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someone please help me!

tammycttammyc Posts: 894
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Can someone please suggest something that might help me for back pain.I've run out of pain pills,my doc. told me to take extra strength tylenols.I've been taking them for two days and they haven't made any difference in my pain at all. My pain is significantly worse since i stopped the narcotics and i've tried hot baths,stretching,exercising,walking,at therapy yesterday they used tens unit,heat,ultra sound on my back and it felt better for a bit but then by the time i got home the pain was right back again.I was starting to make progress with the stiffness but with the pain getting stronger i'm starting to stiffen back up again.I know that the pain is still from the whiplash and not from my neck.My back was feeling ok after surgery and i was off all pain meds.I don't know what else to do to help calm this pain down and its driving me crazy,i hardly slept at all last night and haven't slept more then four or five hours a night in the last two months.What else should i be doing,i know there are people on here that have been in car accidents before what helped use out? Please i'll take any suggestions you's have for me. Thank you in advance.


  • Call your doctor. You need to have something to control pain. An at home, portable TENS unit might be the answer. Or a RX for something between what you were on and a couple Tylenol. If the doctor won't help, you can go to the ER if the pain is severe enough.

    Do you have an appointment to go in so you can get your pain med RX? Or is the doctor refusing to write the script since you ran out?

    Feel better soon.
  • she told me that she didn't want me on narcotics any longer,i started them right after the accidents at the end of october and when she did a checkup on me last month she told me that she wanted me off the narcotics and taking tylenol,that most cases of addicts start in the doctors office and she didn't want me getting addicted to them.Well thats fine for her to say cause she's not the one putting up with the pain.I don't over use my medications,i take them just as there perscribed to me.I also wasn't on any kind of medications before the accident,i had been weaned off of nerve pain meds. after my surgery.I really don't want to go back to the ER again. when i went there after my accident for pain meds. i was waiting there for 12hours.
  • Have you tried breaking the pain cycle using ice? For me, heat makes things worse because it increases circulation. I have large blood vessels and they can and do compress nerves and cause me issues. If I use ice, it helps reduce the blood circulation and breaks the pain cycle.

    I agree with Beth that you need to be insistent that something be done to help control your pain. If your doc is worried about turning you into an addict, then confront her on it.

    Sorry you hurt so much.

  • The past few years I used several otc meds. Tylenol, Advil and Aleve never worked much for me but it's always worth a try as everyone is different. I was using Excedrin Back and Body for awhile and it never took the pain completely away but took the edge off enough I could function for quite some time. I have tried BackAid but it is a diuretic too so be careful if you try it.

    In the past my dr gave me rx for ibuprofen 800 mg. several times a day(which is cheaper by rx.) like $4.00 compare to taking otc ibuprofens, so maybe your dr. would let you try that if you asked...but beware of stomach problems if you use it long term. I couldn't handle it but everyone is different with meds.

    Have you tried a tens at home? What about ice like suggested? Alternate ice and heat at times to trick the pain. Or moist heat, thats better, even if it is all the hot water in the shower!

    Maybe a Tylenol Pm will help you rest and get a few hours of pain relief.

    Good luck.
  • i have therapy again this afternoon but when i get home i'm going to try the ice pack,i have a large one and see if it helps with the pain.I did think of that before but stayed away from it because i was worried it would make me even stiffer.but i guess at this point i can't really afford to be choosey.i do have a tens unit that i used before my surgery on my neck and back,i've tried it again after the accident,it did help some but it seemed to irritate more then help and where the worst of my pain is now i can't reach by myself to put the electrodes on so i always have to wait until my husband or kids get home at night to put it on.I take lots of hot baths and they do help the pain but its so short term that sometimes i just wonder why i bother with it.there has been many nights though where it does relax me enough to get a few hours of sleep so its not totally out of the question.Anti inflammatories i was told by my surgeon not to take any at all.He doesn't want his patients with fusion on them.I have a rub that i put on my hips when there really hurting at night that helps for a few hours but i always wake up with muscle spasms from them tightening back up. At least you's have given a few more ideas to try.So i thank you's very much at least i have a few more avenues to try.
  • Tammy,

    I would think about changing doctors. If you are still having pain ....I can't imagine being taken off like that. Maybe she's testing you for how much pain you can take? Geez. That almost seems barbaric. You've had and have got issues that will be painful, and then the car accident. Have you called her office back and told them that the pain is intensifying.

