Back Pain Questions and Answers
Archive 2009 Part 1

This Q&A section is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Any medical condition should be referred to a qualified medical professional. The Q&A is now closed for new submissions.

Q: I had my L5/S1 fused back in 2001. And "YES" it worked 100%. Since that time I haven't had any problems, until recently I was rear ended at 61mph. I was in a GMC Sierra and the person who slammed me, then spun me a 180 degrees was in a Honda Accord. Due to me having lower back surgery my doctor immediately requested a MRI. I had the MRI done and was told it didn't look good. So, now I am going back to see the surgeon who did my surgery in 2001. I was told that my T11/T12 are extremley compressed and causing major pain to my L5/S1 which has slightly shifted to the right. I am not sure what I am about to face. The shots are out of the question, just as the steroids are; because of my Bipolar medicine. Tried PT for several months, and got "NO" relief. Could you educate me a little further on the middle back pain. What are some options you feel would work? I am not one that likes to take heavy medication to make the pain tolerable. I DO NOT WANT TO GET ADDICTED TO NARCOTICS! Or could you give me some questions to ask my surgeon? Desperately Hopeful, Jeannie

Q: Hi there, I am a 19 year old guy and a very keen rugby player... about 2 years ago I snapped my ACL, had surgery and during my rehab i pulled my hamstring, since then i have never got over my recurring hamstring problem. I have seen many specialists and found my chiropractor to offer the most help. For the past 4 months the problems feels to have improved greatly however I attended my first rugby training session for 4 months last night and i pulled my hamstring again... this is intensely frustrating!! What is most frustrating is the fact that the physio and Chiropractor can find little seriously wrong and seem clueless as to why i have these problems. My chiropractor said to me for the first time, he believes my problem may be psychological and this lead me to your site. I have read through several of your pages on the site and found it extremely interesting, it sounds that we are similar people, I too an scared of nothing, no man, situation, death etc, and i look after my body very well, I have extremely good sprint and am always happy... but after reading the site, it seems that I may have a deep fear of never regaining my fitness to play rugby and reach my potential!! this i am terrified of! similar to the rugby player Jonny Wilkinson it seems. He has not recovered from numerous injuries since to 2003, and is terrified of never finishing his career! the reason i am emailing you is to ask for some advice... If i was to take up a spiritual program, Buddhism or something do you think this may help, who can i go to where can i get the info i need to start this psychological healing?? I am clueless at this stage but want to begin this connection of body and soul. Many thanks, Jack

Q: since from long back i had habit of moving my neck. now its almost 10 years and i feel great pain and uncomfortable without doing it continuously. some time both my neck and upper back got so pain that couldn't sleep. if some one help me to press my next and back, it gave little relax. i am trying hard stop that habit but feel so uncomfortable.. i am 26 rite now .. what will its effect in future if this continue.. ? and what can i do to stop this pain .. is there any medical treatment or self treatment? plz suggest me soon ... dorjee

Q: hey there , really like your site and everything you are trying to do for people who suffer with pain. Me? i am a 20 year old male in pretty good shape maybe a little on the skinny side. i have suffered with pain in the neck for the last year and a half and after finally getting insurance i was able to get an x-ray. 8/08 i went down a water slide and it went smoothly but got up and really could not move my neck. the acute pain went away pretty fast but i was such a naive kid i did not take any action until recently and it has always bothered me. the x ray showed straightening of the cervical spine doc said from muscle spasms but i don't really know how straight as i have not seen the xray yet and unable to contact the doc as of now. also showed a subluxation but i also need more info on that i dont know if its exterior or anterior or the up and down one , that word just slipped my mind :) i have always had problems with anxiety , depression and this condition has not helped with those at all. i have read into the TMS and am very intrigued , what would be your recommendations for me? i'm going into psychical therapy soon and have been really working on my upper crossed syndrome from too many hours and bad posture on this computer. thanks and i really appreciate any information cheers - cody

Q: I am a 40 year old female. Two years ago I started to have a very strong aching pain in my mid to upper back on my right side every time I would stand for 10 minutes or more, get stressed, and get hot or cold. A few months later, I was laying on my left side reading a book and sat up and immediately experienced a very, very sharp stinging pain in the same spot. It felt like I had been stung by a hornet. The aching has continued over the past couple of years and the stinging pain occurs about once or twice every other day. Usually if I have been laying on my side and sit up, but will occasionally happen while standing as well. I have had a back MRI and chest CAT scan which didn't show anything. I have been taking Gabapentin which does help. My neurologist does not have a diagnosis and says that sometimes there are pains that are hard to diagnosis and we just have to treat the symptoms. Any feedback or suggestions would be much appreciated. Michelle

Q: Hello, A year back I changed apartment. During the moving, I hurt my lower back. I took advil for about 2 months but didn't get relief. Then I went to Physical Therapy for about 7 sessions. They recommended some stretching exercise and core muscle strengthening exercises. But it didnt worked either. After 6 months then I went to chiropractor. Its been already 2 months and 20 sessions after I been to chiro, but I don't see any major difference. Initially Chiropractic doctor took X-ray and said I am having some kind of arthritis on lower back. But after 20 sessions, now he is saying I am having facet syndrome. Now I would like to have any suggestion from you. I am 27 age. I generally have lower back pain, if I am stressed out in work, doing shopping, groceries, workouts etc. Other time I don't have much pain. Depending on the stress the pain increases and after a day or two day rest the pain goes away mostly. Any suggestion from is greatly appreciated. Thanks, P

Q: November 30th 2004 i was working for a dept store and i was doing an over nite setup stocking shelves etc and they had floor cleaners come in and clean and wax floor cleaners never blocked floor off and i slipped on wax remover and fell forward and backward i hit my right side of my face and sprained my right wrist and my back and legs i had chemical reaction from fall to date i have had numerous injections physical therapies and numerous equipment i have social security disability and to date doctors and insurance don't want to pay for scooter or power chair for me to get around and im on enough pain med to start my own pharmacy work comp only gave me 50,000 and i was deemed not able to work again please contact me at your convenience. william

Q: herniated disks, arthritis, injuries to my back, hips and neck-whiplash. You say something about oxygen, what is that and can I do it for relief, Is it deep breathing? Myrna

Q: Every time that I take a breath in I have pain under my right breast and the back of my shoulder (below my shoulder bone) Cyndi

