Hello - I herniated L5 / S1, had a discectomy in Jan 2007, and re-herniated the same disc in Dec 2007. I am trying to avoid surgery, so working with my doctor to find a combination of meds, phys therapy etc to address the pain. I have been taking Amitriptyline for the past few weeks (nerve pain) and am finding it doesn't help. I had also been taking one 800mg ibuprofin every morning for the past 6 months, and now it doesn't seem to be helping relieve the pain.
I was desperate a couple of weeks ago, and pulled out my old bottle of Hydrocodone that I was taking before my surgery last year. Sure enough, one 500mg dose gave me incredible relief. I could walk, go up and down stairs, stand for more than a few minutes, all with almost no pain. I've taken it about 3 times since then with the same results.
My question - is it a viable solution to take Vicodin / Hydrocodone for perhaps a few months, maybe longer? Is anyone taking narcotics long-term? Have you built up a tolerance, having to increase your dosage?
I'm seeing my doc next week, and will certainly discuss with him, just curious to know what the rest of the "spine community" does to address pain day in-day out.