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Teacher Lesley Maloney endured agonising back pain until scan revealed cysts on her spine

Lesley Maloney, from Yorkshire, was diagnosed with piriformis syndromeIt causes the piriformis a muscle in the buttock to irritate the sciatic nerve, which runs through the buttock and into the legBut physiotherapy, cortisone injections and osteopathy failed to helpHer pain got worse and sitting became unbearable without a cushionA scan in June 2013 revealed a Tarlov cyst at the bottom of her spineThe cysts are found on the roots of spinal nerves and can compress nervesOther symptoms include bowel and bladder problems and pain during sexIn April Mrs Maloney travelled to Cyprus to be treated by a Texan world expert on Tarlov cystsDr Frank Feigenbaum’s technique involved popping the cystsMrs Maloney said: ‘The difference is unbelieveable’By

‘It was like sitting on a golf ball with nails sticking out of it,’ says Lesley, 58, who lives with her sales manager husband, Wholesale Hockey Jerseys | Cheap Jerseys Authentic Quality Supply Ged, also 58, in Wetherby, West Yorkshire.

Lesley’s symptoms began gradually in May 2012, and worsened over several weeks, until she was in constant pain.

‘It was always there, though standing and lying were easier than sitting,’ says Lesley.

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Her misery was compounded by her job as a junior school teacher.

‘I sit with the children and have lots of meetings my days were filled with pain and, often, I resorted to standing instead,’ she says.

Along with pain while sitting, Lesley also experienced severe pain down the outside of her left thigh.

‘I’d been running a lot, so I thought it might be some kind of back injury related to that.’

After suffering for about six weeks, Lesley went to a physiotherapist who diagnosed piriformis syndrome, where the piriformis, a muscle in the buttock, irritates the sciatic nerve, which runs through the buttock and into the leg.

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But physiotherapy, cortisone injections designed to reduce inflammation and osteopathy all failed to help.

She then saw a skeletal and sports consultant who gave her an MRI scan, but couldn’t see anything wrong, and diagnosed nerve damage. She was told to rest, and her cheap falcons jerseys GP prescribed a painkiller releasing patch.

Lesley hoped the pain would pass but, instead, it got worse.

‘Sitting was unbearable without a cushion,’ she says.

‘I’d take one everywhere and try to NFL Green Bay Packers Jerseys Cheap Discount Retail make light of it, saying, “I’ve not got piles!”‘ But it was no joke daily life became a struggle.

‘I coped with my job it offered some distraction but could do little else,’ says Lesley. ‘Our social life ground to a halt.’

In June 2013, she returned to her GP and pleaded for another scan. This time, the bottom of her spine was scanned and doctors found what’s known as a Tarlov cyst.

Tarlov cysts, also known as perineural cysts, are named after the late American neurosurgeon Isadore M. Tarlov, who first documented them.

They are found on the roots of spinal nerves, which are covered by a protective sheath.

When the spinal fluid that surrounds the spinal column finds a weakness in the sheath, it balloons out, forming a cyst.

The cysts can cheap falcons jerseys compress nearby nerves, causing a range of problems, including pain around the tail bone and buttocks, or the perineum, and pain in the legs.

Other symptoms include bowel and bladder problems, such as constipation or needing to urinate too frequently, and, in women, painful sexual intercourse.

Tarlov cysts can form anywhere along the spine, but tend to be found in the sacral area at the base, which is why sitting can be so painful. Over time, they can erode the bone of the sacrum, causing further pain.

Up to one in ten of us is thought to have a Tarlov cyst, but they cause symptoms in fewer than five per cent of cases.

The cysts vary in size usually from a few millimetres in diameter up to a couple of centimetres and many patients have more than one, says Adrian Casey, a neurologist and spine specialist at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore.