I am new to the world of chronic pain, but am actively pursuing all options open to me and experiencing very little pain augmentation despite my good intentions. I find that my primary care doctor doesn't have much time for me, even though I see her at least every two weeks. She likes to refer me to other people rather than discussing my condition with me, which means I have lots of bills but very little in the way of coherent, cohesive information. I have two disc herniations at L4 and L5, plus 'tears' that I haven't gotten any clear info on. I have tried everything suggested to me and everything I have read about online that I can get my hands on, including (suffice it to say that I have done all things short of surgery if you don't want to read the list): Heat, cold, acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, TENS, bed rest, walking, physical therapy, a steroid epidural, Tylenol, Ibuprofen (both in high doses), naproxen, asprin, Donnes, Icy-Hot, Arnicare gel, dietary changes, weight loss, soma, flexeril, amytriptyline, Prozac, Torridol, Tylenol with Codeine, Tramadol, Vicodin, Norco, and Dilauded. Narcotic pain meds are sadly the only thing that gives me consistent, reliable results. My doctor has told me that, after 1 month taking Norco at 10mgs every 4-6 hours that my main goal should not be pain relief or a return to my daily life, but getting off the Norco. I have no history of drug addiction or dependency, nor has she asked me about any of my past medical history in this sense. I am constantly bedridden with discogenic, non neuropathic pain which has completely halted all my daily functions. I cannot hold a job and am having a terrible time getting to my classes (I am a 25 year old grad student). My surgeon told me surgery is not an option unless I am in this pain for at least a year because he has never performed multiple fusions on someone so young and is hesitant to do so. The docs who administered my epidural said that there is little in the way of solid evidence for the treatment of discogenic pain. My tears and herniations are not putting pressure on my nerves, which rules out a lot of treatments and makes a lot of my options dependent on idiosyncratic results. I don't want to go against my PCP's wishes, but none of the specialists I have talked to seem concerned about my narcotic use, considering its the only thing that has worked so far to get me out of bed consistently and put me back on my feet, literally. I have had many doctors ask me if I have tried a higher dose of the Norco to help with my symptoms, which suggests to me that my doc is being a bit negligent. My question, which I apologize for taking so long to get to, is what my expectations should be in treatment? What are other people's experiences with dealing with docs and their approaches to pain management? When I take the Norco I am able to walk, do light cleaning, etc, but still can't sit for longer than about half an hour without stabbing back pain. This is a pain level I am willing to live with until I can get work (which I desperately need, living as I do right now purely on grad school loans), which I have communicated to my PCP. But is it ethical to ask a patient to be bedridden when they could be active, especially with a condition that requires exercise as a means to getting better? I will be seen in a pain management clinic in a month, and am also wondering what to expect there. I assume they tend to be more helpful than PCP's, but can they refer me for non surgical, non drug treatments? Anyone have good results with something I have not tried? I am very confused and would appreciate any help that can be offered me. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.