Herniated Disc 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.

Q: under my MRI report impression says " moderately advanced right paracentral posterior disc herniation at L4-5 level with caudal migration of the disc and early degenerative changes , as described , most likely related to patient's radiculopathy. How can i better myself without surgery ? Thanks (: Linzi

Q: Funny how timing is everything. 8 months ago I experienced excruciating lower back/hip/butt and left sciatic leg pain. An MRI found a disc herniation at L4/5, and I was facing surgery. I had two epidurals that took away the back pain, but has left me with numbness in my left rear thigh and foot. Before this happened, I was extremely active - working out 6 days per week, and considered myself a runner. I was determined not to have surgery and did everything in my power to heal. While researching ways to address my herniation, I came across your page. It sounded too good to be true, and while I believe the mind affects the body, I just couldn't buy into TMS. I have healed well, am back to my usual active lifestyle EXCEPT for running. I did not need surgery, but I was advised to never run again (or I may need surgery), which has been a hard pill to swallow - especially since I'm only 38 years old. A month ago I was reading my Runner's World magazine, and a runner/author wrote an article about mystery pain in his butt/hip that was eventually cured by Dr. Sarno. The timing was right now and my interest was piqued. I bought Sarno's books and could see myself in what he writes. I even began to feel hopeful that maybe I could run again - especially since I have some clear insights into how/why I may have created these physical problems. BUT, where I get caught up is this: Even if I understand how my "injury" occurred, it still doesn't change the fact that I have very little disc material between 2 of my vertebrae. If I begin to run again, maybe pain won't resume if I am vigilant about my emotions, but would I be stupid to do so knowing that I may only be hastening the process of bone on bone? Is this just more anxiety & fear speaking - trying to talk me into keeping the pain, or the fear of pain? The medical field (chiro, neurosurgeon) have scared me good! Joy

Q: WHEN YOU MEET Dr.Sarno, was there any Rx or MRI result that show the physical condition of your Spine?Right now I have the same past condition you had before, L4/L5,L5/S1. Antonio

Q: Hello, On the 22nd of June I hurt my back and arm and neck, I have a 4mm posterior broad based disc bulge C- slightly abutting the anterior thecal sac and sparing the lateral recess and neural foramina Bulge at c6-7small posterior annular bulge T2-3 T3-4 and T9-10I have a medium left paracentral extrusion at t9-10 I am 42 yrs old, and extremely active and exercise, and rollerblade sometimes form 6 to 11 miles, I can't even move now without going numb or hurting so badly, I am scared to death, and I don't take pain medication my sister died from them, I live every minute in complete agony, I was rolling about 33 lbs, when it happened, I am completely useless now. What would you do to treat this , or how would you diagnose it.I am going numb in my arms.Sincerely,Mandy

Q: My MRI reads C3-4: There is left paracentral annular bulging, some calcification in the posterior longitudinal ligament, causing moderate left paracentral stenosis and moderate left neural foraminal narrowing.C4-5: Broad based posterior annular bulging, with left foraminal extension, causing mild central stenosis and moderate left neural foraminal narrowing.C5-6: Broad based posterior annular bulging and likely calcification in the posterior longitudinal ligament.My doctor is referring me to a pain clinic and says I have a herniation. I am wondering what part of this report says herniation?Thanks. Cheryl

Q: Hi my name is Cynthia and I am battling with herniated discs L4 L5 S1. I fell down some stairs about 9 years ago, felt some initial discomfort but due to he fact that my mother has battled with back problems all her life and had already had 2 Fusions I decided to shut up and put up rather that be subjected to possibly having the same terrible surgery. A few months ago I was visiting a friend and got up out of a chair holding her baby. I just felt a snap and collapsed on the floor. I could for the life of me not straighten up and was transported to the hospital in a fetal position. The pain was excruciating and unlike anything I have ever experienced. The next morning I had a total meltdown after spending a dreadful night only to find I was even more immobile than the night before. Long story short I was brought back home and immediately scheduled for a epidural which worked wonders. I walked out of surgery that same evening painless ! The pain returned after a month or so not as severely as before the epidural but bad enough to cause many a sleepless night, I can also not walk too far or stand in one place too long. I then again consulted my Surgeon who suggested a Rhizotomy. This was quite expensive and unfortunately I have had no benefit whatsoever. The only thing I do find now is that most of my pain seems to centralized in one spot causing a fake Kidney pain in my right kidney. In the beginning I thought I might have a kidney stone... is this normal ? Is it normal not to have relief of pain after a Rhizotomy ? What can I do now I am in PAIN ! Thanks Cynthia

