Back Pain Questions and Answers
Archive 2007 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: 7 months ago I experienced some severe sacroiliac problems in my lower back. The pain became so severe that I could not feel sensation in my toes. I was hospitalized for 5 days and was put on morphine for the pain, muscle relaxants, etc. The trauma to the nerves, or at least this is what I'm being told, left my knee very unstable. I have relatively no pain in the knee area during the night hours, but the longer I am on it during the day, the more pain I experience. The knee has been left with a dulled sensation when touched and the pain and numbness is more on the inner side of the knee. I've been told to keep on walking for exercise, etc., but it has not gotten any better and I am somewhat concerned that it has even become slightly worse. What would be your recommendations? Kathy


Q: I injured by back recently and have been diagnosed with a herniated lumbar disc. One of my doctors said the herniation is on the left side of my back but I have pain in the middle back, with shooting pain and tingling down down my left thigh. Is this possible. Thanks,Kathy

Q: Hi Sensei, I am Guru,I had horrible back pain 2 years ago which made me stay in the bed for 2 days...I didn't do much about that other than taking pain killers.Ever since then I feel I have a back problem...though I never had that kind of severe pain again..slight pain in my lower back and keeps on coming once in a while..whenever I get pain I used to stop going to the gym for a few days...but I am (or was) always worried about lifting things, the way I sleep, bending etc. Yesterday again I had this slight pain and was thinking it is high time that I consult a doctor...while I was looking for a good doctor, I bumped into your site today..went thru a few articles..ordered your book. I have yet to read your book but I am already feeling good I thought of missing the I am like, what the heck..I am going to the gym... tonight I will start reading your book hoping that could well be the best web site I have ever bumped in to. Guru

Q: Hi, my name is Jodi. I hurt my back in 94 while lifting and turning with a 5 lb box, I remember a feeling of total pain in my mid back and my right arm going numb.I went to the Dr that day, she told me to go home and lay down and put heat on it, I did. The next day I was worse, my neck has had a lump on the base of it since then and it goes to the left. I was told my problem was T7, 8, & 9, but nothing serious. I had a steroid shot that year, { was 34 } at the time, that made me worse, couldnt drive or do anything, the pain was too bad. The specialist told me that the problem was " my age ". I thought that was strange because I wasn't very old. {and my whole back leans to the left} I went to physiotherepy for one and a half years, that did no good. They told me that there was nothing they could do for me so I stopped going. I have had an MRI that came back as moderate scoliosis. But that is not explaining the T7,8 & 9. I reached a plateau after about 2 years, I had the pain. If I watched what I did I could somewhat handle it. I have been on so many meds that I have to take previcid because they have messed up my stomach. In 12 years I have also had 2 bone scans, which came back normal. About 2 years ago I fell off that plateau lifting my 1 year old grandson. I have been in TERRIBLE pain since and the symptons have gotten worse. I still have the problem with the thoracic part of my spine and neck, now I have the entire back right down to the bottom of my tailbone. Tingling in my arms and legs, heavyness in them also, they turn color either red or purple. My legs have given out on me 3 times in the last 3 years where I fall down. Its like there is nothing there. I have a really bad lean to the left. I go to a chiropractor and a massage therapist once a week and we are not getting answers from anyone {been kind of put on the back burner because its been so long}. I had a bone density test done last week, that was normal but now I have border line severe scolosis. The mid back is unbearable to the touch. I went to a bone specialist a couple of months ago and he told me it was my age catching up with me, I wasn't pleased with that appointment, he never took his hand off the door knob. I really dont know what to do, I keep going to the chiropractor and massage therapist because it does give me a bit of relief, but it is expensive for maybe an hour of relief if I am lucky. I dont do any exercise or walking because movement makes it worse. I cant handle any more. The mid back so bad at times it hurts to breathe, its like a hurt that is on the inside. I dont know how to explain it . The creepy crawling feeling bugs me. There are times when just my spine is really painful. I dont get much sleep, when I do sleep the only way I can is on my right side with 5 pillows under my head and shoulders. Laying on my back is OUT of the question. I guess on everything else I am asking besides what you think is wrong with my back, why do the specialists tell me that my back is normal, its just my age. And the big problem there is that it is in the report they send my dr so not much gets done. I am taking antidepressents because of the pain. I have been classified as being "severe chronic" Any insights you might have would be a great help. Thank you very much, Jodi

Q: I have severe pain and discomfort under and around my right shoulder blade in my back that radiates around into my right chest just to where the ribs meet the sternum. It has now started to cause numbness in my right arm into the index finger and thumb. I have had a nerve conduction study, as well as an MRI of my neck, and a CT scan of my chest and no one can seem to find the cause. I had the first onset of the shoulder pain shortly after delivering my daughter seven years ago, I received an epidural for this delivery. The pain has not gone in this time. Could you please help me with this as I have been to several doctors with no help. I don't know what else to do. I thank you so much for your time in this matter. Sincerely, Joey

Q: Dear Sir, first of all congratulations on an excellent website! I have suffered with back pain and tension headaches for too long and am determined to fight back. Dr Sarno's book has taken me along a certain length of the path but now I need further guidance and I feel your book will help. My question is quite simple, is it possible to buy the book in lieu of downloading it via pdf as, one, i am on 'dial-up', and two, i am running an ancient win98 system!! If it's pdf only could you tell me how many kb or mB it is so i can prepare for all the a4 paper needed! Regards to you and your staff in the USA from here in UK and a Happy Christmas to all! Matthew

Q: I had surgery back on 1st of Sept. 2006. They replaced the L5 with a metal disc. I have no pain in my back or legs now. That part is great. The problem that I am haveing is ED which I did not have at all before surgery. My surgeons PA warned me that ejecculation my be a problem after surgery. But now there isn't hardly anything going on. I sometimes get an erection and it dies quickly. I have a beautiful loving wife and she is not the problem. The surgeon says that he did nothing to cause the problem and seems reluctant to help me. I am 59 years old (YOUNG). Do you have any advice. Oh by the way good web site. Jesse

Q: I have backpain and everytime it happens my left leg and arm become numbed. I suspect that I'm pregnant right now. Gerlyn

Q: Just curious. I had an EMG had radiculopathy in C5 area. Can this cause tingling in face, more specific cheek bone??? I have tingling in lower left arm, also have ridiculopathy in lumbar spine which causes tingling in left leg. thanks, John

Q: Need immediate help/info--daughter has badly herniated disc L5-S1; was scheduled for surgery until pre-op bloodwork showed pregnancy at approx. 6-8 wks. gestation; surgery cancelled. she is 10+ pain level. My heart is breaking and I am so afraid for her. Please let me know if you have any HONEST and PROVEN relief information. I have read that surgery CAN be done on a pregnant woman as written by an anestheseologist in a journal somewhere; is this true?? Bev

Q: I have had lower back pain for nearly 2 years. I have tried all the traditional methods except surgery. I just started using the DRX9000. My questions are two fold: What is your opinion of it and what cost should I pay to use it? Thanks, Jim

Q: I have two herniated discs. L2/3 and L3/4. Have been in IDD therapy for three weeks. Sometimes I think it helps then it dosen't feel like it at all. Question. For the past two weeks I have had burning in my middle toes and sometimes the ball of my foot, bi-laterally. Help me what is going on? Lynn

Q: hi,I am 42 years old, I was diagnosed to have lumbar radicular syndrome by my doctor (lower back pain, affecting the left leg). My doctor referred me to physio therapy. I go there twice a week. My therapist does 10 minutes massage for my lower back and then for 10 more minutes my therapist places 2 electrical pads on my lower back to reduce the pain. I take 30 minutes walk everyday, in addition I do simple light exercises 3 times per day advised by my therapist. All these activities help me, but do not cure me. I take sometimes diclofenac or ibuprofen to kill the pain but only when necessary. Sitting for more than 15 minutes is difficult and painful. I get weak legs when standing up for more than 30 minutes so I need to sit down. Lying flat on by back is painful, on the right the pain is reduced. I have been like this for 2 months now, but before this period I had general back pain for about 3 months and pain gradually developed until it settled in the lower back. It is very annoying. I would appreciate if you could help me by giving me futher advise on how to reduce the pain or to be totally cured. Many thanks. Sona

Q: Hi, my name is Julia, and I am fourteen years old. I was diagnosed with Sherman's Kyphosis with a curve of 67 degrees. It is only noticeable in the x-rays. I would like to know if theres anything else I could do besides bracing. I have a brace and am supposed to wear it 23/24 hours a day. Please let me know if there's somthing that will help me besides bracing and stretching. Thank you

Q: Hello savior of backs. I have an issue that I will attempt to describe. Because of your website, I am cerain I have a pinched nerve, but I know little else or a remedy. I am a 24 year old, active basketball player that no longer posseses the ability to play. I awoke one morning after a previous nights basketball game and felt acute pain located in the lower left side of my back, where the last rib meets my spine. I consistently feel pain when I perform a sit-up @ 10 degrees or when I lay flat on my back with my head propped up more than 5 inches. When I stand up straight and look down to read, the tilting of my head causes the lower left side of my back to go increasingly numb. I have been taking advil, 3 times daily and have suffered for 6 weeks in-a-row. The main reason I write to you is because I do not possess health insurence. If you have a cure or a descriptive answer related to my symptoms, I would be forever in your debt. Aaron

