Hi everyone. My name is Shane. I'm a 32/m. I have been dealing with back pain for nearly 5 months. I am a former athlete and considered myself to be in fairly good condition. My pain starts in my right buttock. It often migrates to the outside of my right calf and extends to my right ankle. Walking is when I experience the most pain. Sometimes it feels like I just sprained my ankle. Walking more than 30 yards or so and I begin to limp. After approx 2 months I went for an MRI where I was diagnosed with with a herniated disc (L4-5) with "disc material impinging the nerve root." I have tackled this head on from the beginning. My living room looks like a PT office. I bought every back device on Amazon (Sacro-Wedgy, Spinal-Worx realignment device, Back Magic, Body Stick massage rollers, foam roller), an inversion table, and have an exam table where a dining room table should be. I've been to multiple chiropractors, PT's, got massages, etc. I have a healthy diet, juice daily, don't smoke, take vitamins and supplements. To this day any progress I have made has been short-lived. I've read countless books but most recently, Healing Back Pain. I bought into everything Dr. Sarno was talking about. Each page seemed to be written specifically for me. I had recently went through a rough breakup (about a week before the symptoms started) and have a few family issues which are also likely to be contributing to my TMS. I had a microdiscectomy scheduled for the end of September. 3 days before the surgery I cancelled. My surgeon was Dr. Alexander Vaccaro of the Rothman Institute at Philly. When I went in for my initial appointment, surgery was the only option he discussed. He insisted it was their "bread and butter" procedure and it would only take 10 mins with a 95% recovery rate. I was skeptical of these claims and never had a good feeling from the start. I'm not opposed to surgery, but something wasn't sitting well. I have also been to a pain management Dr. and am thinking about getting the steroid injections. I have continued to postpone this as well. The only thing I haven't done that I can think of is going back to the gym and easing back into exercise. I guess I am fearful of getting to the gym and having a severe attack of pain. There isn't any other way I can think of to increase blood flow to the muscles. My leg and back muscles are exceptionally tight. Especially my hamstrings. Like others, my life basically revolves around finding a cure for my pain. It has consumed the majority of time from the onset. I am very optimistic about this diagnosis and am excited to get started with the educational program. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.