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Leg and back pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Chronic Pain
Looking for advice on neurostimulators and pain pumps. I have had three lower back surgeries (2 fusions) and pain is worse now than ever before. I currently take oral morphine, oxycodone (breakthru pain), two muscle relaxers and anti-inflamatory drugs. I ahve also tried many other drugs such as Neurontin, Cymbalta, Lyrica, etc. I have bilateral leg and lower back pain that totally controls my life and considering a neurostimulator or pain pump. When the pain gets horrible I develop terrible headaches. From my research the neurostimulators are better for leg pain and pain pumps seem better for back pain. When you have both which device is better? Any advice or feedback?


  • Hi In Pain (I resemble that remark)

    Is a neurostimulator the same as a tens unit? I have one i use on my back, leg and foot for this hateful sciatica I'm cursed with. It does seem to help. I put it on my leg and then wrap a heating pad around it (kind of imitating what they do at the chiro's office. Right now if someone wanted to give me a pain pump, I'd take it in a heartbeat. I know what you mean about pain totally controlling your life. That's where I am and not very happy about it. I'm on Lyrica, Tramadol and Oxycodone and that just takes the edge off.

    I haven't had back surgery so I can't imagine being in the type of pain you're in -- I know how desperate you are for relief. There was another posting about pain pumps that I read last night - someone else trying to get info on the pros and cons. If a tens unit is the same thing as a neurostimulator, my bet would be on the pain pump so it would get the pain medication to right where you need it.

    Praying for us all and if we don't hang together -- we fall! Okay that was corny but I just took more pain meds.
  • We have very similar stories, except I don't get migraines. By neurostimulator, do you mean spinal cord stimulator (SCS)?

    You can tell by my story (in signature line) that I have also had 3 surgeries. I finally had an EMG (nerve test) a little over a year ago and found out I have permanent nerve damage. All other test results show no further surgery is appropriate.

    I have had my SCS for 2 weeks now, and it has been great. My nerve pain burned 24/7 and didn't stop. I also could not tolerate Neurontin, Lyrica or Cymbalta, so all I had was pain meds, muscle relaxers, etc. Didn't do such a great job at all.

    If the SCS ends up down the road not working for me, I will have the last option of an implanted pain pump. For now, I am thrilled to have the SCS and I finally feel some "power" over the pain.

    I have the remote control and I adjust the buzzing depending on how I am feeling. It is pretty amazing. I did so much research before I went forward, since this was another procedure, an implantation. I definitely did not take this lightly, and spent pretty much since last November, 2007, trying to decide what to do. I'm very happy at this point.

    Good luck with what you decide,

  • Hi,

    I'm new to the forum and I'm curious by your reference (and others) to break thru meds. What are you talking about?

    Thanks. O:)
  • Jkerner,
    A neurostimulator is surgically implanted in the spine whereas a Tens unit is exernal to the body.

    I take long acting oral morphine for pain which gets terrible at work, so I use other short acting narcotics to help with that pain (known as break thru pain), such as oxycodone. The reason is, if you take more long term morphine, it will stay in the blood stream for 12-24 hours resulting in longer term fatigue. I hope this helps. Good luck.
  • Cheri,
    Thanks for you feedback and I am so happy the SCS is working for you. I hope it continues to work into the future.

    In doing my research it appears the SCS works better for leg pain, but not as well for back/hip pain. Pain pumps appear to work better on back/hip pain and not as well for leg pain. I have leg, hip and back pain so I am trying to determine the best option.

    Did you have mostly leg pain? If you have back pain, does the SCS help with it? Are there any negatives with the SCS?

    Thanks for your feedback
  • to the person that wanted to know what was breakthrough medication is
    if you are on 12 hourly medication .instead of taking another 12 hourly tablet when you feel in pain before the 12 hours is up .{say about 6 hours in to your first tablet} then you are given instant acting medication //for example ..i take oxycontin 12 hourly but because i feel pain after 5 hours i then take oxynorm {instant acting version of the same drug} then i will have another oxycontin when i am due
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