Dr. Sarno is pretty clear on his position – pinched nerves/bulging discs do not cause back pain.Yet these days I am struggling mightily to accept that my LBP pain is totally unrelated to anything mechanical. I’ve been reading experiences posted by patients who have undergone the kinds of operations often recommended to this crowd to treat all of the standard TMS-style diagnoses like Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, etc. These patients have all been operated on by the surgeon I’ve consulted with, whose recommendation was for me to have L4-L5/L5-S1 fusion, but only after I can be off steroids for at least 6 months. The main thing I’m looking for is a consensus from this community about these success stories. In these circles, we talk a lot about the horror stories – all the failed surgeries, etc., but I don’t see a lot of talk about the other folks that point to their surgery as the greatest decision they ever made. I’m not sure if It’s OK to post links to the reviews & identify the doc, but if you have a special interest & would like to help I can PM that info. I do believe TMS plays a role in many of these cases, and would not be at all surprised if a good chunk of them could blame 100% of their problem on TMS & could have achieved the same or even greater degree of success had they tried the mind-body approach 1st. So here I am, a former patient (and success story) of Dr. Sarno’s able to acknowledge that repressed stress contributes to my back pain. I have all of the personality traits commonly found among patients suffering from MBS. I’ve even experienced what Dr. Sarno referred to as ‘the Symptom Imperative’, when I developed an anxiety disorder almost immediately following celebrating conquering the back pain. I overcame the anxiety through education. Once I learned exactly what was going on psychologically & physiologically, I stopped having the attacks. The point is that despite all of this 1st-hand experience with TMS...all the knowledge, introspection, etc., I am still almost certainly headed for the operating table. I can’t help but shake the feeling that this time around, the stress, depression, anger, etc. are the result of the pain and not the cause.