Q: Hello. I'm having another night like I read about you experienced in the front page of your website, so I decided to write this. This might get long and involved, as I have never had anyone to talk to who understood what I'm going through.It all started 3 years ago. I was working my job (not current one) and around the house. My lower back started hurting me really bad. I knew something was wrong. I always tend to deal with pain though, realizing our bodies heal themselves... So i used to think. I walked down some stairs, and when i got to the bottom i felt an awkward pull in my lower back. It wasn't painful but it just felt weird. Next thing I know, I'm laying in my bed in a lot of pain. Then I go to stand up to go to the bathroom and I lose function of my right leg completely. That day haunts me. After it happen, I went to the emergency room or course... they said i pulled a muscle. I went to 2 different chiropractors who both said it wasn't anything major. Keep in mind the pain and sensations I dealt with.Finally I decided enough is enough and had and MRI on my lower lumbar spine without contrast. Low and behold L4 L5, L5 S1 disks are mildly herniated. Went to physical therapy, got some exercises that proved no relief. Went on for 2 years of my life dealing with the pain. You know it gets to the point where you don't want to talk about it anymore, and have people worry about it. You pretty much learn to live with it, and try to make the best of it. And I did for 2 and a half years. I'm 26 years old, I was blessed without a good career as an apprentice union electrician. But come on, seriously... A construction worker with the kind of back I have?... Seems pointless for me to try at times, though it is a good career, so i push myself everyday to do it, i love the job but you know the pain degenerative lumbar discs bring.A few months ago, the pain and sensations got worse. I went to my doctor, did some more pointless physical therapy where they tried to correct a mild curve in my spine and took a week off of work. Went back to work and was ok for 2 months for so. Then it became painful to sit, anywhere for more than a minute. So i went to my doctor and had another MRI.L5 S1 is still mildly herniated. The bad news came with L4 L5. I have a 14mm bulge. My options are scary and uncertain. Nero surgery or epidural steroid injections. I chose to push off surgery and do the injections, i guess i get them in alike a month. It feels so disgusting to have this problem. It will not cure itself, despite everyday efforts of exercises and ice/ heat. I honestly forget what it feels like to walk around without some type of pain, whether it's mild pain or extreme depending on the day. I feel held back from doing most of the things I would like to do. And I feel like there is no real hope in sight.So my plans are for the injections, which i know are short term, no real solution and not good for my bones. Do I just give in to surgery?? It seems like the inevitable outcome, but I understand it's risky. I don't know how much longer I can deal with this pain, it's so unnerving (no pun intended)Thanks for listening. -Charley

Q: Usually pressure on the spinal cord does not cause pain in that particular area. If it does cause pain it is usually below the area of the actual problem. Did you ever consider the possibility that the pain you were feeling in your lower back and leg might actually have been caused by the problems in your neck? Nobody ever looked at your neck. You did say that when you bent your head forward that your lower back hurt. I'm not doubting your story or your doctor but think about it. It was your neck all along. The bulging disc in your back was no big deal and was an incidental finding. Mike

Q: I'm a Dutch woman, 30 years old, suffering from back pain for years. Recently I have had an MRI scan and the doctors told me I had small discs and that was what was causing the pain. They said there was nothing to do about it, only a lot of fysical therapy and rest. But no exercise program is working, the pain is even getting worse and I'm about to loose my job, because I can hardly work.A friend of mine that lived in the States told me about TMS. But here in Holland, no doctor has ever heard of it or wont take the trouble to inform me.I'm looking for associations or doctors in Holland that DO know what TMS is and maybe give me guide lines to cure myself. Do you maybe know specialist in Holland that can help me? Kind regards, Jelena

Q: Hi I just need to put my mind a rest and would be grateful if someone could give me some advise on my MRI Results.I have been suffering from severe back pain for 12 months since my car accident. Low back pain pain in both my groins my right leg right down to my foot. I have over the last week started to lose control with my bladder although I do not know if this is linked. My MRI is quite long but there is a conclusion at the bottom which reads.There appears to be Lumbo sacral vertebra which I take to be L5. There is a moderate disc protrusion at L4/5 which is predominantly right sided and is compressing the right L5 nerve root and right anterior thecal sac.Mild desiccation change noted at L2/3 and L3/4. Some degenerate changes also noted at T10/11.After my GP read the report he said I needed to see a spinal surgeon urgent and sent a referal but I have now been put on a waiting list which could take up to 11 weeks just for the consultation. I am still in severe pain, I am taking Morphine which does not control the pain and now my bladder problems I am worried sick and getting very depressed. I would really appreciate any advice. Debbie

Q: This is my MRI result of Lumbo-sacral spine..1.l4-l5 disc shows posterior bulge causing thecal sac compression,bilateral neural foraminal narrowing,border line secondary canal stenosis,AP canal dia at l4l5 level approx 10mm.2.l5-s1 shows posterior buldge causing thecal sac indentation.No evidence of neural narrowing.I have pain in right calf & right thigh.. Also now i've pain in lower back too for the past one week.. i've consulted 4 doctors. one of the doctor said surgery is must in l4-l5 region. others said no need of surgery now...Also i'm just 21 years old. please suggest me that whether surgery is must and how far it will be efficient... ferose

Comment: Hi, I just wanted to say thanks. I had been previously suffering for 3 years from what I THOUGHT was a herniated disc in my lower back. I bought your book and learned that the symptoms did not make sense. I applied your techniques and have been completely pain free for over 5 months now. Sorry I took so long to write, but I wanted to be sure the pain was not going to come back. Now, I am very confident that it is gone for good. You are great! Thanks again so much! Pamela

Q: I'm 25 years old. I used to work in gym which resulted in back pain & now I have stopped my exercises.The scan report shows degenerative discs in thoracic region (discs D7-D8, D8-D9, D9-D10).Is it possible to recover from back pain due to degenerative discs. krishnamurthy

Q: I am seeking advise. I am a 43 year old man and i was injured at work, i was diagnosed with 2 herniated discs and am now recovering from surgery, doctors have told me i will never be able to do the kind of work i have been doing all my life (construction,fabrication) people keep telling me to get an attorney, do i need to? Is there something i'm entitled to? I would really appreciate any advise you can offer to me. Thank you, Tim