Q: I am being treated for a knee injury and was going to physical therapy two times per week. The physical therapist wanted me to sit at a weight lifting machine where I had to lift a bar up in the air using my legs. I told him I was unable to use my injured knee, and he told me to just use my uninjured leg to do the lifting and let my injured leg just follow along. I did this for two weeks of physical therapy, and started noticing an increasing back pain in my lower back, along with my continuing knee pain. The pain gradually increased until a week later, I could not get out of bed (my husband assisted me), and the pain was so excruciating, I cried and yelled as he was helping me. This lasted three days. I used pain pills that had been prescribed for my knee injury to help alleviate the pain. The pain subsided after three days, but never completely went away. I spent most of the three days propped up on the couch with pillows. I could not lay down on the couch or in a bed. After about a week, I experienced the same type of excruciating pain as before, and it again lasted about three days. Then a period of some relief. Now I am going through another bout of excruciating pain. The pain is throbbing at times, like a toothache, and when it it at its peak, I cannot move at all without crying out in agony. I am beginning to wonder if I should do something else to treat this. What is your suggestion? Sandy

Q: Three and a half weeks ago I slipped on ice and fell down a short flight of stairs. I remember when I hit the stairs on the thoracic part of my back I heard a crack. My pain is better but still there so I went to get x-rays yesterday and they said there was no fracture. I noticed at the exact place that I hit my back into the stair there is a small soft lump. It is also where the pain is. I had no bruising after the fall which really does not make sense to me since I fell so hard and even felt and heard the crack. What could this be and how long does this take to heal? Thanks, Julie


Q: Hello. I appreciate the information you provided regarding nocebo. 3 months ago I was experiencing severe (crippling) sciatica and (following an MRI) was diagnosed with a "large" herniation in the L4-5. I had a series of 3 steroid epidurals (1st and 2nd were helpful, the 3rd did not go well). After about a week following the 3rd epidural, I moved a kitchen chair and felt somewhat of a "pop" between my shoulder blades. Within a day, I was back on the floor with severe sciatica. With in a day or so, I had surgery (laminectomy/discecomy) on Dec. 23rd. I'm healing, but seems to be a slow heal. I can stand, but only can walk for about a quarter mile or so. The reason I'm writing is because I am experiencing pain between my shoulder blades. Just wondering if you think it may be a cervical herniation, or possibly just muscular. I will have another MRI this Friday, but if it is a herniation, should I just wait it out? Are there any limitations or cautions you'd recommend to avoid worsening pain? I have no arm pain, so that's got to be good! Also, I wonder if it MAY be nocebo....and don't want it to become that if it IS in fact another herniation. Also, does your spine sometimes have a chain reaction? In other words, why was I making progress on the L4-5 herniation, then the "pop" sensation between my shoulder blades, and the bottom falls out on the L4-5? Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have. I'm really trying to just think positive and not focus on it! Russ

Q: Hey, once in awhile, I'll push my workout too far and get a very tight painful injury just to the side of my spine near what I think is T4-5. It restricts my ability to move my head left and right and its painful raising my head from a prone position. I usually take it easy for two to three days then I get general mobility back and then about another 2-3 weeks for the pain to completely subside. any comments or suggestions and what the heck is this called? Aloha, Michael

Q: I man 40 years. Having lower back pain which diagnose by the doctor as bit slip disk and disc compression LS1 LS5. Now after two years pain is bearable but now another problem I am feeling that is pain in tail bone and feel great inflammation in buttock which travel to thigh's to legs and up to foot. I some times feel whole of my body heat up. I feel some times inflammation in Penis and feel use of toilet in terms of feeling discharge of urine and anus. Inflammation makes me feel unrest. I cannot sleep due the this problem. When I seat in hard surface I immediate find pain in tail bone and numbness in in buttock, thigh's, legs and foots. What problem I am having and what is the remedy? kindly help. Thanks, Ashwani

Q: I have had tail bone pain for almost 2 years. I finally found a dr that can treat me. he gave me a cortisone injection in my coccyx area and told me that if the pain goes away then i need to have it removed if the pain persists then its not the cause of my problem.Is this true? How soon should the shot relieve my pain and for how long. Cathy

Q: I have a subluxated disk and was wondering if you had any information regarding this type of back pain? Emma

Q: Hi my name is sharon. i live in belfast i have been having a lot of pain around my top part of my back, which radiates around to my ribs and right up to my breast bone. i am in pain all the time and can't sleep or move around in bed at night because of it. i have been to my doctors, paid for a private doctor had xrays and i am now being sent for an mri scan on my cervical spine which i cant understand, seeing its more my thoracic spine that seems to be the problem. what do you think? maybe you could through some light into my problems. Sharon

Comment: Hi Sensei Adam, Thank you for your loyal and unselfish support over the past 3 months. I am not one of the lucky people who had an overnight cure for my pain, but I eventually am getting there, slowly, but surely. Having suffered for a long time (26 years) has certainly made finding a real pain free life difficult, but I am improving everyday, just like you said I would. Your book is great and I have printed it up and keep a copy at home, at my office and in my car. Additionally, your follow up with me has provided much appreciated and needed support in times when I needed it most. Thank you so much for all you did for me and for all back pain sufferers. I will keep working on my cure and hope your message reaches an ever widening audience. Thanks again, Frank

Q: All their information and studies are excellent!. I have pains for 2 years and the doctors didn't find anything. That it recommends to diagnose Ischemia? thank you, Daniel

Q: Hi my name is kelli. a couple of days ago i went to the y and did this hyperextension workout. i think i did more weight than i should and did it the wrong way, anyway, i play softball and i have this excruciating pain when i bend over and now even sitting down is very painful. what should i do?

Q: Hello, I have digestive problems and it appears my back is the cause, i started maintaining good posture but i feel lots of pain in my lower back when i do that, when i don't stand in good posture i don't feel pain, the problem is my digestive system works better only on good posture, which causes my back pain, so could you help me and tell me what should i do ? Thanks, Dani

Q: Alright, I'll try to make this short. I've been an avid body builder for a little more than a year. Then in September 2008 my back started hurting badly. After about 3 months off entirely and the last month coinciding with a chiropractor visit 3 times a week, I decided to go back to the gym whether my pain returned or not. So it did come back and at first I just ignored it. Actually, this was working pretty well. Until I noticed that my right arm hurt one day. So I checked into it when it didn't go away the next day. Regarding the symptoms I was feeling I came to the conclusion that there is a high chance I have a pinched nerve, most likely in my C-5/6 region. All I want is to be able to work out again. It's seriously one of the most important things to me. Right now my right arm only feels a little strange, kind of numb and tingly on the inside of the elbow and lower bicep. What could happen if I continued to lift regardless of this possibly pinched nerve? And I do plan on seeing a chiropractor very soon.. I think chiropractors do a great job when they really know what they're talking about. Jake

Q: Hello, Is there a version in Spanish of book Cure Back Pain Forever? Saludos, Daniel

Q: My wife is struggling with pain in her neck primary in the sternocleomastoid muscle. She has seen an ENT and was cleared. He did a variety of tests and feels she has a muscle problem. She has been very discouraged that no one can help her with this problem. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Bill

