Hi guys I am new to the TMS theory (read 'Healing back pain' last week) and I 90% believe I am a sufferer. I keep getting close to accepting it but keep falling back to the structural bulging disc problems - I have a great fear of developing 'cauda equina syndrome' (which is compression of bowel/bladder nerves leading to emergency surgery) so I have been limiting my activities and avoiding anything that may push the disc further into the nerves. I have reduced reflex in my left ankle (it was completely absent in 2009 when I initially had back pain and was diagnosed with a large bulging disc so has improved) I have spoken to several experts over the last few days about this and their responses have all been different which doesn't help! One quoted: once a disc is bulging or herniated it won't get worse The next: as it hasn't actually gotten worse or caused cauda equina in the 3 years I wouldn't worry The next: Cauda equina is only caused by major trauma - not a gradual thing so it won't happen. And loss of reflexes mean nothing All dubious compared to the stuff I have read! I have written 2 lists. One is all the reasons why I believe it's TMS and the other is all the reasons why I believe it isn't. One list is huge and the other only has a couple of words on it: they are physical diagnosis and loss of reflex I am going backwards and forwards like a mad woman - its driving me mad! One minute I believe it's TMS then I read something that makes me revert back to the structural and so on Is it normal to do this? I am trying to find a way to get over the structural because I know it doesn't make sense. Is this my brain fighting me? My old brain says there must be cases of people with disc problems where the disc really is the problem and if I ignore the physical diagnosis I could seriously injure myself. I know others have disc problems and have normal lives but some people's spinal canals are bigger than others so a bulge wouldn't affect them as much. My new brain says my pain doesn't make sense. It's like there's a big argument going on in my head. Like tug of war Sometimes I think it would be easier to just accept the structural diagnosis because all this aggro is giving me a headache lol I can't think of anything else but whether or not I have TMS :-( Did anyone else have this battle to accept TMS? do you think I will accept it over time? I know it is early days yet. Even if I do I think I will still fear causing further damage to that disc. There must be a point where it can cause trouble even if it's not now. Thanks and sorry for running on. So confused! Amanda Those of you who have read my first post will know my story is long so briefly: Diagnosis: A large disc bulge at L5/S1 impinging on both S1 nerve roots. Back, leg, hip, knee pains on and off since 2009. Diminished ankle reflex. Pain wanders/comes and goes - usually comes in march/April and goes in autumn. It also comes and goes on an hourly/daily basis in that period. MRI scan in 2009 repeated in 2011 which showed disc had not really changed. Anxiety since a panic attack out of nowhere in march/april 2007 My personality: I like to be liked and make people happy. I like to do well but feel like a failure in some ways due to various courses I haven't completed, a failed business etc. I am a born worrier regarding my family and children plus other angsts. I think my inner child argues with my inner parent!