Back Pain Questions and Answers
Archive 2011 Part 3

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: Just wanted to say thanks for the huge help you have provide me over the last 2 years with various health crises in my family. You are truly unique and so generous with your time and energy, helping so many just like me and my husband, Thank you so much, Sincerely, Katie

Q: hi i wonder if you could translate my mri please, normal alignment and normal signal return from bone marrow. there is dehydration of the disc L5 S1 , a reduction in disc height and modic type ll degenerative end plate changes,a diffuse disc bulge extends into both exit foramina and is in contact with both of the exiting L5 nerve roots, the descending S1 nerve roots are unaffected, at L2/3 there is again dehydration of the disc and a loss in disc height, a posterior osteophyte and a broad based disc bulge indent the thecal sac and narrow the lateral recesses, but there is no overt root compression at this level, no evidence of disc dehydration or disc protrusion at any other level and no significant facet joint hypertrophy, the conus lies at L1 and appears normal.... i have been offered surgery but as yet have not accepted as trying to understand what is going on, many thanks, michelle

Q: hi this s prasanna, student 24 age, i got severe back pain so doctor suggested me for ct scan. i got report as "sclerosis noted in end plates of T11 and T12 level" they gave physiotheraphy treatment, still i have pain when i will travel so please suggest me

Q: I woke up 2 weeks ago with SEVERE pain in my neck/arm (right). Doc ran an MRI and found a pretty bad herniated disc. ( c-6-c-7). He put me on muscle relaxers and pain meds and found directly on top of my ruptured disc, I have 4 small shingles, so in anti-biotics as well for that. Question, I'm at a steady , level 8 pain . Meds don't help too much but make me sleepy. Doc said, I could get a fusion done right away to relieve the pain, or wait about 6 weeks to see if the pain goes away on it's own. Of course I want to wait, spine surgery does not appeal to me, but in the 6 weeks I'm waiting, how am I suppose to even survive such pain? I'm ready to tell him to do the surgery now cause the pain is so bad, but I rather not have the surgery at all. I have no idea what to do at this point. The pain is in the same catagory as natural child birth. Please advise at what direction I should go in. Thank so very much in advance. Karen

Q: i slipped and fell on a 45 degree icy shoveled driveway at work feb 12 2010 and still havent gotten any help from workers comp doctors, only to be sent to pt which led to more damage. with no mri or anything can my back be fixed being it a year later. i fell on my right side and hurt from my neck to my butt and extremity sensitivity. i may have tore muscle and or tendons from bone or pinched nerves. please help, John

Q: I am such a fan of The Mindbody Prescription and am wanting to pass it on to my aunt. She is Dutch - I cannot find a copy in this language, can anyone please help? Kate

Comment: I have had lower and upper back pain for years ever since I was a child. I kept quiet about the pain. Since moving the doctors are trying to help me with my back but each one says something different . Joanna

Q: Hi there, I'm struggling to find any info anywhere about this quite specific back pain I'm having, and wondered if you can help? The pain I have I think is muscular and in the Lower back, yet it only ever occurs on one side (the left). It comes and goes and it is directly next to my spine (but not on the spine), but it doesn't feel spine related as when I feel the area it's as if the long muscle next to the spine is swollen/inflamed. I'm just wondering if you know of any causes of this type of back pain as I cant find anything on it. Could it just be bad posture or could it be something more serious? Kind Regards, Luke

Q: hi. i'm 19. i've played football, wrestling, boxing, skateboarding, etc. The muscles that run up either side of my spine are EXTREMELY sensitive. The last time i went to the doc he tapped them with his finger and i jumped off of the table and had tears in my eyes. I have a constant pain in my lower back along with a constant pressure type of feeling. occasionally it'll feel like something has shifted and i get extremely sharp pains that shoot through my spine. when this happens i have difficulty breathing, moving, pretty much anything. i've been prescribed naproxen, multiple anti inflammatores, non-narcotic pain killers, i've gone to physical therapy. nothing is helping. it's just getting worse. do you have any suggestions that i could look into? Darrick