Q: Dear Sir, I'm 18 years old, I am having lower back pain from the last 6-7 months. Let me give you some details how this all happened. I play football and while playing I fell on the ground And fractured my hand. During this time I might have also fallen on my back but I didn't get any back pain at that time. I think almost after a month, One fine day in the morning when i woke up from bed There was this big click sound which came when i woke up and I felt as if something broke inside my lower back it was really pain full And had to lie down for 5 mins After that i felt better. But then later on my situation got horrible My back would pain the whole time whether i sit or stand only sleeping would make me feel better. Later we went to a nearby orthopedic surgeon who gave some very heavy pain-killers and drugs and advised total bed rest. I did that but it was of no use Later on this kept getting worse So we went to a hospital where the doctor advised to do a MRI Scan It was a M.R.I of the Lumbro-sacral Spine I am just writing the report below C/O Low Backache Observation: There is sacralization of the L5 Vertebra & the the L4 vertebral body is as marked on the films. Please correlate with plain radiographs.Minimal posterior disc bulges are noted at the L3-L4 and L4-L5 levels.A Schmorl's node is noted along the inferior cortical endplate of the L3 vertebral body. Surrounding edema is noted.The Lumbar vertebral bodies & intervertebral discs show normal signal intensity. The facet joints and the visualized pre & paravertebral soft tissues are unremarkable. The conus medullaris terminates at the D12 level and the thecal sac terminates at the S1 Level. The antero-posterior dimensions of the lumbar canal at the level of the intervertebral discs are as follows:19.0 mm at L1-L2 19.0 mm at L2-L3 14.0 mm at L3-L4 13.0 mm at L4-L5 11.0 mm at L5-S1.The spinal were screened with T2 weighted sagittal images and reveal small postero-central protruded discs at the D10-D11 and D12-L1 levels. Schmorl's nodes are seen at the D9, D10 , D11 and D12 vertebral levels.Impression: 1) Sacralization of the L5 vertebra and the L4 vertebral body is as marked on the films.Please correlate with plain radiographs. 2) Schmorl's node in the inferior surface of the L3 vertebra. 3) Posterior disc bulges at the L3-L4 and L4-L5 levels.X-ray report Lumbosacral Spine - Oblique Views: No evidence of any parts articularis defect is seen in the lumbar vertebrae. The facetal joints are normal.Then this doctor gave me Glucasime tablets I took them for 2 months and also wore a belt. But there was no difference at all The second doctor who was also a spine specialist He said this is because of calcium and gave me calcium tablets and a Calcium spray called Miacalcic Nasal 200 (Calcitonon (Salmon) Nasal Spray 200 IU) I've taken 4 bottles of this along with 500mg of calcium tablets. And he also advised physiotherapy So I've also done that I've gone for 10 sessions and then he said to stop physiotherapy I've also quit wearing the belt. This has only made 10% difference. But still my back is just the same I find it so delicate and fragile. As if it will break any time I'm also very skinny and underweight I don't have much of flesh surrounding my spine I can actually feel the whole spine. I work on computers and sit the whole time and i can't do that anymore Because i can't sit for long and then i have to stand up or lie down for sometime I Can't fully bend at all It pains badly I'm really so frustrated and helpless I don't even know what is my back problem called. Its Like I'm in the middle of no where. Could you please help me out !!! Thank-you very much. Hoshedar

Q: I have a 15 year old that hurt his back while lifting weights for football. He has had an MRI done that states : L4-5 has a central broad protrusion that effaces thecal sac and contacts lateral recess nerve roots which are slightly crowded. Foramina are adequate. The impression states: broad shallow protrusion atL4-4 contacts lateral recess nerve roots which are slightly crowded. What does all this mean? What can my son do to help heal this? He is in alot of pain and because he is a student , spends the majority of the day sitting in a desk. He wants to play football again, is this something that he will be able to do? Are there any alternatives things that you may recommend. The dr. we seen really just said it would take time to heal and that was about all he had to say. Help! Tonya

Q: Kind Sir, I have began experiencing lower back pain in July 2008 which has moved from right to left side and now resides on deeply in left side gluteus and radiates down my left leg to back of the knee. It went away for a few months (or i just learned to live with it)and now has returned full force. My doctor sent me for an X-Ray in August and results stated, "mild disc space narrowing at L3-4 which is presumptive evidence of disc disease at this level. No other bone, joint or disc abnormalities are seen. Impression: Suspicion of disc disease at L3-4. No evidence of ankylosing spondylitis. If there is sciatica, further evaluation with MRI scanning may be appropriate."

My doctor then sent me to physiotherapy. I went twice in August but didn't like his method. Had me work on my posture walking/sitting and gave me exercises that just aggravated the problem. Anyway it is January 2009 and after sitting or lying down when I get up the pain is so immense, I can't put on my socks or shoes without severe pain in my but and left leg. I have returned to another physiotherapist and we have been able to keep the pain in the glutes at least but every morning it is back full force. This guy thinks the nerve is pinched by leaking disc fluid and is having me exercise to squeeze fluid back in. I am in so much pain. What should I do? Is it sciatica? Is the nerve pinched inside the glute muscle or is it the disc fluid pushing against the nerve? I have to remain on my stomach to alleviate the pain and am now going to either work from home or take a disability leave. how long should I stay with this physiotherapist before getting an MRI and/or returning to my family doctor? Please help! Jason

Q: i am over weight and i have a disk in my back that is deteriorating and the dr told me he wanted to refer me to a surgeon. my question is can they do the surgery if i'm over weight? i've tried to loose weight but can not. i've tried diets the pills and a lot of home remeds and nothing is working for me, so i was wondering that. If i could loose the weight i would but nothing works for me. can't afford any big treatments so please let me know so I'll know what to look forward to. thanks a lot. Gail

Q: Wow. I simply cannot believe i have taken nearly 13 years to stumble across your site. I'm so tired of visiting chronic pain sites that are full of money-leeching nonsense, it's truly refreshing to get your in-depth perspective. Thank you so much. Obviously, you speak from experience, which counts for a great deal, when i am used to taking advice from people who have had no experience with chronic back pain. I'll keep it short for you. Similar story to yours..L4/L5 & L5/S1 pushing into what seems like thoracic DDD with some ligament damage etc...blah,blah,blah...Ad Nauseam. i also have chronic shoulder pain that likes to come and go as it pleases. Im 32, seemingly healthy...140 pounds, 5ft,10"...and have been in chronic pain for 14 years. I tried every modality available apart from surgery (over my dead body). I initially pooh-pooh'd Dr. Sarno's TMS theory, even though i display just about every aspect of TMS. I consider myself open-minded (apparently not that open-minded in hindsight:-))but have just re-listened to his teachings and am having to consider this very seriously. My question i suspect emotional repression (i had a pretty unhappy childhood, but never let myself use it as an excuse for my actions etc..)how do i get this psychological approach into action? I live in Hawaii and as far as i know, there is nobody here who deals with the subject of TMS. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. I do visit the west coast of the US a few times a year, so i could track someone down there, but i am a big believer in helping myself, so i would rather be able to do that. Hope you are feeling happy and pain-free. That is where I'd like to be. Sincerely, Dave.