    I've been on narcotics, Lortab 7.5 and 10, then back to 7.5 for a year now. I had ALIF in July,08 and PLIF in Dec.08 and my neurosurgeon is good to ask me if I'm in pain and if I need refills....at least so far.

    Call her office back and tell them your pain level if it reaches too much. Your doctor should prescribe you something more than Tylenol.
  • My doctor is fairly new to me ,haven't been with her very long,my family doc. retired and she was the only one in town taking on patients. She didn't have me from the start of my spinal problems,i started with her just before my surgery ,i saw my surgeon after my car accident because it wasn't that long after surgery and i wanted to make sure that nothing had gone wrong with my neck again,they specified that i was not to be exercising in pain and that if i was still in pain when i was done the pain meds. i got from the hospital that i was to go back to my doc. and get somemore.When i saw her the last time i only had a few weeks left of the medication and she told me that she didn't want me on them that when i was finished to start taking tylenols,i thought what a bitch. image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" /> i'm in the process of looking for another doc. everytime i need to see her she's on vacation or it takes six weeks to get an apt. or she just makes things more difficult for me to deal.I don't need more challenges i need things made easier.if i was out to get high off of drugs then i wouldn't have weaned myself off of all my pain meds. after the surgery.I still had some nerve pain issues after my six month checkup and they wanted me to go back on the pain meds. but i told them if i could handle the pain then i'd rather do without them.Now that i'm in a lot of pain and need more medications i'm being denied ,it's all screwed up as far as i can see.
  • Tammy, I'm glad you have decided to seek a fresh opinion on this. You should not be made to suffer, You don't want to end up relying on pain meds forever, but for the doctor to hang you out to dry on a bottle of Tylenol is a little extreme too!

    If you'r not getting sleep or enough relief from the pain to continue in a reasonable comfort level please make the call to the doctor and if that fails go to the er. I sometimes think they either do not believe that the pain is really "that bad" or they are testing us. I know I am wrong on the testing part, at least I hope I am!

    To help with sleep I have had some success with benedryl or Tylenol PM, same active ingredtient for sleep. I don't think there is anything in benedryl that would hurt a fusion patients bone growth and may reduce some swelling at the same time. If that does not work, I'd beg for Ambien or Lunesta or similar. I painful day is bad, a painful day and night is worse.

    I tend to lose my ability to function in a calm sensible manner when I do not get sleep. Everything is worse! In fact I just filled an Ambien script at lunchtime today. I have not been sleeping well eihter. Night before last I awoke to intense pain in my shoulder, when I rolled over to get off of it, I swear it felt like someone had pulled it out of its socket. Before I even awoke enough to stop myself I very loudly preclaimed EDITED!" I asked my wife the next day if I had woken her with my swearing. She very unhappily said, "Yes, SEVERAL times!" Now, I honestly do not remember doing it more then once...oopsie...

    I hope you get some relief, and soon!
  • It sure gets old doesn't it???????

    I remember when you had your accident and I was concerned that it may have harmed you more than they said. Have you thought about requesting an updated MRI? I know you had testing after the accident, but this can't be good on your neck. It seems like it has been months since your whiplash and you should be getting better, not worse. At least in my opinion. I was told recently by a friend who has neck stuff going on that her doctor said if your muscles are tight and spasming it prevents the fusion from healing because it is always pulling on things. Makes sense, and probably something you should discuss with your surgeon. Also, how long has it been since your surgery? Seems like a year or so. Have you had a CT scan to see how your fusion is? An x-ray will show if the hardware is in place, an will show fusion to some extent, but really the best way to check that is with a CT scan. If your doctor is one who told you that your fusion was solid at 3-6 months, I would question that unless you had BMP.

    Also, I have tried so many different things with not a lot of success. the one thing that gives me good relief is having trigger point injections into the trigger points in my neck. I seem to be collecting them, lol. My doctor said he can repeat them every 2 months. The first round seemed to help for about 5 weeks, and I am so ready to do it again! It doesn't help with all the pain, but it does help with some of the muscular stuff. Maybe this would be a good thing for you to try.