Q: My mum had surgery on her back and had second sugery to repair a cfs leak please could you tell me how they repair it. Vicky

Comment: Hi, This is a very helpful site. I looked up 'Bowen Therapy'. Is this the same as Myotherapy or Myopathy (I'm not sure of the correct name) as my brother and father had this treatment. My brother had a bike accident and has had chronic back pain ever since (approx 12 years). He has been going to Physio's and Chiropracters for all these years and would receive some relief but generally always had problems. One of our family friends who is in her 70's and has had back problems her whole life went to this Bowen Therapist for approx 7 sessions and hasn't had a problem since (approx 2 years). My brother has since been for 3 sessions and in 6 months hasn't had anymore pain. This was from going to Chiro / Physio up to 3 times a week for 12 years to 3 visits of this treatment and no pain! Having had a fall 5 years ago and being consistently in pain ever since, I have tried everything and after hearing this, went to receive this treatment however did not go to the same person as he is a few hours away. I went 10 or so times and felt relief at different times but am no better.After seeing this 'miracle' with my brother and family friend, I can say I truly believe in this therapy however, it seems extremely evident that it depends on who you go to and their experience. Mary

Q: Dear Sensei, Your site is great and so comprehensive. Thanks for being there and for all your information. This past month I have been experiencing pain in my right shoulder blade area which permeates to my neck, right arm and down to my fingers which feels numb and always aching. I don't get much sleep at night because of this pain. My husband has been massaging me though it hurts and just giving it attention seems to help a bit. However, I started going to a chiropractor, took x-ray and it showed I had a herniated disc, plus my neck seems to be going the wrong way. Funny huh? He worked on me 3 times and suggests regular treatment. He even suggested coming if there was no pain eventually as tension and stress seem to cause back pain, etc. So I agree with you that this is not working to stop the cause but just working with the pain. He also said that massage is bad for me. I live in Okinawa and have started going to the onsen for water relief and relaxation, and hope this will relax my muscles, and maybe help if it is oxygen deprivation that you seem to also suggest could be a cause for a pinced nerve, as the chiropractor said it was this. He said to use cold compresses on the areas that are painful, whereas you suggest heat. I also heard before that it's good to alternate bewteeen the two. Which is right? I had been going to the gym regularly, but stopped during the holiday season. I think that once I resume exercise this should also help. By the way I am 55 years old if that matters. I appreciate any suggestions you can give me. I know this is not a lifetime pain as I believe in God's healing powers and prayer and that there are lessons and spiritual reasons for physical afflictions, but if I do what I can, then He will do the rest. God bless you! Honey

Q: My Chiropractor took an ex-ray of my back 6 years ago and then took another one recently. The ex-ray showed I had developed spurs on my spine. Is there anything I can do to further prevent any other spurs and is there any thing I can do to reduce the ones already formed? What causes these things anyway? Thank you, Nancy

Q: I in a lot of pain. Am currently taking morphine for the pain. Bulging discs on L4-5 and L5-S1. Am from Canada and find treatments here are a bit behind those in the states. Need immediate relief from this pain. L5-S1 bulged first time 18 years ago and L4-5 in summer of 2005. Please reply ASAP with some suggestions regarding good clinics to contact in the US. Sincerely, Jody

Q: I have 2 degenerated lumbar discs. Will this DRX help me and how much will it cost and where can I get this proceedure done in the Jupiter FL 33458 area ? Jerry

Q: Thanks for this site. I'm a fellow martial artist, ready for a fight in the dojo, and have suffered bloody sparring injuries without so much as a murmur, but just now reduced to teeth-chattering, shouting agony by a back spasm producing the worse pain I;ve ever experienced. It's helpful to know I'm not the only one, and your description of the agony of the spasm makes me feel less alone, and less of a weakling. I don't know what the prognosis is, but thanks for the advice. Grahame

Q: Hello. My name is James and I am 18 years. I am experiencing some back pain wich is of course the reason why I write to you. Recently, about a week ago, I to was playing basketball. I don't normally play a lot of a basketball but I regularly run so I am in shape. Anyway, I had been playing for about 2 hours I guess when I began to experience what I thought to be a runners cramp in my lower left back.(A stitch in my back/side) I can't name an event, like a very high jump or hard fall that caused it, it was more that I just noticed it and as I continued to play it worsened. I came home and went to bed thinking I would be better in the morning. However, when I awakened I realized the pain had not gone. It has lasted over the last week. It doesn't hurt all most of the time and actually it is barely noticeable except when I run, jump, or run up stairs but then it hurts pretty bad. Not a sharp pain, more a strong, sometimes throbbing ache. I think the pain is specifically located directly to the left of my spine, right at or maybe an inch above my waistline. There are two bone nubs (if you will), one directly to the left and right of my spine, at that location. I am told these may be the top of my sacrum. Anyway, the pain seems to be under that left bone. It hurts especilly when I am running jumping or landing with my left foot. (I noticed the pain subsided when I would more gallop, using my right leg as much as possible.) Anyway, I orginally thought it to be a pinched nerve posssibly because my muscles don;t seem espicially tight and because it almost felt like something was being pinched, as a said, like and intenses runners cramp, not a muscle cramp and but a stitch in my side/back. Anyway, I have experienced no numbness or tingling though so I am not really sure what it is. If you have any thoughts on what it is or what i could do to help it that would be greatly appreciated. As I said, it has really not changed in a week except to get a bit worse when I tried to play basketball again. Thank you, James

Q: My husband just had a second disectomy Nov 9,2006. Got a cold (4 wks post-op) coughing sneezing. Is it possible he re-herniated the disk? Says the pain is different then before surgery. He has sharp pain in the buttocks. He is doing exercises, says they don't bother him while doing them, just hurts later. He Doesn't eat right. Michelle

Q: I'm a 40 year old male that first experienced back pain 3 years ago. I have been seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis since then. My spine was curved and she fixed that but I still experience other back problems. Since August I started to experience occasional "moving" back pain! But 5 weeks ago (after slipping on some ice)the soreness/pain has become quite intense. The x-ray indicated the bones spine is OK but I have 2 spots/marks and some arthritis. The pain moves every few days from all over my back/chest -left/right side. Have you heard of this? Thanks. Tony

Q: I located this site through a tension myositis syndrome link. Are you familiar with Dr. Sarno and his theories on TMS? If you are familiar with him do you believe his theory? I suffer from fibromyalgia and arthiritis along with IBS, Iritis, acid reflux etc... His philosopy is that all this, in addition to chronic back pain is attributed to repressed anger or repressed emotions and if a person truly believes this is the real problem they will be healed of their pain. HMMMM!!! Candy

Q: I have burning down my leg and feet also in the muscle of legs. Wondering what it could be...Selma

Q: Came acrosss your site, mentioned on the TMSHelp forum. I'm 45, have suffered from 20 years of lower back pain, tried everything conventional and alternative just like you. Also had 2 microsurgeries for herniated discs, supposedly minimally intrusive, but the last one has left me in severe pain and quite disabled.Comment: So many seem to say how much Sarno's approach has dramatically helped them, even cured them. This has not been my experience unfortunately, at least with back pain. I have all 4 of his books (plus Scott Brady's plus Monte's ebook), read them over and over and injested them throughout the past two years, done the work, dug deeply into and unravelled my inner workings and repressed emotions, gone regularly to a good psychotherapist, practiced mindfulness as much as is humanly possible. I have come to a greater sense of inner peace, understanding and awareness, and the chronic fatigue syndrome I also suffered from for years has pretty much dispersed (one big victory!) But . . . there has been no movement whatsoever in my low back pain. In fact it has worsened.Now I fit the Sarno personality profile and see myself in his description, and have learned from his books not to be scared by the structural 'diagnoses', and I do believe they really are mostly bogus. But despite this I find that ignoring or challenging the pain as so many say to do to be disastrous - setbacks from pushing my limits have lasted months. The pain, at least for me, is not harmless at all and can leave me completely unable to function.Also, I keep moving as much as I can within my limits, and have to do gentle stretches, mobility movements, stabilization core work (Based on Rick Jemmet's book) and self trigger point massage daily, well over an hour a day, or I deteriorate rapidy. I tried to discontinue all these 'physical' treatments as Sarno and his followers say, but within a few weeks could barely get out of bed and it took a couple more months to get back to where I was before I stopped the daily exercise/massage work. Since I have to live and support myself and family, it is just not an option to give up these exercises as they do give a window of a couple hours where I can almost function. They work better than any pain pills, at least temporarily.So to be honest I'm at a loss. I've come to the conclusion that either Sarno/TMS is really not the answer to my particular back problem, or that my subconscious is really pulling one serious job on me. I've dug into virtually everything that could be lurking down there, about all that is left ongoing is the extreme frustration caused by the pain and ongoing disability itself.Sorry to go on, but I thought I'd share my story. I do appreciate that you dont share the knee jerk negativity towards all physical approaches that Sarno and many of his followers do. You also seem to imply that not all lower back pain is 'psychosomatic'. You are not as extreme about it and that is quite refreshing.

