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L4/L5 & L5/S1 bulges or herniations and foot drop at the same

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Dave81, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. Dave81

    Dave81 New Member

    Hi all,
    I do apologise for the long post.
    I don’t know where to start from, so I will tell you my back problem story.
    I’m currently 39 male, generally in good health, rarely go to the doctors. I was diagnosed with herniated disc level L5/S1 and Sciatica when I was 25. For the next 7 years I had 3 more acute bouts and one time that wasn’t painful, but pins and needles if I recall correctly that I managed to “cure” it without medication. All 4 times the pain was unbearable, always at the back of the leg and into the foot, with pins and needles and like burning sensation, funny enough never had back pain on those occasions. I wasn’t able to stand or walk when it was in full power and the 4th time was the worst of them, I wasn’t even able to find a comfortable position in bed, I don’t remember if the painkillers were helping at all. I need to mention that 3 time I had a second MRI that showed herniated L5/S1 and a bulging L4/L5.
    If I recall correctly every time I was able to get better with Diclofenac (NSAID), after taking it, on day 3-4 I was able to start walking and everything was getting better, constantly improving, until the pain was completely gone. After the 4th painful occasion I got Gastritis, the doctors told me it was caused by the NSAID, it is a side effect. I had that for about 2-3 years and still have problems every now and then, before that never had any problems with my stomach. I don’t remember if it was straight after the Gastritis stopped bothering me, but I had knee pain for about a year. Never checked what the cause it and it went away.
    After the 4th painful bout, although I had the Gastritis, knee pain and probably once a year back pain that was resolved with heat gel after 5 days, I had 6-7 years period that no discs or Sciatica bothered me, I really thought I was cured.
    All was good Until end of last year I had a bit of lower back discomfort, which I ignored. All of the sudden pain started going down the front of my leg and foot and into the toes. It was different this time, pain was at the front and one day I wasn’t able to walk but on the next I wasn’t. On the forth day I got a complete foot drop, no numbness, but wasn’t able to do dorsiflexion. I had an emergency MRI showing 2 bulges at L4/5 & L5/S1, impinging L5 & S1 nerve roots, there is also foramen stenosis affecting L4 & L5 nerve roots. The spinal fellow (not a doctor) at the hospital said that I don’t need surgery, PT will have the same effect and referred me to a consultant spinal surgeon (also not a doctor), he also confirmed the same. I started improving, pain stopped and I was able to sleep a whole night again, a month and a half after the foot drop I started having like a squeeze feeling in my penis and then I had some pins and needles around the anus and very weak ones in the other leg and foot, no pain. I went to the ER and they did a second MRI, they said it was identical with the first and let me go. Funny enough, the very same night the pins and needles stopped! They have come back a day or two after that and have been on and off since then.
    4 months on I still have the foot drop, it’s better than it was, I don’t limp or very slightly, but can’t still dorsiflex it if its in the air. My toes cannot go up and they feel weird, they have sensation. Pins and needles in the groin and the bum and some times the other leg and foot. This time was and it still is a mental challenge, more than anything else.
    As everyone else I started searching and found Dr. John Sarn, read “Healing Back Pain”, watched a lecture by Dr. Sarno on YouTube and currently reading The Mindbody Prescription.
    I refuse to accept that I am that broken or my back is that broken. I completely accept that stress, worrying, anger and so on can cause or aggravate an illness, during the past 14-15 years I have had plenty of these. However I don’t know if I will completely accept that I have TMS, although there are plenty of signs. After the first bout, I still have “extra sensitivity” (don’t know how to describe it) in the foot and it also goes cold very easy, How can it be explained?
    Recently I visited a physiotherapist, he was highly recommended, he told me that my sacrum was slightly off and that has been causing the disc problems. He said he can adjust it.
    Has anyone had L4/L5 & L5/S1 bulges or herniations and foot drop at the same time and completely recovered from it using the TMS method?
    Thank you all.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
    Baseball65 likes this.
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    You had a placebo response.
    Inconsistency... did you magically get 'uninflamed' ?
    YES. I actually have a congenital fusion, stenosis and a broken vertebrae on top of that. I also used to walk by dragging my trouser leg because I lost all ability to move my leg/foot forward.

    You are lost in the Hell that most of us once also were. You are speaking in 'Medspeak' or rather 'mythspeak'... It's like a game nobody wins because the object of the game is to keep playing the game, not to win and move on. I pointed out the glaring inconsistencies in the "Medieval Structural Mythology of Medicine" just to point you in the direction of the insanity of the 'regular' diagnoses.