Q: About 1 month ago I suffered intense pain in my left buttock area that radiated down my left leg. I went to physical therapist and acupuncturist, who thought I had a piriformis muscle in spasm but their treatments combined with muscle relaxants and stretching made things worse. I then went to a chiropractor who took X-Rays and advised I had a locked left SI joint and almost locked L4/5 that were irritating the surrounding nerves. He said an MRI would probably show some disc bulging but did not believe this was the cause of pain. He advised I would need a series of manipulations that would restore proper motion to the above. He warned that it would take at least 30 days and I should be very careful during this time. My intense pain continued after about 5 manipulations. To be safe I had an MRI, which showed L4 and L-5S1 were impinging on nerves. I continued the chiropractic manipulations and after 8 started to get better. I have now done 14 and am much better and almost pain free. My question is in view of the MRI result do you think I am doing the right thing by continuing chiropractic manipulations? You seem doubtful about them on your site and noticed there is no mention of SI joints. However so far everything the chiropractor has said has turned out right. I would be glad to send you my MRI report if this helps. I am now much better and pain free. I am however puzzled by thedifferences of opinion between Chiropractors and doctors on the issue of SIjoints and herniated discs. Doctors do not seem to believe that locked SIjoints can cause severe nerve pain and attribute this to herniated discs. Mychiropractor believes that a small amount of disc bulging is often a normalpart of aging (I am 66 and have been very active in many sports) and that inthese cases this is not the cause of the pain. He also attributes the SIjoint problem to the fact that although my upper spine is straighter thannormal the lower area starting at L4/5 has excess curvature (see attached)and has been creating extra stress in this area for many years. All thismakes sense to me but goes against mainstream thinking so very interested inwhat you think. Leontis

Q: My question for you is. Can a herniated disc go from no pain to severe pain. I have suffered from back pain off and on for the past 7-8 years. I am a construction worker so that is no surprise to me. Starting back in late December I had some mild back pain. I usually see a chiropractor to help correct the pain. I visited him like I usually do and got some relief. The pain was what I consider to be minor. I visited him 3 times and had little to no pain after words. In about the middle of January I developed major pain, tingling, and numbness in my right leg all the way to my toes. I again saw my chiropractor and was able to get some relief. During this time I was not working full time and was currently at home. When I did return to work towards the end of January the pain would come back. It was like a switch. Not working pain mostly off, working pain was on. I visited my chiropractor 26 times from December 23rd to April 29th. I usually left his office with less pain when I would go there. On April 29th the pain was to much for me to take and I went to the ER. (Ask my wife as to the amount of pain I am able to handle. In order for me to go to the ER it has to be a lot and she will tell you the same thing.) I spent a number of hours just waiting for them to put me in a bed. I was not comfortable in any position and that was the longest wait of my life. When I was finally seen by a Dr. the did some physical tests and gave me the lovely wink test as they called it. (stuck a finger up my anus) Then they gave me a shot of morphine, flexeril 10mg, and lorcet 10-650 and sent me home and told me to rest. I went home for the night but was back to the ER the next day April 30th 2009 with more pain. My regular Dr. was contacted and ordered for an MRI to be done. I was admitted to the hospital put on a PDA pump with morphine. On May 1st 2009 a neurosurgeon talked to me after looking at my MRI and told me that I had a herniated disc in L5/S1. He gave me gabapentin 600mg and percocet 5-325. And told me to go home and see him in a week. I saw him on May 7th 2009 and told him that there was no change in the amount of pain. We then decided to go along with surgery which was done on May 13th 2009. Since the surgery I have had a couple of times of right leg pain/tingling. I have also had pain in my right butt cheek since the surgery which comes and go's. Today is May 29th 2009 and I feel that the surgery was the right thing to do. As I stated in the start of this. I am just wondering if a herniated disc can go from no pain/slight pain to severe pain? And if there is any kind of proof that this kind of thing can happen. I am currently dealing with Work Force Safety to see if this was an actual on the job or job related injury. Any help that you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for you time. Rick

Q: I have recently been told that I have a severely herniated disc ,C5-C6, no pain as of yet,just tingling in my right hand and a very stiff neck. I have been doing chiropractic and massage therapy for awhile,but just recently had an MRI because I was getting relief. Is there any decompression treatment facilities in SouthWestern, Ontario. I am in Windsor,Ontario. Thank you for your respond. Victoria

Q: I am interested in your book. But before i venture i want to know what is the method of treatment like exercise or what. Will i be able to follow those exercise. Pl reply sridharan

Q: Dear Sir, I've been struggling with a bulging disc for almost 3 years now. I occurred after hockey practice and I haven't been able to play in these last 3 years. I've tried conservative treatment and training and I can now lift (light) weights and run short distances. I still have problems with sitting, bending and etc. You know the drill... Any suggestions on what to do?I will be very grateful for your help. Best regards, Christian

Q: I am 70 years old and have a herniated disk at L5 S1. I had 3 shoot in the back that lasted about 2 months. Decompression treatments. All to no avail. I don't to live with this pain 24/7 for the rest of my life. Can your book help someone as old as I am? Victor

Q: I have neck problems, my discs are very loose and feel out place resulting in much pain and inflammation.I can place my hand on the back of my neck and move them horizontally making a clicking noise loud enough for others to here.Can MRI decompression help? Tim

Q: Hello, Like you I have had a ongoing problem with my back. I had a herniated disc when I was 17 and suffered with sciatica for 9mths. I had an injection of chymopapain and this took the pain in my leg away right away. 12 yrs later it came back again and I went to see a chiropractor and after treatment for 2mths the pain again was gone. I would have the odd day when my leg would get sore from standing to much, but it would go away the next day. Now 9 yrs later I am 38 it came back and more severe than any other time. I went back to the chiropractor and it did feel better then one day it was so severe that I went to the hospital. I had a MRI done, which showed a large herniated disc in L5. One day the pain in my leg was gone but now I have drop foot. I have had this for 2 1/2 months. I have seen a neurosurgeon and he said that doing surgery will not correct the foot drop. It has to heal on its own. I have been looking this up on the internet and found that most articles say that the disc has to be remove to release the pressure from the nerve to correct the foot drop. I was wanting to know your opinion. I am afraid that the longer time goes by the less chance of the foot drop improving.

