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permanent back ache even after pain killers

strakerstraker Posts: 1,851
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Chronic Pain
hi all
i think that the title says it all ! is anyone like this?my pain killers take the top of the leg pain and some of the back ache BUT they do not remove all the back ache
i use ache /pain because they are different sensations.my back feels like i have done a million sit ups with an elephant on my chest.that's after pain killers and my leg just feels like it does after cramp {the calf bit and foot} the rest of the leg feels like it belongs to someone else!.can anyone relate to this or something like it??


  • Yup. I had L3-L4 fused mid November. (I also have L5-S1 crushed and facet joint issues) Before the surgery it felt like I had been standing for 100 hours in addition to the burning pain down my behind, pain down my leg and the given constant low back pain. After the surgery it feels like I've been standing for 50 hours, along with most of the other pain. I don't have the burning down my behind pain but I do have all the other pain. An improvement but I've still got problems which hopefully, my neuro can do something about.

    But it doesn't matter how much pain meds I take, within a very short time, my body adjusts to the new level of meds I'm on and I'm in pain.

    I just don't understand why this is still an issue. They can put people on the moon. People are living in space, but we are still pain. Why haven't they figured this out?

  • I also still have a bachache that just won't go away. Even after the meds. I haven't had surgery yet. If I do I hope it would take all the pain away. Have you had a recent MRI Straker? Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • hi i am due an MRI asap its just going to be about 12 weeks before i get one!
  • }:) I too have low back pain almost constantly. I have had a laminectomy, and 2 fusions. I am now fused L1-l5. The fusions are great, rock solid, but I have facet pain in L5/S1 that is probably caused by arthritis and that is hard to deal with. Nothing helps. I have even had 2 rhizotomies. And accupuncture. It does get discouraging. I find swimming and walking to be helpful. Just being in the water and being weightless is wonderful.

    Jani Sutherland

    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with bone graft from hip, PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Straker, I hear you! It's my "constant companion" now since October 24, 2006. Funny how I remember the exact day. After 3 procedures, it's just all the time...achy, sore, constant. Pain meds help for awhile, as Charry says, but it never goes away.
    Saw my NS Wed for my 1 year x-rays (which are fine BTW) & he said "You will always have some sort of back pain. It will get better over time, but you will always have a "reminder". Esp if you've had more than one surgery, which we have. Things are just different now. Pain will be a daily reminder of that.

    Sobering thoughts. You are NOT alone. As EM says, I don't (either) understand how they can put a man on the moon yet not be able to do something about chronic back pain. I mean, REMOVE it, not cover it up w/ meds....just take it away...just for a day or week even...just to have one normal day again....oh how I long for that!

    And yes, my leg also belongs to someone else...when I find out who it is, I hope they walk the same way I do...like Chester from Gunsmoke!

    How lovely to have a wife named "Kathryn" & how sweet to include her in your "signature". You sound like a wonderful man! You are enduring a lot. I will think of you tonight, esepcially. Thank you for posting!

