Once again I find myself in the usual position of a flare up causing anxiety and then getting embroiled in the problem solving mindset that sees me rushing to here to offload and try to find answers. I have been dealing with quite an intense flare of lower back/buttock and leg pain for about 10 days now which did seem to disperse for a couple of days but then returned. During this period I have sucked it up and dome a couple of 5 mile hikes and these haven't really effected the pain levels. My main sport has always been running and I found that doing this was causing me more and more discomfort and pain which meant I ran my last half marathon last year and my last 10k was about 9 months ago. When I hike I often jog a little and this is generally ok but trying to run seriously caused me significant discomfort and thus I have become very wary of this. Tonight, on the spur of the moment and because I was thoroughly pissed off with the pain I decided to go for a short run. I intended to run a local 2 mile route and whilst I found it pretty painful and not enjoyable I did manage to complete it...if I'm honest I could probably have gone further if I had either needed to or really wanted to. Upon returning from the run I felt OK about it and my pain level at this point was pretty much as it had been all through this current flare. About an hour later and my pain levels really ramped up almost to the point that the blatting pain was making me feel physically sick. Now, I do understand about the concept of conditioning but crikey I do feel it really difficult to see beyond this increased pain response as inflammation due to a physical/structural issue which the run aggravated. I have been told loads of time that I cannot damage my back further but this just feels like exactly what is happening...in actual fact the whole way the pain has grown over the last 4 years or so just seems to fit a typical pattern of degradation etc, how the hell do people get past this worry. I should add that I probably didn't do the run tonight in the best mindset...due to being on a flare up and pissed off I'm sure there was an element of 'testing' the pain and as a result I didn't really have a positive outcome independence from the run...instead of being happy I have run the 2 miles and being happy I could do it I'm still pissed off that the pain has intensified and this has negated all the benefits for me. I am currently trying to find 'evidence' as to why my issue cannot be structural as these discrepencies seem to have helped a lot of people finally accept the TMS diagnosis and I have found some strange issues with the pain patterns and stuff. One thing i wanted to run past people is if its sort of a clue you have TMS if your symptoms are really just pain and discomfort? What I mean by this is that whilst my lower back/buttock and hamstring are tighter on one side (the painful side) there isn't actually any real objective problems with stretching, leaning, mobility etc etc. This sort of doesn't make a huge amount of sense to me because surely if you have pain that is caused by a structural issue would it not follow that these structural issues should also affect movement, flexibility and the like? I am actually having an MRI on my lumbar on Friday and the results are going to my TMS therapist to have a look out so he should be able to sort the wheat from the chaff so to speak and be able to put it all in perspective for me. As another aside, I was looking back over some old posts the other night and can see that I have 'bought into' the TMS concept on an intellectual level for about 4 or 5 years now and I get increasingly worried that my pain has been increasing even with this knowledge...do you think it would be correct to say that this knowledge is, for some people, actually useless unless the knowledge is turned into 'true belief' as its obvious to me I have never been at this stage or nor have I really committed to any pragmatic strategies, its actually like I almost expect to be cured of TMS just because I'm open minded enough to accept that TMS exists. Does that make sense to anybody else. thanks again all.