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Trying to understand: What is Chronic Pain and...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Chronic Pain
do I fall under it's umbrella?

My issues: Herniated, dehydrated disc at L5/S1, had Discectomy, Laminectomy, F****tomy on March 7, 2008. It helped, pain in foot and numbess is near gone, still have pain in lower back from time to time, sometimes it goes down thru my hip.

Herniated discs at C4/C5, C5/C6, compressed discs at C3/C4, C6/C7 (is there a C7? or is it T1? The doc pointed to the disc below C5/C6, didn't name it and just said it's visually compressed). Pinched nerves, initially more so on my left side, I fear the right side may be just as bad now. I've had more than 18 injections in the left and right side of my neck, 4 nerve ablations in my left and right side. First time I went thru that stuff the pain eased up quite a bit (was still there just not nearly as bad as it was), lasted almost a year. Next round of shots and RFNA's didn't do to well, so now I'm at every 6 months for shots and RFNA's. Doc wants to do a discreplacement/fusion, this is my worst fear as I'm 32 years old, have two young children and I used to have a rather active lifestyle. He said the surgery would only have a 50% of working, I don't see any reason to even attempt it since the side effects are extreme and are quite possible (IMHO).

When I went for extra opinions on my lumbar surgery I asked the doctor at the Rothman Institute to look at my C-spine MRI's. His initial words were "Holy edited!", I kid you not. He said he reaction was due to the comparision to my L5/S1. I still think it's not nearly as bad some other peoples, either way it's not good to hear.

I've been taken pain meds for almost 2.5 years now. I've stopped here and there to see where the pain level is at (usually 7 or better, mind you my threshold for pain is very high, I once played a hockey game with dislocated shoulder (no meds) and a hyper-extended ankle).

Do I fall under the Chronic Pain catergory? Is this a diagnosis that I need to get from my doc?


  • Thanks. That definitely helps to know the definition now. For some reason I searched for it but I just couldn't find it.

    So I'm guessing there is no real way to treat Chronic Pain except maybe therapy and meds?
  • check definition in quick find section on this page. it has a glossary to define all terms
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • because I am not a doc but I feel very strongly that you are doing the right thing in not going the disc replacement route. several of my docs have told me that they are no where near being perfected yet and if it was them that needed it they would decline. I am somewhat in the same boat as you are and my doc tells me to try and control the pain with meds until a new advancement is made in this area. Have your pain meds actually controlled your pain so that you can have a somewhat normal lifestyle? Have you tried any of the once a day long acting opiates?
  • :) i really agree about that disc surgery. my orthopedic surgeon was against it for the reasons mentioned by painintheback. it hasn't been tried enough to be reliable. according to what i know you have chronic pain. you are more than welcome to join us. we are happy to answer what questions we can. Jenny :)
  • Well, I've been thru Topamax, Cymbalt, Neurontin, Celebrex, Mobic, etc. None of which helped any at all.

    So far the only thing that works is Percocet 10/325 and even that is on the low end of effectivenss. I'm finding that I need my dosage to be around once every 4 hours, right now it's only set for 6 hours and those last 2-2 1/2 hours of pure pain.

    However, every doc I've been to insists that I stop taking the opiates adn try something new.

    The only thing I haven't tried is Lyrica, my PCP however seems to think it is not for me..

    I'm sure at some point my NS will stop writing Rx's for Percocet for me.
  • I always ask the doctors what they would do in my situation, although they are not it does give an insight to what they think would be the preferable option.

    I would agree with what has been said and some academics view chronic pain as a syndrome in itself, we are all trying to endure the pain and attempt to live the optimum route through more effective pain management and the future, whatever that may be.

    Anything that extends beyond the acute stage and extended from the norm would be considered as chronic pain.

    Take care John
  • what are the dr's reasoning about stopping opiates? most of us who are chronic pain patients have been on them for years, 10 yrs for me. i would try to go to a pain dr. these dr's are quacks if they won't prescribe pain meds. how do you approach them? some dr's actually believe that pain meds make your pain worse so they want you off. quack, quack, quack
    get a new dr asap
    jon X( X( X( X( ~X(
    :O) dr's who won't give out pain pills for those who actually need them
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • All he says is they are not good for you long term.

    My PCP stopped Rx'ing me the meds since it is against their policy to prescribe pain killers for any reason. I even asked to try Soma since Skelaxin and Flexeril were not working and they said it's against policy to Rx that too since some people use it to get high.

