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1st appointment with pain management ???

jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Pain Management

I am interested to hear of others experiences with their first appointment with pain management.

How long did it last?
What did they do?
Did you have treatment?
How long did you have to wait for the appointment?

I have been put on a waiting list and am wondering how long I will have to wait, and what will happen there.



  • Anyone willing to share their experience?
  • Hi Jellyhall...(long read...grab some coffee..lol)

    I have seen a few PM's over the last 10 years to get to where I am today. I am extremely blessed to be seeing one of the 'just voted' top 70 PM's in the US!!...He is so wonderful...and over the last 4 years we have actually become friends outside our appts...so I have learned a lot both from a chronic pain patient but also from his end as a PM DR..

    How long do they think it will take to get into this PM Dr.? Do you have an actual appt. set up as well as being on the waiting list for any cancellations?

    A good PM Dr. should take at least 30 minutes to an hour for a new patient...

    They have you fill out a lot of paperwork which asks many questions about where your pain is...what 'type' it is...(burning, throbbing, stabbing, dull, etc) what you can/can't do because of the pain..
    They will want to know your level of pain 1-10 scale is used...(Don't ever use a 10...that is when someone is lying barely conscious in the ER after a major car accident with bones sticking out)...Don't exaggerate but don't down play either...Just be realistic...For myself...mine goes from 5-7 most of the time depening on my activities...

    They will want to see all tests like MRI's and/or procedures that you have had done to show your pain generators..so I would make sure that you have copies of all of these or make sure they are all sent to the PM BEFORE your appt...

    They will want to hear everything that you are doing to help with your pain...For examples...if you are not at a healthy weight...then let them know what you are doing to get there...Same thing with any smoking...doing everything you can to quit (or ask them to help as well)...

    These are two very important issues that people think aren't associated with chronic pain...but my PM will wonder how serious someone is about their pain and wanting to get better if they are smoking and doing something that is known to be a killer...and if someone is overweight to where it's putting such stress on their spine and not able to exercise each day..(even just walking)...same thing...He wonders as a Dr. how compliant someone will be in helping with their own health and pain...

    They should do some basic movement exams to see where your pain is located...

    Keep in mind that Dr.s work with facts/figures...so for me...when I explain that I have such difficulty washing my hair...holding my arms up in that position is so awful for my neck...same thing with looking down for a period of time to shave my legs...(I now have a shower chair to sit and make it much easier)...but these are things that they can undertand what causes greater pain..

    They also want to know that you are realistic about pain management....that there isn't some magic pill...or narcotic only that will take away all the pain...Some people unfortunately will come in demanding a narcotic because the read on the internet that someone with their problems are on it, so they should be...

    It's a process with PM...it's finding a good combination of modalities that will help manage your pain...

    A good PM Dr. will not be against narcotics...but will start slow and use them in conjunction with other things...

    They also may have you sign a pain contract which says that you will only get opiates from him. As well as you will submit to urine tests or pill counts when needed..This is becoming a standard in all states over the next two years..so nothing to worry about if you follow the prescriptions the way they are written...

    They will also use things like injections, Physical Therapy, aqua therapy, acupuncture, muscle relaxers when needed...

    Sometimes they will suggest an antidepressant to use for pain as well...And many people with CP have some form of depression as it totally changes your life...

    Also a nerve pain medicine like Lyrica, Neurontin, or Cymbalta...these help greatly with the nerve pain where a narcotic does not...

    It's also being willing to try different things..and know that it might take some months with getting to a good place pain wise...And most PM Dr.s shoot for a 5 on the pain scale...not O...

    And when trying any new medicine...a good Dr. will always start on the lowest dosage and tirate up over the weeks...As well as barring any deathly side effects....the regular side effects can take a few weeks up to a month to go away...So sometimes...people give up wayyy too quickly on a medicine or give up because of some fatigue or nausea...this is pretty common with most meds...and it goes away in time...Again...just be honest and communicate with the Dr. but also be patient and realize most meds have a trade off...

    They also may suggest you see a therapist to help with the emotional side of being in chronic pain...this is a great tool and I did this myself a few years ago..I learned a lot of techniques..

    So...my combination I use every day/week/month is 30-45 min. of exercise, yoga/stretching, aqua therapy, acupuncture, injections when needed, massage, CBT, a muscle relaxer when needed, a sleep medicine, opiates, I eat all Organic, I don't smoke...