Q: Hi, My question is what type of treatment might you suggest for a coccyx that is tucked under to the right, as well as segmented? Also, the left side of my sacrum is out of alignment. I am at a bit at a loss. I have been dealing with this so far for 1 yr. and 9 months or so and am in extreme pain and discomfort-sitting, standing, lying down, but especially sitting. It has impacted my life fully, despite the fact I try to be above it all and put on a happy face. I have had many internal coccyx manipulations by a chiropractor I trust, however it didn't help more than briefly. I have had acupuncture. I have worked with a pelvic floor doctor to relax the muscles which seem to be super tight in the anal area, as well as a bit pelvically. These muscles are possibly holding my coccyx in the wrong place. I am seeing a new person to help work on the ligaments in the area. I have had an mri and x-ray which showed the coccyx tucked and veering to the right but nothing else really abnormal,except a lot of inflammation. It has been suggested to me to have a lidocaine and marcaine shot in order to act as a local anesthesia and then hopefully in turn the muscles will stop spasming and relax enough that the muscle work I do will eventually work. Caudyl shots and cortisone shots have been suggested. I am in a place of desire to head towards a solution, not something that will mask the pain. I am frustrated and need help. Do you have any ideas? Karen

Q: Hi there......I have been getting chronic sciatica pain running from the left buttock down my leg to the ankle. I have just had a CT scan of the lumbar spine which shows up as : mild diffuse annular disc bulges at the L4/5 and L5/S1 level. What does this mean and is there anything to be really concerned about. Is there anything that can be done besides an operation to help alleviate the pain. Thank you. Lee

Q: I am a 45 yr old female.I have neck and shoulder pain often but now i have a pain a few inches below my right shoulder blade close to my spine. It causes sharp pain from sudden movements and when i tilt my head down. I've never really had back problems other than my stiff neck and shoulder pain which I've had for several years. do you think maybe I've just strained a muscle? Nette

Q: Hi, I am 54 yrs. old and I have endured serious back and neck pain since I was 28 yrs. old. I was in a car accident when I was 28 which is when some of the lower back pain began with spasms. A few years later I began having pain in the upper center of my spine. At times it would come out of no where and would drop me to my knees. The clinic (we'll just call it 'K' would tell me that it was nerves and began treating my like a mental case. I would beg them for help and they would throw pain meds at me and send me home. I finally demanded that they do an ultra sound of my gall bladder since my Mother had had a diseased one and guess what, it was severely diseased and all of the pain I was having at those times was me passing gall stones. Because I was having pain in my back and not in the front where it is more common they dismissed it. After the test proved me right my Dr changed her attitude with me for the worst and treated me in a rude manner.

I am now with a new insurance and clinic but still having problems with my upper back and lower back. Since the car accident as mentioned earlier (about 8 yrs. later) there is a white spot on my ex-ray exactly where some of the severe pain is but the Dr.s tell me that it is just normal degeneration. The pain on a scale of 1-10 can reach an 8 when it flares up. I get pain under my right shoulder blade which becomes debilitating and reaches a pain level of an 8-9. I then began hurting up my neck and into the base of my skull. The right side of my neck swells up as well. My sinus's block up which adds to my head aches. My right ear becomes so tender on the outside it will wake me up from a dead sleep and hurts to touch it. It also makes crunching sounds when I move it. (My dr. said "yes, mine does also when I move my ear so just don't move it). sheesss.

Now my lower back also flares up beginning with the right buttocks. I get deep dull pain which moves up to the lower back which begins to feel tight and brittle. The latest problem I am having is pain in my right toe, arch and thigh just above the knee which is also where I have lost an inch of muscle. The pain in my toe hurts so badly it's like if you could imagine someone cutting off the tip of your toe. Imagine how raw and painful it would feel left unattended. Years ago I had slipped on my stairs and landed on my tail bone and after an xray the dr. laughed because my coccyx bone was bent up almost in half.

I have always been an active woman who loves life but today I am limited on everything I do. If I use my arms too much like doing my hair, cooking etc. I end up with my shoulder feeling fatigued and then pain. I am so tired of hurting, so tired of pain pills (they have my on 180 vicodin a month) and I get no answers other than "you need to get off of the pain meds". gosh really? that is what I tell them I hate the meds. I have had an MRI done but that shows nothing worthy of surgery, Some narrowing of the spine in two places but not enough for the pain I am having.

I am going in for another MRI for my neck ordered by a neurosurgeon and xrays for my hips to see if there might be a problem there but I am so out of hope. I have been passed around and put down so many times and yet the pain never goes away. I am a toughy and can endure a lot but I feel I am running out of endurance and patience. I know my body very well and I know that there is something wrong. I do also have neuphritis which was diagnosed when I was pregnant for the first time when I was 20 yrs. old. I lose a trace amount of protein through my urine but I have never had any real problem because of this. If these new tests don't show something I don't know what else to do or where to go. If you have any suggestions I would be greatly appreciative. Sorry I wrote so much yet it is just a tiny bit of my whole medical nightmare. Thank you. Marilyn

Q: My friend - is a 53yr old male who had an anterior discectomy C6-C7 in 2003. Two months later due to his complaints of worse pain they went in through the back of the neck. No relief. He tries every pain relieving option (acupuncture, T.E.N.S., massage, pain patches, all kinds of medication - just ONCE and then declares "it doesn't work". He has a long history of alcohol and drug abuse, has been advised to seek anger management therapy, attempted suicide once (overdose alcohol and pills)- diagnosed with severe mood disorder. Endless visits to MD, Neurologists, Orthopedic surgeons, pain management doctors. All say the same thing - MRI's, CAT SCANS, X-rays, Physical exams reveal nothing to indicate a physical cause for the excruciating pain he says he experiences. His family wants nothing to do with him because he cries "pain" one minute and then is on the golf course the next minute. They feel he is using his "neck pain" as a carte blanche to get drunk and use drugs to ease his suffering. As his friend I do not know what to say to him anymore. I see his family's point as I too have noticed that when it serves him he can participate in sports, walk briskly 5 miles a day, yet after always claims he suffered through the pain just to be able to play golf, basketball and exercise. Could the pain be real? Marie