Question: Is there anything in your books or your approach that is any different than Sarno's? Just wondering if there honestly might be any 'secrets' or insights that you have, as a former sufferer, that he doesn't have that might be of help to myself, someone who has truly seen and tried it all.I have a feeling we may be only scratching the surface of what may be going on in complex lower back pain, physically and psychologically. The understanding of it all is still a work in progress. But perhaps we are getting closer. With best regards, Peter

Q: I appreciate your website and read it with interest because I seem to find myself in the same situation with being diagnosed with a lateral herneated disk L4:5 and two small tears in the disks directly above and below plus mild osteoarthritis in the facet joint. I am more or less going through what you describe and have been suffering on and off since my early 20's I am now 37. Like you suggest I have been trying to work through all of my issues both emotional and physical to try and resolve this pain. I have always been overweight, but last year I made a huge effort to loose the excess 60lbs and I have been excercising regularly for about 3 years but I increased my work outs to incorporate core strengthening excercises as the weight came off. I regularly visit a chiropracer who has made a difference and gotten me off all of the muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications. I had faith that I was following the correct strategy for a life without backpain. The emotional triggers also crossed my mind as I have read the book by John Sarano. During the summer months I took a trip home to the UK and during this time I was so dissapointed to have a bad episode with my back and spent the whole two weeks with nasty sciatica and acute backpain. I spent three days of my holiday flat on my back to prepare myself for the journey back home to Canada. I did manage to find a chiropractor who managed to get me back in shape for the journey home and I was fine for the flight. This episode stressed me considerably as three weeks later I had to travel to Victoria BC to attend a conference for work. In fact I was so stressed that I was actually suffering from panic attacks at the mere thought of a 7 hour flight. Despite talks with my chiropractor, trips to the massage therapists I really didnt want to go on this trip, I just had a bad feeling. Friends around me convinced me it was in my head, stress related and once I was on the way I would be fine. Needless to say I wasnt fine and that week was the worst ever in my whole life. My back went chronic from sitting on the flight and when I arrived at the hotel I was in so much pain that I had bad sciatica, backpain and numbness down both legs. I was really stressed and frightened but I was determined to attend some of the conference so I went for the first day and gave my talk in chronic pain. I just remember talking but my brain was completely detached from my body and it was like I wasnt really there.

When I could no longer manage the pain, as lying down did not help and the ice machine in the hotel was broke I found a local doctor and went to see if I could get some pain killers. The doctor would not prescribe me any medication but sent me to a physiotherapist and I also found a local chiropractic centre that had massage therapist. I had treatent everyday but the back was so painful that I felt physically ill while the therapist was working on my back. I cried so much and I was so stressed at the thought of having to sit on a plane for 7 hrs then a 2 hr car ride home when I couldnt walk or even bare to sit for 10 mins.

The night before the flight back I cried the whole night, luckily a friend was flighing back with me so he packed up all of my stuff and carried all of my luggage. When I got on the plane the effects of my pain killers were already wearing off and I had taken so many that week that I was simply afraid to overdose as they didnt touch the pain. Furthermore I hadnt slept in 7 nights as my pain was so severe so I was exhausted. Dont ask me how, but somehow I managed to survive the flight but when we arrived back in Toronto I asked friends who picked us up to take me to hospital where I finally got morphine related pain killers and sleeping pills so that I could rest.

This happened to me in September and I was paid up to attend a friends wedding in Mexico in December. I managed the trip to Mexico but suffered pain throught the whole holiday and had an acute attack which knocked me out for almost 3 days. I couldnt sit through the entertainment at the hotel as my back was too painful sit and I couldnt enjoy my evenings as I cannot dance anymore because of my back. I actually got a massage on holiay to try and relax my back muscles but afterward the whole of my lower back became so inflaimmed that it was actally physically visible as a swollen ring. When I got back home depression set in and I spent Christmas feeling very depressed and hopeless about everything. Depression ruined my healthy eating plan and backpain made excercise difficult so I have piled back on 40lbs since my initial chronic attack in September.

The doctor perscribes me pain killers, anti-inflams and muscle relaxants and referred me to a physiotherapist and an anasthesiologist, I continue to see my chiropractor and try not to take prescribed medications. My physiotherapist told me that it looked like I have a disk issue but that there was a facet joint problem which was proven recently by the MRI scan. The chiropractor thinks that my pain is mostly coming from my head or mostly an emotional trigger. It is true I am in a couple of difficult relationships emotionally and I have a very challenging job thats hard to do with constant backpain. Plus I am alone in Canada as all of my family is in the UK. I know all of these issues could be contributing to my back problems but if it is emotional then the pain is being triggered by my brain in a subconscious manner as I have really been working through my problems and practicing breathing and excercise techniques to reduce my stress levels.

I have just had the first of three epidural injections as the physiotherapist together with the anasthesiologist thought this might help to address the nerve endings that were perhaphs over zealously triggering pain in my back. Interestingly I have had no pain since I gave up doing any form of excercise after my holiday. This doesnt fit in with what is recommended at all I know, but after 4 months of chronic backpain I stopped excercising and I didnt follow a healthy diet, gained weight and my backpain just went away.

I have been really trying to find the answers in my case, I even have my physiotherapist stumped as she cannot understand my body either. Maybe I am crazy and it is all in my head and I am doing this to myself, if this is the case then I wish that I could stop. I do have issues in my life and I admit that I am not truly happy with my personal life. I dont think I have more problems than anyone else but if you have any ideas on what I can do to stop this back pain I would really appreciate your advice. How did you know in your case that your pain was being caused by something non physical? How did you change this. I have been through the devastation and depression, I dont believe that a good diet and excercise and being slim makes much difference in my case.

I used to enjoy travelling and be an outgoing fun very active person, now I have panic attacks at the thought of going away from home and my work starts to suffer as I need to travel for my job. I dont even like to make dates with friends for the weekends because if I have alot of pain I just prefer to stay at home alone as I cannot predict from one weekend to the next if I will be painfree or not. I am quite alone really.I hope that oneday I will be able to figure out what my problem is and be truly free of this nightmare condition. Melanie

Q: Please is there any way I can raise money to help my girlfriend who has had surgery on her back and is in severe pain every day. Do you know of any doctors who whould help her. She has no insurance and is in soo much pain. Help us come up with some idea to save this wonderful person who hurts so much everyday..Thank you, Ken

Q: I have had this awful pain in my back for the last 2 months. Getting worse and worse. Starts in the middle of the back, travels through shoulders and now it feels like it's my whole back, including lower back. I've been trying psysiotherapy, started massage treatments but nothing is helping. X Rays didn't show anything. Now I'm so convinced that something is wrong that I'm having a loss of appetite and not sleeping (also not sleeping because of pain). Would a Cat Scan or MRI show what the problem is? Should I insist on one through my doctor? Dina

Q: My daughter who is 20 years of age stated her knee hurt and then her big toe is numb. Does this sound like back problem to you? Vicki

Q: Whenever I have an explosive situation, such as an argument at home I will leave the situation and my back(lower)goes into throbbing sharp pain. It only does this when I have an altercation with someone. I know what your thinking...okay..but my house is filled up with crazy. Hope you have heard of this at one time or another. Candice

Q: I looked your site over. I guess I fit in that supposed small percentage of real pain sufferers. I have had back pain since I was a teenager. I have seen multiple chiropractors over the years to keep things going. I am now in my late 40's and have had MRI's on my neck and lower back, due to pain and obvious nerve impingement. My scans show obvious compression on the nerves, and due to the advancement of the degeneration of my discs, a herniation at L4 and L5. I also have endplate changes that indicate I have the type of breakdown that causes a lot of pain and inflammation over the years and is probably due to a defective gene. This is newer information I guess. Your comments about pain free breakdown must be for the people that have painless docomposing going on. I don't believe any of your suggestions here will take away pain permenantly. An object pressing on a nerve that causes the nerve to respond is going to cause something to happen. It is just a matter of what. If you are younger and have an accident that causes a sudden herniation maybe it can become pain free. If your back is undergoing a breakdown process that involves revolving bouts of inflammation, healing, scarring and breakdown. It will not be pain free and eventually disabling. Christine

Q: Today my wife slipped on the second step from the bottom of the stairs and landed hard on the bottom step, landing on her butt.She landed hard enough to knock the breath out of her. After she regained her breath she said her back hurt like a band of pain across the middle of her back. We walked around a bit because she said it hurt more when standing still. After she took some Advil and applied heat to her back the pain is now just on one disk of her spine. I've gotten her to lay down on a heating pad which has helped the muscle pain.I'm going to look through your site, but wanted to see if there was anything else we need to do. John

Q: I am 50 years old! I have been a transit bus driver for 10 years! I have taken a lot of time off work because I could not endure my pain anymore! Point less because the pain has not eased off and let alone go away! My pain used to be only located in my lower back but now it's all over my back and my neck pain is unbearable! I have been on difenac 75mg for 1 year and it does not help anymore! Ibuprofen xtra strength helps a little ! I would describe my pain on a 1 to 10 as a 9! Standing in front of the kitchen counter or shopping is agony for me! I have to go lay on the floor for 15 minutes to ease off the pain and to be able to carry on! Walking none stop is fine but it takes me half a day to be myself afterwards! I love my walk and I am never gonna give it up! I used to do everything from hiking to play tennis, badmington! Yoga is very painful so is pilates! I have been diagnosed with facet syndrome but I don't believe that's what it is because my pain is so extreme! Do you have any solution for me! I also tried injections in the spine and it only lasted 3 weeks pain free the first time and 1 week the second time! Boy did that ever felt great to be pain free! I have to finish this email because my back and neck is killing me ! I would be at the mercy of any doctor to be tested for research if they could assure me of a real diagnosis! Thank you!! Odette