    I use all of these to help keep my pain at level of 5-7..

    So...hopefully this PM you are seeing is not afraid of medicine...but also uses many other modalities so that you can find the best combination to help you manage your pain...

    I wish you luck!
  • Most PM's will not prescribe opiate pain medications on your first visit as well. There are currently two specific types of pain management practices, those that are interventional- which basically means that they do injections, spinal cord stimulators, physical therapy recommendations, etc and may make recommendations for pain treatment but will not prescribe the actual medications and then those that do prescribe opiates, as well as maintenence - which means all of the above plus they follow the patients on pain medications and prescribe them. These second types usually require monthly visits with the doctor before the prescriptions are given.
    That's about all that I can add to the great information that you were given above.
    Good luck with your appointment.
  • I've had two.
    The first one was a specialist anaesthesiologist (whew) who looked at my x-rays, listened to my symptom list, and diagnosed (surprise) arthritis.
    Treatments available:
    1. Do nothing.
    2. Take pain meds.
    3. Steroid injections.
    4. Surgery.
    5.Nerve ablation.
    I had 9 sets of injections which gave some temporary relief. This doctor never examined me.
    When he retired I went to a different specialist, this one at a pain management place.
    He listened to my story, saw the x-rays, and then examined me. Straight away he said it is not arthritis that is the problem, but very tight muscles. Subsequent treatments proved him right.
    So, one was drug centred, the other saw drugs as a last resort. He suggested massage and an exercise routine as the best treatment.
    He referred me to a clinical physiotherapist, and said to allow about 6 months to get better- that was accurate. Massage gave immediate release from pain.

    Allow about 30 mins, write down your symptoms- frequency, severity-sleep problems and so on. Work problems too.All you can add that will convey your situation.
    Write it down in case you forget vital points.
    Look for drug-free and non-invasive treatments, rather than drugs and or surgery.
    Waiting time is usually about 2 months, though I no longer need to go. They are always busy.

    I get my pain killers from my regular GP as it is quicker and easier.

  • Take your CDs of your x-rays and MRIs and CT's if any EMG test results. List of medications you take and history of meds. They make you fill out what kind of pain on a chart of the body in the receptionist office. Mark with an X and the usual pain scale 1-10 with 10 being the worst. Know your surgery history as they ask questions and dates. I had to go early to fill out pages of info at one Dr. and the Dr. referred to those pages I filled out a lot including pain or numbness or tightness in your hip or pain in lower back.

    You could have a list of your symptoms and how it affects how you walk and how long. Pain on standing or sitting? What relieves your pain if anything? Pain opening a door does it affect your back? going up and down stairs is one worst? How long it takes you to get out of bed and if it hurts to bend forward or back from the waist.

    I didn't have a pain diary but some may find that helpful in case you forget anything. Do you have weakness walking in one or both feet? Any hip pain? The assessment may take about an hour or depending on your Dr. he may or may not order more tests.

    I've been to 3 Pain Drs and each treatment was different but they all include injections at the next visit for me.

    My Family Dr. gives my pain meds so they may be different for you.

    They do a complete exam lifting your leg bending leg at knee some uncomfortable leg lifting I found. Test reflexes.

    I hope your Dr. is a good one and makes you feel comfortable and hope it goes well. I'll be offline due to moving this weekend and no internet but know I wish you the best and I just read above posts and all good info for you. Does your family Dr. do your meds?

    One PM Dr. said I may do better with Cymbalta and it was better for me for sciatica and lower back pain than Lyrica. But Lyrica also helps my neck pain in a small dose.
    Wince when you say it hurts and limp when you walk if you usually do because they make you walk with a cane if you use one or without. I always rub my back when talking to the Dr. and get up and stand if sitting more than a few minutes they will understand.

    I hope this is a good Pain Dr. for you. You'll be fine and pretend you're talking to us. Take care and thinking of you. When's the appointment? I had to wait just 2 weeks for one and 6 weeks for another but could be longer if you're going to a Dr. in the hospital clinic rather than a Dr. clinic. You can ask to go on a cancellation list if you're having too much pain.. 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

  • for your answers. :-)
    There is a lot of useful information here, and I will re-read to digest it all.

