I was diagnosed with a herniated disk and I eventually had a dissectomy at l4-l5 to remove the offending bulge. Two years later and I find myself living in constant pain with some periods better than others. While I was recovering from surgery I was prescribed 90mgs of Oxycontin a day and I was still in a lot of pain for about 2 or 3 months out. Then after I recovered from surgery but was still living with pain I was prescribed 15mgs a day even though I only took them when I needed them or about bi weekly.
Under the advice of my doctor I got a medical marijuana card (Thank you Oregon voters!)after complaining about the effects of oxycontin. Since I have started using this treatment I am still in constant pain but I find my life a lot easier to manage and I am actually able to maintain a clearer head on pot. I also find pot to have absolutely no side effects (except for some small degree of social marginalization)when I am not on the drug. While it is true that narcotics like oxycontin offer more pain relief than marijuana it is also true that marijuana does not leave you as "vacant" as narcotics and that is worth something. I got to admit that getting used to the effects after the first couple times I used it were a little overwhelming (but not unpleasant) but over the years the "high" has pretty much gone away while still offering me a considerable degree of pain relief. Also it should be noted that I eat the drug instead of smoking it most of the time. The doctor who gave me my card told me that there are no long term negative effects to pot use that have been validated despite massive amount of research aimed at demonstrating just that. She also told me that does not stop people from forming their opinions based on popular misconceptions. It made my life easier and it might make yours easier, I am not using narcotics anymore.