Here is the results from my MRI. L4/L5: Right paracentral/lateral disc herniation with superior extruded component. This extends posteriorly approximately 7mm and extends superiorly at least 1.6 cm. This abuts and is likely affecting at least the traversing right l5 nerve root as wall as potentially the exiting right l4 nerve root. More inferiorly there is a generalized disc bulge which abuts the thecal sac and may be affecting the traversing left l5 nerve root. No obvious compression upon the exiting left l4 nerve root. L5-S1 No central canal or neural foraminal stenosis.Thanks you for your time and your website has been very informative. Tamara

Q: i reside in a place which is very famous for its beauty. its actually a hill station, Dargling, West Bengal. i suffer from back pain but what is this is this DDD??, i suffer pain in back and legs. its severe when i walk i feel relief but when i go to bed or lie i feel pain than makes me awaken almost whole night. Doctors said that u have pain at lumbar it seems according to them some bone or the disk is pressing a nerve, because of that i get pain all the time. even while i cough i get pain. i bared this for 4 months and still i am i showed to many doctors they gave me medicine,which feels better till i use them. once i stop again i starts. some doctors advised for operation but i fear that it may lead to rest of my life on bed... I am in great trouble and frustration i don't understand whom to show so PLEASE ADVICE ME CORRECTLY WHAT SHOULD I DO. i'll be waiting for ur mail. Sudhir

Q: Hey, I enjoy reading your story., Very encouraging. Did you have any facet joint degeneration? I have DDD at l5L5 L5S1 and they are both herniated as well. My pain is going from flexion to extension or vice versa. Basically that means I can stretch my way into flexion but then hyperextension is too painful. But after some time and stretching I can then hyper extend. Then of course it is too painful to flex again without some time working into it. Does this sound familiar to you over the years of pain?I've read Sarno books and I'm in Australia, so a TMS doctor is hard to find. Andrew

Q: L5-S1 9mm extruded herniation L4-L5 bulge I really need help. My condition keeps worsening, my leg pain is awful and the numbness in my foot and toes is terrible. I was told by 2 neurosurgeons at the Cleveland clinic that herniations could never re-enter the nucleus once extruded. Been reading about disc re-absorption but they say it takes a very long time to happen. What am I to do. I have opposed surgery from the start, its been 5 months now and I really really want my life back. Everything has changed since. With surgery I can be back to normal in days.. But I have also read that surgery no matter how un-invasive, accelerates degeneration of a disc. Tried an injection, transforaminal, its helped but cost me over $7,000. Seeing a Makenzie therapist once a week throughout. Acupuncture was helping but short lived releif. Decompression, tried it, mechanical but not drx9000, mine was cheaper and I don't think he was strapping me in right.. Would try it again but my neurosurgeon seemed to think it was useless, no real scientific research existed in its favor. The fear is that it could cause disc shifting which could worsen symptoms.Taking Lyrica 300mg, stopped naaprocyn2x275mg, prefer arthrotec2x75mg and tylenol 3's Taking a bunch of natural things also, b-complex, omegas, glucosamine etc Forgive the long letter, any advise is welcome. kindly, phil

Q: sir, i m having diffuse disc bulge poblem since the last 12 months. recent MRI shown the disc L1-L2,L4-L5,S1 causing minimal compression of the nerve thus causing pain traversing down the leg on the left side. rest of the thing are reported to be normal with no sign of numbness. bending forward or left side causes immense pain on the nerve. doctors have advised me for a conservative diagnosis for 2 months but no improvement has been noticed. i'm afraid because they have already asked to get it operated surgically. pls guide me what to follow next because i'm a sportsmen and surgical treatment for the lower back ache will destroy the career forever.. thank you, yours faithfully, Satyapriya

Q: My mom has a herniated disk, and she experiences horrible neck pain from time to time. I read almost this entire website, but i just had a question about your opinion. My mom isn't what you would call "spiritual" or "deep". Does this process require somebody with an extreme sense of their surroundings and their own physiological state? Elizabeth

Q: My name is Hannah and I'm 20.I'm in constant pain and it seems like doctors don't give me answers or don't have the answers. I've been dealing with this for 4 years now. I Have 4 degenerating discs, 2 in T-9 and T-10 and 2 at C-4 and C-5. I believe T-10 is bulging and C-5 is ruptured. I have Scoliosis that is curved 15 up above and 25 down below. arthritis in my lower back and I'm have nerve problems in my are which has caused to me to lose more and more strength in it. I feel like doctors aren't answering my questions...why is this happening to me at 20 and started when I was 16? what can I do before it gets worse? Its getting to the point its hard to get out of bed because I;m in pain and stiff and I'm in tears half of the nights now and can't sleep. Thanks for your time. Hananh

Q: i am 25 years old i weigh 220ilbs stand 5'1 and i had herniated disc surgery march 3 2009 and i am still having leg pain and left back pain i only had pain on my right side before the surgery and now it has moved to the left i guess what im asking is why? did the surgery work? am i going to have this pain for ever? Kristie

