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Most everyone who comes to spine health and stays with us long term has chronic pain. Of course we do have transients who come for a while, maybe have surgery or injections and actually get better and have little or no pain. I wish to put those individuals aside and focus on the patients who have had surgery and remain in pain. Also those who did not have surgery or were told surgery was not an option. I want to include those of us who have DDD or arthritis. Basically anyone who suffers long term pain.
There are many treatment plans available to us all. We have surgery, injections, PT, medications, ablations, mindfulness, meditation, acupuncture, ice, heat and I am sure there are a few I am missing. After doing all of the above there are still a percentage of us who will remain in pain. I can think of no better treatment plan than pain medications for those of us who have tried everything and are still in pain. I am excluding those patients who by sheer willpower are able to withstand the pain. I must say I envy those who can do this. I can not. I have spent countless nights awake because the pain was too great to sleep. I am not a person who can deal with their pain without help. If anyone can teach me how to eliminate my pain by mindfulness I am open to it. When you are at a 7or 8 on the pain scale, reducing it by one pt is not doing a lot.
I am not a rebel or someone looking for a cause to exploit. I am listening to all sides of the chronic pain story as told by patient, doctor, politicians, media personal, advocates for elimination of pain medications totally from the medical community. (I was once approached by a person who was hired by drs to lobby for the total elimination of pain meds. I was dumbfounded when I listened to his speech. Another story for another time.)
I would like to ask the SH community if anyone here is able to eliminate or reduce their pain levels by a significant degree by any of the above listed treatment plans? I am not speaking about using meds with the treatment plans---meds plus mindfulness--or meds and ice or heat. Has anyone found they are able to eliminate or reduce their pain to the degree pain meds are no longer necessary. When I am in pain I cant focus on anything other than pain. I am not saying my pain is worse than anyone else's. I am talking continual chronic pain that will not let up.
Now we are being told by drs that opioid treatment for chronic pain does not work. Wait....backup....I have been in pain many years. I know what works and what doesn't. I am not saying that condition A, B and C can only be treated with X, Y and Z. What I am saying is opioid pain medications are a great way to treat pain. How do I know this? I have been living in pain and trying many different treatments for years. No one is going to tell me, throw away the meds and if you meditate hard enough, the pain will go away.
I have spoken to countless others here on SH and other venues. All treatment options have their place in the quest to control chronic pain. The biggest gun we have at our disposal is the opioid medication. Without it the rest just crumbles. I still applaud the individuals who can live without any type of pain med but advil or Tylenol. I am not one of them. I read story after story of my brothers and sisters in pain who can no longer obtain the meds they need to function at some level to live their lives. It breaks my heart.
The War on Opioids is now upon us in full force. It is said the first casualty of War is TRUTH!!! I have never stood so deep in lies. I hope this does not offend anyone as this is not my intent.