I'm posting about this because I'm working the SEP and it's a good question. The two nurse practitioners I saw when this all got started simply had no idea what was wrong with me: sciatica or maybe bursitis in my hips. That was disheartening because not only what is not a diagnosis it just led to more questions and a referral to a Ortho doctor. The Ortho doctor pushed into my hips and asked if it hurt. I said "yes" and replied that he could give me steroid shots in both hips that day. WTF? No thanks. He gave me muscle relaxers and oral steroids and requested that I get an MRI and a low back x-ray. I had already had an x-ray of my left hip, the one that has been most problematic and it showed nothing. I get the low back x-ray which showed noting and the MRI which shows bulges in L4 and L5 in addition to annular tears, both small, the MRI report says "neither bulge appears to in contact with a nerve". The Ortho gives me this news and says "well-you shouldn't be having any pain at all but if you want we can go PT". I left thinking OK now I have this diagnosis which shows a structural problem in my lumbar spine but I shouldn't worry about it. My pain (leg and hips) was somewhat better that day but the next day got worse and continued to do so. I had been seeing a wonderful spine/sport specialist/chiro who had requested my MRI and x-ray results as well. She told me "No wonder you are having pain!" "The thecal sac is being pressed on and annular tears can be very painful" she said "its going to be a long road". She did active release therapy on my shoulders, low back and left hip and micro current therapy which seemed to help but after a few days the relief was mostly gone. I left that appointment very defeated and scared. "A long road" was all I could hear playing out in my head. I frequently had diarrhea (still do sometimes) and was losing weight because I grew very depressed and very anxious about the pain. I ordered 3 Dr. Sarno books and decided that TMS was probably what I had. I had one more scheduled appointment with spine/sport/chiro specialist and I mentioned TMS to her and wanted to get her thoughts-she said she'd heard of it and that she thought there was some validity to it. She runs me through the usual tests (bending/stretching/leg lifting) and proclaims that I'm done! I can be discharged and that I'm doing much better? Haven't been back to any doctors. My experience has indeed been disheartening because both specialists seemed to be at odds with each other. One time the ortho said "well the chiro made you feel worse" and I was thinking and said "no, not true" and i got the impression that the chiro wasn't happy I'd seen an ortho specialist and she made a few comments about how "that guy doesn't even think you should be in pain, of course you are in pain". Overall. Ugh. Doctors and specialists did nothing more than present me with a diagnosis/structural abnormality and then declared alternately that I shouldn't feel any pain and that no wonder I was feeling so much pain. WTF? Definitely disheartening. Seems the various medical professions don't do encouragement real well. Sad.