Q: Hello, I am a 56 year old male and recently decided to taper off my daily dose of diazepam (valium) after taking them for 32 years. I have been through horrendous withdrawal symptoms over the past 2 years and thought the worst was over, but now taking only 1mg 3 times daily instead of 5mg 3 times daily, I find there are new problems and am having trouble figuring out if the symptoms I'm having are withdrawal symptoms or real back/neck problems. I have burning pains that run the length of my spine, but seemed to begin in my neck, just at the base of the neck. I also have what seems to be some kind of swelling right in the nape of my neck and this 'bursts' and leaks at times. As a result the area feels wet and sticky and a red rash has appeared now. I have lots of pain, but the worst sympotm of all is that I have terrible balance and feel like I am falling about like I was drunk, but I don't drink and never have done. My spine feels "rubbery" and the nack and back feels like it's just 'flopping' around at times and I just fall as though I had vertigo or similar. I do get pains in the area of my left ear at times which is very warm and seems to make the balance problem worse. I have a constant feeling of something moving through my spine and get a lot of strange tingly feelings in the spine as well. I have tried to find a casue for these symptoms, but still don't know if I'm on the right track. I have a broken nose which happened when I was assaulted app., 8 years ago and have had headache almost ever since. 2 years ago I went into hospital to have the balance problem looked at by ENT guys, but they found nothing. I did pick up an infection from the hospital though when they took a biopsy from my throat and I have been clearing my throat of a white sticky phlegm ever since. I am to go in again soon to have them look down my throat as I am having problems swallowing food and have pains in the throat area. I feel they are covering up and don't want to admit that they infected me last time.I thought I would cantact you in the hope that you might be able to see some connection between some of my symptoms which might point ot the cause of my balance problem and pain. I do hope you can come up with a good suggestion. Thanks. Joe.

Q: Hello, I read most of the information from your website. Here is my story, Immediately after my second pregnancy and delivery, I noticed severe leg pain, numbness, tingling in my left leg. After couple of months, doctor did x-ray and then MRI. I was diagnosed with Herniated disc, did physiotherapy, pain was much better. I was able to do my daily routines normally and I was never given the full information about the spine disc etc. I did go to couple of doctors showing my MRI, they mentioned that I should get better as days passes. After a year or so, I developed a 'Knee wear and tear" in my left leg, I did Physical therapy and pain was much better. Recently I had sever spur in my heels (left heels) and doctors gave a corticosteroid injections. I couldn't walk for 15 days, but now the pain is much better.

Meanwhile my left leg pain become severe, so doctor order me to do MRI again, between 1st MRI and 2nd MRI the time gap is 3and a half year, the result of MRI is that I have disc degenerated with L5-S1 (the same herniated disc), right now I am going thru the physical therapy, My pain is bearable (though it is sever at times) I don't take any pain killers. My question is how to over come the pain and reduce the age of disc degeneration for other disc (I know once the disc degeneration starts, one after the other will continue). How to strengthen my hips, lower back muscle, so that I can reduce the other disc hernia and disc degeneration. Thanks in advance, Punitha

Q: Hi, I suffer of back pain due to my large breasts. What recomendation can you give me in order to receive help from my insurance company and what doctor should I see first. Thank you, Heidy

Q: Hello, I am a fit, 51 year old male. I am very active with wieght lifting and I play tennis, that helps me with a cardio workout. I was camping with my wife, and noticed a little tinge of pain in my lower mid-back. I often can tell if I have strained my back from excersise, and will discontinue as needed. This time, there was not any activity that I could pinpoint, that caused this particular injury. The symptoms are: when I look down toward my feet, either standing or siting, it feels like someone is squeezing my kidneys, and even prevents me from breathing. It kind of feels like a temporary paralization, with pain in my kidney area, both sides, and my disrupted breathing. This has been ongoing for five days. Thank You....Robert

Q: I HAVE SEVERE BACK AND NECK PAIN DUE TO LIFTING AN INVALID AND CARRING HEAVY LUGGAGER. HERE ARE MY MRI RESULTS. WILL I ALWAYS HAVE PAIN? CERVICAL- RIGHTWARD DISC HERNIATION/OSTEOPHYTE COMPLEX AT C5-6 RESULTING IN MODERATE TO SEVERE NEUROFORAMINAL NARROWING AND PROBABLE IMPLNGMENT UPON THR RIGHT C6 EXITING NERVE ROOT. C5-5 MILD BULGING AND ENDPLATE SPURRING. Thoracic- leftward disc bulges at T4-5, at T5-6 and T7-8 with a leftward disc protrusion at T6-7 resulting in mild effacement of the left ventral subarachnoid space at this level. Ligamentus hypertrophy is also noted at T2-3, T10-11 and T11-12. tiny right paracentral protrusion at T12-L1. Linda


Q: Hello. I'm 23 years old and have been having back pain since I was 15. That was about the time I developed breasts. In proportion to my frame my breasts are quite large. I weigh 130 pounds, am 5ft 7in, and have a 34 DD chest. Lately my back pain has become chronic and severe. I cannot seem to find anything about this on the internet and I have looked and looked. The thing is, I've always had a very arched back. When I am laying on a flat surface I can actually pass my hand under the small of my back, just barely brushing it. My buttocks stick out far because of it and just standing straight makes it look like I'm thrusting my ample breasts into the faces of everyone I know, so I've always had bad posture as well. When I was younger i asked my mother why my back was curved and she told me that I was lucky and an arched back is considered a sign of beauty. I'm having severe headaches, abdominal pains, that I'm seeing a gynecologist for and am unsure as to whether my back could be contributing to my symptoms. What is a normal curvature for the spine? Do you think it should be brought to the attention of my doctor or am I really stretching for answers here? Mindy

Q: I have a pain on my left hand side running down my entire back, just under the left hand shoulder blade and stopping halfway down, its not a sharp pain more of a dull ache. Claire

Q: Hello, I am a 22 year old in shape female who has been involved with dance and yoga for many years. Last summer I experienced extreme pain in my lower right back and regardless of acupuncture and massage therapy, the pain just didn't go away. I recently travelled to Thailand for two months and the pain more or less went away, but since I've been home, the pain has returned and has spread to my lower left back as well. The sensation acts up a lot when I'm sitting cross legged or rounding my back in any way. it feels like someone stabbing me in the lower back, but as soon as I straighten my back and put it up against a wall for support, it slowly goes away. It aches and I really hate it. I have no idea what to do, or how to fix it, or what it even is. It seems like whenever I look online for information nothing really describes the pain I'm experiencing. If you could give me any insight that would be amazing. Thanks! Caitlin

Q: I have been hurrting in my neck,and top part of my shoulder,it just feels like it is numb and tingling all the time, now my lips and hands have been going numb,would it be a piched nerve in my neck? Also at night when I lay down for bed, my whole body will jerk ,sometimes my legs and sometimes my upper body,I jerk so hard I almost jump out of bed, why is this happening,could it be stress? Cheryl

Q: This actually involves my husband's spine problem.. He has been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis recently. We understand there is no cure and it must be tolerated. He has minimal pain but when he has it, it is pretty bad. I do not remember seeing Spondalitis on any of your pages. Can you help us? Thank you kindly, Dorothy & Tom

Q: Hi and thanks for posting this site. Very interesting. I've recently gone to a Chiro as I have lower back pain. I was recommended by a work colleague. I spent $215 at my appointment. $75 for the consultation and $140 for xrays. I was manipulated in my upper back and the appointment was over. I then returned yesterday, was manipulated in my neck and mid back (bearing in mind the pain's in the lower right)and asked if I would like to proceed with a "program" for 6 weeks x twice a week sessions and then another 6 weeks, once a week appointments. Total cost to me, $742 but if I paid upfront, $670. This program is meant to resolve a back condition I've had for some time but I feel I'm being danced around the flagpole here and as you've suggested, been taken on through the personal injury mill. I'd like to hear your thoughts if you've the time. Thanks, Iain

Q: Dear Sir, I am 27 years old and 7 years ago I have been diagnosed with double disc hernia (L5&L4). Then, I was living in Romania and my doctor advised me that I should not go for surgery as the pain will go and there are lots of people that live with this problem. The pain has gone indeed, and never came back, but I had to "re-educate" my posture and my movements (bend knees when I lift something, I don't lift heavy things, I watch my weight etc.). Now it's a time in my life when I am thinking to try for a baby. I now live in UK and I went to see my General Practitioner for advice and maybe a test for my back. I was surprised to be told without any examination that my worries are only phychological. Everything my previous doctors said was dismissed and I have been told that the body can heal itself and that I shouldn't worry. I need your advise because I am so much worried now. I am very slim and I do exercise a lot, but I can feel sometimes that my back is not well and I do not want to risk a baby's life or live in a wheelchair because I did not take some precautions before making this step. Thank you! All the best. Dennisa

