Alternative Cure for
Sequestered Disc Fragment

I had terrible pain at work one day, I remember sitting at my desk just before the horrific pain began. I was crying, I hated this job and asked myself why I was being tortured having to work at this horribly stressful job. I then got up and pulled a file drawer open and that was it. I almost fell to the ground. I had to leave work and I went straight to the doctor. He said I had back spasms and a sciatic nerve injury from pulling the draw open, a draw that I pulled open every day for 7 years. I had an MRI that showed disc bulges and a sequestered disc fragment at the L3 level.

My doctor immediately sent me to a neurosurgeon, who checked me out and then told me that I may need surgery. I refused the surgery, but I went into panic mode. I suffered through 8 months of excruciating pain, pain killers that made me sick, NSAIDs that gave me severe stomach pain. Then my husband comes home with a book. Healing Back Pain by Dr. Sarno, he had heard about this book many years ago on Howard Stern's radio show.

I screamed at my husband and told him,my MRI shows a disc fragment laying on my thecal sac in my Lumbar spine, how can this pain be caused psychologically? I didn't touch the book for days. Finally after a day straight of crying in pain, I picked it up. I began to read, and I saw myself on the pages. I was the exact personality type for TMS. I read the book and I stopped taking the nerve pain pills and stopped the IBU and opiate pain killers. For three days I suffered like I never suffered before. I had the pills in my hand many times, but I fought through it. Slowly as I read, I was able to finally accept that the pain was caused by my brain and that the sequestered disc was just a scapegoat for my mind to bring the pain on.

I just finished Dr Sarno's Mindbody Prescription and I am about 75% cured. I have the pain under control. I still have pain at times, I tell my brain to cut it out, I don't need help to deal with my emotions, and bye, bye pain. Hope this helps someone -Carmela

Update 2014

I wrote about my sequestered disc back in 2010 or 2011. I was in horrible pain and I couldn't function.  I was very depressed. I was told by many doctors that my fragment was very large and pressing on three nerves and the spinal thecal sac.  When I was told these MRI results, they also said I had a large gallstone that needed to be treated. 

Please note this is my experience and I am not a doctor. I am not giving advice to anyone on how to handle sequestered discs. 

I went to my PCP and two neurosurgeons.  The pain was like my hip and left thigh were on fire and it also felt like I was being electrocuted. The pain was unrelenting and the side effects of the drugs were putting me in a stupor.  I was in fear of becoming addicted to the pain meds. 

I read all of Dr Sarno’s books which were a tremendous help to me and I was able to function professionally and socially, but the pain never went away.  It became a way of life.

For four years I suffered and cried and was angry and depressed. I took myself off all the meds, for except Advil and Tylenol. I went back to my PCP in 2012 and asked for another MRI, but he told me, "What for? These fragments never go away and you still have pain, so another MRI is not necessary”. I believed him.

Just recently, after a few very bad days of pain and depression, I decided to go to another neurologist. She examined me and said that all my reflexes were normal and my legs were very strong with no weakness at all She said we should do another MRI, since so many years have passed.  She said the MRI may show some worsening of the condition, but low and behold, the fragment was gone and even the gallstone was gone. 

I was elated and so glad that I didn't have surgery, even though I was in a lot of pain.  I still have pain, but much less I think knowing the fragment was gone. I allowed myself to start the mental and physical healing process. 

My point is never give up hope. Consider surgery as a very last option. I am glad that I did not do it.  Everyone that  I know who has had back surgery never just had one procedure, but had at least three.

Good luck to all!

- Carmela

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