Immediately I am thinking of a consultant I was referred to, potentially to do surgery of some kind - fusing vertebrae?? - I try to forget these hideous things, and I've seen 2 other consultants. Yes, I wrote it down afterwards: He said, after examining my MRI scan: "It may not be fixable, of course". "The thing I need to answer, very simply, is would an operation on your back help, and nothing I can see on that latest scan fills me with enthusiasm to do an operation on your back". "The scan always shows us something, but scans are never normal - unless you were about twenty in which case you sometimes see them". "This is the scan of your back...and things I look for are the quality of the bone. The disks are slightly worn in the lower lumber spine - which is a fairly common finding in someone born in 19.. , there is no sign of disease there, there is no sign of infection or of cancer that needs to be treated". Me - "fantastic!" Him - "OK? There are 9 areas of wear and tear type changes, which in some people give a lot of pain, and in other people give no pain, unfortunately you are in the first group. .... Sorry about that. One of the great problems about back problems is its not obvious what it is. I think it will change in time, it isn't a life sentence. I don't think we're going to get very far today". I remember coming out of this interview feeling he MUST have missed something, and I was angry that a Consultant had nothing further up his sleeve. No hint of any way forward. I was both delighted and terribly frustrated! This was 2 years ago, and I have been working on all sorts of things to get the pain down - and I am in a better place, but still have pain all the time. Today - re-visiting this, makes me realise that TMS is what he didn't tell me about. It helps me to be more certain that I really can be OK again.