  • The pain meds take the edge off but that is about it.
  • It is so extremely sad that we have to feel pain EVERY SINGLE DAY! It somehow just doesn't seem fair. We have lost so much of our precious time to pain. Ok, It sucks! I realize that there are people that are in much worse shape than me, but when I hurt so much, it's hard to remember that. I have been thru many procedures, taken many pills, rested many hours, and I can honestly say that I hurt worse now than I did at the beginning of my injury. Of course I have added a few pounds and eleven years on top of it, but it really would be great to feel a little better. With the addition of my SCS I have a different pain, plus the constant buzzing in my torso and down but it does ease up the problems in my legs. I'll live with the buzzing!! I guess we just have to buck up, buckaroos, and hang in there. <):)
  • I really thought that I came a long way since I first found my current PM doc about 4 years ago. Well, he examined me last week and recreated the exact same pain that he brought me to tears with 4 years ago. Of course I am overdo on a rhizotomy but went through so much last year after surgery that I am in no hurry to go through it again. Yep, I know, just suck it up.
  • Why do they call them pain killers when they don't seem to kill the pain. It is so frustrating that there isn't something out there that is a better pain releif for us. I am sick of popping pills all the time and being tired from the meds and the pain is exhausting too. It seems to be no end in sight. I can relate and sympathize with all of you. Especially the last week. These below zero temps aren't helping any either.
  • I'm in the same boat too. No matter what I take, I have pain irregardless. The majority of it is in my back, and the cymbalta and the muscle relaxers are helping with the muscle spasms and severe stabbing pains. Activities such as sitting and walking always aggravate the problem. I guess it's good to take medicine than to not have the option at all, but it gets tiring to have to do it all the time.
  • Yes, I have a backache that does not go away. Sometimes when I stand up the pain is so intense that I have to hold my breath for a few seconds and sit back down. The ache is always there though. I also have an ache in my thigh and the standard sciatica numbness/tingling/electricity in my calf and foot and I haven't slept much in the last couple weeks. I just had an ESI L5-S1 on Friday and am waiting for it to take effect. Too bad it will not work on the back pain too. My meds barely take the edge off. My PM doc says my next step is a referral to a NS, he will still be a point of contact and will work as an advocate for me if the NS gets flaky like you hear. As time goes on my ache is worsening, the frustration is unbelievable. ~X(
  • i am 42 also. i have only had injections also. i take pain meds also. i work 4 ten hour shifts a week also. it hurts and i don't like it.
    i have read many many posts and most people say the fentany patch seems to work the best for chronic pain unrelieved by conventional methods. it is called duragesic and you change them every 3 days. i really believe long acting meds seem to work better with less dependence (not that you should care about dependence if your chronic pain isn't going away). however, i still believe long acting beats short acting. and the pm md can always give a "breakthrough" pain med in case. talk to the doctor, if he's a good doctor he will give you whatever it takes to get you out of pain (if that's possible). i'm going for my second epi, i lost 17 pounds after the first one on 12/16/08 and the pain is back (pun****lol). but laying on the couch will make me gain all that back again. i'm opting for injections until they can't do that anymore, then i may look into surgery.
    good luck to you and your wife, all the best wishes for good quality of life.
    fipah, (friend in pain and hope)
  • This is why many doctors that help you with med's will tell you they cant get rid of the pain just help you to function better, or something similiar. I've been working on my med's for a year now and am still working on them. The pain in my lower back itself and muscles is not too bad, but my nerve pain is another story. Someday's my pain isnt too bad and other days it is horrible, it's very unpredictable. I think most people with chronic pain feel the same way you do.
  • thanks everyone i did think that it was just me ..but obviously not ! it looks like we will just have to battle on then
    thanks again
  • I'm late with posting as usual. I'm always in pain and it is so frustrating. For me the lack of sleep is what wears me down so much. If I could just get one good nights sleep and wake up feeling fresh that would be such a blessing. Those cat naps during the day makes me feel like such an old person. I look around my house and see all that needs to be done and I can't do it. I use to do so much, painting and remodeling and now I just look at my house and want to cry. I have an appointment Thursday with a pain doctor, up until now my pcp has been handling my med's but my surgeon wants me to see a pain doctor. Surgeon says it seems I have some anxiety over my pain and the pain doctor can handle that issue. Does anyone ever just want to slap your surgeon???

  • Did you try a TENS unit for the pain Straker?
    It's worth trying...they are REALLY something. You will be drug free and they're medically approved (if you go to the right online store that is!) and very effective in pain relief. Many Physical therapists use them in their treatment but that means you have to go to sessions...this is a one time fee. Use them for 30-60 mins (can do things whilst they're working) twice a day and see that your pain will be reduced considerably for a good few hrs if not a whole day! Whats more is it feels nice!!!! Body Clock are premier suppliers of the tens unit as well as having their own site:www.bodyclock.net
  • thank you for your comments .you may be knows as the tens unit girl but if you have read any of my post or been in chat you would have known that i am a big fan of tens and have been for 11 years plus .i own 2 acticare units {they are the king of tens units }they also have a built in spinal cord stimulator {external } and they have high frequency and radio modes too .see www.acticare.com for more info.i use both units most days one set on tens and the other set on TSE mode {on the spine}
    thanks again for your advice
    i still have to take loads of pain killers even with the acticare units!!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Yes, I'm so tired of it. I try to cut my meds back cause I just can't function. But they are barley taking the edge off. So I guess I'll just go back to the full amount, It doesn't kill the pain, but it dose take the edge off. But then I lose 30 i.q. points and can't concentrate. One way or the other I just am not going to have a life. and I hate to bitchh cause there are so many people out there Like Johns son and and a guy who some friends of mine know that had a surgeon slip and he is paralyzed from the waist down. And these people have a good attitude! And I just don't have the energy to suck it up today! I hurt and I'm tired of it.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • i have had this same back ache it seems since 1990.always there.this last week it real got worse.neck too.pain meds works about 2 hours.
  • i am sorry to here that you are having a rough time i know just how you feel my friend!!
  • My back and leg are hurting like heck after the MRI I had. The pain had intensified lately and I'm glad my doctor ordered new imaging to see if something else is going on. I wish pain medication could erase all the pain, even if it was for only a couple of hours. It's been 3 years since I've been able to sit comfortably. Life has truly changed for me and for others in this similar situation.
  • the results of my MRI scan too and my pain has got worse since the last MRI as well!
  • How much longer will it be til you get your results? I'll probably hear something next week. My meds aren't working well like they once were. I take the cymbalta and zanaflex everyday and I still have painful muscle spasms and nerve pain. I also have had to take norco in the middle of the night because I keep waking up in pain. I wasn't doing this before and I'm wondering what's going on. I hope it's just a real bad episode and nothing else.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,852
    That is a question that pops up here so often. People are taking different types and dosages of pain medication still they talk about their pain not going away.

