I’ve been dealing with back pain on and off for the last 15 years in various forms - general back pain, muscle spasms, and sciatica. The doctors all attribute it to herniated discs, particularly a "bad" one at L4/L5. I could be fine for months or even years at a time and then have an acute attack lasting for days, weeks, or months. Over the course of the past 15 years I’ve tried just about every type of treatment and practitioner; physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopath, physiatrist, orthopedist, massage, steroid injections, pain killers, muscle relaxants, and on and on. Every time surgery was recommended I would run the other way - until last year. After a bout with sciatica that lasted months, kept me in constant pain, and left me virtually useless, I decided gave in and went in for a microdiscectomy. The moment I awoke from surgery the extreme pain down my leg was totally gone. I went through 3 months of recovery and physical therapy and was feeling great. At that point I went on a 2 week vacation and surfed every day without pain and was looking forward to playing basketball again when I got home. However, a few days after my return and getting back into a stressful work life, I noticed a small twinge in my back – like a precursor to a spasm. Having previously read Sarno’s Healing Back Pain I picked it up again and tried to tell my back I was not going to let it get me this time. Little by little my back got worse, until finally I woke up in full spasm and could barely get out of bed or walk. On the plus side, that time in bed gave me a chance to fully reread the book and now I am immersing myself on the TMS recovery path. I’m a believer, feeling optimistic, and looking forward to ridding myself of back pain once and for all.