Q: Hi, I had an accident at work resulting in major back pain/ leg pain foot dead of feeling .Eventually sent for MIR scan which showed a degenerative back with a moderately sized disc prolapse at L5/S1 with a sequestrated fragment in the central part compressing the thecal sac.I was advised to have the operation due to risk of CES worries.After an op that didn't go well I ended up with 23 staple s in my back an 11cm scar and though the back pain is better the leg and foot issue is still unresolved.They want me to have it done again (i am not happy with that at this time)and on top of it all the other side medical expert has stated that because i have a degenerative spine i have been awarded 1-2 years of symptoms .What do you think and should i go for another op or struggle on. kind regards. We have found the other Q&A very helpful, Clive

Q: I've had lower back pain on and off thru most of my adult life (i'm 49 years old )initially pain was only in lower back and would go away in two or three days without any therapy or medication. But as time went on at each attack the pain lingered longer till in 1999 it was very severe pain in the back and pain shooting down my right leg and right foot went numbafter three weeks and lots of pain killers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory drugs i struggled to get back to work . My doctor arranged for me to see a specialistbut as it worked out some time past again till i saw him and my condition slightly improved a bit more (some pain ,weakness in right leg, foot drop) The specialist advised he could operate but he was thought that if i was improving why not try to see if i would improve more in time . i continued to see him every six months for two years and i did improve to the point i had very little pain in the leg but the right foot stayed numb and i still had foot drop, he figured that the best i was going to get. A few years pasted and the pain in the leg increased to where i went back to my doctor and he arranged another visit to a specialist (the original one retired). This time he recommended he could likely help me somewhat and i went under the knife (in 2007) He did a discotomy and a laminectomy at L4/l5. every thing went well and after recovery, physio,the pain in the leg was no more ,the back felt strong and the numbness in the foot and calf subsided considerably and foot drop was much better. fast forward till a couple months ago i woke up with slight pain in my hip and it made walking hard , this continued to get worse and got to the point of unbearable to walk or get in and out of a vehicle, but no pain in my lower back ,sitting was fine , laying down was fine. It progressed to the point i went to emergency dept at the hospital with shooting pain major numbness and severe foot drop (my leg felt heavy and hard to move) they gave me muscle relaxants , pain meds, and anti inflammatories. an mri showed a protrusion at L4/L3. The meds helped to the point i am today slight pain in the hip and i still have severe foot drop, but very little pain. my question and concern is should the foot drop get better or will it stay like last time? I'm into this for three months now and don't want surgery but have trouble walking because of the foot are there exercises you recommend? Dennis

Q: I am suffering 4 the last 8 months due to severe back pain. I was an athlete and had 2 surgery for child birth. At present i have stiffness while getting up from bed. And the pain is non explainable. Am not able to stand or walk for a long time due to the pain in my right leg. The pain is acute and am i was advised to take a MRI scan later where i will b advised on the surgery. As i already suffered with 2 surgery , I don't want to have another major surgery. Am afraid that it would also affect my sexual life with my partner as he is only 31yrs old. So please advice me what to do and save me from this tragedy. My future is questioned? Devi

Q: Hi Mr. Rostocki, I wanted to thank you for the information on this site, as it helped save me from unneeded back surgery. I was examined and found to have 2 herniated discs at L4/L5 and L5/S1. I was recommended for surgery. I was very scared. Instead, I wrote to you and followed your advice about using knowledge therapy. I read several recommended books and have been pain free for over 2 months now. Prior to this, I was in desperate pain everyday, despite the drugs and exercises prescribed to me by my doctor. Now, I am not on any more pills and only exercise for good health, as you advise. Thank you so much for all your guidance and I wish you continuing good health and much success in all you do. Most sincerely, Thomas

Q: can inversion heal spinal stenosis? Edsil

Q: I herniated L4,L5 in July, 2008. Since injury I have had left leg numbness and left foot drop. I had a spinal fusion of L4,L5 done 5 weeks ago. The pain at the fusion site is better. The left foot drop is still severe. What worries me is here lately I have numbness in my Right buttock with pain in right leg. My ortho did a stat cat scan today and revealed a severe disc budge at L3,L4. They said the hardware was intact..Is this normal? My ortho is trying to get me into my surgeon as soon as possible but wont tell me much. Help I am 42 yrs old and never sick a day. Mark

Q: I've suffered slipped disc for quite sometime until recently on January 2009 I'd finally went to the hospital to do M.R.I. Results show that my disc which were placed on the L5 slipped out and touches the nerves and fractured bone at the end part also.Doctor suggested to do a 2nd level surgery which require to drill and fix in six titanium pin to support my spine.I do not have the confident to go for the surgery and would like to look for other alternatives as i am suffering numbness and pain in the lower leg (left),i could not perform my duty as per normal because when i stand and walk around for more than two hours the pain will starts.(I'm working as a Restaurant Manager). I believe that my nerves system may have been affected and do not want to risk anymore time delay for treatment.Can you please provide me more details on what kind of treatment should or medicine that suits my condition? Many Thanks, Khoo

Q: Hi,is a herniated disc a minor injury or a moderate injury having occurred in July 2008 in a car accident. i still suffer lower back pain and numbness in my right leg. it has also stopped me playing sport,thanks, david.