    I was referred just over a month ago to a Pain Consultant at a local hospital. This week, while at my GP, I asked just to confirm that she had referred me, and she was surprised and asked if she was supposed to!! I pointed out that my neurosurgeon had asked her in a letter, to refer me. She read his letter and saw that paragraph. So, she is now going to refer me to Pain Management. One month lost and my waiting starts now!!

    I am in the UK, so always lots of waiting. My GP didn't know what the waiting time was, but said it was likely to be long. I have an appointment to see the neurosurgeon again in October, so I hope that something will have happened before then. He did say he also wanted me to have a full spine MRI done for him to view at that appointment.

    I am also on a waiting list for EMG and nerve conduction studies, so that should come through first, and those results should be available. As most of my visits have been on the NHS, I don't have many of the CDs of scans and x-rays to take with me. Generally the NHS doctors can view these tests on the computer system, but as I have seen doctors in two different trusts, they don't seem to be able to access and view tests done at the other hospital.

    I am seeing my original surgeon on Monday to (hopefully) finally hear that my lumbar fusion has fused!! I am 16 months post fusion and haven't been given that news yet. My last appointment at 3 months, there was no sign of fusion. Since then it was discovered that I had very low levels of Vitamin D and calcium. After taking supplements, those levels are now back within the normal range.

    This saga seems to be never ending!

  • I hope you're fused! It seemed like just yesterday you had your surgery but it's been a long time and you've done very well. I think your GP gives your pain meds right? Just like here in Canada. I think you were on MS Contin right?

    I had an appointment at a hospital but they said it would be a 6 month wait so I went to a Drs clinic but think it's much better to go to a hospital center for Pain Management and depending on your EMG and MRI results and pain level you may get in sooner. You can call the Pain Clinic directly and ask your appointment and possibly get in sooner or be put on a cancellation list if they have one. Sorry to hear a wasted month of having to wait. I know the NHS and Canadian health system is a lot of waiting.

    I'm glad your calcium and vit. D levels are back to normal. I hope you get the best PM Dr. there. 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

  • Yes my GP prescribes pain meds for me. I have Tramadol and amytripteline, but don't use them very often. Mostly, I use over the counter meds and lie down. I don't like taking meds and as most of the pain I am getting now is not there all the time, but comes in waves and spasms that only last less than a minute generally. The longer lasting pain is not at such a high level, and more like a nagging ache or burning.
    The headaches are generally what have me reaching for help to control the pain, as they last for hours or days and are very debilitating and I can't function with them.

    My neurosurgeon said he was going to send me to a certain Lead Consultant at the Pain Clinic who was very good. The trouble is I know that they warn you that you might not see him. If I was confronted with a different doctor I don't know what I would do. I am nervous of having cervical injections (why I am being sent). My neurosurgeon told me that with a good doctor they are safer than surgery and very good at controlling the pain. That is when he said that this doctor was very good. I am rather relying on seeing him!

    Good luck with your moving! :-)
  • jellyhall said:

    The headaches are generally what have me reaching for help to control the pain, as they last for hours or days and are very debilitating and I can't function with them.

    I'd strongly suggest a sports or remedial massage on your neck, shoulders and back to relieve and soften the muscles there. These tight muscles contract the scalp and can cause the head pain you describe.
    That's what I had. Massage will soon tell you.
  • jellyhall said:

    The headaches are generally what have me reaching for help to control the pain, as they last for hours or days and are very debilitating and I can't function with them.

    I'd strongly suggest a sports or remedial massage on your neck, shoulders and back to relieve and soften the muscles there. These tight muscles contract the scalp and can cause the head pain you describe.
    That's what I had. Massage will soon tell you.
  • I have been thinking of trying massage.
    If I can encourage my husband to massage my neck when I get these headaches, it does feel better.

    We are off on holiday in a week. When we get home, I will try to organise a massage to see how it helps. I do see my physiotherapist each week, but he doesn't do massage. He does 'facet joint mobilisation' which I call his 'jiggleing', which does seem to keep my neck more mobile. He holds my neck and does very small and quite quick sideways movements for half an hour.
    Does anyone else have this treatment?
    I have found it mentioned on the internet, and it seems to be getting more common here in the UK. I don't know about the USA. My neurosurgeon has told him to go ahead with this treatment, despite the stenosis and cord compression I have in my neck.