Q: My mother, aged 65 years is having pain in the left lower half of her body for the past 5 months... On putting the feet on the ground, the pain starts from the left hip and travels down left leg and is then transferred to the left foot. There is also tingling sensation in the left foot. On showing her to an Orthopedic specialist, he has prescribed pain killer, vitamin etc.. She has also undergone physiotherapy for two weeks ..(once a day). Also she is wearing an LS Frame type belt for about 14 hours per day. Now she has been advised traction using a 10K.G. sand bag for weight...which she has started a week back and is continuing .. Also the pain if recurring even after the above treatment. My query is that how long she has to wear the belt.? Is there any side effect of traction..? How soon would the pain be relieved ? With regards. J.S

Q: In December I had an MRI (not my first)for three days I experienced pain, from the neck all the way down. I felt every pound. I was in tears. I was diagnosed in Jan.04 with breast cancer and I took chemo until Aug.06. Could this be a reason? Please help me understand. Lourdes

Q: Hello. My son Daniel who is now 34 years old was born with scoliosis. I noticed right after he was born that something was not right. His stomach was leaning to one side. When I mentioned it to the doctor, he laughed at me, and said it was just gas. My son is my fifth child, and as one of his siblings had been a colicky baby, I knew that gas was not an issue with Danny. He was a very happy baby. I kept taking him to doctors, but I was not taken seriously. When Danny was ten months old he started to walk, and his leaning to one side became very obvious. I was told by the doctor that his hips would even out by the time he was four. I demanded to see a specialist, but the doctor did not se a reason to refer us to a specialist. When Danny was two, a friend referred us to The Shriners Hospital in Portland Oregon. Within weeks, Danny was diagnosed, and underwent his first spinal fusion, followed with a brace, before he was three. The doctors kept a very close watch on him, and realized that they had to do something very drastic at the age of six as the curvature had continued above the fusion. He was put in a halo traction for 6 weeks. Followed by the insertion of a Herrington rod. He was in a body cast for some time after surgery. When he was ten, the Herrington rod was replaced, and following the surgery ha was again placed in a body cast. Danny adapted well to everything he went through as a child. However, when he became a teenager, it was obvious that his body image was suffering. People can be very cruel. He was well accepted by his peers, because of his personality. But it was others that hurt him severely. One women came up to me one day, pointing at Danny, asking me if "that little hunch back was my son. We lived in Sweden from the time Danny was 12, until he was eighteen. During that time I took him to several doctors, but no one had any suggestions about what to do to straighten his back. We moved back to Canada when Danny was eighteen, and again, his problem was ignored. It seemed as if his problem was to big for anyone to handle. Shortly after our return to Canada, Danny was introduced to street drugs, and became addicted. After that, I feel that none of the doctors he has seen, have been unable to see past his drug problem. His curvature is now so bad so it is affecting his mobility, his heart, and his lungs. His hips and ribs meet,and he has a large hump on one side. As a mother, I have continued to try to find help for him. After hearing,and reading about successful surgeries, I decided to do some research online. I found a doctor in our area, British Columbia, Canada, who specializes in spinal surgery. I managed to convince my son's doctor to refer him to the spine clinic in Vancouver. After a waiting period of two ears, Danny finally got to see the doctor yesterday. He had put high hopes in being able to get help in straightening his back, but the doctor told him that his spine has become a solid bone, and did not think that Danny is a candidate for the surgery he specializes in. The doctor ordered a bone scan, and pulmonary tests, which will be done on March 26. The doctor told Danny that there is one kind of surgery that is very risky, and he does not do it for that reason. Danny is absolutely devastated by these news, he is willing to try anything, no matter how risky. He has been on the methadone program for three years, and is doing fine with that. But his deformity is affecting every aspect of his life. My reason for writing this letter is that, in the event that the currant specialist finds, that after the test results he can't do anything for my son, there is someone out there who performs the extreme surgery with successful results. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Christina

Q: Hello Sensei, I am interested in buying your book--the hard cover version. I have read all of John Sarno's books about 3 years ago and am totally convinced of his method in healing not only back pain, but other problems as well. My present problem that is ruling my life is IBS which I have had since I was a young teenager (I am now 36 years old). Before I buy your book, I want to know if you have included in your book any information on how you cured your IBS. I would really appreciate the help and guidance that you can give me on this. Please respond, ASAP. Aida

Q: Hi,I am 17 years old. I am a former competitive gymnast and am now a cheerleader ( i have a very athletic build)I am not the kind of person to stop what I"m doing because of aches and pains;which probably came from my gymnastics training.I have suffered from chronic back pain ever since I was in a car accident in November of 2005. I cannot stand, sit, or walk for long periods of time. School,going shopping, and even cleaning the house cause me pain. The pain wasn't immediate. I had the normal soreness that is expected after a car accident, but after about a month had gone by and my back was still in constant knots and was hurting so bad i had trouble concentrating in class i eventually had to tell someone. I completely stopped all kinds of athletics (cheerleading, gymnastics, running) for 8 months just to make sure that I wasn't going to hurt myself any more.I was given my first of many prescriptions to a pain killer and sent to a physical therapist that was not able to do anything but relieve me from feeling like my back was in knots. After that I started to feel the constant dull pain that has many different stages ( burning, stinging, shooting, twisting, stabbing) in my low back all the way across. I was then sent to an orthepedic surgeon and given yet another pain killer and told that it was obviously something wrong with the ligaments in between my facets ( i'm sorry i cannot give you actual medical terms) , the numerous x-rays and my mri showed that i had no fractures or degeneration of any kind. After my first diagnosis i went to a pain doctor that would treat it my pain, he also provided me with yet another type of pain killer. He did facet injections on 3 vertebrae of my low back. The injections only showed that, that was where the pain was, it had no long-term effect. The pain doctor and orthepedic surgeon next discussed me having a nerve dernervation (?) performed but then realized that i am too young and that that would also only be short term for such a painful procedure. I was then told to have a new kind of acupuncture that sends electric currents through the needles... Needless to say this wasn't a pleasant experience... i was the doctor's guinea pig for the treatment and due to many different things i was in excruciating pain during the procedure. I did not go back to the pain doctor and instead found a holistic doctor who gave me herbal supplements, taught me yoga, and sent me to her own acupuncturist. I didn't see any change from the herbal supplements. The yoga I think has helped me keep my pain at a relatively stable level. I stretched and do a few yoga core strengthening excercises everymorning. the acupuncture felt amazing but only while I was on the table. Overall I think the doctor did help, but she was still not able to relieve me of my relatively constant pain. Her suggestion was to quit all my physical activities and find some new hobbies. That suggestion wasn't and isn't an option to me as long as no one can tell me that i am making my "injury" worse (which no one has). About a month before this I had started tumbling and cheering again when that particular doctor had given me the "OK". I then went to a chiropractor who like all the others thought he knew what my diagnosis was and the treatment for it, niether proved to be correct. By this time I was starting to notice a constant aching in my hips and upper buttocks.I then went to a sports medicine doctor who sent me to his physical therapist .They did a kind of stretching of the tendons , becuase i had lost all mobility in my low back. ( none of the past doctors had ever mentioned this or simply tested for it) I eventually gained "full mobility" and had gotten my core very stong. Again her treatments only kept my pain at a level with minimum flare ups, but the pain was still relatively constant. I am now with a neuromuscular therapist who also thinks that they know the exact diagnosis and treatment... and by their watch i should by now feel improvement, but i don't!! I am still keeping up with my daily regimen of stretching, yoga, and little mixtures of things i have learned from all the past doctors. I feel like a have had the pain for so long that it feels normal to me... and i don't remember what it feels like to not have the pain. I read your story and thought you probably could share in my frustration and feeling of hoplessness. I have been effected by this in more than just having the pain. I suffered from depression that was caused by one of the painkillers. I no longer am taking any kind of perscriptions or any type of pain relievers for my back. I am now having symptoms of constipation which i have heard to be common with people who suffer from chronic back pain. I hope that i have provided enough information for any suggestions that you might provide... thanks! Kate

Q: Hi,I have chronic lower back pain always. I have had a rash on the lower back 2 times. Do you know if a referred or sympathetic pain can come in the form of a rash? Thanks, Babs

Q: My son is 12 years old. For the past 6 months or so he has been complaining about pain in his left side next to his spine above his buttocks. He has most pain after sitting , even for short time, as he stands to straighten up. He does not have pain when he is standing and walking and is able to twist left and right. Can you tell me what this can be. We have been applying hot compresses and ointments as a doctor prescribed but doesn't seem to help. Once he is back to playing his soccer or having gym ... he seems to be back to this problem. Do you have any suggetions or comments so I can help him with this pain. Thank you so much, Maria, concerned mom.

