This is my first post. I appreciate any insight! I could've posted this in the Scoliosis forum, but I felt the content was more relevant to the chronic pain aspect of the Scoliosis.
My name is Matt and I'm 31 years old. I've been dealing with scoliosis pain ever since I was about 18 years old. This past year, the sensation turned from a dull discomfort to... heightened discomfort. Sometimes it's painful, sometimes it's achey, but it is always, always very annoying.
This is the consolidated results of both x-rays I've received, word for word, without any omissions or edits:
"AP view of the thoracic and lumbar spine was performed. No bone abnormalities are seen. There is a scoliosis convex to the left centered at L2 measuring 49 degrees. There is a scoliosis convex to the right centered at T9 measuring 28 degrees. 49 degrees scoliosis convex to the left centered at L2. Six images are obtained. There is a marked rotoscoliosis of the lumbar spine, left. A Grade I retrolisthesis of L4 on L5 is noted. Moderate to severe narrowing of the LI-L2, L2-L3, L3-L4 and L4-L5 disc spaces is noted. The facet joints are well maintained. A rotoscoliosis of the lumbar spine to the left is demonstrated. Degenerative disc disease is demonstrated at every level."
After the x-rays were evaluated, I was prescribed Naproxen. This is essentially prescription Aleve. It did nothing. Then they prescribed me Tramadol, a generic form of Ultracet, which is a non-narcotic, synthetic pain reliever. Other than giving me a headache, this did nothing. Then they prescribed me Darvocet, a low-strength narcotic pain reliever. This did nothing.
One day last September, I missed work because I had aggravated my back the night before and it was difficult for me to stand up straight. I went to my doctor a bit angry, illustrating the above, that I felt that I was not being treated properly, and that I just want to manage the pain without having my back cut open for the installation of rods.
They suggested 7.5mg Percocet, which I've been taking ever since for the better part of 6 months. I'm prescribed 4 per day, but I take 3. One around 10:00am, one around 2:00pm, and one around 6:00pm. This DOES work. In the beginning, the opiate-induced euphoria was fairly strong. Now, not so much (especially when I take the third one of the day), but the pain is definitely dulled and I feel like I am being treated properly. I am also in the process of finding a pain management specialist that would work for me, as I'd like to be put on a regimen of physical exercise, massage, chiropractic treatment, etc.
The last time I visited my doctor, she suggested Oxycontin, on the basis that Percocet is used to treat short-term pain (broken arm, wisdom teeth extraction, etc.) while Oxycontin is used to treat chronic pain. She stated that I am a valid candidate for it, but I turned the suggestion down as my father has been in rehab twice for Oxycontin abuse and it makes me nervous. I've continued with the Percocet treatment.
Last weekend I was hanging out with some friends, one of which is a general practice doctor. She supported the Oxycontin suggestion, stating that the 7.5mg Percocets also come with a copious amount of APAP, which could eventually lead to toxicity of my liver. With Oxycontin, I'd have to take fewer and it would not be toxic to my liver.
With all of the information above, my questions are as follows:
01) Should I be taking medication at all?
02A) If yes, should it be Percocet or Oxycontin?
02B) If no, what SHOULD I be doing?
03) What should I know to avoid forming an addiction to Percocet and/or Oxycontin, if at all possible.
I appreciate anybody who reads this and, even moreso, anybody who responds with assistance. Thank you!