  • Oh My dear friend!! Does it ever end?

    I am so sorry you are still struggling! I do think some kind of massage or "joint mobilization" as we call it in the US would be a great place to start.

    When there is an issue in the spine, the soft tissue around it spasms which creates a ton of pain....some of the medication that is given in the injections release these muscles of their spasms.

    If not massage, what about moist heat? Can you get a heating pad with a moist heat insert? or can you use hot moist towels with a heating pad? that will help to relax the muscles that are in spasm.

    As I recall, your hubby likes cake....trade him a moist homemade cake for a nice massage!

    I miss you my friend!
  • so lovely to hear from you. :D

    You made me giggle, with the cake idea. You have really understood my hubby. Yesterday I had a horrible pain in my upper back / shoulders. I managed to get him to massage my neck and shoulders, to see if it would help. I got more than 2 hours relief from the pain :-)

    I see my physiotherapist (the same one from after my fusion) who is now working on my neck. He does joint mobilisation on my neck, but it is nothing like a massage. He just 'jiggles' my cervical vertebrae; very small, quick, sideways movements. I do seem to get help from it though. I now have more mobility and, I think, less pain.

    I do use a heated wheat bag, which is soothing and love being in the shower!

    I am off to bake some lemon and poppy seed muffins!!!

    I miss you too Shari, and am thinking of and praying for you. >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • to hear your neck has been so bad Jelly!

    My son has cervical problems too and gets those awful headaches.

    I've read that caffeine helps relieve them a bit. Does your GP know you are suffering with them? Would some migraine medicine maybe help?

    Interesting to hear about how your physiotherapist manipultes your neck. I've never heard of that before.

    Hope you are getting some rest now that school is finished for the year. Have a lovely holiday. Hope you are going somewhere sunny & warm. That should help!

    Peggy x
  • so nice to hear from you again :-)
    I am sorry that your son is suffering with his neck now too.

    I have told my GP about the headaches, but I am generally able to control them with one or two doses of over the counter medicine, which I prefer. I don't like taking meds! That doesn't go well with back pain!

    My husband gave me a massage yesterday which gave great relief for more than two hours. Now that is the sort of pain management that I like! :-)

    I am loving being on holiday from school. After a disturbed night, it is so lovely to be able to take my time in getting up. We are visiting our son in Oxford this weekend and shortly after that are off to Menorca. I am so looking forward to that and you are right, it definately should help. :D

    I saw my ortho surgeon on Monday and he has said that as there is no sign of loose screws, that I must be fused!! Whoopieee!!

    Take care Peggy >:D<

  • Hi Jelly;

    When I was in physio before my first surgery, my pt did the mobilization and some massage work as well. I found that it helped with my ROM and loosened my muscles up for a few hours after and was welcome relief. She also did some light traction, which I found to be helpful as well.

    Now, my new pt does some light massage work and traction to help with the spasms and it does help for a couple of hours. I also use my heating pad religiously, as well as my TENS. Are you able to get a prescription for a TENS, or have you ever had tens therapy at pt? It might be something else that could help you. The actual units are small, and you can clip them to your pants or belt, and you can move about easily with it on.

    I hope that you get your appointment quickly with the pm. I can't really add anything more to what everyone has already said, they've all been quite detailed for you. The one big thing about pm though, as I think lovetotravel pointed out, is that pain management is meant to do exactly what it sounds like, manage your pain. My pm doc actually asked what she mentioned, what are my expectations? If it's that I want my pain to completely disappear (although, that's what we all really wish for) it's not reasonable and I'll be greatly disappointed, as we're not just dealing with muscular pain, but nerve pain from the stenosis and protruding discs, etc, as well. However, if he can get my daily levels down to a 2 or 3, so that I can live and accomplish daily tasks with a good quality of life, that would be successful. Which I completely agree, getting through the day with a 2 or 3 is a great day indeed.

    Massage can be a great help with the headaches. I also suffer from tension headaches, in fact, mine's lasted over 2 years now. How bad it is just depends on the day. Massage does help, and I also get trigger point injections to help with the spasms in my neck and traps. I also get occipital injections which, when I kept up with them, helped a lot as well. As my pm explained, with each one that you get, the longer they should last, but I really have only got them as an immediate relief procedure, so it's been sporadic.

