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Wonderful pain relief from a medication that was prescribed for something other then the spine

I am currently going thru a very hard patch in my life. My mother is at the end stages of her life with me being her primary caregiver. She wants to die at home and I am doing everything possible to make her wish come true, Within the last 6 months my son has been showing signs of mental illness. Yes he is under treatment but a diagnosis is not easily given to the mentally ill. All the Drs are in agreement there are mental health issues but a definitive diagnosis has not been given yet. I would rather god take my life and spare my son a normal life because I now realize life for him as I knew it is now over. He is no longer able to take care of himself and I will be the primary caregiver for him for the remainder of his life. I was recently taken to the hospital for symptoms of a heart attack. Thank god it was only stress. My family Dr called and asked to see me the next day after she received the ER reports. After many test and a hour long conversation ( crying uncontrollably the whole time) she says I have a true medical condition known as a broken heart. The new medication she prescribed is Xanax. This medicaton has done wonders for my pain, The horrible muscle spasms that I have endured for years are gone. My right arm used to draw up at least a dozen times daily and to be honest it hurt like h##l. Not one time has my arm drawn up since Ive started thus medication 2 days ago. Nor am I having the lower back muscle spasms. I have reduced my pain meds by half, quit taking the muscle relaxers. I know stress will cause pain to flare-up but I had no idea the effect it was having on me. My Dr sat me down and told me I have to take care of me first, then the others. Heres the kicker to that statement, Ive been taking care of everyone else for so long I dont even know how to put myself first. I would feel guilty doing so when I know they both are suffering more then I. Has anyone else been prescribed medication for nerves to discover that it helps pain?


  • First of all, I am very sorry about your mother and son. I know what it is like to have a mental illness, I have severe Bipolar type 1 disorder. I will keep you in my prayers.

    As for the medication issue. I take valium for anxiety. Valium is also used as a muscle relaxer, I did not know this. I used to have real big problems with having muscle spasms while lying down. Now I can go to bed without the spasms. I am happy that I can sleep in my bed and not be permanent resident in the recliner.
    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.
  • There are many of us with similar issues with not putting ourselves first. I am guilty of this and strongly believe my chronic pain is a result of neglecting my own self. Please take care of yourself! :-)
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Your doctor is right, if you don't take care of you, and learn how to do that, you can't be there for either one of your loved ones.
    Each of us only has so much to give, and if we don't replenish our own selves, physically , spiritually, emotionally, then we have no reserves to take care of others in our lives that we love.
    It is not unusual at all to find that there is another medical condition that we come up with , and somehow, the medications/treatments for that new condition, actually wind up helping another condition. At least now you are getting some good relief not only from the anxiety and stress, but also the muscle spasms......now, you just need to make sure that you start to really take care of you better, constantly so that you can help your son and your mom.
    I will keep you all in my prayers,
  • I had not heard this before about Xanax but I have heard of using Valium as a muscle relaxant. I would like to try one of them because I have constant problems with tight muscles and spasms. I have been taking 1/2 of a Flexeril for years now at bedtime. I can't take a whole one or any during the day because they knock me out plus give bad dry mouth.

    I am a little worried about the psych part of it though. Are there any warnings for suicidal thoughts with these similar to anti-depressants? I have tried many of those but they did not agree with me.

    I mentioned to my doctor once that Valium was used for a muscle relaxant but he was not enthused. Are doctors reluctant to prescribe these?
  • I have been on xanax for past 24 years for anxiety. Over the years I also discovered that it is a good muscle relaxer as well as anti nausea medication. My mom took while battling cancer and her oncologist said it would help with nausea as well as anxiety. I think a lot of people were taking xanax in the 80s but doctors don't like to prescribe now due to very high addiction rate and seizures when stopping too quickly. I have never had any issues with suicidal thoughts while taking xanax even though I also suffer from depression. It has been a life saver for me.

  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 06/22/2013 - 3:53 PM
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 06/22/2013 - 6:10 PM
    Thank you for the tip. I am going to ask my doctor to switch me. They are usually for anxiety attacks - didn't realise they work as a muscle relaxer as well. Thank you for the info.
  • Sorry to hear about your Mom and your son's condition. My brother has a mental illness, but with the meds they have now he is very independent but still dependent at a special care home where he has his own room, TV, computer and makes extra money helping out with household chores plus gets disability. He's able to travel long distances out of town to visit me or my Mom out of Province and even stays on his own for a few days so not sure about your son illness but there;s so much heartache but there's so much achievement and joy especially if you can get assistance from the Mental Health Social workers.

    Good to hear about the Xanax helping for now. I now my Oxazepam also related to Valium helps sometimes but not always for me. you will need the energy to do all you're doing. Will send up prayers for strength for you. 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
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Life is a struggle for me right now but Im doing everything in my power to keep it together. Some days are better then others. I see the surgeon July 2nd, after he has canceled my appointment 3 times maybe this appointment will happen. I asl myself "who is gonna take care of me if we do surgery"? My biggest support system was always my son. There are weeks now that he stays drunk, self medicating the docs say but they will not medicate until the drinking stops. It seems like there is never a clear cut answer when it comes to getting him help. Ive done everything in my power to help him, now he has to want to help himself. My mother took a fall in the shower that took all the skin off her leg from the knee to the ankle{ 2nd time she has done this) along with damage to the thumb that required 12 stiches, as far as her leg goes they pulled back what skin they could and am now doing wound care treatment. It never ends lately. I just need a break,
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