Hello, I am new to this site and posting in general. Thank you in advance for Reading/Listening/Commenting. I'm 53 years old and have had thoracic and neck pain for about 25 years.
10 years ago I finally went to a PT and got a huge amount of relief. I've continued going to him ever since, mostly on a maintenance level. I've been doing the stretching he showed me at least once a day and sometimes 3 or 4 times depending on the level of pain I am having. Each stretching session I do will last between 5 and 30 minutes with a minimum of 45 minutes a day. I also go to a massage therapist at least once per week. I am physically active and do Crossfit 4 times a week and surf on the weekends.
My Neck and Back pain has been fairly manageable with the Physical Therapy, stretching, massaging and exercises I do, until about a year ago when every thing my GP had tried (Diclofenac, Naproxen, Motrin, Tramadol) didn't work, but Hydrocodone did. I've never wanted to take any type of medication if I didn't have to especially a narcotic, but Hydrocodone seemed to be the only thing that gave me any relief.
This scared me because I'm a recovering drug addict with 20 years since I altered my reality with anything, and know that my internal wiring is a little different than normal and Hydrocodone could really put me in a tricky place and jeopardize my personal well being. But I had to get some relief.
The Pain management doctor ordered an MRI and put me on 2 - 5/325 tablets a day. The results from the MRI showed that I had 4 Cervical Vertebra that were bulging with one of them about 5cm out. My Thoracic Vertebra had 5 bulging with the middle one 5cm out as well. She told me that 5cm isn't that much, but I should slow down on my athletic activities.
Within a couple months I was up to 4 and then 5 tablets a day and my Pain management doctor ordered 2 epidurals, one for my neck and one for my back. I did the one on my neck 2 weeks ago and got a little relief, but haven't done the one in my back yet (should have been today, but doctor canceled).
Any way I got off the Hydrocodone a week ago (Partly by choice) and have been detoxing and feel terrible and my back is on fire. I told the dr. that I don't want to take any narcotic again and we have to figure out something else that works. She gave me the Butrans patch and Neurontin. I started the Neurontin last night, but when I read about the Butrans patch it says its an opiate and can be addictive. I don't want to go through this withdrawal again and cannot afford to jeopardize my life taking something that I could get addicted to all over again.
I heard the Neurontin will take a couple of days to start working and I am willing to white knuckle it for a few days, but I terrified to start the Butrans patch if it means I will get addicted.
Thank you so much if you have read this far, I know its long but I'm pretty desperate for some relief.
The doctor doesn't think I will get addicted. Maybe she is right. What I'm afraid of is that she may not understand the nature of a recovering drug addict and I could get all messed up and addicted to the patch.
If anybody has any help or suggestions it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.