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At Wits End

Is there anyone who takes pain meds that really work? I have thus far for many years been trying to take only the tramadol and flexeril, cymbalta for pain. I use my lidoderm patches.I have recently added the butrans. Now I'm having issues with lower back and had a RFA in Nov. My lower back feels worse and it's the straw that's broke my camels back. The lidoderm patches do not help my lower back pain anymore. I need to function here and all I can think about is the pain, all of my pain, yet I am afraid of taking something addicting. I'm a pretty tough gal. I've never had sedation for my 9 cervical epidurals. I'm hanging on by a thread. I go back in 2 months to pain doc, if I can wait that long.

I have never taking oxy anything or vicoden, percocet or anything like that I see so many here take. Are you taking that because the tramadol and flexeril just can't cut it anymore? Is there one medicine that any of you take that actually helps that I could talk to my pain doc about? I am not looking to get dumb, I'm looking for pain relief so I can get done what I gotta get done. I use heat and ice to no avail. Does it depend on where your pain is located have anything to do with what they prescribe you? I know people aren't docs here, I have now reached a pain level I can't take anymore or anger my way through.

Please someone...anyone? Any ideas?
Herniated disc C5 C-6, DDD, Fibromyalgia, Nerve damage both arms, Disc Decompression, SCS 2010, Si joint pain, many epidurals, mri's, trigger point injections. Nerve conduction tests, RFA 11/28/12, RLS


  • I have been taking hydrocodone/acetaminophen 10/325 for so long, almost a year that it not longer has any affect on me. I also take Valium as a muscle relaxer, I used to take flexeril. I have sciatica really bad in my right leg and this pain pill doesn't even take the edge off. I do not have a pain management doctor anymore due to him moving out of town. Which couldn't have come at a worse time. I ran out of pain meds around thanksgiving and finally gave in to the pain and called my surgeon on Monday and asked for pain meds. Luckily they were kind enough to prescribe me some, but it was the same thing that the PM doc gave me. I was afraid to ask for something different. Did you have nine epidurals in one year or were they spread out? I think doctors have certain pain meds they prefer to prescribe. For example my Neurosurgeon loves to prescribe percocet. Its an excellent pain med but I developed an allergy to it.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • Hi try4smile. Sorry to hear that your pain has gotten so much worse.

    I'm on exactly what RTgirl is on - Norco 10/325 and Valium 5 mg. Because I'm so soon out of surgery, I also have Percoset 5/325 for the additional recovery pain. Although I've always had the Percs on hand, previous to my surgery, I only took the Norco and Valium unless the pain was totally unbearable. The Norco and Valium have helped for years (lucky for me) and I don't seem to have built too much of a tolerance to them.

    With that said, each person is so different in what meds they can take (due to nausea, etc.), want to take, or what helps them. If you're now going to start stronger meds, you're going to be playing the testing game, which hopefully won't be a nightmare like it can be for some.

    Tramadol is for mild to moderate pain and most of us fall into the moderate to severe pain category, thus taking meds that are for that. Some still take Tramadol just to have something to take the edge off because they don't want to take pain meds at all. But those of us who choose to take pain meds will generally take Vicodin or something similar (they come in 5, 7.5, and 10 mg, maybe higher too) to start with at least. At one point before surgery, my pain was so bad, my doc talked me into trying OxyContin. I tried it for three days and got fantastic pain relief, but then got suicidal. They got flushed down the toilet by my hubby and when I told my doc, he said "Good for him. Let's stick with what works."

    Keep in mind the Acetaminophen (APAP) that goes with the pain portion of the pill. If you don't know, the second number is the APAP. That's why I switched to Norco a couple of years ago - my stomach started hurting from the APAP, so we kept the higher pain med and lowered the APAP dosage. I was at 10/500.

    Pain is pain and pain meds are supposed to help wherever you hurt. The main thing with this, unless you have a great relationship with your doctor, don't suggest any med in particular. Just tell him what you told us, that the Tramadol isn't working anymore and that you want to try something different, stronger, that can help you function.

