Hi, everyone! Now that I've introduced myself, with a not-so-brief rundown of my back pain experience, I need to vent. My gripe? Tendency on the part of some doctors to pooh-pooh a need for MRIs (which in my case resulted in further deterioration of my spinal condition). Before I started going to a comprehensive spine center here in St. Petersburg, Florida (I can't say enough about the place - as I mentioned in my first post, it's fantastic), I'd stopped seeing doctors for it because of their refusal to order an MRI (and I wasn't getting permanent relief from what they'd done). Since disk herniation is progressive, I seriously wonder if encroachment on the neural foramen and nerve root ("pinched nerve"), as my MRI report said, could have been avoided if the doctor who turned down my request for one in 2007 had agreed to order it (and my symptoms have worsened since then, with recent onset of inability to raise my right foot and big toe, and now I need to see an orthopedist as well). So right now I'm about ready to throttle the doctor who refused to order the test! Thanks so much for letting me blow off steam.