Q: Hello Sensei Adam I was wondering if I could obtain your book 'cure back pain forever' in hard copy? I am 37, married with 2 small children and have been suffering chronic back pain from age of 19 after a skiing accident and herniating a disc. To keep this short I managed to be free of pain after being in a private back rehabilitation centre when I was 24 and continued to do the exercise programme which consisted of weights and pilates until I became pregnant with my first child. After my second child was born I have once again been struck down with the pain after herniating 2 discs again 2 years ago. Since then I have put my back out once every 2 months, it just starts to improve and then goes again, now it's spreading all the way up my spine. I have had lots of mri's, the last showed 2 herniated discs, but not necessarily the cause of my pain. I believe it is psychosomatic and something has triggered it all off again, please can you advise me as I cannot run a family like this, I am in constant pain and cannot take pain killers as they make me sick. I did have some steriod injections in my facet joints but they didn't last for long. Please help me. Thank you Claire

Q: Hi, I am 33 yrs old and mother of 8yrs girl I had my first normal delivery when I was 25yrs. But I think my posture was wrong while I fed my baby and now I am facing this back pain problem more severe from last 2yrs. I went to many doctors and joined gym but it gave me no results. some say its bone degeneration some say its muscle pain some say its due to bad posture. I took many medicines and doing my exercises prescribed by the doctor but no results .I went through your entire information and I think that I have pulled back muscle pain as I face similar symptoms, the doctors cannot diagnose my main problem properly. What should I do? To whom should I consult will exercise reduce my pain? Shilpa

Q: hi I’m 23 and I’ve had severe back pain since i was 15. i have seen several doctors and they basically laughed at me thinking i was looking for drugs. i am now 23 and have a 3 yr old daughter. I recently started having pain going from my back into my hip and down my legs. and left arm tingling. I’ve had 3 mris one of my brain, neck and lower spine. They’ve done a nerve test on my right leg they haven’t found anything in my nerve test or my mris. do you have any idea on what could be my problem.. I’ve gone 8 years of wondering and guessing and im going crazy... Sammie

Q: I injured my back just a little over a year ago from over-use. It was pulled pretty hard mainly on the left side in between my shoulder blades. It did not take away mobility, but was incredibly painful. It was very uncomfortable to lay down and very hard to stay off of using it. I figured it was not healing because it was so hard to stay off of it. I saw the doctor a month and half or so later. Due to still having decent flexibility and her not feeling anything out of the ordinary for what it was, I was put on anti-inflammatories which I discontinued using due to stomach pain. a couple of months and very little progress later I tried muscle relaxers, which I discontinued using due to complications. The strained feeling and tension has also spread around my back. I have tried stretches, which I have only been able to really do for the past few months, because prior to, I felt like I was putting too much strain on the muscle. I have also started running occasionally, and getting the occasional massage for areas I cannot get loose. I still remain in pain most days, I cannot get comfortable. On days where it is more painful/tense I feel like it is pulling on my spine towards my lower back and is making posture bad. I have had x-rays done, but they said that my alignment looks fine. I am a very active person, and really want to get back to it. I was looking to possibly get some more direction. Thanks Ben

Q: I was in an auto accident june 19th 2010, I injured my neck and back I'm in pain all the time mostly my back between my shoulder blades. I had MRI's done on my neck and back but they showed no injury. how is this possible? I can touch the spot directly where the pain comes from in between two vertebrae...Chris

Q: I have been having terrible back pain. I recently went to the doctor and he said I have lipomas. It seems strange to think that the lipomas could be causing the pain because I have the lipomas in several places in my lower back, however I have the back pain in predominantly one area. Can you help me? Thank you so much. Randi

Q: Hi, 8 weeks ago I injured myself snowboarding. I have a step deformity in my C6, & the shift forward & other pressures from the fall caused by facet to break in 2 places. I'm fine, walking, no more nerve pain in arms etc. With this info, my neurosurgeon said "let's avoid surgery if at all possible". Recently, an MRI showed that the disc is also herniated and damaged ie.) it is not perfectly round anymore or something like that / it needs to be cleaned up by surgery. I don't want the surgery if at all possible. I want to heal this, not pin it. Given the new info, my surgeon is now strongly suggesting surgery, given that I'm 37 & wish to be as active as possible again. He said that the herniation & the damage to the vertebrae pushed my situation to a very unstable state that requires surgery should I wish to be active again. Is there anything / anyone that can help me heal this w/o surgery? Jim