Q: I am at the end-of-the-line trying to figure out how to cope with my situation. I have had an onset of acute pain with sciatica throughout my right leg (incredible pain in right buttock and calf). I cannot stand for 5 minutes. I am 31 years old, was an active weightlifter and in great shape. I've gained 15 lbs because I am essentially immobilized. I have had 2 rounds of oral steroids and 1 set of epidural injections. Absolutely nothing works. I am truly losing my will to do anything anymore; my life has become a disaster. My MRI truly sounds like a minor herniation --- "at L4-L5 there is a small right paracentral protrusion that extends back to compress the right L5 nerve root. Mild degenerative facet hypertrophy also present. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing. At all other levels there is no evidence of herniation, central or foraminal narrowing" --- but the pain I feel is unbearable. Can you please lend me some advice, as I truly am at a loss. Jason

Q: Hi I just wonder if you can help me please. I have a L4/5 disc extrusion impinging on the S1 nerve root, kyphosis, Scheuermann's disease and am 39 years old. I have just found out I am 7 weeks pregnant. I have been going to a chiropractor since the CT scan and my back was better but in the last 2 days I have overdone things and am in agony. For obvious reasons I cannot take anything stronger than Paracetamol. Can you please help me? Also, I am told that it is likely I will need to have a cesarean (which is fine by me) as people with such injuries do not do well with normal deliveries. Can you advise me what I can do about my back please to make it better? Much appreciated, Suse

Q: I herniated the L4-5 disc on the right side and the fragment ended up on the left side. How is that possible and have you heard of this happening before,Thanks. Lance

Q: I have suffered from varying degrees of back pain for most of my adult life. Out of the blue about 5 years ago, I was cycling when I got the stab in the lower back that literally immobilized me and had me amubulanced and hospitalized with a morphine drip for days. Upon discharge there were weeks of crutches and therapy. Since then pain has come and gone, but all manageable.A week ago I felt it pull during a sports game. Over the next few days I visited doctors and a chiropractor in search of a growing agony in the sciatica that felt like being slammed across the shins and outer leg with a crowbar.Finally, yesterday, I had an MRI and last night got the diagnosis of an acute herniated disk. The disk was also cut and there is a flap that is hanging out causing continued havoc and pain. Much as I agree with the non-surgical approach (I am terrified of anything spinal and turned down a steroid epidural).Just curious if you had any experience with actual damage to the disk, as I can only see surgery as an option to remove the torn bit. I would appreciate any feedback.Thanks, Tim.

Q: Hello and thank you for this inspirational website..I have been suffering lower back for about 8 yrs now, with on and off attacks, had physiotherapy and chiropractic sessions regularly and at points felt a lot better till this last attack one year ago that is now taking a form of severe and chronic leg pain.Had an MRI and that said " L3/4 and L5/S1 posterior and left posteriolateral disc protrusions.L4/5 posterior disc protrusion. I'm depressed and this is haunting my life.I recently saw a German surgeon who recommended minimal invasive laser spine surgery, i'm still not favoring that..so can you pls give me your advise.Many Thanks, Tarek

Q: Hi, I have read, with interest, your segments on Ischemic back pain and the psychosomatic component of back pain. I have T-6, T-7 herniations. You said you investigated the Ischemia factor and, for you, that was the answer. I know this is my problem also. Exactly what did you do to follow up after your realization of the real issue? Please advise. Thank you, Ellis

Q: It has been about one year since i have herniated my disc and i have been suffering since. I am only 19 years old. Physical therapy, cortisone, and an MUA did not make me benefit at all. I have come to the point were i will try anything but surgery to help. I also suffer from sciatica and my left hip locks disabling me from doing certain movements such as bending over with my legs straight. What can i do? Why does my hip lock? Is it muscle related or what?? Please help... Kenneth

Q: Hi I was involve in a rear-end collision last year of Jan. and MRI taken last year may7 and it says *Decreased SI at intervertebral disk spaces at L4-5&L5-S1 of L spine*Disc deg.at L4-5&L5-S1*Straightening of Lumbar curvaturewhat do these mean?And the Insurance do not want my PT tx bec of its not the cause of car accident according to them and bec.no possibility of heal.I have lots of pain until now specially if I sleep in supine position. I'm very worry about my condition I do not have any previous trauma before my car accident.hope to here from you and give me advice.what are the best thing to do? I do not get anything from the insurance I paid for my medicines and taxi fees to go hospital. I'm only hoping for my PT tx or my medical needs.They asked me to sign and close my case if I want to get my taxi fees and medicine fees.Thank you in advance.pls.email me. Amor

Q: I am opting for surgery after over 1 year of unbearable pain....do I see a neurologist or an orthopedic surgeon?? Andree

Comment: Hi Sensei Adam, Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you that I am feeling much better after your book and emails. Thanks for your help with my pain, even though it is not disc related. I was convinced that surgery was my destiny, but now I am sure of the opposite. I can be pain free without drugs or operations. You were right about the way I had conditioned myself to expect pain and I was surprised how easy it was to break the cycle once I realized what was going on in my head. Now I am anxious, but not in pain. I thin that will pass as I continue to wok on myself and my emotional issues. Thanks again, Cynthea

Comment: The psychological aspect absolutely has merit but then why does the herniated discs (L4/5- some sciatic nerve involvement) "consistently" feel "much better" after walking 1 mile every morning (or after taking Advil)? Feels like there is definitely a physical aspect that should not be ignored. It also consistently hurts after sitting for more than 10 minutes- nothing psychological there- it's real pain--even if forgotten, it comes on strong as a warning system. Normally high tolerance for pain- no other ailments lingered due to psychosomatic reasons- just this back issue is a drag- I just do not think it is all in one head (maybe 30% of the time in some people- I would agree surgery is way over prescribe and a fear factor can exacerbate any condition) Dave

