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Having trouble controlling my pain

Go HalosGGo Halos Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Pain Medications
Hi everyone, I'm new to spine-health and am excited about finding others going through similar problems that I am. I'm a 29yr old male suffering from chronic low back pain.

I got my MRI results back and my doctor said I have a protruding disc L5/S1(4.2mm), moderate degenerative disc disease, and there were a few other things that I can't remember right now. Unfortunately I forgot to ask for a copy of the MRI results.Do you guys/gals happen to know the difference between a protruding disc and a herniated disc?

My primary doctor referred me to a spine clinic and changed my script from Hydrocodone 5/500 Q6h to Norco 10/325 Q8h. I think I did something to my back to further aggravate my condition as I seem to be having an even more difficult time controlling my pain lately. I meet with my primary doctor on November 17 and was wondering if you guys think I should ask my doctor about possibly increasing the frequency of the Norco, or if I should try a different medication altogether. I'm currently taking Norco 10/325 Q8prn, Neurontin 600mg TID, and Motrin 600mg TID. I feel like I'm too young to be on so much medication, but I'm tired of dealing with this much pain. I'm sorry if I come across as whining because I know by reading some of the posts on this forum many of you experience much higher pain levels.


  • Hi there,

    I'm so sorry to hear you've had so much pain at such a young age. Life's just not fair sometimes is it?

    Regarding your query about drugs, that's difficult and in my opinion, it's a subjective decision. If you're in pain on your current dose and need more, then there's no point in suffering. When you see your doctor, you could discuss it and see what he thinks about increasing your dose and / or possibly changing your medication.

    As to your question about discs & terminology, there's an excellent article on all the terms used (see below).

    Hope that helps you!


  • that you just mention that your current meds aren't helping. Some drs misunderstand and it rules you out as a drug seeker. YOu will see on this site several with chronic pain that they live with daily and are on high doses of pain meds.

    You may just want to mention and not suggest as this may raise a red flag. Again, its just my opinion!

    Good luck!!~
  • is that you should definitely mention it to your doc. You will eventually build a trust relationship ( if you have not already) with your doc. If the meds are not working there is no reason at all to suffer in silence. Good luck.
  • When do you go to the spine clinic? I would speak to that doctor first.

    In my opinion you should be getting all meds for your back/spine from one doctor. When you get something from one and something else from another it tends to look more like you are playing the meds game. ALso make sure you go to one pharmacy to get them filled. THe insurance companies do checks for things like that to make sure you aren't shopping doctors and pharmacies. I am sure the state is also watching.

    Understand that this is done to protect your wellfare. Too many people do become addicted. I lost a cousin due to addiction to the pain meds following an accident that damaged his spine. He was 44.
  • I have crappy insurance, so I'm waiting for approval for the spine clinic. I was told it takes up to 8 weeks for approval and an appointment.
  • In my opinion, if the current meds are not controlling your pain, I would discuss it with your doctor. They are the educated ones (well most), and can decide what meds are best for you and your condition. As a patient it's your job to be honest and tell them these kind of things so they can better take care of you. I would advise you to not make a recommendation of a medication for yourself, or else this might raise some red flags.
  • Just be honest and tell the doctor what you are going through when you see him again. The Norco was recently adjusted to a higher dose but now it's every 8 hours. How long has it been since it was changed? You have to give it some time before you address this to your doctor. When I first hurt my back a few years ago, I was started at 5/500 Norco every 8 hours and then it was bumped up to 10/325mg every 4-6 hours. It all depends on the doctor. When I had a really terrible flare up I was allowed 2 10/325mg every 4 hours until things subsided. Take care and I hope you feel better.
  • The doctor started me on Tramadol, which wasn't effective in managing my pain and tended to give me headaches. Next, my doctor put me on Tylenol#3 every 8 hours, which again wasn't helpful. Then my doc. put me on Vicodin 5/500 every 6 hours and that was a little more helpful, but still didn't seem to bring down my pain level much. This was all while I was waiting to get a MRI.

    When I returned to the doctors office to go over my MRI results, she instantly started asking about how the Vicodin 5/500 was working. It was like she finally believed that I was in a significant amount of pain. I told her that I was still having problems managing my pain, so she wrote the script for Norco.

    I think in the past week I further aggrevated my back because I'm experiencing new pain radiating into my hip. It's kind of weird, but it almost feels like something is leaking from my lower back into my hip. I usually just experience severe burning pain in my lower back radiating down my right leg, but now my hip is causing me severe pain too.

    I have an appointment with my doctor on Nov. 17, which I assume is to evaluate my current medication and see how I'm feeling until I can get into the spine clinic. I'm not sure what to tell my doctor during my next appointment because I don't really want to go on stronger pain meds. I'm hoping once I get into the spine clinic the epidurals might provide me some temporary relief.
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