Hi, ::X-ray/MRI diagnostics further below:: I’m new here and am currently in the process of going through earlier threads. Please forgive me if I’m asking about something that has been answered fifty times already My first herniated disc was back in late 2005. Over the years since, I’ve had issues on and off with the lower back. At least three additional herniations that I’m aware of. From 2016 on, the pain has been nearly every day. Nothing seems to help—e.g., chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, massage, Pilates and other core strengthening routines, copious NSAIDs/muscle relaxants, and so on. Waste of time and money so far. In 2017 around the holidays, I was hit with sciatica so bad it felt like lightning was running up and down my leg. I couldn’t sleep, sit, or walk for more than a few minutes at a time. That entire Christmas holiday was spent trying to keep my leg in the one position where the pain was at least bearable. Not trying be too dramatic here. No doubt many folks have had it much worse. I’m just trying to be complete in the story. Another round of sciatica hit over the 2018 holidays, so I decided to go in for updated images and inquire about possible surgical interventions. Here are the diagnostic results: *** #1. X-rays lumbar spine performed January 22, 2019 with mild scoliosis. There is no abnormal change in alignment with flexion or extension. #2. MRI of the lumbar spine performed on January 22, 2019 demonstrates at L1-L2 a normal disc. At L2–L3 through normal distress. At L3-L4 through normal disc. Facet hypertrophy on the left is severe. At L4/L5 facet hypertrophy is moderate to severe lateral recess stenosis and moderate bilaterally. Degenerative disc disease mild. At L5-S1 right-sided disc protrusion small in size with lateral recess stenosis on the right severe and moderate. Degenerative disc disease mild. *** The spine institute surgeon indicated that unless the pain becomes unbearable, I should continue with conservative care and add in some fish oil and a greens smoothie each day. Discharged with no follow-up. At this point, I’m flustered. The pain is not “unbearable”, but certainly is significant and occurs nearly all day, every day. I’m happy to avoid surgery, but the persistent pain is starting to wear me down. After searching for alternative approaches to low back pain and sciatica, I ran into Sarno’s books. At first, it was difficult to fully buy into the concepts. Dr. Schubiner’s “Unlearn Your Pain” helped clarify the areas I had trouble accepting. I’m a believer now. That said, I’m wondering if there’s anything in the “facet hypertrophy is severe” diagnosis that may be delaying my progress in healing? I’ve been journaling and meditating for a couple of months, but so far the pain has not subsided at all. My understanding is that facet degeneration is a form of arthritis, which only worsens over time. I’ve also read that treatment involves injections and possibly a procedure called rhizotomy, which essentially shuts down the nerves sending the pain signals. Does anyone have this particular condition? If so, have you effectively treated it with the TMS approach? I certainly do believe in the ability of the mind to regulate pain. But I also wonder if some conditions like this are simply so irritating to the nerves that mind-body work alone may be insufficient. Thanks in advance for your time and any information. Happy Holidays!