in the center, crossed my arms, and applied a thrust to my elbows. It provided a great deal of relief. I am trying to find the name of that method, and what kind of table he used. I have seen four different chiropractors, all saying they can achieve the same results, but all have failed. I am thinking it is some form of the Gonstead technique. Juan

Q: My "psychological pain" isn't really a back pain situation. I've experienced intense abdominal pain. It started after I broke up with my ex-fiance. We had been engaged twice. Now whenever I am in a stressful situation, I just have terrible stomach pain. I wonder at times if I'm developing an ulcer. I'm up for some recommendations. I really want to feel healthy again. Chris

Q: Hello: I recently went to a chiropractor for relief of tightness between my shoulder blades and my inability to take a full breath. After being xrayed, I learned that two of my lumbar discs are very thin. This came as a surprise as I hadn't experienced significant pain in that area. My chiropracter suggested manipulation and possibly spinal decompression therapy. I understand that this is new technology and not covered by insurance. What is your impression of this treatment? Thank you. Mike

Q: I am presently lying on my back and have been 4 days on skelaxinon, vicodin and 303, every 5 hrs, it started when I bent over to pick up a remote control and I got a sudden sharp pain in the middle to lower Lumbar region. I cannot stand or sit up. My wife has been nursing me, and wants to call 911. hospital would just keep me in the er reception area and ask ? Or should I go to a chiropractor. For more immediate results ? Ben

Q: I stumbled on this site while looking for clinical studies offering Disc Replacement Surgery. I have DDD and have been living with it for at least 11 yrs. I am 30 yrs old. I have been putting off surgery for as long as possible as I do not want spinal fusion. It is the recommendation of several MDs that I start the process of getting ready for surgery. I have had my children and do not plan on having others. I want to be able to live w/o taking medication. If possible I would love to live an active life style. If you can help me I would appreciate it. I have DDD in L4, L5, S1 and disc replacement is not covered under my insurance. Do you have any ideas? Any Studies? I live in CT but would be willing to travel. I am hoping that there are some choices in NY or MA. I have found a study (Prodisc trials) but it only allows for 2 DDD levels. Please Help! Mary

Q: Hello,I had a spinal fusion in 2001 and I get muscle spasms so bad that I can't stand up straight. I've been to MANY doctors with no relief except for giving me pills and letting it run its course(3 to 6 Days). I recently went to a pain treatment center and they tried a epidural into a bulging disc with no relief. Then they did an injection into the facet joints. That seemed to work so they burned my nerves down there and that seemed to work for 2 weeks until i had some smaller spasms and they told me to take some muscle relaxers and go to therapy to work those muscles. Does that seem good to you? Thank you. Dave

Q: Well my friend, how are you? my name is John and I want to share my story with you and maybe just maybe someone can help me. It all started about three years ago when bending over to put a collar on my dog. I herniated my l3/l4 disc, since then I have had three microdiscectomys on it and a wallis implant put in at this level but I am still in chronic severe pain. I started getting caudal epidurals every three months to see if this would help, but it has not in any way. I swim five times a week and do my given exercises every second day as instructed by the physiotherapist. I have done everything in my power but my lumber pain will not leave. My surgeon tells me after getting repeat mri scans that my disc is cured. Can you please please help me. I have never had leg pain. The pain is only in the lumber area and I use a morphine patch for pain as nothing else works. Thank you again my friend...........John

Q: hi, i have back pain and chest pain since 2-3month's. It is not same place coming some time chest, some time back, back burn i feel. I am living in Israel but i don't have any back account to buy your book. Please tell me how can i get your advice or help Please reply me,i am waiting for your answer. Vincent

Q: Hello Sensei and Greetings. I just wanted to thank you for your previous correspondence and most of all, your book and website. I was suffering for so long without any help from all those doctors I trusted, but now I am so much better. Learning to put aide the past medical myths, as you can them, was hard for me, as I am a retired nurse, but I managed it and it is the best thing ever! I only regret that I might have helped perpetuate many of these same myths during my active years in the hospital! It is a real wake up call. I do not see how doctors can not take notice of the obvious success of your approach and the others like Dr. Weil. These new ideas should be mainstream medicine at this point, while the old tired stuff should be retired since it obviously does not work. I am rambling, but I am just overcome with joy at having my life back after all these years! Thanks more than a person could say! Most sincerely and fondly, Adele

Q: I have a bulging disc with tear and ddd. What can I do when the pain become unbearable and medicine not working that good Gayle

Q: I suffer from only what i can call a back muscle spasm which is always, it feels, right where my right kidney is. I cannot move and it is very severe. I have had to be fetched by an ambulance before, as i was so scared to be touched by my family. It took away my breath, and really crippled me, until i saw the doctor, and they gave me heavy pain killers. They have on all occasions thought this first to be a kidney stone. They have said that there is nothing that i can do about this as this will more than likely happen to me the whole of my life, but surely there is something that i can do to prevent it from going into that spasm. It is usually just after my back starts aching, and then i would wake up after sleeping, and it would go into a spasm. Any advice for me? Many thanks,Kind regards,Crystal

Q: My name is Joe and I am 24yrs old. I have had chronic back pain since I was 16. I have seen many doctor, but have no "Diagnosis" other than lumbar and cervical pain. All of the physicians I have seen spent less than 5 min. evaluating me and always go for the general diagnosis of Lumbago. What a freaking cop-out! Anyway, I live on the N. Oregon Coast and I was wondering if you know of any spinal physicians in and around the Portland area who could help me? I am currently seeing a Naturopathic physician that had graciously put me on Morphine for the time being, which makes it possible for me to continue living alone. Thank God! Anyway, I appreciate any advice you can give me and I would like to thank you for giving people like me a website with the type of valuable information you have placed here, Sincerely, Joseph

Q: Have your book and Dr Sarno's. Keep up the good work. My story is still happening, wanted your opinion on the new method of treating back pain.Called MUA, Manipulation Under Anesthesia? Sounds scary to me. Randa