    Congrats on the news of being fused, you must be so relieved. Hope you enjoy your holiday, and that your hubby keeps up with the massages! Every once in a while a visit to a massage therapist is nice too. Enjoy!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own

  • Your comments about expectations of Pain Management have helped me to think about what is realistic.
    How much relief did you get from your surgery?
    It sounds like you are still having problems. Is that from different levels?

    My pain levels are nothing like the very severe sciatica that I was getting before my lumbar fusion. However, I do get lots of sharp, shocking, pricking pains all over the place, but particularly in my legs and feet. The pain in my arms and hands is mostly aching, burning and tingling with occassional numbness. As I said before, it is the headaches that are the most debilitating because they stays with me for hours or even days. When they are particularly bad, I have severe pain in both ears which is throbbing, almost like a pulse.

    My physiotherapist also does the gentle traction, which does feel good. It is something that I discovered myself to help with my headaches and neck tension. I do use a heated wheatbag on my neck which is soothing and relaxes the muscles. I do have a TENS machine, but haven't tried it. I tried it with my lumbar spine, but although it did distract from the pain, it didn't really help. Perhaps I should give it another chance. It had been put into a cupboard and forgotten about. I am seeing my physio this afternoon, so I'll try to remember to ask him about the TENS.

    It is good to hear of the help that you have had from various injections. I hate the idea of them, but I tell myself they must be better than surgery! My neurosurgeon mentioned several types; one of which was botox injections. Do you know anything about them. I hope they will also get rid of any wrinkles in my neck!! Lol!

    I hadn't heard that the more that you get, the longer they should last. I never had any injections for my lumbar spine as things had got too bad and too tight to allow the injections.

    My husband has arthritis in his hands, particularly his thumbs, so massaging me is not comfortable for him. I intend to book one to try when we get back from our holiday.

    Thanks Kelly, and everyone else, for taking the time to answer my questions about pain management. I feel happier now about my appointment, when I finally get one!! :-)

  • Hi Jelly;

    My surgeries did correct what they were supposed to, but yes, because of the multiple things going on at multiple levels on both sides (protrusions, stenosis, bone spurs, DDD, etc, it seems to be never-ending.

    I guess I should clrify about the injections, it's the trigger point injections and occipital injections that he said should last longer in between each time getting them. I'm not sure about the other types that include steroids. I do know that with the occipitals, there was a time that I had 3 in a row (a couple of weeks in between) and my headache did ease up for a while. I've never really discussed botox with my pm, so I can't answer on those, I did search it though once, and read that they can be helpful.

    Did you ask about the tens? Give it a shot anyways, it could be worth the try! I put the leads around where my spasms are, and it does help out a little.

    Sorry to hear about your hubby's arthritis issues! That can be so painful in the hands, my mom suffers from it too. Her fingers are getting pretty twisted around, so I know I have that to yet look forward to, as I have her hands in every other aspect, joy of joys... lol I actually have this little massage thing, it has 4 little legs and you turn it on, I will rest it between the back of my chair and my neck or shoulder, turn it on and let it sit there for a few, but really, the tens kind of does the same thing for me. I got it at Walmart, it fits in the palm of your hand. Maybe if you can find something like that, your hubby could use that instead of his hands to give you a massage.

    Anyways, have a good holiday! And hope you hear back on the appointment soon for the pm!

    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Such good news!

    No doubt lying in the warm sun sipping a cool drink will do you good!That and regular massages from the husband. Might help his arthritis!

    I have arthritis in my hands too but I've found that the more I use them the better I am.My husband has shoulder, hip and back problems but every night we massage him with piroxicam ointment that his doctor prescribed. Wonderful stuff! I've used it a couple of times for sore muscles and it really works.

    My son has had quite a few injections over the years. Some helped, some did nothing, but it was worth trying according to him.

    He's had neck problems all along, just not as urgent to be sorted, but as usual it gets worse with age. He is still having problems with some nerve pain and numbness in his legs and feet but I think he is much better than he was before the surgery.

    I can't believe it has been over a year for both of you.

    Hope you have a great time in Menorca!

