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What you do when your doctor thinks you are not in pain???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:21 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone,
I have been having severe pain in my neck, between my shoulder blades, and in my low back. The low back pain has gone on for 13 years and it is a chronic condition. Now as of 3 months ago I have the additional pain between by shoulders and in my neck. My recent MRI does not show any severe problems so my doctor thinks my pain is not as bad as it is. MRI showed mild disc bulging in neck and thoracic spine and artheritis in low back (facet joints).
Also some mild to moderate stenosis in thoracic area. I had an epidural injection yesterday and am praying for some relief. My doctor practically refuses to give me anything for pain. I have gone to him for 15 years and have very rarely asked for pain meds. and yet I think he thinks I'm just depressed. I am very depressed because of three month of horrible pain. I have now had to take a leave of absence from my job because of the pain. How do you convince a doctor that the pain is causing the depression, not the other way around? Does anyone else have bad back pain without the clinical evidence to back up the pain? I finally got some vicodin from the doctor, but he thins 30 tablets should last me a month. You are supposed to take 2 every 4 hours. I only take two a day at night to make them last. Please help. Thanks! Hope


  • Ask him to refer you to a pain management doctor. Find one in your network, then call your doc and request a referral.

    OR - Sometimes, if you call the Pain Clinic, THEY will call your primary care doctor for the referral.

    Most PCP do not like to administer pain meds. When they do,they are for a short period of time and not strong enough to do the job.
  • Thanks crankygirl! It is so very frustrating when a doctor tells you that you cannot be experiencing the pain that you are in. I have never had problems with depression until this pain all started. I do take antidepressents for the chronic pain which started 13 years ago because the doctor thought it might help me. When all this new pain started in I became overwhelmed. I feel so hopeless and helpless.
    I need some pain relief to get me thru this, but as I said the doctor doesn't like to prescribe pain meds. Do you think a pain clinic will give me pain meds since my MRI is really not that bad? I don't know what I will do if I don't find relief. Thanks for replying to my post. Take care. Hope
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  • Hi HFMY,

    Pain Clinics will do their own evaluation of your condition and your pain levels and go from there.

    I agree with Crankygirl, see if you can get a referral or see if you can see someone else. You will only continue to suffer if you don't do anything to get yourself out of the situation you are in now.

    One thing that docs look at, is how hard or not that a patient tries to get help for themselves. Passive patients tend to get looked at as not being as bad as they want the doc to think.

  • Ouch, I too have arthritis of the facet joints and that in itself can be crippling from the pain. Yes, I feel sure that a good PM doc will give you pain meds even if the arthritis of the facets is the only thing he finds. Good luck and do keep us posted.
  • Hi, and thank you so much for answering my post. My facet joint arthritis is in the lumbar/sacroilliac joint area. Where is your facet pain, and have you found any meds that give you relief? It is nice to have someone to talk to about this. Take care. Hope
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  • :) hi! i am sure you will feel much better with the proper medications. i am on time released morphine and it works really well for the pain. i use short term morphine for breakthrough pain. please get yourself to an adequate doctor and get yourself some relief. good luck! Jenny :)
  • Thanks so much Jenny! Hope
  • This is always hard and keep going many here are in the same situatuation as you.

  • My Dr thinks the same thing, that according to my MRI I shouldn,t be in pain. I've been doing some research and according to what i have found on a normal MRI they connot see damaged nerves. To see nerve damage they have to do an MRN, which is at a higher resolution, and which only looks at nerves. Problem is that they are not readily available. I am hoping to find one in my area, maybe that can explain my pain???

    As for you Dr not givin you pain meds, that is horrible. Are there other options in your area?
  • ~X( Man that really stinks! I hate that you are having such a horrible go of it... Chronic pain sufferers have such a hard time being treated. The stigma that goes along with taking narcotic pain relievers is so unfair. We should be able to be treated just as any other patients are treated. It is real and we should be treated for it.
    Does your insurance require you to have a referral to a pain specialist? I feel that if your PCP doesn't treat you or isn't willing to refer you to a PM doc, maybe you might want to consider switching to a new doctor...
    Good luck getting some relief.
    (I'm sorry if this is a rambling post... I couldn't get my thoughts together!)
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