    Inflammatory processes are usually carried out to heal something. That's why you're all swollen and stiff after a workout when you haven't worked out in a long time. That's why you're swollen after you bang your leg accidentally into a coffee table... the body's own system is busy sending extra blood and good stuff there, but sometimes the crush and traffic makes for a little more discomfort so we take an anti-inflammatory. If I am Hit by a baseball REALLY hard I'll take them... once or twice. Not as a continuing therapy

    Sarno discussed this at length in "Healing Back Pain".
    That's hysterical. Unless he is a body builder who has 1000's of pounds of force in his 'adjustment', there is nothing he can adjust. Sarno also discussed this in aforementioned book. All of Chiro, Physiatry, kenesiology (as regards pain) is quackery. I always got better after my visits to my Chiro because I LIKED MY CHIRO and he had a calm, confident bed side manner that made me believe in his abilities... but the farther down the line my TMS got , the relief from the placebo got less and less because Obviously we weren't dealing with the cause...only the symptom.

    Keep reading those books. Eventually you will start to notice the Causes that triggered your pain AND understand why it occasionally left, but these will be found in the mental and emotional states you were found in due to life's vicissitudes (love that word...learned it from Sarno) and in the ensuing conditioning.

    Then, your story would be "THIS was going on in my life when (BLANK) started bothering me... after the doctors scared the shit out of me with their dire prognostications it got worse.... then my partner left me and (BLANK) happened... etc,etc."

    Most people who get this crap are relatively conscientious and intelligent. We are the ones who tend to get informed about stuff... I knew more about Medicine, back pain , new diagnoses and treatments than a lot of the people treating me.... and Then I got well reading Sarno and making up a strategy to stay painfree (21 years now)... So I deleted it all. Thank God. You can get free too.... keep reading, look for yourself in the vignettes and stories in the book.... Identify with it (Idem-facere.... to 'make the same') and you will get free too.

    daniebama and Dave81 like this.
  3. Dave81

    Dave81 New Member

    Hi Baseball65,

    Thanks for replying and sharing. 21 years WOW, keep doing what you are doing and hopefully don’t ever deal with this! Would you mind sharing your strategy?
    Would you mind giving me more details why you had the fusion, what levels, etc. if you have written you story somewhere please share the link and I will read it.

    During the 6-7 year period I had the Gastritis and then the knee pain to deal with. Neither of which I took very seriously.
    I did stop eating certain foods (and still do), because of the gastritis and I was popping pills for about 3 months that had no effect or very little and then probiotics supplements for about 1 year that were supposed to be kept in the fridge as they are live culture, guess what I did not know they have to be put in the fridge, so I did not, so God knows if they were any good. J
    As for the knee problem, I wore an elastic brace and it just went away.

    The Diclofenac – it’s probably more of a programming with me, I suppose the same way something can set your pain off, something else can cure it. I simply know it will make my pain go away. I have tried different NSAID with no effect, but diclofenac has always worked, certainly did the last 3 times (don’t remember the previous). This time I even demanded it from the doctor.
    Did not know about Dr. Sarno until like 1- 2 months ago.

    The back problem cannot point out what was happening in my life every time when I had the pain, but can say for sure that the stress, the anger and all that s*** got bigger and the bigger it got the more painful the bout.

    Funny enough this time it should have been happy time, I suppose un-consciously this meant to me more responsibilities and more stress.

    All the best to you and thanks again!

  4. Dave81

    Dave81 New Member

    Please more stories with L4/L5 & L5/S1 bulges or herniations and foot drop at the same!

    Thank you all.
  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    https://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/My_Victory_Over_Pain,_by_Baseball65 (My Victory Over Pain, by Baseball65)

    I wrote that a loooong time ago...maybe when I had been painfree 7 or 8 years. I have 21 years this spring of beating this thing...

    As you'll read, a congenital fusion is a birth defect, like a cleft pallet or something. I broke the vertebrae in my spine during a two story fall in 2013 though I wasn't told about it until an x-ray found it by accident in 2015 ...the fall had severed my thumb and I was so excited about the thumb I never paid any attention to the numerous other injuries... and had no lasting consequences either.

    I never had any pain with it the vertebrae...and it healed all by itself. Since reading Sarno in'99 I have had so many accidents it would bore you, BUT I have never had any more pain because of the peculiar perspective we acquire while studying tTMS.

    Dave81 likes this.
  6. Dave81

    Dave81 New Member

    Thanks Baseball65, some story!

    Anyone else?
  7. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Dave81,

    Whether you get any more evidence to reassure you or not, in my opinion you cannot beat Baseball's response. In fact to find the exact diagnosis with your L's and the foot drop will be hard.

    If you want to read other posts here about "foot drop" I did a term search in upper right box and got:
    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/search/1358003/?q=%22foot+drop%22&o=date&c[node]=26 (Search Results for Query: "foot drop" | TMS Forum (The Mindbody Syndrome))

    For many there is no definitive answer. Yours is already getting better, which most do.

    What Baseball65 is saying loud and clear is forget all the medical stuff. The choice is yours to move into this TMS healing. Strange feelings are not unusual in this realm. Neither is cold or weird. We're not physicians here, but we have direct experience. A good question to ask is "has an expert told me it will be dangerous to my health to not get a "procedure" in the next 6 months?" If not, you're probably fine to go a TMS route.