Q: Am 40yr old female. Have had low back pain on left, left sacroiliac pain, leg/knee/ankle pain for 12 yrs. Last 3 yrs has gotten a lot worse, have been through sleep study for restless leg syndrome, gall bladder removed because it didn't work, ovarian cysts on left and little finger and ring finger on left side numb for a year and only thing they can come up with is non-vascular thoraic outlet syndrome. Am an occupational therapist was let go of my job 2 months a go and literally slept for a month afterwords.Last year I was walking approximately 4 miles a day and know can only walk 1 mile due to pain in sacroilliac region on left and extreme leg pain getting worse in p.m. Steroid shots seem to help for about 1 and half months and am told surgery is only option, due to degerenative discs L4, L5, S1, arthritis and extra bony growth on left sacral illiac region....what would you do? Any other options? Do you think sacroiliac subluxation?Thanks for your time.....K8

Q: I had back surgery. Two hernated disks and severe stenosis. It has been five months since surgery. The mussels in my legs are still weak, spongy or rubbery. Can you tell me how long this will last? The neurosurgeon tells me I have severe nerve damage. I can't work or do anything that I have to use my legs for very long. Tony

Q: I'm 62 and done yoga for years but found because of a pulled muscle have had to stop but v flexible. Have had back pain for 4 years (I slipped on the stairs I think) plus what has been diagnosed as bursitis (I get cortisone injections every 3 months) I have had to literally fight to have an MRI and got referred 3 weeks ago privately. My pain is terrible, back pain, buttock pain, down my leg and in the last few weeks the back of my heels. My MRI report is as follows"there is loss of disc height and hydration at L4/5 with associated end plate changes. At this level, there is a moderate diffuse generalised disc bulge extending laterally into the lower right exit foramina, though the exiting root is not significantly depressed. Combination of disc bulging and facet joint degeneration/backling of the ligamentum flavum, gives rise to moderate spinal stenosis at this level thought there is preservation of the posterior thecal fat. There are milder changes at L3/4 and other levels L2/3 & L5/S1 demonstrate facet joint degeneration but no other significant abnormality. No evidence of any other significent disc prolapse. In layman's terms I am presuming that there is no pinched nerve so why am I in so much pain. I very rarely sleep well because of the pain. I have taken all the pain killing tablets under the sun but have found that after 4 yrs of taking this and that, co-codimol seems to work a little bit. The dr today has said that he will refer me for spinal injection (privately of course) but not convinced this will work. I am very confused and annoyed that I do not seem to be getting anywhere. Anne

Q: I am 18 years old and was diagnosed by military doctors with a herniated disk. I have been having pain for about a year now. I havent had any MRI's recently and doctors simply keep giving me pills as the cure. Is this normal? I have been getting more pain in my legs,numbness,and overall weakness, however the military doctors dont seem to think that I need any more tests. It seems like everyone is just telling me to deal with it. College is becoming very hard, everday activities are becomming hard. I am not really sure what I need to tell these doctors to get some attention. Please help! Jenni

Q: Hi, I am a 34 year old female. I saw a chiropractor for about a year and a half. I was told I have bone spurs in my neck and lower back, what they would consider phase 3-4 degeneration. Their outlook seemed very grim. I went for the first time today to a physical therapist, who said these bone spurs are normal, not to burst my bubble. So my question is how normal are they? When I look up bone spurs on the computer, it commonly will say that these bone spurs don't normally develop until your late 50's and early 60's. Thank you for any information you can offer. Michelle

Q: Hi sir, I am 20 years old and have been diagnosed with a herniated disc at L5,S1. I have had this for two years and have been in horrible pain everyday. I have been through numerous Physical therapy sessions, pool therapy, massage, acupuncture, and electro stimulatant processes. Nothing has worked and I am in horrible pain. My question is, what else can be done?? Will surgery be helpful?? I cant function normally in any activites even daily life activites make me cry. I just dont know what to do. Brittany

Q: Hi. I don't have back pain all the time, but sometimes when I try to get up (sitting an especially lying on my stomach), it feels like I can't get staight up anymore. It is like stiff and in addition feels as if my lower back would just break if I tried. I am 36y female. What could be the reasons for this? Thanks, Mel

Q: I have been diagnosed with degenerative spurring of the T4 and T5 discs. I was wondering what type of cure can they do for that? I have had fusing of C4-C5 and C6 already and it seems more just keeps going wrong. Patricia

Q: Any ideas why my 14 year old daughter has back pain daily. Some days worse than others. She is not overweiight. I have arthritis in my lower back and her symptons are similar. Could she have the same? Angie

Q: Hi, My name is Richard and I have developed Chronic back pain over the last 12 months, I am only 24 years old, and have become deeply unhappy. Scans show my spine is perfect and blood tests show no inflamatory conditions. There is no known reason for my pain. I have responded somewhat to exercise therapy and more recently to trigger point needling, but the pain returns. The pain got considerably worse 5 months ago, also for no known reason. My doctor now thinks my problem is psychosomatic. I am quite skeptical about this diagnosis, but open to it somewhat. My question to you is, I am interested in what your on about, but money is tight (as I'm off work) and I'm concerned that this might be a scam or something, there are many online, pain is big buisness. Please send me something that I can assess as to whether or not you are genuine, I mean no disrespect. Do you think you can cure my pain? Please help me. Richard

Q: To whom it may concern: I have had pain in the upper part of my back and legs for the past two days. The first day the pain was so intense that I couldn't even lay down, sit, or sleep. I cured it by taking an over the counter pain reliever. The second day the pain was less and only affected the upper part of my back. What could be the possible cause of this? Thanks for your assistance. I am awaiting for your response. Helen

Q: I am trying to purchase your book (cure back pain for ever) through paypal but keep getting a message saying I am giving wrong informtion is there anyway I can purchase this book by post or telephone as I cannot see a telephone number and I really need to buy this book owing to suffering with dreadful bad back and stomach muscles. MRS K.

Q: Hello, I have spent a bit of time with your website and find it very informative. I have been dealing with back pain on and off for many years (I'm in my mid 40s). In 2005 I spent 3 months in physical therapy for an exceptionally excrutiating episode. I had lost feeling in most of my left leg and movement in my foot. My physical therapist concluded that I likely suffer from piriformis syndrome (and after reading your description, I'm inclined to agree). We determined that it was likely from the many hours I spend at the computer (I'm a doctoral student). I made several ergonomic changes--most notably a lumbar pillow and an adjustable foot stool. Last week I spent the better part of 4 days straight at the computer, and the pain is horrible. I am frustrated because I need to spend a lot of time on the computer to work on my research--but the pain inhibits my concentration. I feel like I'm in a vicious cycle, and don't know how to break it and still keep all of my committments Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you in advance. Linda

Q: Hello! I'm really hoping you might have some insight, but after nearly a decade and a dozen doctors, we're pretty hopeless. About eight years ago, my mother, who was active and in great shape, hurt her back. The problem is in the muscles, and her life has changed dramatically. She has to spend most of her time lying down; she cannot take part in most of the activities she used to enjoy- she can barely stand to sit at the table for 30 minutes for dinner, let alone shop or hold a grandchild. A person who once loved adventure is now in much despair. My parents have installed an endless pool so she can excercise in water, but it hasn't helped. She does take painkillers and muscle relaxants, but they do little good. She has tried physical therapy, acupuncture, and botox, none of which work. The Mayo Clinic has turned her down, and specialists thus far have been pretty clueless. If anyone has any words of wisdom, I would really love to hear any advice. Thank you! Cassie

Q: Dear Sir, After reading your site I wondered if you may give me your thoughs on my problem. Having some trouble with a facet joint around t12 I visited my therapist who said my whole upper back was stiff she mobilised the area with her foot,however a week or so later I started getting pain around the bra strap area and muscle spasms that gripped my thoracic spine. These seemed to come at night along with pins and needleds in my hans.Now 3 months later I have my habds falling aslleep every night and a slight tingle during the day with a bit of soreness mid spine. This has created alot of tension in my shoulders and muscles as I am extremely worried. What I can't understand is were is the nerve prblemm coming from- there is no pain in neck. Could this be oxygen deprivation or anxiety? I would love to hear from you. Edwina

Q: Thank you for including me to receive your newsletter. I appreciate it very much. More power to you. Camilo

Q: I have just been told that I have to have surgery, I have a broken disk, between t5 and t7, what ever they are, this disk was broke and is out of my spine, its in two pcs one on each side, one of them is pressing on a nerve that i guess goes to my right leg, this is very painful, as in the morning it takes two hours to get my foot and leg working again, Question does this sound right? 50 year old, the doctor says that I had something hit me just right, as it is I had a mishap with my truck and it ran me over knocking me to the ground, and running me over, with what I have for information, what do you think? William

Q: I started getting back pain when I was about 16. I had x-rays, CT scans and eventually an MRI to find I had degenerative discs. I think the whole process took so long as I have scoliosis and I think they were just looking for causes of that! The name "DDD" wasn't used to diagnose my condidtion he was more like ermmmm you have degenerative discs..... wasn't really expecting it! I know every one had it at some point in their life but im 20 for god sake can any one tell me why I have bad discs at my age and is it linked to scoliosis? My consultant did mention when I next go to see him (in June) discussing disc replacement! Emma

Q: A friend has had back surgery resulting from a fall. The outcome was not good. There is nerve damage. They say they can deaden the nerve but he would not be able to walk again. At this point the pain is excrutiating. Pain management has put a pump in him dispersing pain medication and he also takes oral medication. He can not lie down or sleep. He is constantly up and sometimes falls asleep standing up against a cabinet, etc. Is there anything that can be done in regard to his nerve damage and all the pain. By the way he is very young. He is 30. Sandra

