Hi...its has been well over a year since I last posted and wanted to update on my situation and also get some advice and opinions regarding my situation. As you may be aware my issue was SI Joint / lower back leg pain that I had been suffering from for about 4 years. I finally got round to having an MRI a year ago in October and was expecting to be told all was clear but a small 'abnormality' was discovered and this turned out to be a neuroma which is basically a small benign tumour on a nerve in my lower back. I was sent off to see a neurosurgeon who examined me and my MRI and indicated that it would be possible to operate to remove the neuroma but that this surgery would not be risk free and it would mean sacrificing a nerve and that it could actually just change the nature of my pain so I needed to weigh up all the pros and cons...what we agreed is that he would order me another MRI for October this year to monitor any growth act and we would reassess the situation then. So, I had the follow up MRI this October and basically the neuroma was exactly the same size and had not grown at all in the space of a year. I was a bit confused by this as I can't really understand how if something isn't growing (he thinks I probably had this all my life) how it can then be causing the pain...if the thing has always been there and probably had been there all my life what is the logical explanation of the thing starting to cause pain about 5 years ago when I was 43. I have questioned the neurosurgeon on this point but he is vague which I do understand. He agrees that my pain pathway does fit the general one he would expect of some form of nerve compression in the location of the neuroma BUT equally he has stressed that the finding could be purely coincidental and that is could be a total red herring...he has stated he has seen people with far far worse spinal nerve compression with zero pain and that it often makes no sense. My pain is very much that of a flare up and settle down nature and I do struggle to see how this fits with a nerve compression type issue...I don't see how this is an 'on or off' thing, the surgeon can't really comment on this either and just suggests everybody is different how they feel pain. It is all very confusing. I've had this issue for about 5 years and the pain has increased somewhat on the flares but it appears this is in the absence of an impingement that is getting worse. There just seems no rhyme or reason to the flares either...I could go for 10 mile hikes every day for a week with little to no problems then one day I wake up and its randomly on a flare. I have also noted that sometimes the flares do seem a little related to external things going on for example I had a huge flare up last christmas and boxing day which is the probably the worse I've ever had...I've had other flares this year but nothing as bad as that, now that is basically a year ago so what is the logic there? It makes little sense. Since all this started, well really over the last 8 years I have had an incredibly stressful time and have had severe health anxiety (now under some control) and free floating anxiety. I lost both my parents about 3 years to cancer in a short space of time and I gave up work to try and get myself 'sorted'. I haven't worked since then and am currently feeling alot of guilt for not having worked for such a long period (and having eaten into our saving) and also a huge amount of worry over the fact that I now need to get another job and this worries me because of my age and back issue. I am also finding a huge number of other health issues popping up. I suffered from daily tension headaches, shoulder pain and feeling spaced out for the best part of a year, this all stopped (still have the shoulder issue) about 2 months ago and then I started getting some weird neurological type symptoms similar to the ones I had about 6 years ago that I managed to convince myself was MS. This all stopped after about 3 weeks only to be replaced by both frequent urination and IBS which are still ongoing but quite mild. As you can see I am a poster child for TMS. I did see a TMS therapist in the UK who was sure I had TMS. This was before I had the MRI but when I told him the MRI result he still quite sure that my pain was likely to be more psychological generated than from the structural issue. So, I suppose I'm just a tad confused and bewildered. I'm still not fully committed to surgery and I'm due to see the neurosurgeon next April to reevaluate then. He sees me as in pretty good nick as I have full mobility and no issues with loss of sensation or feeling etc...my only symptom is pain (go figure) and he agrees my pain is really pretty atypical of nerve pain...I do take Neurotin but feel this doesn't really help that much. I really feel I am in that horrible grey area of not being able to buy into the TMS theory as I do possibly have a structural issue. What I do believe though is that my mindset MUST be if not causing my pain in some way feeding into is as I'm finding myself getting increasingly angry with life and my family and just feeling incredibly despondent and depressed about everything...I'm very entrenched in the 'my life is over' mindset and have totally become a victim to my body and I'm finding it incredibly hard to get out of this funk. I realise that if I could 'buy into' the TMS side of it then I have nothing to lose as nothing is going to happen till April/May next year at the earliest and even if my pain is structurally caused to some degree I'm sure that reframing my thoughts on it and calming down my nervous system must be beneficial to some degree. I just can't see how there can't be a psychological element to this as it just doesn't make sense with a totally structural framework. Sorry for the long read. Any thoughts and opinions greatly received. thanks.