Q: I had an MRI that read a 23mm herniation on L5 back in November. I said no to surgery. I have been really frustrated in the last few days for pain and foot drop still lingers. I have plateaued. I go to the chiro 2 times per week and do some of his recommended exercises. I have an inversion table but afraid to get on it since I have come such a long way. Can't commit to the DRX9000 for the house I live in is on the market and could move at anytime. You are not supposed to lift on that treatment. What is your advice for the next step to get off this plateau? Thanks for your time, Lynette

Q: What about someone who had disc surgery recently (September 08) and the same disc has slipped again? The person both before and after surgery has had shooting pains down their leg(s) that causes foot numbing. Becky

Q: Hi, I was originally diagnosed with pain due to 2 herniated discs in my lower back. Recently, the pain has changed often and now my 2 doctors each diagnose me differently. One says piriformis syndrome and the other says sacroiliac joint dysfunction. I don;t know what or who to believe anymore! Help! Robbie

Q: I was recently diagnosed with a herniated disc in my lower back L5/S1. Is this going to require surgery to fix? I am very worried, since you read so many bad things about discs… Please advise. Cindy

Q: i have 3 bulging disc,2 are leaking fluid, they want to do a spinal fusion on me. is there any other option? Robert

Q: I have been diagnosed with a herniated disc (#5/6. I have had an MRI. For about a year I have had a "sore neck" and pain down my right arm. I have also had pain in my legs, particularly when lying down in bed at night. I am 54 years of age and otherwise in very good health. The treatments recommended are physical therapy or surgery. I am worried about the surgery, but also concerned that the therapy will take too long to work, if at all. I appreciate an advice you can give me.Thank you. Edith.

Q: I have disc degeneration L4-L5herniated disc L4-L5 and disc protrusion L5-S1. I live just outside of Stockholm, Sweden. I had breast cancer in 03, and received chemo and radiation, after that my body started to fall apart!! I didn't have any problems before those treatments. I absolutely refuse to go under the knife again!! I am 55 years old and am studying to become a Bikram yoga instructor. But now it's impossible for me to bend forward. Any suggestions? What products should I buy from you?Thanking you in advance,(very sad marcia) hope to hear from you soon. Have a good week. Thanks again! Marcia

Q: Hi. I am a 49 year old female-not overweight-with miserable lower back pain living in the UK. I have had MRI scan and it shows DDD from the bottom of the spine upwards. Specialist says he will not operate as he believes they are not very successful-he said that the condition can improve in some people. He put me on co-codamol and diclofenac but they have no effect on me-I am not over keen on taking medication. I have a pilates floor exercise machine-would this help at all. Being a waitress I am not a person that has a desk job but feel that I seize up. I am feeling so miserable and it has started to affect my life and my moods!I feel about 80 years old . Any help would be most grateful. Many thanks, Sandra

Q: Hi, Is it normal to get degenerative disc disease in the lower back? I am only 26 and was recently diagnosed. I am scared. Tina

Q: I was once diagnosed with sciatica, and i was in a car accident two days ago! will this cause major problems in the future? Tanielle

Q: Hi, Why do doctors mostly tell me that all herniated discs are painful and cause chronic pain? Bob

Q: hi,my wife is diagnosed with annular disc bulge at lower three places, and she has constant numbness in her legs. whats the best remedy for her? Ajit

Q: Hi Sensei, My doctor told me that surgery is an option, but I am not sure. He said that there is no hurry, but I have been suffering for a long time and just want to find releif. What do you think? I was reading your article about drx9000 and i wonder if that is maybe another option for me? Any advice? Thanks a million, Zane

Q: Help! I'm 32 yrs old and now have endured three disc surgeries. I'm fused from C3 - c4, c4-c5 & c5-c6. I've gone through the gamut of treatments for the last 5 years of my life. The newest diagnose is nerve damage and I've found little info. I've recently had nerve blocks on both left(10 spots)and right sides(12 spots). EXTREMELY painful! I keep being told I will have a numbing and stinging feeling but at the end of the day I hurt. It hurts to be touched, it hurts to stay up right, to lay. The pain I'm experiencing hasn't been communicated to me what so ever. I don't have all the supposed symptoms I was told I would have. I keep being told to use heat/ice or over the counter meds but find it doesn't help much. Unable to ice and heat while at worked. Is this normal? Will this ever subside? Can a nerve block go wrong ? Please let me know what you think? Any alternatives? JEN

Q: I injured my back at work Nov.16 and have been seeing a workman's comp doc. At first he diagnosed me with low back sprain after no impairment of patellar reflexes or diminished flexors. I insisted that was not the case due to the severe amount of pain I was and am experiencing. He reluctantly referred me to a surgeon, who reluctantly ordered an MRI. Turns out the radiologist diagnoses me with a ruptured l5-s1 and bulging l1-l2. However, this surgeon/specialist tells me on Dec. 19, I have a l4-l5 (never mentioned the bulging l1-l2) rupture and even though there is nerve impingement, the injury is not serious and I can continue normal activity as long as I can tolerate the pain. I currently have pretty bad sciatica, which worsens every day. And the pain in my back is close to unbearable. I am pretty familiar with phisiology and even I can tell it's my l5-s1 that's ruptured. I have examined the MRI myself. Is this guy a quack? I can't even lift my own body weight up, let alone resume normal activity. Is this injury trivial as this "specialist" suggests, or should I be careful in my activities to prevent compounding my problems? Thanks for your time! E

Q: I had a car accident on 3/11/08. On 5/16/08 I felt a pain in my left hip while continuing to convalesce from my accident. After weeks of doctors, an MRI showed the disc between L3/L4 had a massive blowout. None of the doctors will even verbally associate the accident with my blown disc. They say that they can't tell if the accident caused the disc to blow without surgery to see first hand. Is there anyway to prove the herniation occurred directly from the accident? Lewis