Q: I have disk degenerative disease, stenosis of the spine, and osteoarthritis. For the past 4 months, I have periodically not been able to sleep in my bed (I sleep on my back only), moved to the recliner and now, when lower back pain hits, not even the recliner works. What worked was ham string exercises, moving the excruciating pain into an ache. My neuro-surgeon says I have a facet problem and he has asked me to see a pain specialist for injections. But from what I gather, those are symptomatic and do not last. The pain is in one area, in the "indented, dimple area" just above my right buttocks. It is sore to the touch. I had a 2005 MRI of my spine but do not know if it shows facets. Any suggestions as to what I should do about this. Neurosurgeon says back surgery not necessary. Pat

Q: I just read in your website and benefit a lot and just put up a subscription under my email. I would appreciate your reply to my question, Would heat / ice treatment cure muscle spasm and does the body cure itself of muscle injury? Thanks, Amy

Q: Hello. I am a 58 year old female who has two probelms: My left foot's little toe and next one go to sleep after 15 minutes of walking (no matter what shoes I wear and I did get insertable orthos), and I have now developed pain in my right shoulder area. If the shoulder hurts, the foot is okay; if the foot is okay, the back hurts. I have been to physical therapy and now a chiropractor. I have no arthritis or inflammation. I used to ride mountain bikes and dance a lot, but two years ago I went back to school to get my Masters in Psychology and will be finished in September of this year. I read something about "oxygen deprived muscles" in one of your responses. What is that, and could I have it? Thank you for your help. Linda

Q: here's my dilema, my partner has 5 discs in her spine that are bulging, she's had 2 mri scans that have high-lighted this & I'm thinking of buying her a water bed to try to releive her pain so she can have a restfull sleep. now here's the problem, my partners therapist says it won't help her & we'd be wasting our money, but the shop that we've been to, to look at water beds say it will help, I'm sceptical about the shop because they're there to sell a product & to make money. What I need is independent advice as to what to do, should I go ahead & buy the bed & run the risk of losing a lot of money because trying to sell the bed as a used item will surely be costly. Any advice you could give me would be greatfully rceived, yours respectfully, Mike

Q: Hi, You have a really informative and helpful website and it covers everything! I first got back spasms after moving house and lifting boxes. Periodically they would come back making it almost impossible to get out of bed to the toilet. I had to crawl on all fours to get back to bed. I also believe that I overworked my quad muscles on a resistance machine in the gym and that's why my legs suffer (as detailed below). My symptoms are: easily startled which makes lower back spasm and my right leg jump out and shake right down to the foot; very nervous in public which makes me seize up and walk with a limp because my legs are so rigid. Also when I lie on my back (sometimes on my side) and I try to truly relax e.g. to meditate to a cd I spasm for no reason in the lower back area. The thing is I wouldn't be so nervous in public if I walked 'normally'. It's the fact I am limping or freezing up that embarrasses me. I would just like to truly relax my body whilst awake to enjoy the benefits it would bring. Is this physical or mental or a bit of both? I have tried hydrotherapy, acupuncture, one go on traction, massage (gentle), Sports massage (rough!). I am currently in therapy for what I am hoping are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms after giving up on counselling for Social Anxiety Disorder. I am on anti-depressants because the frustration of not walking alone or being able to go anywhere alone became too much at one point last year. I truly feel at the end of my rope with it all. I emigrated in 2005 and wonder if the stresses have all just built up over the years? I just want to be pain free and relaxed and to walk like my family do and get on with life! Many thanks for any help you could give me. It would be so appreciated. Oops forgot to add that I had an MRI scan in 2000 which showed 3 dehydrated disks in the lower back region. Orthopedic surgeon said it was just signs of wear and tear. Lorna

Q: hi i really need help here i fell off the top on my boat 5 mouths ago and landed on my head i knock my self out for about 10 min then sat on the sofe for about 30 mins went back out side and finish what i had to do i went to work monday and had smallback pain went to the docs and he took me off for a week went back to work for 2 mouths and on the weekend went seadooing major seadooing that was on sunday monday went back to work was feeling sour then after lunch at work had lots of pain in my arms and legs went back to docs and gave me another week off and senice then i been of 5 mouths ago i have major pain in my neck and back every where in my back and on the left side of my the first mouth that i was off i had lost half of my face for about 3 hours and eye got really red.i did phisotherapie and osteopath for the last 4 mouths i had to stop because they said that was the farest as they can go i did a ct scan and ex rays and they cant find any brocken bones i also went to a speacal doc for necks and spine and he gave me corison shots in the neck he gave me 3 at one time it really hurt and i couldnt walk out of the hosptial that day it was really bad it lasted for 3 days noe the doc told me that if the shots dont work that i couldnt come back for more and that was last mouth it didnt work now i decided to try this lazer physiotherapie i have been doing this for the past 2 weeks and the doc told me there after 3 4 times going that the pain will go away well its been 10 times now and its worst so now i dont know where to go and what to do i live in quebec montreal canada can u please help me out here mabe u might know some one here ect thanks very much for your time. danny

Q: My left lower back hurts, it travels into my hips and down my leg and I noticed my left leg/foot is now turned outward when I walk. This is a new condition however when I was taking ballroom dancing lessons, my instructor asked me if there was anything wrong with my left leg because it was not functioning properly, it lagged behind compared to my right leg preformance and regardless of how many times I was instructed to move my left leg a certain way, I could get my brain to coordinate the leg with the instructed movement.I thought nothing of it until now upon noticing a certain change in my gait I suspect the lower back/hip/leg pain is associated with this. The pain is dull and constant. Any suggestions? Nicole

Q: A few years ago I was in an auto accident, we were rear ended fairly hard, I had two discs buldging in my neck, the pain recently became more severe with numbing in hands, along with pain in neck, shoulders and arms and lower back and legs. I just recently had a new MRI done and found out one disc is now herrinated and pressing against my spinal cord, and I now have bone spurs in my neck and have developed spinal stenosis. My question is, can this disc pressing on my spinal cord cause me to become paralized and I have a weight lifting limit of 10 pounds, what will happen if I have to lift something more heavy, will it cause this to get worse? Thank you very much. Dawna

Q: Is there anyway you can post answer at my email address? I started have back problems around 1994 had compression fracture in 1999. I did a lot of running on hard surfaces from 1982 to 1987. Could this have caused my current problem?? Aided the compression? Floyd

Q: I am a 59 year old female; I have R.A. and osteoarthritis. After a recent bad bout with back pain (sciatica) my dr. sent me for a CT scan which revealed degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, herniated discs in various stages from L1 to L5; thickened ligaments, bone spurs, and at L4/L5 the disc material has become loose (sequestrated?). Aside from the pain which I have learned to manage, the annoying problem is I have lost feeling in my left foot and a portion of my left leg, I cannot heel walk, there is constant pins and needles and numbness. I can't walk properly so it is now affecting my hips. I have been fitted for an A.F.O. (haven't got it yet) and have an appointment scheduled with a neurosurgeon in July.. Moderate treatment does not seem to be working, I see my physiotherapist and do stretches daily. I hate not be able to walk. Any ideas? Joan

Q: After a spinal Tap, I could no longer walk. 1 year later according to a Pain management doctor I still have a spinal leakage. I don't know what to do. Do anyone have any doctor that could help me? Teresa

Q: I'm a 27 year old male and i've had lower back and right leg pain for 3 weeks now. so i went to a local chiropractor today to find out what's wrong with my back. i found out that my back is curved 18% degree! Well, he advised me to do a 6 month treatment which would cost me about $1700. is it worth it? this pain is causing my life and i want the pain go away now! is chiropractor, the only answer? or is their other option for my back problem? please help, thanks. Joseph

Q: Is this treatment available in Canada? What is the cost of treatment? Lorraine

Q: I am 27 years old, I have 3 bulging disc my L3-L4, L4-L5 & L5-S1, I have nerve pain too, 2 of my discs are pinching on nerves going down both my legs. I have been told that they are all minor bulges. My question is could these discs go back in and be normal? I have had steroid injections & am going to get facet injections soon also. Thanks for the info,Rebecca

Q: I am 59 years old and have been lifting weights most of my life. I have recently been having neck problems and have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and other structural problems in my neck and upper back. I have consulted a neurosurgeon who says my neck looks like that of a ninety year old. Although the doctors say this is just the aging process, I have a hunch it may have been aggravated by years of doing presses, pull-ups, neck exercises, and other upper-body exercises with weights. What do you think? Any types of exercises I should avoid in the future? Thanks, Jim