Q: My husband had l4 l5 operated on and he came out of surgery with no use of foot, leg buttocks. what can we do? he is wearing a leg brace and he is also a construction worker. is this permanent damage? Sheila

Q: I was involved in a rear end collision back in June at 64 miles an hour and sustained disc herniations and ruptured disc in C3C4C4C5 disc bulging C4C5 have straitening of the cervical lordosis have nerve damage in the C4 and C6 nerve roots also disc herniations in L4L5 L5S1 lower back. I was reading articles that you have. I am in pain every day. I have severe muscle spasm that start at the back of my neck down my shoulder blade down my rib cage then across my back. I go for therapy have had the injections in my neck with no releif soon to have done on my back, and i am totally frustrated. Doctors have said no surgery at this point in time but I can not take this pain much longer. If I rest and do nothing and not move my head up and down or side to side the muscle spasms are less, but I can't live like this. I have never been so miserable never missed work a day in my life been working since I was 14 now 51 and I want my life back. Do you have any answers. Thanks, Cathy

Q: I have heard many good things about your book and Dr. Sarno, as well. I have been suffering from long term lower back pain and my MRI shows no problems in my spine. I feel like my personality matches the type you describe in your articles and believe that my pain may be psychosomatic. My doctor does not think so and would rather I stay on pain killers. I have been seeing him regularly for over 8 years now. I do not like this idea, but am not sure what to do. Help! Sammi

Q: Hi, I have suffered back pain for last 8 years and only 2 years ago i was diagnosed with having osteoarthritis of my spine.For some time now it has got worse and the base of my spine dips right in and is causing tremendous pain...Also after intercourse i cannot move from sheer agony as if the nerves are triggering one and other and locked together! Could you tell me if you think there is more to this than just osteoarthritis!!I have only had 1 xray which was about 7 years ago....what should i do? Louise

Q: I had my L45 disc removed 10 feb, 2007 and my back still pains what can be wrong there. I have started to go the gym and need to know what sort of exercises i should not do. Lisa

Q: I am developing chronic back pain and today am having an epidural with a lot of misgivings.I read in Dr sarnos book that in the TMS syndrome, trigger points in the back are typical. I don't seem to have them. Also most of my pain radiates to the anterior thigh which is also not common. What do you think? Hector

Q: Hi,I was very surprised to learn that back pain can be associated with emotions. I have been having severe neck/back pain for a long time. On standing my hip gives way and I am bent over and limp for a few seconds then walk fine. My neck and lower back ache and I find myself walking differently to compensate. I have been having Chinese massage for over a year using acupuncture and deep penetration massage. The Doctor says he can feel that my main back muscle from neck to spine is extremely rigid and will take some relaxing. The massage can be very painful but afterwards, there is some relief and I feel exhausted. I have been under tremendous emotional stress for several years now and wondered if this is the culmination of such stress as I have never really had back pain - not since the age of 14 and swim, and try to exercise plus yoga. However I have not had much exercise since the back problem and have invested in an infra red sauna which I find helps. I would be interested to hear your views. Regards, Valerie

Q: I have been told that I have a ruptured disc and have been trying to research what I can do to get better, everything I read states that pain radiates down the legs, my main pain is in my pelvis area, I have a burning sensation that just won't go away. The pain does not go down my legs unless I overdo it. Could my diagnosis be wrong? Jeannie

Q: I got hit in the back while shopping. The force was enough to give me a back ache and I couldn't sleep at all that night. I have yet to go to the doctor about it as they ones I've called are out of the office. I am feeling terrible dull aches that switches from the side to the center in my spinal column. I hope I don't have to get any type of surgery (whether invasive or non invasive) and that I will be able to get back "on my feet" doing normal activities and that it wouldn't hinder or change my lifestyle in the slightest. I just pray to GOD I will be alright and that he will walk with me through this unfortunate ordeal. I'm just glad I didn't fall to the ground when it happened! Suzel

Q: Hope you can help me I had a fall and badly bruised my coccyx. my right leg went over to one side. I've suffered with really bad spasms and weakness and it sometimes gets bad. I start to have a limb. this leg drives me mad at night. it goes in over drive. I've had x ray mri scan. pain in my buttock is so intense. I've had acupuncture and I have weekly hydro stretching to get more movement. can you help me? Sue

Q: I have had neck pain for over a year and a half. c-6 c-7 t-1 disk bulges and stenosis.. I've tried so many things and PT seems to help. I keep having horrible flare ups and headaches. Traction irritates my condition. I am thinking of trying decompression but it is very expensive and i don't want to have the same results as the traction... How are these treatments different and how successful is decompression therapy? Sean

Q: I am a 46 year old male, living in Cyprus and have been diagnosed with scoliosis since 1979. During this period I was very active in various sports, including football, squash, tennis and swimming. I have since been ordered by my doctor to stop all sports, excepting the last and to restrict this to gentle backstroke only. Over the last couple of years I have been really suffering from a lot of pain, numbness and tingling in many parts of the body. In order to correct the problem, I have been visiting orthopaedic surgeons, neurologists, physiotherapists and of course my GP, but with short solutions to the symptoms with the prescription of medicine. Having done some research, in order to tackle and restrict the deterioration of the curve, which is around 40 degrees on the top (thoracic) and 29 degrees on the lumber), without having to resort to any invasive treatment, I have come across the website of a Scoliosis Clinic and which has caught my interest. The treatment is based on the Schroth Method. What I would like to know is whether this clinic is registered with one the national medical associations or any other reputable association and whether in your opinion such a clinic would be helpful to me. Mario

Comment: Hi Adam, Thank you for your great articles on fibromyalgia. I wish you would expand this section of your site, since it will help many people. I tried everything physical to cure my pain (which lasted for 15 years) but nothing helped. I found some information about your site and knowledge therapy on a fibro board and came to read it for myself. Many people on the board do not like to associate their pain with emotional issues, for one reason or another, but I saw myself on every page of your site and especially your book. Your ideas are logical and have helped me to overcome about 90% of my pain. I am still working on the remaining 10%, but I know I can do it. Thanks again and keep at it, Kate Lynn

Q: i want 2 know if u can help me i'm 45 and a few moths ago i hurt my back i bent over to pick up my daughters plastic tower and my back locked up ,it has come back again but the pain is that sore i feel sick with it ,,, it is effecting my neck half way down my spine plz help me on what to do i'm 45 thanks Miranda

Q: This story relates to me WOW. I am 23 years young and have two herniated discs in the lumbar region. At times i am depressed and hopeless i must admit. As it states in the article the mind can do incredible... things, like heal your body nd can also emotionally keep one from healing. I would please like to know how you did? With first hand hand experience can you please help? Thank You and God Bless, Ebert