    I think my injuries and pain are well documented enough to prove that I'm not trying to get my rocks off.
  • Oh and yes, as long as I can take the Percocet 4-5 times a day I can do most things (other than the obvious).
  • He says that by taking Oxycontin that I am causing the pain to be magnified by the medication itself. That was one of his reasons for lowering my dosage. It's funny to me that I was doing relatively good and able to be active before he reduced the meds and now I am a mushroom, living in the dark and unable to move, sleep, eat., etc.. I have the biggest quack of them all, boy could I tell you things......
  • Now that is a new one for me! I have taken it many times and have NEVER gotten high! It helps me to sleep, it helps the muscles to relax, it does help. But high? NO! My oxycontin hasn't even given me a buzz since the first 3 weeks after I started to take it. I don't want to be high as I know neither do any of you. We all just want to have a semblence of our lives back. Tell me, what is so wrong with that?
  • warning
    by telling a dr that a narcotic is the only thing that works and not that well will definitely send up a red flag. there are certain phrases that dr's hear that makes them assume you are a drug seeker and that is definitely one of them. it tells them that the only thing you will take are pain pills. be careful especially when you are asking for pain meds. don't be too aggressive
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • That is an interesting way to put it. I'll have to remember that for the next time I'm in there and he says surgery.

  • I have copied and pasted this from the old site for you KX.
    "I have been browsing through some of my old nursing papers and for some reason the folder on Chronic pain caught my eye. I am hoping the following will help those in Chronic pain realize that all these symptoms are part of the chronic pain package and you have no need to apologize for having these symptoms. How you deal with the symptoms is what counts.

    Definition: Chronic pain is pain which has been a month longer than expected.


    Disturbance in sleep.
    Raised tiredness.
    Lack of concentration.
    Lack of appetite.
    Lowered physical activity.
    Lowered pain toleration.
    Abnormal sick role.
    Lack of trust in health and medical authorities.

    ( taken from the International Foundation for the Study of Pain)

    The chronic pain is often a mix of physical, psychological and social pain.

    Reasons for Pain.

    Physical Pain:
    Pain after operations.
    Tissue damage (Burns and Fractures)
    Pain from nervous system
    Spine and Joint pain

    Psychological Pain:
    Anxiety and worry for death
    Anxiety that pain and illness will return.

    Social Pain:
    Worry over children and family
    Loss of work
    Loss of Identity
    Loss of human contact

    Spiritual Pain.
    Philosophical or religious problems about the meaning of life or death.
    Hope and no knowledge of the future.
    ( Karen Nordby.Translated from Danish by Viking)

    I often read on the forum people asking "why me?" and having issues, like myself, losing their identity along with their job and hopes for their future. Actually having it in black and white that IT IS part of the package has helped me gain some perspective and insight into all the different feelings I am having, kind off legalizes it all for me, I hope it helps others."

  • there is also breakthrough pain which above and beyond the original and lasting pain. these are episodes of major stress and are sympotomes(for me) of pushing too hard and trying to be normal as possible. dont ignore your body in a
    play to be more productive ,its couinter productive in the long run. I hope this will help ya!
    Be carefule when stopping your pain meds, even though of sterling intentions, some providers mis-take this as a sign of "self medication" all your trying to do is be realistic and seeing where your at, but some wont see it this way, ask about break through pain next time your in the pm.
    luck too ya!

  • Hi, I think I qualify to be here, lol. I dealt with complex parital seizures for over 25 years of my life, but since going through brain surgery in 2002 I have been seizure FREE! God is good!

    I had a microdiscectomy in May, 2008, though I do feel some better, the pain is coming back with more shootin pain in my foot which I didn't have before. Have had two rounds of steroid shots since the surgery and now am just taking a muscle relaxer only at night, because the zanaflex makes me to tired to fuction.

    I'm also have terrible migraines on a daily basis, along with neck pain which is coming from bone spurs in my neck. It's so hard for me day to day, I feel totally drained and have little energy. The migraines make you feel like you have a hangover, terrible feeling. I've call my neurologist to try to see if we might be able to try a new drug for my migraines, for some reason I'm just resestant to alot of pain meds. They just dont' help me.

    But that's pretty much my pain content right now, and praying that I don't have to add anything else to the list.

    God Bless,

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