Q: I have a degenerative L-5 disc and have found inversion tables helpful. Here's the problem. I now live in an apartment with no room for an inversion table. The apartment doorframes are metal and I've been advised not to install Teeter bars because of the thickness and nature of the metal (as opposed to wood) frame doesn't provide enough grip for screws. Teeter also advised me to not use togglebolts in the metal, and that screwing or togglebolting a wood block or wood strips on the surface of the inside door frame - that it wouldn't help grip/hold up a bar either, whether that bar was screwed or togglebolted. About 20 years ago at my gym there was something called a "Skyhook". I mocked a picture up on a Powerpoint slide which I can send to a real email address. The skyhook would be hooked onto a chinup bar. I believe it came in 2 versions:- one with integrated padded ankleholds - one without that you'd use in conjunction with standard gravity boots The idea behind both versions was there was a fixed grip on the Skyhook with handholds where you could raise and lower yourself without having to have to reach all the way up to the chinning bar to release yourself. My building - which has a basement gym with a Smith machine - won't get an inversion table or skyhook given liability and space issues. I use inversion (not to mention yoga, swimming and strength training) for back rehab purposes and really can't just use standard boots on a shinup bar or smith machine bar. Does anyone know where I can get a Skyhook or similar device? Thanks. Michael

Q: I am 16 years old and i have been suffering from coccydinia for three years. The doctors don't want to do any operations due to my age. Its hard to deal with as I have to go to school. I have suffered from depression from this. I need something to happen to make it better. Hayley

Q: I am a 50 year young woman, who has suffered with seasonal depression yearly,I live in New England. typically every winter My depression takes the form of anxiety about my health. I have had one unexplained pain syndrome after another. Headaches , pelvic pain, "Frozen shoulder" backache. Just last winter I read Dr. Sarnos book and recoqnised myself in his book. I had had a colonoscopy (convinced I had colon cancer because of the pain and pressure) I was perfectly fine.)I told my unconscious that the jig was up and I was moving on and I did.Eventually the syndome disapeared. This was something that was with me for 3 months at least.I occasionally have minor reoccurances but totallly ignore them and they disapear. My problem this winter is a strange feeling in my left kidney area. I though perhaps that I had a kidney infection so I went to my GP and had a urine test and bloodwork. both normal. I went to an accupuncturist and a chiropractor, whodid xrays and did'nt see anything abnormal concerning the kidneys. My whole left side hurts as a mattr of fact. my left side neck is stiff ,my shoulder is stiff and achy ,my mid back is constantly threatening to spasmm, my left hip and buttock hurt as well.All of this is going on 3 months since the beginning of January.My question is ,in view of my typical winter syndrome, should I have more tests done? Like MRI? what if it really is something this time? I am aware of the strange feeling in my left kidney area all the time .I also am beginning to have abnormal periods which is pretty normal at 50 yrs. old . I hate drs. I am alway afraid of bad news and with everything usually turning out to be nothing ,should I wait or do I have to go thru all the gammits of tests before I'll be convinced. I get really tired of this. Its hard to be me sometimes. Thats for the purging! Nan

Q: Most of what I have read seems to indicate that back pain through lack of oxygen is usually in the lower back. I am under some emotional stress at the moment and have been getting tingling/burning sensation/pain in my mid-upper back and shoulder blades. It seems to get better when i am distracted or breath deeply. Could this be pain related to lack of oxygen related to trying to cope with emotional stress even though it is upper back? Jason

Q: I'm a student (2nd yr BSc Complementary Health Science) in the Uk. I've just finished a dissertation on Mind Body Medicine which lead me to reading your book which I found thoroughly interesting. I've just started to suffer from chronic lower back pain (after a divorce and other emotional hiccups). Are there any 'specialists' in TMS in the UK, do you know? Best wishes, Maria

Q: For the past 6 months Ive been experiencing like a burning sensation almost pulling right above my butt bone. I was in a car accident 2 years ago and I walked away with they called a "contusion" on my back. I cant sleep good anymore I cant lay on my sides or on my back flat without constantly switching sides and every once in a while i get a burning feeling down both my legs. Im always lifting and bending down to get things. Also, if I sit indian style on my bed to watch t.v its very painful on my lower back above my butt bone do you think this was caused by the accident? Do you know what this pain is caused from or what its called? QK

Q: I have a bulged disk. I worked in a plant for 7 years. I still hurt when I attempt to get up after I have been sitting for any length of time. If I drive over 1 1/2 hours My left leg and side go to sleep. I have been to Chriopractors, helps some. Can this therapy do me any good? and do you have any doctors, treatment in Northern California. Specifically Redding, Calif.? Thanks. Linda

Q: My husband complains about having a constant nagging pain in his back and neck. It only flares up to the point of bedrest a couple times a year. Lately he has been complaining that his right arm and hand are going numb. any suggestions? Star

Q: I have chronic low back pain. I have very large breasts. My daughter thinks they are the cause of my lower back pain. I have never heard of large breasts causing low back pain. Is that a possibilty? She said the breasts make me lean forward putting a strain on my back. Please let me know as I am now considering having a breast reduction. Thank you, Linda

Q: I was having some neck pain/stiffness off and on over last summer and went to a local chiropractor for the first time. He didn't suggest x-rays and proceeded to do my first adjustment, including hip drops. The following day I had numbness/tingling down my left side (arm and leg). He sent me for an mri after the next visit of some of the same. I was concerned so I went to my fam doctor who sent me for a lumbar mri as well as the cervical. I have 2 herniated disks in my cervial spine but none in my lumbar. Because of this both my family doctor and a neurosurgeon I went to were not concerned with the numbness in my leg/foot. I went to Physical Therapy for 8 weeks which helped my neck a great deal. I still have faint numbness in my left arm but my left foot is still numb daily. What should I do? Should I go back to a chiro? No one is taking this seriously since my lumbar mri came back fine! Thanks in advance! Jon

Q: Hello my name is Seth and I am a pharmacy student. I am considering presenting a report on the drx 9000 to my class. I need to have at least 2 radomized controlled trials to do this. Do you have any information that could help me out? thank you, Seth

Q: How do I set up an appointment to see Dr.Brady? Also, is he a ppo with Blue Cross/Blue Shield? I need help with many of the issues listed and have tried other treatments and am still in pain and in need of further help. Brenda

Q: I am 33 old and has never had a back pain before till 2005 when I started to work as a field worker. My work requires a lot of driving to and from projects. I am also a keen golfer for over 17 years and I love my sport. My pain problem started to be serious late 2006 and now it is killing me. I have consulted all professionals that you can think of and nothing is forthcomings.My pain started in the middle of the shoulders and now it is going up towards my neck area to the back of my head. It is painful, please HELP!!!!!!!!!! Rapula

Q: I'm a 27 year old who developed severe left sided sciatica due to a herniated disc 7 months ago. I have 2 herniated discs but L5S1 is large and actually compresses both L5 and S1 nerve roots due to it's posteriolateral location. I went from being an extremely active and athletic person to not being able to walk in a matter of days. I eventually had 2 epidural injections which did relieve the pain a little, enough to return to work after being out for 2 months. I then plateaued; I was able to function, walk and ist for short periods but to this day have not had any experience of being pain free unless I am lying down, and moments here and there in the pool. Three months ago I tried Sarno's method and experienced some relief but not even close to normal. My question for you is, do you feel that some herniated discs do cause pain, if they match the clinical picture, etc. I was told by a doctor I may have both TMS and a disc problem, which leaves me baffled in terms of how to treat. Any adivce you can offer is greatly appreciated. Theresa

Comment: Thank you so much for your quick response! Yes, I did have an MRI reporting the initial diagnosis, with findings as described in the other email. I actually had 1 episode of severe back pain 2 years back that didn't really prevent me from functioning and there was no sciatica. I had an MRI at this time that showed the 2 herniations but they were not as big (particularly the L5S1) as in the MRI I had 7 months ago. When you say that herniated discs are symptomatic for a short time frame, what amount of time would you say it can be symptomatic for? Does it vary based on size/location? Also, with the follow-up MRI what findings would you be looking for? Should there be improvement in some way? To complicate matters, I have a history of sports related hip injuries, some SI joint dysfunction (discovered prior to ever once having back pain), pelvic laxity and extremely tight muscles in my core/hips/legs. This I am sure is more due to psychological reasons but have been told that these muscle/joint imbalances have put excess stress on my spine. This is logical to me and out of curiosity, I was wondering if you feel that some of these psychologically caused imbalances/tightness can in fact cause physical injury? (e.g. ones twisted pelvis, and back spasms leave them more prone to herniating a disc in a compromised condition?) I have a medical background and this is all very intriguing to me! I truly appreciate the help you are offering to so many people. As I have tried to fix this problem myself, I have been frustrated and seen so much frustration in others. I am a firm believer in the mind body connection and this all makes so much sense. Your website offers a great deal of information, a fresh look and hope for many. When I figure out my situation, I hope to join in helping others through this difficult experience. Thanks again, Theresa

Q: I just found out that i have pinched nerves at c3 c4. what area's do they effect... i have constant pain in both shoulders, left elbow and left hand and wrist,,, also right hand and wrist... and lately if i sit too long i go numb in my left leg... are any of these things caused by the damage there... i also have low back pain and my need to have that tested... any suggesions would be of a big help thanks Bob

Q: I am a male of 38 years of age my doctor has told me I have a worn disc in my lower back, which is going to force me out of work, I hear that in the USA their is an injection you can get in the spine, is it available here in Britain? can anyone tell me of any treatments available. Thanks, Cliff

Q: I incurred a nerve injury at level C-5 in my neck eleven years ago in spinal surgery. this has caused weakness in my left shoulder. Is there anything I can do for this injury at this point? Wythe

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