Q: FINDINGS: There is no fracture. The vertebral bodies are normal in height. There is grade 1-2 anterolisthesis of L5 on S1 with subluxation near 25%. There is slight grade 1 retrolisthesis of L4 on L5. The other vertebrae are in normal alignment. There is moderate narrowing of the L5-S1 disk space. The other disk spaces are maintained. There are bilateral pars defects of L5, There are large endplate spurs at L1-2 and L3-4 and multiple levels in the lower thoracic spine. IMPRESSION: Bilateral pars defects of L5. Grade 1-2 anterolisthesis of L5 on S1 that is likely related to the pars defects. ,.arge endplate spurs at multiple levels. Results of my MRI. ExplainMRI and any suggestions. Also have numbness down rt leg to the toes. Randy

Q: I have spinal stenosis. I am to the point in the disease were I can no longer stand for more than a few short minutes. I am always sitting due to this condition and have developed tailbone pain. I am so uncomfortable all day and it has put me at the end of my rope! What can I do in this situation? Tammy

Q: Hello,I am a boxer,and my back hurts when i do a pull-over! When i do a twisting my spine hurts too! Is it serious injury? Best wishes!!! Nikola

Q: I have had sciatic nerve pain since back to back surgeries in 2008. The pain began shortly thereafter. I went for physical therapy that consisted of several stretches and exercises that did not work. After months of this I went back to p t and she gave me an additional stretch where I stand and go backwards 10 times for a count of 10 in case it was a herniated disc. This proved to be somewhat helpful after months of doing this exercise. Now it is back with a vengeance. My pain radiates from the back into the buttock area and down the back of the leg and sometimes the calf. There is tingling/numbness to a degree on that side as well...I was traumatized by the surgeries and was told afterwards that how they laid me on the table for the second surgery ie; cystoscopy/appendix/ and a complete hysterectomy(still have ovaries) may have caused the sciatic nerve problem. I have so many other problems like hypertension, IT Band syndrome, arthritis (bad in knees), fibromyalgia (all over)..feels like knotted boils in lower legs plus other problems as well. Please help me...I am so afraid of surgery...thank you Nancy

Q: I have now conquered my health anxiety only to find that i'm having trouble sleeping and i'm anxious about this . is this tms at work again and what do you suggest. thanks, Martine

Comment: Hi Dear, Its almost 2 am,again the pain. Sciatica in my hip leg is unbearable,its hindering my life. here its almost all day (with pain killers). I did not have much choice. It started as a mild ache in my hip 3 years ago after i fell into the corner of a table...I seen many specialists,had to call 911 several times.I just came back from Bali .I was amazed that the healer pretty much cured the problem. I d gone back to her if I d had the time. all treatment was natural. Maybe I should go back asap though so much to do here, James

Q: Hello, 17 days ago I suffered a sharp pain in my neck which radiated down my left arm. It was excruciating to the point that I cried. Listen, I'm a 38 years old man and it takes a lot to make me cry. Anyways, what I find challenging with this nerve neck pinch is the psychological aspect of it. I can't help feeling defeated because I keep asking myself "when is this going to go away?". Now I'm 17 days in and the pain is dull, my thumb is somewhat numb, and I'm able to do certain things that I couldn't before like sitting. Sleeping is getting better but I have difficulty getting into a comfortable position. I was told that this pinched nerve condition can take weeks to heal, is this a fair statement? Should I attempt any physical therapy? I wasn't diagnosed but it seems like a nasty pinched nerve. Are you familiar with ART (Active Release Technique)? Practitioners of ART say that most pinched nerve diagnosis are misdiagnosis. They are merely tiny muscles that strangle and compress the nerves. Anyhow, I just wanted your feed back. Thanks for everything. Bruno

Q: Hello: My question is: Do you know any doctor trained on TMS in the UK? Thanks, Felipe