Q: Can a female in the age range of 30 to 40 have a normal sex life when she has L5/S1 Disc Protrusion problem ? What is the normal posture of sex advised. To bend forward and backward is denied in this situation by the Doctor. Please advise. Sudhish

Q: I suffer from intermittent neck tightness. My MRI shows left and right minimal narrowing of the neural formen secondary to uncovertebral and facet hypertrophic changes of the c 3-4. Can anybody tell me what this means and how I can try to ease this tightness. I've been told I'm not a surgical candidate. Daniel

Q: Please read my diagnosis. It's on a CD. I will try to email it to you in the next half hour. Is there any way I can avoid surgery? I have already backed out of one surgery date. The surgery was meant to take place on November 4, 2008, but I canceled at the last minute because I was too scared. In 1991 I had back surgery because 1 disk came out and had to be removed. All my back muscles were cut. It took 2 years for the excruciating post op pain to stop. Thank you. Judith

Q: Hi there Adam. I have pain and i have not seen anyone else on this site similar. I have minimal back pain, was alot more before when i twisted wrong raking 16 months ago. I have tremendous tightness in my calf and now shin. It is almost always tight. Sometimes it moves and my groin is always tight. I mean tight wear it is always on my mind. The more i exercise the tighter it gets. At first it was my low back, groin, hip, psoas area, calf. Now it is primarily my tight calf and tight anterior tibialis. I have been going to massage for trigger points for all this time. I also had lidocain injections that made it feel great but short lived (into the pectineus and adductor magnus). I am totally obsessed with this condition and I have spent alot of $$$ looking for answers.

I got an MRI and the doctor says it looks good. I have no numbness or tingling, full strength....just pain. I also have a power build and have been told that I am front loaded (meaning too much muscle on the front). I also notice more tightness the more i walk on inclines or elliptical. I also notice i have a forward lean. I am a perfectionist and have spent all of this time seeking solutions and not working. Here are my MRI results: L5-S1 Mild disc bulge which effaces the epidural fat but shows no evidence of thecal sac or nerve root compression. The neural canals are patent here. The remaining discs show no evidence of protrusion, nerve root compression or central spinal stenosis.The remaining neural canals are widely patent throughout. There are a few levels of disc dessication and degenerative endplate changes. The vertebral bodies show no evidence of compression fracture or spondylolisthesis. The conus meduallaris is normal in location and grossly normal in appearance. There are noted to be right hemilaminectomy defects at the L4-5, L5-S1 levels, likely related to the patients given history of prior right sided synovial cyst excission in 1989. No level of abnormal enhancement is seen.

**I had calf pain from the previous injury in the 80's.....had surgery....the calf pain did not disappear until 18 months later after I read Sarno's book and got pissed at my body. I had not had this pain for 19 years since except an occasional twinge. Now i think i may have had this all the time....TMS....because the cyst was smaller than the tip of my pinky the NS said. I wonder if i just re-perpetuated my TMS years later. In the last few months I am able to function most days at 80%...(except always thinking about it)...before it was like 50% and each therapist i went to could not believe how tight my quads were. In fact when i told 1 therapist that this is the bone that hurts and he said..."son, that is a muscle called the pectineus".....I am much more supple, but i fear i am loaded with TP's and my mind is making them not get blood. Please advise. Albert

Q: Sensei, whether what you write is truly helpful to me or not, I greatly appreciate the time you spend sharing your knowledge with the world, in the manor and fashion that you do. I have been going through your website almost non-stop every night now. I have read many books regarding back/spinal pain, stretching and anatomy, exercises, operations, etc. I'm in my final year of my undergraduate degree in the field of psychology and always appreciate two perspectives on a topic.

What interested me in your website is you being a martial artist. I too am a marital artist and help run an amazing school with another instructor. The school is about helping the world. But my chronic pain often leads me mentally unfit to do so, sometimes. My problem occurred about three years ago while training in BJJ. Someone dropped me on my neck and I heard a crack. One of the people there is an EMT and called it a neck spasm. I got an MRI and a consultant called it a bulging disc ans suggested to "take it easy" and see a chiropractor. After a year of no real results, i was involved in an automobile accident. A few months later I got another X-ray and now i was being told it was herniated. I contributed the chronic pain for me really not investing a whole lot of good time into recovery and also the wear and tear or the martial arts lifestyle.

Recently though, I have spent nearly every waking hour in hot yoga classes, heat/cold therapy, back exercises and muscle stimulator and all I got is temporary relief. I am willing to slow my life down, but I am not willing to quit teaching life skills to those who need it simply because I have a condition. I did not give much thought of my chronic pain being a mental condition until reading your articles. The pain is just so real to me. But within the last two years I have undergone much stress and anxiety between my mother having cancers, a good friend being diagnosed as bipolar and the constant struggle of trying to run a martial arts school based on eastern traditions in a western culture (which i think you a able to relate). I am only 24 years old and (like you) am not willing to give up on my life and helping others. How do i start? Best regards, Douglas

Q: I am just about out of ideas to try. I am a 29 year old male, about 5'8" 174 lbs. March of 08 I was walking toward a place when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head to the right and then instantly grabbed my left side of my neck in sharp pain and rubbed till it got better. Every since then my back and neck have gone downhill big time. I work at a desk and my back hurts really bad about the last 3-4 hours when I work. I have worked on my posture which I know is a factor in my every day work life. I need help with ideas on what I can do other then surgery that I haven't tried. Here is the list of what I have tried. 1. Chiropractor # 1 who did the table drop method I did not like. 2. Muscle relaxors from doctor 3. Chiropractor # 2 who used the clicker...did that for about a month 3 times a week with no results, just the you are 50-60% today. 4. MRI on my neck came back negative 5. Neurologist couldn't find anything 6. Orthopedic did not have any ideas 7. Did physical therapy for about a month and a half which helped to loosen my neck up a bit but that is about it. 8. Currently using chiropractor # 3 who does the gonstead technique for about 6 months and thinks it is a herniated disc that connects to the neck. Xrays seemed negative, except my neck was almost to phase II of a chiropractors chart for subluxation which was due to slouching I guess. I have been working on this for awhile now. I am about out of options neck is tight and now pops when I turn it side to side. My left scapula aches and sometimes hurts when moved in certain directions. My back in general seems to go down the drain when sitting for long periods of time. Thoughts?!?!?! Matt

Q: Hi, I was diagnosed with bulging discs in my cervical spine, c5 c6 c7 in April 2008. I have been undergoing pain management since then in the way of steroid injections and to date i still do not seem to be getting any better. I have seen a neuro spinal surgeon at the Wellington Hospital in St Johns Wood in London who has advised that i undergo surgery and have at least one/two of the discs replace with metal plates. This scares me so much that i have been continuing with the injections in the hope that it might heal but now i am losing faith and have no idea what to do. I am 32 with two children and am now desperately looking for answers and a cure. I so wish to get back to caring or my children and attending my much loved hobby of the gym and aerobics. I hope you can help and advise Many thanks, Nicola

