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Questions and concerns

julie47jjulie47 Posts: 104
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Lower Back Pain
I take Tramadol 50mg as needed for pain. I also have generic Neurontin and a muscle relaxer.

Here are my questions:

1) I am not sure which medicine to take when.

2) I am concerned about the addictive potential of Tramadol.

3) I take aqua arthritis and other pool exercises, but I am
not happy with limited to exercising like a fish does.
What other exercises could I do.

4) I am in my 40's and have a permanent handicapped parking
placard. On occasion, people in the parking lot have made
comments that I don't look old enough/disabled enough to
need a handicapped placard. I am polite to the point
where I don't want to let them what is going through my

1978: scoliosis surgery with harrington rod from T5-L1
2005: microdiscectomy L4-L6
2009: fusion surgery for L4-S1 spondy
ongoing sciatica and hip bursitis


  • Hi there,

    Sounds like you have some chronic issues.
    Are you seeing a Physical therapist? Pain Mgmt Doctor? Physiatrist?

    If not, it might be a good idea to ask your general practioner if he can refer you to a PM doctor or Physiatrist.

    Why? the medication you are taking is or can be addicting. Also, a PM doctor can explain when you need to take each. They are each for different things - pain, nerve blocker, muscle relaxer. It took some time for me to realize the difference between pain and muscle issues. I've finally learned how to ID the differences so I know what to take if needed.

    As for exercises - the PT or Physiatrist would be able to do an evaluation of you and create a plan that is good for you.

    I had my last surgery 2 years ago. I just started PT again about 3 weeks ago under advice of Physiatrist. They told me the exercises I learned post-op were good but that there is more I can do now to compliment the basic exercises I was doing. It might make sense to re-visit under the care of a doctor.

    Not sure how bad your situation is but I have found for me I have a limited routine of walking, swimming, stretching, core muscle work, and light weights (I mean 5lb) to keep my muscles tone.
  • The best person to ask about your medications is your pharmacist. If your doctor didn't give you enough info about when to take them, your pharmacist should be able to help you out. I take Neurontin and the muscle relaxant at bedtime, because I need both of them for sleep and to settle the spasms. Are you taking the Tramadol daily, or is it for breakthrough pain? If you are taking it for the pain, that's what it's for; if there comes a time that you have to go off it, you just need to reduce it slowly....your pharmacist, again, can help you with advice on how to do that. Which muscle relaxant are you taking? Again, if you reduce that at some point, you will probably have to wean off it slowly.

    As for having a handicapped placard, that is nobody else's business. When I had my temporary one, I didn't always take a handicapped parking spot; if I felt well, I would park anywhere and leave those spots for others. I'm assuming you probably do the same. The problem with our types of conditions is that we don't have a big body cast on, so people are very good at making assumptions because "you look so good".

    As for exercising, I would have the same questions as DNice; are you seeing a physiatrist or physiotherapist? I go to physio twice a week to keep some of my muscles and joints moving, but I walk every day and do what I can when I can. If I try something and suffer terribly afterwards, I either ease off or don't do it anymore. It takes a while to figure out what works and what doesn't.

    Hope you get some answers and figure out what activities you can carry on with. I know the frustration of wanting to do everything you used to do, but the body rebelling on you!

    Take care, and good luck.

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