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Tarlov Cysts Explained

In layman’s/woman’s’ terms are the only way I will talk about the cysts.  A Tarlov cyst is a nerve root cyst.  There are other terms used for these cysts but to understand them best you have to think of them as being on the nerve root.  They are not like a sore on the nerve root but are part of the root itself.  They are part of the membrane that surrounds the root and they fill a weakness in that membrane with spinal fluid.  Most form in the sacrum and coccyx area of the spine.  Coccyx is the “tailbone” area of the spine and the sacrum is right above it.  (Now you know why the page is called Funny Tail Bones)

How does one know if they have one?  Well, if your doctor orders a MRI then they can be seen.  Now, don’t be an alarmist, remember that most of these cysts will not cause you discomfort.  Also, a lot of radiologists will not even note them on reports going back to your doctor.  Most neurologists will not even consider these causing problems.  What are the symptoms you ask?  Well, sitting on hot rocks or hot coals is right on the top.  Hips being pried or pushed apart, Sciatica, bladder dysfunction, abnormal pain or sensations in the reproductive area (in men and women) are the most common issues that most with the problematic cyst experience.

What to do if you have one.  1) Pray long and hard that you can find a doctor that will listen to you and listen to you.  2) Seek out a doctor that says they know about these and have worked with them or will refer you to one of the few that can help you.  3) Never give up hope.  Don’t allow yourself to wallow in the pain.  Don’t vacuum.  (my humor).  4) Decide if you are a fixer or manager with your body.  5) Learn new words to describe your discomfort, pain is so generic and over done.  For the things not to do, I can’t tell you, but I would never let a doctor put a needle in the area of the cyst.  Nor would I ever have traction again, much less physical therapy for that area.  And if I met a doctor that said he could “cut it off” I would run as fast as my burning butt would let me.

As you read my blog you will get the feel for my personality.  I also want you to know that I have not decided whether to alert you to the doctors out there that profess to do work on these cysts.  I will include what I have experienced and what I thought was a balm and a bomb.

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