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Hi all. My name is Tom and i'm a Chronic back pain sufferer. I had a car accident on December 6, 2007 in which i broke 4 vertebrae and ruptured numerous discs. I went for 2 years of going to chiropractors before i went to see a surgeon that diagnosed me with the above problems. This goes to show that when there is a car accident you should always go straight to the emergency room to get checked out.
I guess this shows i have a high pain tolerance. once i was diagnosed by the surgeon he told me i needed surgery. I had the 4 vertebrae grafted back together and the discs fused. I have been in severe pain ever since December of 2007. The surgery did very little to help. When i was living in the USA i was taking hydrocodone 10 mg every 4-6 hours and oxycodone 10 mg for breakthrough pain.
Now i moved to Australia and i am taking codeine 60mg every 6 hours and oxycontin 10 mg 3 times a day. The medication use to help but i guess over the years my tolerance to the drugs has built up. i have tried numerous other medications such as lyrica, elavil and other drugs that are supposed to help with nerve pain but none of thee did me any good. I still work as a carer, taking care of elderly patients which is very demanding on the back at times, and if i could quit working i would but as I'm sure like many others i can't afford to quit working.
The surgeon that did the surgery said i would probably be on disability due to the amount of nerve damage that i had, but i took 6 months off work after the surgery and went right back. Now I'm steadily getting worse. I'm sure there is arthritis in my back along with the rest of the problems. I cant sleep more than a couple of hours at a time most nights. I lay in bed tossing and turning for hours just reading a book or watching television due to being in too much pain to go to sleep.
I'm not sure what i'm hoping to get out of this forum. Just hope maybe someone else in a similar situation might have tried something that i haven't tried or heard about that might work i guess.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Thank you for the kinks. I have done most of the chronic pain step by step. I did the epidural injections and they seemed to help a bit with the pain but the side effects were horrible for me. I have done massage, acupressure, numerous types of injections, tens units, traction, i think i have tried just about everything. the worst part is when you go to a doctor and let them know about severe chronic pain and they just treat you like your a drug addict. which if we really face the facts i guess anyone that is in chronic pain is a drug addict, but we aren't taking drugs for a high or for a thrill. We need them to function. If i could find anything that would take away even half the pain i feel i would be willing to give anything. I am at the point that i have had to go from working in nursing homes taking care of people to doing private home care which is less demanding on the back, but it's getting harder and harder to even do that even though i only work 2 days a week. Granted they are 24 hour shifts but when the client is sleeping i get to go downstairs to lay down myself. There has got to be a better way. Maybe im at the point of needing the pump put in if they even do that here in Australia.
  • Even if you have tried the commonly prescribed nerve pain medications previously, it might be worthwhile to try them again......if the dose was too low, or you didn't stay on them for a long enough time frame, to see if the dosage adjustments or staying on them for a month or so, might change the outcome.
    Other options might include the spinal cord stimulator......it interrupts the pain signals sent through the spinal cord to the brain, and for many spine patients, when little else has worked, it has changed their lives......
    A pain pump might be something to consider down the line, but at the doses you are currently at, it is a bit early for that..The link that Liz provided to the Step by Step guide has some other suggestions for ideas that might help to ease some of the pain , at least a little bit.....when it comes to treating chronic pain, every little reduction helps.
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