Q: mri impression Mild disc degeneration with a small central and paracentral disc protrusion at L4-5 level indenting thecal sac abutting L5 nerve roots. please simplify and explain remedies suyash

Q: I used to have occasional mild lower back problems, but over the last couple of days I have experienced fifteen or so lower back spasms, mercifully lasting only a few seconds each - and thankfully I was able to see a physiotherapist yesterday, and they have not returned since. My troubles drove me to this website. I realize my experience doesn't come close to the living hell that you and others here have suffered, but I want to applaud you for turning your situation around, and encouraging others to do the same with this great site. Also, I was interested to read that Big Pharma has little to offer in terms of any real cures, whilst raking in billions of dollars; this is no different from the conspiracy that exists within the treatment of cancer; chemotherapy and radiology are hopelessly outdated, ineffective and poisonous, whilst real progress is actively suppressed (I recommend anyone watch 'Burzinksy: The Movie' though I am not affiliated in any way.) Once again thank you for your great site: I shall now purchase your book and look forward to gaining a better understanding of my back pain. Kind regards, Jaap

Q: Well mine happened at work. A coworker and I were moving a steel wall that was on a 53' trailer and i sat on the edge of the trailer an an had a small jump. When i hit the ground my knees took most of the impact, however i was in instant pain. That was on Nov 10 2010, it is now 2011 march 1. My pain is like this. It goes from my mid back in to my left hip. I can barely bend over, I have a very hard time doing lots of things around the house. Sitting is not that great or standing. I have loss of motion. Then it goes in to my neck and its a constant pain. I cant lift 20 pounds above my head. I have problems with day to day things. Walking is painful for me.The doctors that I'm seeing are saying that is soft tissue damage. I feel its more than that and cant get the proper diagnoses for this. Can u help? Tyler

Q: What a relief to find such a site as yours, with lots of alternative treatments explained- i will spend a bit of time each week looking up the meaning of my MRI results so I know what it actually means. I have congenital abnormalities like a lot of ppl it seems and gets worse as i get older and after my 3 i am on a cycle of constant pain medications which always wear off if i don't have drug free days. I am looking for alternatives of any sort to try, and have tried all the standard physical therapies. Do you know if there are any ppl in Western Australia that work/think like you- do you have any links to Australian sites? I need some local back specialists to start exploring again. Thanks, Kym

Q: I've been using knowledge therapy gained from your book and Dr. Sarno. I have had to pull out my old MRI results and need help with the meaning for the following: 1. Parasagittal views show clear appearance of the neural foramina. 2. There is minimal rotational posterior displacement of the spinal cord without compression. I really have had trouble trying to determine the meaning of the neural foramina phrase and whether or not it is good or bad.I'm thinking that the second phrase or sentence is a good finding as there is no compression. True? Because I'm no longer seeing medical doctors due to the knowledge therapy, I have nobody to ask. Can you advise? Thanks. Richard

Q: Good day. i just wanted to find out how can i cure low back pain and period pains. I'm in so much pain. Grace

Q: Been diagnosed 2 years ago with Atrial Flutter and Atrial Fibrillation. Since then have often sharp chest pain (burning, pressure) associated always with sharp back pains. Seen a cardiologist two years ago who did echocardiogram, stress test, ecg and said everything ok. Have palpitations often, out of breath, feeling always tired, see my GP monthly. On Noten, Cartia and Lipitor for high cholesterol. As I was still having palpitations, and chest/back pains after all tests done by cardiologist, requested by GP to do a gastroscopy, which I did today. They didn't find anything but did a biopsy. If cardiologist said I don't have any heart disease and my gastroscopy test didn't find any disease, so where are all these chest/back pains and palpitations coming from. I've been admitted to hospitals 4 times for Atrial Flutter and Fibrillation. Anne

Comment: Just wanted to say thanks for all your work on this great site. Seems like more info than can be read! Thanks, James

Q: had spinal fusion L5/S1, discectomy, decompression 6 weeks ago i have great days then today i can barely stand. i am 55 in good health not overweight. doing a lot of walking of course. every time i have increased pain i am sure something is wrong. Pam