    Also, what kind of a doctor are you seeing at this point? I would recommend a good physiatrist, as they focus on the rehabilitation process and most are specifically trained in spinal stuff. Some physiatrists are also pain managemenet specialists, and I have found that pain management doctors are more understanding about pain meds than surgeons or regular mds.

    Tammy, sorry you are still in so much pain. I think we are both going to be around here forever. Hang in there and PM me if you want.


    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • its been almost a year since my surgery now,it will be a year on the 16th of next month. i go and get another mri done on april 11th and i see my surgeon on the 28th.There doing an x-ray the day i see the surgeon as well.My accident was just before halloween so its been five months now.I keep being told that because the accident happened so soon after my surgery it will take a lot longer to heal from the whiplash.I've been quoted different times from everyone i've seen,anywhere from four months up to two years.No one seems to know.I have seen some improvements small but it is there.LOL At least now i have almost full range of motion in my neck.After my accident i could hardly move it and i was getting daily headaches. Just in the last couple of weeks the headaches seemed to have subsided.My problem is that my pain is all over the place it goes from my neck down my back into my hips,knees and into my calves.Some days my biceps and the backs of my arms hurt as well.After the accident i had numbness in my throat,arms and hands,and all throughout my back and hips and into my thighs.Thats why they did an mri because of all the numbness they thought that the hardware in my neck had moved.But the mri came back showing that everything was fine.So there saying that its from the accident. The numbness in my arms and hands has subsided but my back and legs and neck are still numb and i also have a lot of numbness in my feet i just recently discovered.I started walking a lot more the last few weeks as its been nice and getting into the bath the other night i discovered some blisters on my feet,but i didn't remember any foot pain when i was walking so when i got dressed i did a pin prick test and alot of my feet are numb. Yahoo!!! So far my therapy has been paid for by our insurance co. but now there asking for a letter from my therapist proving why they should pay for anymore therapy because i already had a pre existing condition.They want proof that my problems now are caused by the accident and not just left from my surgery.I told my therapist good luck to them because i know when i see my surgeon next month he's going to have a hard time distinguishing what is from what.I saw my doctor last month for a annual check up but she didn't even want to address any problems that i brought up to her then and i really don't want to go back to her again and fight for what i feel should be a no brainer.A friend of mine has recommended her doctor and she is taking on patients so i might call and make an apt. to be seen.I did see a physiatrist before my surgery he was very good but could only do so much for me,telling me that i did need surgery.,but i'm very happy with my therapist now and how therapy is going i just need some help controlling my level of pain.We've cut my therapy way back to try and bring the level down but i feel like i have to keep trying to progress i'm supposed to be strengthening my muscles so i can get back to some kind of life and if i can't continue to progress because of pain then i'm kinda stuck in a no win situation.When i saw my surgeon the last time he wanted me to join the Y and start swimming to help my muscles strengthen on top of the therapy but i still haven't even done that yet.By the time i'm done therapy and get home my body is so tired and painful that i just lay down and rest the rest of the night.I don't want to pay for a membership that i'm not going to use yet.Alot of the time even walking puts me in pain.Well i think i've typed enough for one night.Thanks to everyone who listens to me rant and rave! lol
  • tammy I feel so bad for you. I know exactly how bad a whiplash feels but I can't imagine that on top of a recent surgery.
    You need to dump your Dr ASAP. There is legitimate reasons why you should be on pain meds and muscle relaxers. I agree that a Physiatrist can help with your pain management. Mine who is a female and very compassionate is always willing to write scripts for pain or how about a pain mgt MD.
    From my own experience with severe whiplash the only thing that helped was muscle relaxers and lots of ICE. I actually could move better with the ice. I have tens unit but i found that when the spasms were really bad the tens unit just aggravated me more.
    Another thought I have is can you go to a University hospital?I messed around in the suburbs with Drs for a long time. When we went to a major teaching hospital thats when all the action began. They diagnosed me quickly and continue to treat me with 5 months after surgery with exceptional care. Its a major pain getting there but i figure my heath is worth it.
    hang in there!!!!! Bethy
  • Can you try water therapy if there's a place around you? Physiotherapists help you with that. I hope you find a Dr to help you. I had whiplash for 9 months and took valium for them. One morning I woke up and it was gone! No more valium needed and I stopped taking them immediately and had migraines then slowly came off them. It's good your ROM is good now. I hope you feel better soon. 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
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