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Tired of meds for chronic pain...HELP!!!

I'm a 30 year old mother of two that has been dealing with a spinal cord injury (located at the base of my neck causing partial paralysis) since 1991. I have been able to deal with the mild pain for majority of my life BUT in Aug 2011 I started having muscle spasms and dizzy spells. The dizziness is mostly under control but the spasms have destroyed my life. They cause my back pain to be 100 times worse and caused me to be unable to work. My doctors have given me muscle relaxers and pain pills that help but cause mood swings, worsening pain when not taken, tiredness and stomach issues. I'm so tired of dealing with all of it. The doctors can not figure out why I took a dramatic change in condition they only assume the stress of working a desk job created two synomial cysts at the located on my pinched spinal column.

MY call for help is for anyone who could suggest possible alternatives to these pain meds. It's virtually impossible to live my life right now with the pain I am in but I can't continue with these meds. Specially with my two boys.

Anyone with ideas please feel free to input them. Please if you are going to be negative get the whole story before you place a rude comment. Thank you!!!


  • 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
  • im right there with you on the pain meds, mood swings like a pendulum sometimes, plus i mostly feel like crap, especially in the mornings.

    What about a spinal stimulator? Are you a candidate?
    Ive tried the nerve drugs, lyrica, cymbalta, elavil....etc in my opinion they make me feel worse than the pain meds .

    Sorry to not be more help but thought it might help a little to comiserate
  • dldawsonddldawson Posts: 29
    edited 08/14/2014 - 2:48 PM
    I was on the pain pills and weened myself off (very slowly over a four month period). I utilized an arthritis water exercise program 3 times a week, full body massages every two weeks, acupressure (which really helped with the nausea) and walking. My experience with tapering the pain meds was an increase in pain each time I reduced. It would take at least a week for the increased pain to become more tolerable, but each time it did. I have been off the pain meds since March and once everything settled down, my pain level is slightly less than while taking pain meds. I just had a ACDF at C4-5-6 a week ago and stopped the pain meds yesterday.

    I hope you find something to help other than the pain meds. I also have found relief with Neurontin (gabapentin) without the side effects of the narcotic pain meds.
  • edited 08/16/2014 - 7:17 AM
    Consider looking into something called Natural Calm for the spasms. My wife has bad muscle spasms and it helped her with these. It also does other things with the body, so make sure you're aware of what you're getting into.

    Link removed, solicitation not permitted.Please read the Forum rules
    Post Edited by Liz The Spine-Health Moderator Team

  • Kim,

    I wrote down some things that I have found that help me on your post in the meet new members- introduction section
    under your post there.

    I hope you and others will find these things to be as helpful as I have. There is one thing that I forgot as I see that muscle spasms are a big problem for you. Now, this is going to sound strange but desperate times call for desperate measures.

    There is a product sold in Mexican Markets (I am sorry but I forgot the name and can't find the bottle- will look for it)
    Anyway, it is sold as a topical rub for pain and muscle spasms and is in a yellow container with a white lid and red and black spanish writing on it.
    I found out that it is used on race horses after running to help their leg pain/spasms. Basically it is a veterinary medication LOL- but the Mexican Markets sell it. This stuff works miracles for muscle spasms/ muscle pain. It is usually behind the counter. If you ask them, they will know what you are talking about.

    God Bless all of us who are suffering with chronic pain and chronic health conditions.
    With Love and compassion,
  • Kim, I have suffered from failed back syndrome for over 30 years. I hate all the surgeries I had and the Medial Branch Blocks and the Radiofrequency ablations because after all of that I still have to take pain medications and I "Hate" them! I have tried again and again to get off them and with success...but I succombe because a life of endless pain is hell on earth. I have been seing a Cognitive Behavioralist who has a PHD in Psychology. He has helped me immensely over the years. Meditation has kept me sane-or, at least I can live with myself and to me that is sanity. I hate pills-Morphine Sulfate and Hydrocodone! I hate having to go to my pain doctor every month like some addict but that is what I am. I could not live without the medicine so I take it and thank God for it. I have a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist behind me and they made it clear to my pain doctor I am not a drug seeker; I am a drug needer. Their support has made me feel better about myself so when I see my Pain Mgmt. doctor now I hold my head up and he has finally stopped asking me to try the blocks that have never worked. I don't worry about addiction anymore. I hate having such a bad back but without the magic pills I could not function at all so I take them. I take them exactly as prescribed-no more and no less and I do not get high or sick-I just can better cope. I think now that the guilt is gone I feel much better. 8 years on the same strength and dosage-I met my happy medium. God Bless you.
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