Q: Hello, I haven't long turned 18 and have recently suffered of what I believe to be a pulled muscle in the lower back and the symptoms of this match the symptoms that you suggested on your site. I play a considerable amount of golf and the worse pain I have is when I perform the downswing when I play golf, and if you are aware it is a quick, rapid movement, where I receive a terrible pain in the lower right-hand side of my back. Are there any exercises, stretches that I can perform to help the healing process. Is swimming good for the lower part of my back. I would be grateful if you could shine a light on this situation, as I really want to get playing my sport as I am missing it!!! I would appreciate your help greatly. Thanks a lot Calum

Q: I am a 55 year old male who cant stay away from swimming - about 6 months ago I hurt my back believe it or not swimming with a paddleboard - but after Mris, there was already problems apparently in my back some tears -etc - but never had any pain before - after shots etc – pt - I am swimming again but after workouts and throughout the day my back is very painful - I take celebrex- helps somewhat - no one has answers - I swim .5 of a mile per day but the pain after is not allowing me to increase - I am changing my mattress this week - any other suggestion s- the crawl tends to create more pain than breast stroke - I don’t want to stop - HELP, Tyrone

Q: In Dec 2008, I was in an auto accident at that time i had to serious injuries, one in my neck and my Lumbar spine had a problem with the L5-S1 Facet Joint displacement My surgeon went in to do a simple repair by performing a discectomy at L5-S1 and placement of an inter-body cage, a couple hours, when I came out of surgery He told me I'd had to have L-1 ground to save a portion but L1 through L 5 during placement had crumbled. What could have happened? I now have to suffer with titanium rods, screws, had to have bone marrow from my hips and a large piece of pig muscle placement above. Recently I was asked by my family physician if there were any previous testing besides the MRI to test the strength of the vertebra above, for placement, which I said "no' and he just shook his head a said "he shore did a number on you!" What the heck happened? This is the most extreme pain I could have ever imagined! and to top it all off I personally had to pay for all this Plus the emergency medical team to assist because of the collapse. Lauren

Q: I am a driver for past 15 years in a big organization, i used to travel a lot and sometimes i drive for 13 hours a day. i feel a back pain and i just want you to advice me what to do. Thank you and hope to hear from you soon. kojo.

Q: Dear Adam, My girlfriend has just been diagnosed with two herniated discs after suffering with back pain for quite a long time. Her doctors are advising surgery. I've read your pages about herniated discs and this page in particular has really concerned me:
Should I advise her to steer well clear of getting an operation? Kind regards, Andrew

Q: Hi, about 14 months ago I had a car accident and broke T12 and L1 vertebrae. I underwent a spinal fusion and also have a titanium plate screwed on T11, T12, L1 and L2 vertebrae. I'm told that this titanium plate should be removed after 18-20 months, but I'm not sure that this is really a great benefit (the removal). I have recovered reasonably well so far and do not suffer from constant back pain. I'm thinking of leaving the titanium plate in instead of removal surgery? What do you think? Velko

Q: I am involved in a workman's comp injury where I ended up with 5 bulging disc in my lower back. The doctor released me to return to work after being off for 8 months. Now the W.C. is stating that I received a disability rating of 1%? I am still in pain and having to load up on pain relievers just to be able to sleep at night and suffer all day. What can I do? Can I still request another doctors opinion even though they released me in Jan.? My employer fired me after I was released so I have only been looking for work and getting unemployment. And how can my employer fire me for not returning to work at the end of my FMLA when I was still under their doctors care and had a release to return with restrictions and they refused to let me work? Brenda

Q: good morning sir, i am hemanth. 2days back my dad back got stucked. which one will cure the problem either ortho or neurologist?. thank u sir, hemanth

Comment: Three months back I had traveled for continuous three days. After that I was suffering with mild lower back pain. Which was increased to the right leg calf. This pain was increased much such that I am not able to walk more than 25 metres as I get cramp on my calf. I had tried many doctors, orthopedists. Also recently I had 20 days complete bed rest. Even after that I am suffering with the same. Presently I am waiting for cure, as my Doctor had told that this will be cured by time. Sanjay