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Pain Relief Suggestions

buckeyebanditbbuckeyebandit Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Pain Medications
First, I would like to thank this website and its founders. Second, I would like to thank everyone who has posted information about back issues so I could be more informed about my condition. Third, I would like to thank my family for their support.

Currently, I have herniation at L3-L4 and have severe pain in my left upper butt and front shin. I am taking 1000 mg of vicodin 4 times a day and was recently put on lyrica 150 mg per day. I still do not have pain relief.

My History:
Herniated L3-L4 and L4-L5 discs in 1995 while playing college football. Decided not to have surgery and tough it out. Approximately one year later, I was relieved of my pain in my back and left leg. From 1997 to 2009, I injuried my back numberous times, but did not seek medical assistance.

Finally, June of 2009, I injuried by back seriously. My back Dr said I had bulging discs at L3-L4 and L4-L5, with spinal stenosis at L3-L4. Went through physical therapy for 3 months. After 3 months had no pain. I was running 15 miles a week. Then on March 5, while leaning over the sink, I re-injuried my back. The back doc gave me 2 epidural injections and it relieved the pain (back and leg) for 2 months.

Then, I was having back pain throughout June 2010. On 07/05/10 I awoke with severe back and leg pain. I called my back Dr on 07/06/10 and he was out of the office. Finally, I saw the Dr on 7/15/10 and had my MRI on 7/20/10. The MRI showed an extruded disc at L3-L4 abutting the descending left L4 nerve root. The extruded disc has a maximal AP dimension of 8mm. Also, the MRI reported DDD in L3 through S1.

The Dr said surgery is an option if I wanted to remove the herniation. If surgery was performed, Dr could guarantee my leg pain would be removed, but could not guarantee my back pain would be eliminated. So, I decided not to have surgery. He referred me to a PM for steroid injections on 07/15/10. On 07/23/10, I called the PM to make sure they received the Drs referral. The PM indicated they had not received the referral. Finally, after pushing my Dr. for the PM referal, the first appointment to see the PM was not until the last week of August. I called my Dr. back and said this appointment is six week away and I wanted them to refer me to another PM. My Dr. said I only refer my patients to this PM and that I would have to wait 6 weeks for injections. I am extremely mad at this point.

On 07/29/10, I went back to the back Dr and requested additional pain relief since my PM could not see me until the last week of August. He prescribed 150 mg per day of lyrica. Since starting lyrica, my back and leg pain has quadrupled. The vicoden and lyrica do not give me pain relief. I am totally frustrated right now and do not know what to do. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks.


  • Vicodin is a combination of two medications, a narcotic and an analgesic, the same found in Tylenol. Dosages generally look like 5-500, with the 5 being the narcotic dosage (Vicodin uses the narcotic Hydrocodone) and 500 being the analgesic dosage.

    So how much vicodin are you taking? Are you taking 2 vicodin 5-500 4x/day? With no relief at all?

    I can't give you any suggestions, but have you been on narcotics before? I think it's unusual for a dose tht high not to be helpful, but I doubt it's the first time it has happened.

    As for what to do, I can't tell you what you should do, but what I do when my pain meds are not working is call my doctor and say "my pain meds are not working." Or, actually, I often have to make an appointment for an office visit. He will usually ask me whether I've been taking them exactly as prescribed, what my activity level has been like, etc. Then if he agrees that it sounds like the med just isn't cutting it, he will prescribe something else. If he finds that there was an error in my way of taking the meds he'll ask me to give it more time.

    I hope you can work something out with your doctors.
  • I am taking 2 pills (500 mg) every four to six hours and have very little pain relief. The pain was never this intense before the Dr added lyrica last week. I am going to give him a call and probably have to schedule an appointment.
  • Well - I know that for myself - the Lyrica - modified my chronic pain, but did nothing for my acute -- with me it is nerve pain, and mechanical pain, for myself. It also took awhile for it to work, maybe a week or two.

    I noticed this, because my regular med use, decreased substantially. I was off 40%.

    Now - one thing I will ask is this, since you injured - reinjured yourself at the sink - Have you figured out what your weak points are? and how your activities aggravate the issue? This is not a stone toss at you, but to ask whether you notice how you body reacts when you do certain things.

    I can do dishes - for 3 to 4 minutes, with my right leg forward, and my left back, in a relaxed stance. Reversing this - sets off sciatic pain and then will at times induce the facet joint on the right side to inflame.

    If I don't inflame anything - I can keep doing the dishes after moving - walking for a few minutes.

    In the end - for myself - it is about learning to modify things, for me, so I don't re-injure myself and these simple things help me to keep pain/discomfort down. Not listening to the body, knowing that the body hurts, but not moving immediately when it does, to try to figure out how to help it, just keeps our mind thinking that we can ignore it, and it will go away. Here is the thing - it will not go away, we hurt the thing, it is hurt and it wants attention and care. When I give it some and stop bashing it with a hammer, it will stop hurting.

    Otherwise - I could take meds - keep doing everything I normally would do - and have my pain level back up at a zinging 10 - and wonder why the pills don't do anything for me?

    I do hope you find a solution!
  • My Dr gave me Gabapentin for the nerve pain shooting down my leg. He said that this should surpress the nerve roots and ease it.

    It does make you drowsy but it did seem to help a little bit. Not as much as I hoped but everyone s different.

    Something to ask about at least.
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