After years of sciatic pain it got to the point that my left foot and leg went numb and the muscles went weak with loss of a reflex. A second MRI confirmed (again) a bulging L5 S1 disc. This time i was told if i did not get surgery, i would risk these new symptoms becoming permanent. Being an avid skier, mountain biker, and equestrian, this put the fear of God in me and i accepted that surgery was unavoidable this time. That was over a year ago now. Post-op, the nerve pain was gone but i was left with residual nerve damage that did not recover. Permanent numbness in parts of my foot and still a small bit of weakness in my leg. Better than i was before but not ALL better. Then, about 10 months later, out of nowhere, i "Throw out" my back for no apparent reason. I blame it on a yoga class i did just prior to the episode, but these were stretches i had done almost everyday for my back with no issues for months! How could this bring on such pain? This was new pain. Totally diffrent from the sciatica in my leg. GREAT! Now i have a NEW back problem! It lasted about 5 days. The next one occurs 2 months later and also seems to have no reason for starting up. Cancelling a business trip, i am down for 4 days this time. A month later it happens again. This time I'm leaving in 2 days for a conference but i decide not to cancel as i know it will only be a few days before I'm feeling better. Things settle down and a month later i read a random magazine article about a woman who suffers a situation so similar, her description of it might as well have been written by me. She claims she was cured by a book she read by a Dr. John Sarno. This is the first time i hear his name but i make a mental note, and later buy his book and begin this process of uncovering the real cause of my pain. I have not had an episode in my low back since. However, just as i was feeling good, and getting more confidence, i developed sciatica in my leg again. This was particularly frightening because now i am faced with the possibility of needing another surgery if things don't get better. This pain began almost a month and a half ago and has been constant ever since. it would be easy to blame it on a horse trek that i took 4 days prior, but i know better now. The horse ride was just a trigger and my brain seized the opportunity to really grab my attention again. And boy did it work! Leg pain was my worst nightmare come true. My doctor of course prescribed more physio, but knowing all that i know about TMS, i am quite certain that this is what i have and it is not a disc problem. From the first day it returned, i have been trying to follow the TMS treatment strategies, but so far, the pain remains. I have stopped all physical treatments, i take no meds, i stopped sleeping with pillows under my knees, and i try to think about what is emotionally bothering me instead of worrying about the pain. I've tried to return to physical activity, but im still in pain. I wonder if perhaps there is a small part of me that still thinks physical and not psychological? Maybe i am still allowing the pain to distract me? Maybe i need psychotherapy to get better? I'm trying so hard to do all the right things that everyone recommends to beat TMS that i worry i might be becoming obsessed which is sort of the opposite of what one wants....i mean, thats exactly the sort of behavior that has me in this mess in the first place right?