  • He did NOT prescribe meds at all, he asked a few questions. He said hubby's problem isn't nerve damage, or nerve pain, (despite numbness in back front and groin area) since most of hubby's pain is in his back. He wants to try facet injections. He ordered a Physc eval, a MRI, and I have to take him the results of hubby's FCE done in Aug. (hubbyy is a wc patient). Hubby had a herniated disc at l2/l3 and surgery with fusion and hardware on 6/14/10. Then a decompresson at l2/l3, l3/l4 and l4/l5 and removal of the hardware on 3/9/11. His surgeon released him and referred him to pain management on 9/27/11. his pm appointment was 11/22/11. Not impressed, more like worried. Any advice, opinions welcome. . .
  • He did NOT prescribe meds at all, he asked a few questions. He said hubby's problem isn't nerve damage, or nerve pain, (despite numbness in back front and groin area) since most of hubby's pain is in his back. He wants to try facet injections. He ordered a Physc eval, a MRI, and I have to take him the results of hubby's FCE done in Aug. (hubbyy is a wc patient). Hubby had a herniated disc at l2/l3 and surgery with fusion and hardware on 6/14/10. Then a decompresson at l2/l3, l3/l4 and l4/l5 and removal of the hardware on 3/9/11. His surgeon released him and referred him to pain management on 9/27/11. his pm appointment was 11/22/11. Not impressed, more like worried. Any advice, opinions welcome. . .

  • How long did it last?
    My appointment lasted about 1 1/2 hours. First I saw the registrar for about an hour, who was very thorough, then he took me through to see the Pain Consultant and we view my MRI scan and talked for another half an hour. It was decided that they needed to see an up to date MRI scan before deciding on my treatment. I was booked for a full spine MRI the following week, so they asked that I got my Neurosurgeon to call them into his clinic to view the scan pictures, and then they would plan treatment for me. Sadly, the neurosurgeon said his clinic was running late, so he didn't call in the Pain Consultant. I am still waiting to find out what happens next. I have phoned his secretary twice and got no help. Now my GP has written to him and asked what his plan for me is. So I suppose you could say that my appointment is continuing! Nearly 2 months so far!!!

    What did they do?
    Asked lots of questions (about history, pain and symptoms,medications used) examined my spine, did neurological tests, viewed MRI scan

    Did you have treatment?
    No, still waiting to see what treatment is planned. The Pain Consultant did say that ESIs were unlikely to help as I have spondylosis in addition to disc herniations, so ESI won't help with bone compressing on the cord.

    How long did you have to wait for the appointment?
    April until September (6 months)
  • hi my surgery twin.

    And it's very saddening that the wait times that you have to go thru, to see different doctors and get tests done seem beyond imignation.
    I realize they have a different health care system over there, and everyone has their own opinions, but it's just seems to me, i truly sympathesize with and for you, on your long waits to see the doctors.

    I'm not talking down any system, i just feel sorry for the long waits that you have to endure.

    Best wishes to ya.
  • We went back Fri. for the PM Dr to do facet injection, 6 in all, 3 on each side. The good Dr has ordered a "Pain Management Performance Test" to be preformed at the Physical Therapy dept of the hospital, followed by a psych evaluation MMPI/P3 preformed at a Psychological and Counseling Center. This patient is a 59 yr old man who has undergone 2 major back surgeries in the last 18 months. This fine Pain Management Dr. said he thinks most of hubby's pain is from arthritis. I'm ready to scream. . . Has anyone been put through this type of "testing" the Dr has prescribed no medication at all for my hubby, and wont, according to his nurse until he has the results of all these tests. . . mind you he can and did inject him, no need for any tests for that. I am starting to believe it's all about injections, more money for them instead of writing a Rx
  • I went to PM for over 2 years with no relief and very little meds. This was after trying 2 other
    "Pain Dr" a physiatrist and a NS. Your correct for some it is about injections and wanting to ensure the injections work so they won't give you meds that may mask the pain (that's what I was told anyway)....
    Was also told that they will give injections right away in hopes of providing relief while getting results of tests etc...

    My PCP Dr now takes care of prescribing my pain meds and I get periodic injections in my lower back from NS which will last from 3 to 6 months. I've had injections in neck performed by 4 different Drs and they did not work. Neuro surgeon told me that because the injections didn't work, pain would not be a reason to do surgery. If I continue to loose strength/reflexs then they'll do surgery but not to expect relief from my neck pain.
    Since the lower back shows positive results from injections I am a candidate for surgery if the injections stop working
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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