    Remarkably you've had a series of symptoms, and twice you got better when the expert told you not to worry! You also notice negative response with more stress. My foot troubles came on when I had finally stopped a stressful teaching job. You have to put the clues together for yourself and create your own path to healing. You have lots of support for a TMS self diagnosis already.

    The Structured Education Program is a great place to start at the Wiki.

    Good luck in your journey.

    daniebama and Dave81 like this.
  8. Dave81

    Dave81 New Member

    Hi Andy,
    Thanks for replying.
    Baseball65's message and story are loud and clear, no doubt about it! You are probably right, maybe it is reassurance that I need or I believe I just need to hear that somebody with the same diagnosis cured themself.
    After all for 15 years I have been told and I have been telling myself that I have a slipped disc!
    For 15 years:
    - I would get out of bed turning on one side or on four legs;
    - I would lift with my legs;
    - I would squat to pick up something off the floor;
    - I would avoid drift blowing in my back or sitting on cold surface, cause my back gets cold and that's how it happened the second time and so on.
    For 15 years I imposed a lot restrictions to myself on day to day stuff, so unlearning them isn't going to be easy. Same goes for self-diagnosing and accepting it, and I believe that is the key!

    One more thing for any other sufferers with the same issues like mine it will be a lot easier to find info.

    Thanks for the the search tip, there is a few foot drop stories, no details on diagnosis though.

    This is my 5th major bout of Sciatica and I had a minor one. Excluding the minor one, it was always the medication that got me better, in my opinion or in my head, by the time I saw a neurologist I was already better.
    However this time I was referred to a surgery consultant that turned out not to be a proper doctor, his title on the NHS hospital website is not doctor. With that said there's the doubt in my mind that he might have missed something, although I am getting better. I suppose if it wasn't the foot drop I would have forgotten about it by now. And after that the pins and needles in the genitals and the bum really freaked me out.

    I don’t think I said that I had a negative response with more stress, I said that I believe stress and anger could cause or aggravate an illness.
    Now that I have read Dr. Sarno's book and going back through all the pain episodes, I just had an epiphany actually! Last time also a bad one, lots of stress and real one, possibly some anger.
    This time the worst of them all, probably 5 years of rage and then some additional stress prior to the incident. I was finally calm, I felt the rage finally gone and the stress too and then bang my back is kaput!
    Could it be that the angrier or the more real or bigger the stress is the greater the pain? It certainly seems that way in my cases. One thing does not add up, I have always expressed the rage never repressed any!

    Thanks again Andy for replying and you made me think. I will try the program, but need to finish "The Mindbody Prescription" and reread it.

    I appreciate all the support from all of you guys!

    All the best and peace!
  9. Bonnard

    Bonnard Well known member

    That can be helpful to focus on. How is it that you had no issues for 6-7 years and considered yourself cured? Yet, inexplicably, the symptoms returned in a different way.

    Just my opinion, but I think that when we separate ourselves out and fully identify with our symptoms, that we can slow down the TMS solution.
    I totally get it when a weird symptom shows up and one wonders if it's TMS (I've had that numerous times, with skins issues, pain in new areas, etc.).
    But, I've recently tried to focus on the wide variety of symptoms I've experienced (you've had your variety as well) and lump them all as TMS. I'm not someone with a back pain problem or a this problem or that problem. I'm somebody who has found a solution and when I stay in the Sarno-based solution, I do great. No symptoms and a physically active life.
    Dave81 likes this.
  10. Dave81

    Dave81 New Member

    Hi Bonnard,

    Thanks for replying and your advice, but I found out about TMS and Dr Sarno, like 2 maybe 1 month back, so I am new to the whole thing.
    I don’t know if I need reassurance, but it will definitely made me feel better.

  11. Bonnard

    Bonnard Well known member


    I definitely appreciate that you found out about TMS and Dr. Sarno very recently. I did not mean to overstate or push you forward in a way that's too fast.
    However, reading about your history, you've been dealing with these issues (sometimes severely) for a very long time. To that end, I want to share my opinions and suggestions. If they can be helpful, that's great.

    For those who have found freedom from the pain, it's an incredible place to be. I really hope that you don't have to suffer these symptoms for another day. Or have that awful fear that they're going to come back strong.
    Be well. And, find your way in a way that's comfortable for ya...

  12. Dave81

    Dave81 New Member

    Hi Bonnard,

    Thanks for sharing and for your support, much appreciated!

    I misunderstood you comment about my 6-7 year pain free period, I thought you think I have previous TMS experience, hence I am stating that I am new. I do apologise. I think I understand what you mean with that. I know of 2 maybe 3 cases of slipped disc that have recovered and haven't had an episode for 25-30 years, hence I thought that mine was cured, gone! I hope they never do! So that's not very helpful.

    I think I am looking at the problems as one, Dr. Sarno names them as part of the whole mess I got myself into. The thing is I don't care or worry about the other 2 as much, nor I have.

    Fear is my biggest enemy at the moment, as this time was mental challenge more than physical.

    Again thanks for sharing and your support.

    All the best to you.

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