Q: Hello! I have lordosis and I am currently trying to fix it. I heard that it can be fixed with physical therapy. However, I am having trouble finding a reliable chiropractor/physical therapist. Is there a web site or something where I can check the reliability of the doctor? I don't want to waste $1000+ on some money-hungry fake. Thank you and your web site has been a lot of help! Judy

Q: I was a gymnast for 10 years. Those days are long gone. I am now 26 years old and have been suffering from severe chronic back pain for, entire life really. This pain is not confined to one specific area. Sometimes it's lower, other times middle back, and lately my upper back and neck have been killing me. The pain is almost unbearable. I am only 26! This doesn't seem normal to me. I am height/weight proportionate. Should I see a doctor at this point? How can I be sure I am taken seriously and not seen as just another person fishing for pain meds? Roxy

Q: can people who have had total hip replacement in both hips have this treatment? I was not sure if I would benefit from the accu spina or traction treatment or that they are safe for people with hip prosthesis'. I've been diagnosed with DDD with disc herniations 1 cervical, 1 thoracic, and 1 lumbar along with a hemangioma of which 2 orthopedic surgeons have made no reference as to the pain I'm having. I'm tired of the conventional treatments of NSAIDS, steroid shots, oxyc, morphine just to name a few along with PT and chiropractic care which about crippled me before my hip replacements (diagnosed with bi-lateral congenital hip dysplasia after 12 years of AGONY. I'm free of the "painkiller addictions" and know what my pain threshold really is. Hoping there is help out there for me. Thanks, Nancy

Q: My name is Donna, I fell flat on my butt while playing beach tennis about four yrs. ago. In recent times i've been getting some pain in my lower back sometime sharp pains if I move or hold up after too sudden or trying to run. Also if I want to sneeze I have to bend my knees. somtime there is also some tightness. Could tell me what you think is causing this pain and what treatment woud be recommended. Regards, Donna

Q: Hi when i sit at my desk my back gets sore. I have pain down my right side, from neck to upper back. Specifically area between right shoulder blade and spine. It feels like a ball of muscles tightening and lasts for hours leaving me in agony.I have been told by a friend that when I'm in pain from this the right side of my back sticks out and looks raised. I have been seeing a chiropractor and although i feel better straight after an adjustment the pain soon returns.Any ideas what this is. Suzanne

Q: I am reading your piece on Lordosis. 3 times on 3 pages you say it doesn't cause pain and doesn't require treatment. Then you say physical therapy / exercise therapy is not a long term cure. Why is it that your comments disagree with that of nearly every other article I have read on the topic. Those articles say that the primary cause of lordosis in our society is to much sitting and obesity and that building the abs and losing weight is not only a long term cure but it is THE MOST EFFECTIVE long term cure in most cases. I don't know who's right at this point. I have an appt with my doctor in 3 days and we will see what he recommends but in the mean time the logic of these other arguments seems pretty sound to me. Ted

Q: i hope you can offer me some hope on this one! a 3 year journey of healing has me still struggling with pelvic pain. urinary/private area muscle spasm feeling. how obnoxious of a location!!. this could all be a book, but i will try to make it as short as possible. when i first got "sick", i was very sick, in a lot of pain, a weird bladder condition (which is gone), fibro (which is gone), hypo-thyroid (gone) alot of low immunity, getting sick all the time. just feeling very sick and toxic. i hardly get sick anymore. i really have healed alot through alot of detoxification, etc. but one thing (the worst symptom of course) still lingers, these pelvic, nervy feelings. they have improved, i will admit. actually NUCCA chiropractic has been some good help. but it won;t completely dissipate. and i continue needing adjustments on and off again. i always question, why won't the spine stay aligned longer than a few weeks. nothing all that physical ever was diagnosed. pelvic wise, nothing upon pelvic exam or ultrasound was found abnormal. x-rays of the spine showed only minor curvature leading to early scoliosis, which actually seemed to have disappeared in x-rays after a NUCCA adjustment. (regular chiropractors never helped, actually it made me feel more spasmed.) the x-rays otherwise showed just some minimal thinning of the discs. my back feels stiff (especially lumbar area) and my sacrum hurts on and off again. (stiff too) but i would gladly or be able to easily live with the back and occasional neck pain if the pelvic pain would just flee! the first time i experienced a urinary spasm was after a cystoscopy in 2005. the Dr. said nothing unusual happened, but yet the pain i awoke with was the worst pain I'd ever experienced in my life (and i had had 3 babies naturally!) my bladder bled for weeks after that. the severity obviously has healed from that, but the lingering on and off again muscular pelvic stuff won't completely go away. and i don't understand. i am very thankful i am better, but i'm still not normal, and am still consumed with this obnoxiousness in my pelvis! I've read Sarno's books, tried to apply his principles but to no success. i don't doubt in an emotional connection possibly, but don't know how to heal it. but i want to more than anything. i want my life back. do you have ideas that may help me in your book? p.s I've also done much "pelvic floor therapy," with no success. done cranial sacral, reflexology, massage (actually makes my spasms worse.) regular chiropractic, all with little results. the only thing that has helped is NUCCA, but it's not enough and I've been doing NUCCA now for almost a year, and i don't truly stay "in place." why, i don't know. Please help me!! i am only 33 years. my body is plenty young to heal from all this nonsense! i am so very happy to hear your success!! Amy

Q: Hello,I'm a 20 y.o. male in Australia and I've had neck pain since I was 12. I've recently discovered TMS and am in the process of Knowledge Therapy, and I am already able to do so many things I couldn't before. I can stop the pain, it now only comes and goes, after only a week of buying a Dr Sarno book. But what I'm concerned about is that I had an xray two months ago and it shows that I have a straight neck. The joints appear to be well preserved, but the neck really is almost straight, and since reading your page on Straight Neck I am concerned as to whether or not my neck is severe enough to bring about symptoms either now or later. I haven't asked my doctor but I don't think he will give me the answer I need, because they usually say it varies, possibly because lots of people have TMS. What sort of state is beyond moderate loss of lordotic curve? Nathan

Q: Hello, i have had what i believe is sciatica caused be a prolapsed spinal disc, it's been 5 months now and I'm growing increasingly concerned, at first it was epically painful down the back of both legs and i could barely stand to be still let alone move, but after about a month the pain went away and numbness was left from the tops of my legs all the way down the back, as the months have gone on i have regained the ability to almost walk normally again, but to try and do anything else more ie: run; just doesn't happen, anyone have any idea how long it could be before i start being able to do normal activities again like sports and gym etc... my friend had sciatica and it kept him out of sport for a year, but everything i read online says it should heal within a few weeks. any feedback would be appreciated. Sam