    I seriously doubt if there is a pain medication ( doctor approved and properly taken ) that will eliminate all your pain. Doesnt matter if its your back, thoracic or cervical areas.

    Most pain medications help manage[/u] your level of pain.
    So often, what is also needed is the blend I have referred to many times.
    Its a combination of your pain medication, and depending on your problems,
    Nerve medication
    Muscle Relaxers
    Sleep medications
    and then
    [u]approved exercise program

    All of this will add to controlling your pain. But honestly in my 30 plus years of dealing with chronic pain, I can't recall a time (except for in the hospital) that my pain was completely eliminated using medication.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • What do you do when it stops managing the pain - instead of taking a 7-8 pain level and bringing it down to a 3 - it only brings it down to a 5 and then that is for a couple of hours. I do understand speak with doc to adjust meds.

    If is sad, for our bodies never to have a sigh of relief, i guess after all this time, i am getting close to accepting that this is a truth. And somehow develope a way of handling it. I don't want to 'just live with it' - I want to be able to enjoy. How this is going to happen I don't know - but the first part is I need to accept it all the way thru my heart - which sometimes can be a long journey.

    My hat is off to those who have traveled this journey and have found a combination that works for you. I hope i can join you - and get back to enjoying life despite pain
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,852
    things to accept is knowing that you will have some level of pain. For some its for a period of time, for others, like myself it is for life.

    My baseline for pain level changed. For me, it starts at 2 and that is how I live. I've adjusted my life so that 2 is really a 0 on the pain scale.
    I am not sure if that makes sense to everyone.

    And to get to that base level, I need to always use
    that blend of medications and my weekly routine includes:
    - Aqua Therapy
    - Deep Tissue Massage
    - Osteopathic Treatments
    - My own stretching/exercises
    - Relaxation treatments (music, aroma, etc)
    Without the above, I really dont know where my pain level would be.

    Hopefully most members here through the use of the Blend and other conservative treatments, their true level of pain can be reduced to zero
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • i have been in pain for 11 years .the first 7 i was able to do normal stuff {i had to be careful no lifting etc} but i could drive long distance /shop/enjoys sex/and sleep well/
    but in 2004 my pain got worse then a year after that i did another disc in S1 since the lat operation i have not just been in pain i have felt ill too.i spend all day in my recliner.because i am too tired to do anything and when i have the odd day that i feel that i cam do something {i like to swim} when i return from the local pool i am so knackered i sometimes think is it worth it!i should get my MRI results by Friday or next Monday.when i started on pain killers i took kapake 30mg codeine/500mg paracetamol
    i have tried all sorts but i find that the oxycontin and oxynorm to be the most effective even though i have had to up my dose .my pain is worse in the morning despite having an electrical adjustable bed i still have problems getting from on my right hand side to up on my feet {the turning over nearly has me passing out with pain}from bed i hobble down stairs .take my morning meds put on my acticare unit make a cup of tea and some toast and get on my recliner only getting of tit to go to the toilet!.i am hoping that the MRI will shed some light on why i am in so much pain {my guess is epidural fibrosis} i will let you know when i do..i know that the pain killers wont remove all my pain but as long as they remove a third of it that will have to do!!.a SCS would be no good for me as i have 50/50 pain back /leg ..before the operation it was 70/30 leg /back and the original operation REMOVED ALL THE LEG PAIN!!! {i thought i was in pain then !wimp! anyway hope you all have a pain free as possible day and a good night sleep take care
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