    Hope all that info helps. Let us know if you have more questions and please keep us posted. Take care!
  • yes i take nucynta er 100mg twice a day, along with gabapentin, and celebrex. the nucynta has helped me alot.
  • Hi Sandi, I am so sorry you are having so much pain sweetie. I can't take Oxycontin or Oxycodone due to crawling sensation and vomiting, same issue with Percocet. I have taken Vicoden but still get that crawling sensation and itch all over but no rash. They also make me sick to my stomach is taking regularly. The Nucynta seems to work well for me. It is hard to wake up the next morning and I feel foggy for up to 2 hours after, but havent had any real side effects with Nucynta. I also take Cymbalta but weight gain has been tough, along with Baclofen. I had bad hallucinations with Tramadol. My husband took Tramadol along with Hydrocodone after open heart surgery and did well with the combo.

    I sent you a PM :)

  • I have tried most, if not all, pain meds without a whole lot of improvement. I am currently experimenting with increased doses of codeine (180 to 210 mg); it seems to take the edge off, but I do have to take it with Gravol for nausea and Benadryl for itching. Honestly, the one thing that works when I am at my very worse is Meperidine, aka Demerol, which there is a shortage of right now, making it unavailable through pharmacies. I have allergies/sensitivity to most of the pain meds, so have very limited options when I hit bottom.

    My best relief in the past, by far, has been rhizotomy procedures, but my current pain doc prefers not to do the procedure on SI joints, which is what is causing me the worst pain at the moment.

    Have you tried physiotherapy? I go to physio and/or IMS (intramuscular stimulation; similar to acupuncture, but aimed more at muscle tension/spasms) at least once a week, every week, and my new therapist has been very helpful with teaching me some new stretches and maneuvers that have been more helpful than others I have done in the past. I try to stick with my stretches and exercises, use ice and heat on a daily basis, go to gentle yoga twice a week, and do my best to practice some relaxation when things get really bad.

    Keep your chin up and try anything that comes along; you never know where you'll find relief.

  • try4smilettry4smile Posts: 33
    edited 01/04/2013 - 5:41 PM
    all for answering me. It sounds like you sure have been through your share of trial and error with your medicine. Some of your medicines I've never even heard of but thats good cuz that means options and thats what I need. I will take your advice and just tell my pain doc it aint working for me and see what he can come up with. I had no idea you could be on those medicines for a year. I didnt know that WAS an option. I thought those were only short term medicines. But, like probably everyone else who finds there way here, our pain isnt going to go away. I kept thinking what do they do with people like us? I had nucynta after I had my spinal cord stimulator implant surgery. But the instructions say that is a short term medicine. So thank you for clearing that up for me. I pretty much thought tramadol was the only LONG TERM pain medicine you could get and stay on.

    Im so sorry you have had surgerys that havent worked. Thats a double whammy. And no, my epidurals were spread out over time. I've had the same pain doc for a long time. 10 years I'd say. I had the radio frequency ablation in Nov.in my lower back and the pain is worse, so I'm thinking it didn't work.

    I hope you all know how wonderful you are and how much it means to a new person like me for you to take the time to answer. I hope I can be more like you one day and try to help someone else through a bad patch, like you reaching out to help me. You are inspiring wether you know it or not. I don't know how you do it, personally. I feel like I cant even handle me right now!!

    Thank you again and I will let you know what happens. Wishing you all the best


    Herniated disc C5 C-6, DDD, Fibromyalgia, Nerve damage both arms, Disc Decompression, SCS 2010, Si joint pain, many epidurals, mri's, trigger point injections. Nerve conduction tests, RFA 11/28/12, RLS
  • Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
    edited 01/05/2013 - 4:20 AM
    I think most docs would prefer to put chronic pain suffers on a slow release med like OxyContin with breakthrough meds like Vicodin or Percocet, but mine wants me to use what works. It's also odd that my surgeon handles all my meds as most are sent to pain mgmt, but he follows his patients for two years and I've had problems every two years as my spine is collapsing in on itself. I've talked to him about going to a PM but he poo-poos it, wanting to care for me himself. I'm totally cool with that as nobody knows me and my problems like he does.

    Funny story: I had my 3-level ACDF first. Then two years later, my lumbar went bad and as we were talking about surgery, I said, "Please keep my head straight. Don't have it turned to one side the whole surgery because I have a plate in there and I'll come out with terrible pain." He said, "Cathie, I did your cervical surgery and know this already." lol We just laughed about it, it seemed so silly.

    Anyway, we're here for you, that's what these forums are all about. Spineys helping spineys, so you never need be alone with all this. We may not know each other personally, but I can assure you that you can and probably will make friends on here. We're all in the same boat, or at least in the same lake.

    Take care of yourself and know we're here to help. We all need help at one time or another.
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