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New to forum - seeking advice on medication

chadincchadin Posts: 1
edited 09/22/2013 - 6:20 PM in Pain Medications

I am a 40-year old mother of 2. I've been suffering chronic back pain (back, buttocks, hip) since the birth of my second child almost 3 years ago. The doctors diagnosed me with DDD. Had one set of injections, RFL, PT and Chiropractic - with no relief. Confirmed severe disc tears (discogram) at L5/S1 and L3/L4. The Ortho said he wouldn't want to operate due to fear of no success, 2nd opinion with neurosurgeon...he reluctantly said he would fuse L5/S1 (but wouldn't help L3) - and his opinion is that it will ruin the rest of my back within a short time. So I'm SOL pretty much.

So it looks like a life of pain medication for me. The trouble is that I am terrified of spending the next 30-40 years on narcotics. Yet - nothing else is touching the pain. Any suggestions for surviving this? Can I stay on hydrocodone or another narcotic for years and years and years and years? (Tried tramadol too, but left my Rx at home during a trip and literally thought I was dying from the withdrawl).

Not taking the medication if not an option for me. I can't sleep at all without it (pain is bad at night). When I don't take anything in the AM - I have the kind of pain that literally is making me crazy (and mean). That is not an option with 2 little ones.

I have pretty crappy insurance, so I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars talking to even MORE doctors about this. So, can anyone share their experience with their pain meds?




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    Hi LJ,
    DDD is just considered a normal imaging finding on MRI. It sounds like a horrible debilitating disease but all of us will have it if we are above the age of 18 or so on MRI- whether or not we have pain. The disease part of it makes it sound worse than it is . It sounds like you have sciatica, and if I am reading what you posted right, annular tears ? The outer covering of the discs is what is called the annulus. Was there any leaking of disc material during the test?
    As far as medications go, they are only one small piece of the overall pain management program . I am including several links for you to read, that might help to clarify things a bit for you. A comprehensive pain management program includes many modalities, and each one you use on a regular (daily basis) becomes another piece of the puzzle that reduces your pain levels-but they need to be used each day, in order for them to be of any real benefit.
    Here is a link to the steps to getting chronic spine pain treated- http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/chronic-pain/chronic-pain-treatment-step-step

    Here are some links to information regarding DDD- DDD Resources



    and as far as the use of medications go, that determination about the use of them, for how long, and what other options/modalities is a decision that can only be made by your doctor and you, based on your exam, the findings from the tests done and reports, and his recommendations regarding further injections, topical creams and medications, neuropathic medications, and anti inflammatory medications and if he feels they are necessary, opiates.
    Yes, they can be used long term in certain conditions, with other modalities but usually when a patient is found to be in need of long term management of opiods, they are given extended release medications in place of the immediate release versions. Tylenol is not always a good idea when taken regularly day in and day out.
  • Hydrocodone and tramadol what else have you taken for pain?
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