Q: Hi Adam- I've been suffering from sciatica pain now for about 11 months. I recently had surgery to repair my L4-L5 herniated disc, in which the doctor said he removed about 3 times the amount of disc he would usually remove. I contracted an infection while in the hospital and had to have 2 additional surgeries to clean out the area. My leg pain started to decrease over time, and I eventually was pain free for at least a good month. But a couple of weeks ago, I started to feel more pain in my legs. This happened after my incision broke open and the doctor told me that I would be out of physical activity for about 5 weeks. I was not active, and suddenly I was in pain again. I was wondering if you thought that this might be the result of a psychosomatic event, and if you could give me any tips or ideas on how to deal with it. Thanks! -Troy

Q: Can you tell me what type of doctor I would need to see to diagnose a herniated disc. I'm sorry if this info is on your website but I have a hard time sitting at the computer for long periods of time. Thanks, Janie

Q: Okay here's MY story, lol. I got into a car accident when I was 17. At that time I was told that a vertebrae in my neck was "twisted" to the side. I don't know what happened, but for some reason I did not go to physical therapy like I was ordered by the doctor, something about insurance. For about a year and a half I've been having extreme leg pain alternating legs on different nights, sometimes both legs in the same night. During the day I would start fine but around noon is when the leg pain would start. Then 5 months ago, my lower back goes out. Extreme pain in the lower back, mainly on the left side of my spine and the pain would shoot all the way down my left leg, even my butt hurt, lol. Well it took 3 weeks for my back to feel better. Since then my back has went out 3 more times, each taking 2-3 weeks to heal. Now in between those times that my back has went out, I do still have the leg pain at night and I do still have daily lower back pain, but it doesn't hurt that bad, I can tolerate it. The only time I have neck pain is when turning my head to far to the right. I've had x-rays on my lower back and neck just one month before my back went out the first time. The x-rays came back "normal", it didn't even show my "twisted" vertebrae in my neck. When I try to put my head down in front of me I can feel that pain in my lower back on the left side for that split second. So I have a couple of questions. Should I ask for another x-ray? I will be seeing a back specialist in about 2 weeks. What things other than an MRI should I asked or "demand" to be done? Also, my family doctor told me that I "can't" have a slipped disk b/c if I did then I would be in "extreme" pain 24/7. Is that true, or no? I am in pain 24/7, however the only time its extreme is when my back goes out. The fact that my back goes out so often is a big concern, on top of not being able to turn my neck without pain. I already have a high tolerance to pain (b/c I've been living with it since I was 17) so when I'm asked to measure my pain from 1-10, I never know what to really say. I have a bad habit of just "taking" what a doctor tells me without challenging it. So what questions can I ask that could give me the most information from the back specialist? Thank You so much for your time and reading my very long and very scattered question, lol. Jenna

Q: Here's my story: Diagnosed at 16 with 2 lumbar herniated discs (L3-L4, L4-L5), DDD and lumbar spinal stenosis (just because -- no accidents). I had a laminectomy at 16 (I'm 28 now). A few occasional pain episodes, including sciatica on the right leg. Had a car accident and got (or it was the event that lead to discovering) 2 herniated discs again, so I had a 2nd laminectomy. I have still suffered pain after the last surgery 4 years ago, and have incurred in a type of nerve block that is done by inserting needles close to the nerve in the back and sending radio frequency waves to numb it.

How is your treatment proposal? Is it physiological or psychological? Were you able to completely get rid of your pain? Was your scenario like mine? Thanks, Carla

Q: Hi, I just wanted to thank you for your advice regarding spinal decompression. I was scheduled for surgery and then I read your article about DRX9000. I canceled the procedure and went in DRX therapy. I have been pain free for about 3 months now and feel fantastic. Thank you, Duvi

Q: Can i give birth or do i need a c section with a herniated disk...I am 32 weeks pregnant and am basically bed ridden and can't even walk to the toilet. My osteopath has told me to bedrest but I am going out of my mind as I have been in bed for 6 weeks now and not getting any better...please help... Natalie

Q: I am suffering back pain, I went to doctor and got x-rays and scannings, they found that my right leg is shorter 38 millimeters than left leg. that is why the basin is not balanced. It causes pain in left leg and ultimately whole of the body, I do some exercises that I found on internet, It helps in decreasing the pain but still it did not finish. Is there any one that like to help me. Ahmad

Q: I have had back/neck pain for about 1 yr and have gone through the "normal" routine...chiropractic care, physical therapy, muscle relaxers, pain meds, rest, etc. Nothing was working and in fact physical therapy made it worse! I finally demanded an MRI and lo and behold! A herniated disc on C5-C6. I have been waiting to get into the orthopedic surgeon to get his opinion on course of treatment, but in the meantime have had 1 epidural injection. It did not help AT ALL. I have been doing my own research, but finding information on neck herniated discs is hard. It seems to be mainly Lumbar information. Can anyone give me some information...I am afraid the orthopedic surgeon is going to want to do surgery at this point. If that is the case, what are some of your experiences with cervical surgery? Thanks! Keiva

Q: I have had 5 MRI's & have 8 herniated discs, 2 in neck, 4 in thoracic, and 2 lower back. I am in pain all the time. Have had 5 months of physical therapy over the last year, after having a total hip replacement a year ago. Is this normal for a 60 year old to have 8 herniated discs, and does it mean surgery? Lynda

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