Q: My lower left back pain where the round knot is gives me so much pain. why is it that anything at waist level really hurts like dishes or cooking or working at my craft bench. the pain is unbearable and sometimes takes my legs from under me and i lose my breath etc. i just want to know how to fix it not pain pills just get rid of it. my doctor treats me with hydrocodone and that makes me nauseous not to mention that i do not want to get hooked on pain pills. i snore and i stop breathing in my sleep so many times. all of this is affecting my work and life. i feel so tired i can't even do much anymore and now. i am gaining weight. i need a doctor who cares about these problems to help me diagnose it and not just give me pills. i have a ton of those pills that i rarely take what can i do?? PLEASE I AM BEGGING YOU FOR ANSWERS, Heidi

Q: Hi Adam, I'm 23 and have had a back and leg problem for 2 years now. The problem started in my back ( right lower side ) - sharp pain, when I was running but passed after I stopped for a while. The next day weight training, something went in my back so to speak. I stopped the weights, but continued to play football ( soccer ) with pain, 3 months later a cold leg developed, inner right inner, at this point I stopped everything and just did all sorts of exercisers, treatment, muscle balance in the main etc

These days I am functional, muscle balance was my main break though, I just have a weakness on the right lower side of my back when bending down, but the main issue is this ischemia in the right inner leg, when sitting in the main, the cause is either the tight muscles, iliacus, psoas, pectineus, adductors, with trigger points / knots, or my mind causing ischemia

I have a small bugle at s1 which is moderately degenerate, moderate facet growth, moderate stenosis, I don't think this is of any concern though To me the cause is trigger points, knots, muscle balance and therefore alignment or the mind. My right groin area still feels jammed, but I have improved it with tp work, massage etc which has helped with the coldness, but it's still there, what do you think is generating the coldness, mind or muscles knots. Thanks very much mate, Paul

Q: Lumbar 4 & 5 surgery, screws put in two years ago, sciatic pain eased for awhile but pain returned so bad I can barely put left foot on the floor. And am trying to walk 2 miles a day, half mile at a time, and it seems to get worse and after doing some exercises recommended now have pain down both legs past the knee. At 71, I am losing muscle mass quickly and that means losing strength and I'm getting very angry about it. I want to keep doing all the things I've always done, which include climbing small mountains, ladders, digging in my flower beds, driving across country, etc., all of which I have been unable to do. Any suggestions? Pat

Q: Hello, I have suffered from intermittent cauda equina for 24 years and to read this site sounds like every conversation I ever had with a Workers Comp. case worker. To say the pain from a herniated disc is temporary is truly false. Paul

Q: Hi, I'm 15 years old and my mom has been suffering from back pain for the past 6 months from a bulging disc in her lower back. It hasn't been very long, but my mom describes it as excruciating and close to unbearable pain. She has medications, but much of the time doctors refuse to and/or cut down on her supply, probably because of the addictive nature of the drug. She has been receiving shots in her back to hopefully cure the pain, but so far it is to no avail and no one has yet deemed her a candidate for surgery. From a daughter's standpoint, it is torturous. I hate seeing her in this condition: so depressed and hurting constantly. She cried for nearly three hours last night because she was so fed up with dealing with the pain and the lack of empathy or understanding she is getting from the pharmacists and doctors. My own sadness and frustration is indescribable. So, please, if you can provide me with some real back pain/depression management techniques that truly would help her, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, I'd like to know if YOU think she might be a candidate for surgery and who would take her in. I'm afraid she might be close to totally snapping, though I know she'll be strong as long as it takes. Thank you. Megan

Q: Hi Adam, I am writing you this letter in desperation. I am 23 years old. For the past year I have been struggling with severe lower back pain. When I had my X-ray taken I was diagnosed with a thinning disk of L5/S1 (and also the second lowest disk above the L5/S1.) The doctor said it is arthritis. So, I went for physical therapy, and traction, with no results. After no results with physical therapy and traction, they took my MRI and the back specialist said he could not find anything out of the ordinary. He claims besides 2 thinning/compressed lower disks, there is nothing else. He said it is going to be a problem I have to deal with because there is no cure; there is no fixable way to solve my 2 lower compressed disks.

I used to squat and dead-lift very heavy weight before my injury so I believe I may have compressed the disks (the doctor said this may be a possibility.) I was diagnosed with mild scoliosis when I was a child, but never really did anything to correct it because it wasn't affecting me (I thought I would let you know in case you believe this has anything to do with my disk problem.) I can't sit down for longer than 1 hour without my lower back/buttocks KILLING me. I can't do anything I used to do (sit for longer than 1 hour, drive for longer than 30 minutes, lift weight, run.)It is really consuming my life. Is there any cure to my thinning/compressed disks? I am very conscious about the way I sit, and anything that is not considered good "back practice." I ensure I try and do everything right. PLEASE, please help me Adam, Jay.

Q: Hello there, I have read your story and am hoping you may be able to offer me some advice or help to try to overcome my severe neck pain. I am at the end of my mind as I feel I have tried everything... and still no relief. My story is as follows: I have had upper back ache for many years (I am only 28 but feel I have had this complaint for over 12 years). Around 12 yrs ago I went to the doctors and was advised it was a postural problem. I was unable to stand properly straight due to stiffness. My back ache got worse around 2 years ago (after moving to the States new job at computer etc) and I decided to see a Chiropractor. After over a year of treatment (kept thinking I was getting better... but then relapse) I stopped going. By this point my upper back was almost completely pain free but since then I have had excruciating neck ache (neck never hurt before this). I have tried massage (feels better for a while but not completely fixed, then comes back), acupuncture (also feels better but once I stop going it comes back)... I have tried loads of different neck pillows (the one I have found to be the best has a hole in the middle and I use this now). Every morning I wake up stiff so I do stretches and feel a little better after. My neck gets worse after I move it around but sometimes I feel I need to crack it (it cracks over and over again). Once cracked there is slight relief but then it feels worse again. The muscles in my neck are clenched and tight all the way up into the bottom of my head and all the way to my upper back/ shoulder area. I have very limited movement in my neck and it hurts to turn to to either side. I could go on forever with my complaints... but I think I have given you a good overview. Any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated- I am at my wits end.... I know computer work is not helping but I have no choice as this is over 5 hours of my day every day. Thanks in advance. Best regards, Sarah

Q: my wife is scheduled for back surgery and I know that she will be on her back for a while. I saw a pair of eyeglasses that are mirrored and angled and allow someone on their back to see a TV and am trying to find out where to get them. Can you help? Dan

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