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Hi, I am new here. I am a 36 year old guy and Two years ago I noticed after riding my motorcycle for a hour my left arm was getting numb and my shoulder started to burn after a few hours it went away. Last year I started having severe shoulder pain with numbness. For a month I went to a chiropractor for this pain and after telling her about the length of time of my pain she told me to get a see my Dr and get a MRI. I did and it showed a bulging C5/6 disc. So I started physical therapy which did start to help. I will add that from the time of the burning sensation in my shoulder to the time of my MRI I lost my job, when asked how I hurt my neck I said "I dont know" because at the time I had no idea, looking back a year later I know it was from my past employment. So anywho physical therapy went well pain started to diminish but it was still there. I had to give up the PT after a month because I finally received my bill and it was a hair under 2k and for me without insurance that was a bit too much. So then after a few months and my Dr pushing I went and had the shot in the neck. I will say I am not a fan. The shot lasted about a month and then the numbness and pain came back. My dr did not want to prescribe me anything for the pain and put me on gabapentin before bed which didnt help. My Dr kept telling me if the shot didnt work the next thing was surgery and he recommended it when I told him that I wasnt so sure about the success rate he kinda turned his nose up and told me that they are fine. My Dr then would not fill any prescription for pain meds or gabapentin because he believed I was just making up the pain. (he did have the MRI btw) Fast forward to two months ago, my Dr was not available to be seen and I was a hurtin unit. So I went to the clinic and got to see a new Dr. This Dr. told me for a man my age surgery is the last thing I want to do and that there is a higher chance that I would be back in the clinic with more pain after the surgery. He gave me some pain meds and told me to continue my gabapentin and then he said " I will be sending you good vibes"...That is what did it for me, I switched providers and after visiting him he upped my Gabapentin to 3 times a day and allowed me to have pain meds twice a day and signed a pain management contract. Although most days this seems to be good, two weeks later the pain has increased. My numbness and pain in my arm seems to be getting worse and the pain in my neck is also getting pretty bad. I am concerned about becoming addicted to the pain meds and they say 2 tabs every 4-6 hours there have been 2 days where I have taken up to 6 because of the crippling pain. I have my white roller and over the door traction unit that I have used. I find the roller works some and the traction just gives me a headache. I also go to a chiropractor and have tried acupuncture.

The last week the pain has gotten worse. I have started looking at possibly surgery, I have kids at home and a little boy that needs to be held all the time, I have found there are times that have almost brought me to tears because he wants to be held but he is constantly pushing and moving and that starts irritating my arm, shoulder and neck and by mid afternoon I am unable to think of anything but cutting my spine out to get rid of the pain. I have started looking into laser surgery but have seen many things not to go that route. I will be poking around here looking at posts and such. I look forward to learning from everyone here.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I see Liz already welcomed you..........there are a few things that I can see that might be problems for you down the road if you aren't careful..... The first, is while it is okay to see a surgeon and another doctor, it is not allowed to take/obtain medications from two doctors for the same condition... It is a number one rule of pain management- do NOT accept medication from two doctors, especially any pain medications. Doing that will get you kicked out of pain management quicker than you could believe possible.
    Gabapentin ( also known as neurontin) is a medication used to treat nerve related pain. I don't know what dose you were on with the surgeon or whomever you were seeing first, but it is a medication that needs to be titrated up and down in dose. There is a huge amount of wiggle room when it comes to dosing- as low as 100 mg to 3600 mg per day is commonly used to treat nerve pain.
    A bulging disc simply is a disc that has some misshape to it that causes it to exceed it's normal place of sitting on the vertebre. It is not necessarily a problem unless there is some nerve contact, and even then, it could be a tiny amount which may explain why you are having the numbness.
    The big problem is that you are not following your signed pain contract- this WILL get you dismissed from your pain management, and will follow you to whatever doctors you try to see after that. If you are prescribed two pain pills per day, then you are only to take them twice a day and only the amount that you are supposed to take. Generally, a prescription for opiates is given for a 30 day period. This means if you are given 60 pills- and you are dosed - one tab /12 hours, then under no circumstances are you to take more than that. You said that your prescription says to take 1-2 tabs every 4-6 hours, this means that you should always start with one tablet- wait at least two hours, in the mean time, use ice, heat, massage, over the counter pain relief rubs, creams or heat pads, and if you can not stand the pain- even after all of that, then and only then should you be taking the 2nd tablet, and you can even take half or a quarter if they are immediate release medications.....
    Just because a prescription says to take 1-2 every 4-6 hours does not mean that you should automatically be taking two tablets every 4 hours- this will cause you to run out early -before the 30 days is up, and send up red flags to your doctor. It may also get you labeled as a drug seeker.
    NEVER ever take more than you are supposed to take. If you are having a problem with increased pain, and have used all of the other modalities and it is still not coming down, then contact your doctor and ask him what you should do....
    Don't be surprised if you get urine tested, in fact, expect it. It is a normal part of recieving pain medications in todays environment. You may also find that you are called in for random pill counts as well.
    I am including a link to getting chronic pain treated, and I hope that it helps.

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