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Thought surgery was a success - back in pain :-(

fourgirlzmomffourgirlzmom Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:41 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hey Everyone-

This is my story..... June 16, 2006....woke up in severe pain and went to ER. Gave me Tramadol and sent me home with Vocodin and Flexeril. Found out I had a severe herniation at c6-c7... I went for a yr and a half or conservative therapies including: OT,PT,traction,chiro,massage,ultrasound,meds,ESIs,trigger pt injections,TENs unit, and basically anything else I thought might work.
January 2008, realized it wasn't working...or at least if it did work...it would only last for a week or two and pain would come back.

January 17, 2008- Day after surgery- Felt great- a little scared, but no more radiating pain in my arms/shoulders. I used VIcodin for about two days and realized I didn't need it.

Felt great for almost a year, and then woke up one morning and it felt the the 50lb weight was back on top of my head...like it felt prior to surgery.

Since then....I went back to my ns and had an MRI,CT,bonescan....OT..physiatrist, and PT. I feel like I have been in a fight and had the snot beat out of me every morning. My muscles are boardlike...and I get frequent migraines. ANyone have suggestions on muscle relaxation techniques...and/or muscle relaxers other than Flexeril...
I want to be able to function in the daytime?

Any thought would be appreciated.... Jeanne


  • Welcome back. Sorry that things have gone south again for you. I have muscular issues with my neck and shoulders and have tried just about everything I could get my hands on. I can say I have tried everything from A to Z. Acupuncture to Zanaflex.

    Moist heat is a wonderful way to help loosen things up, but for me it won't work unless there's a good med to go with it. I find benzo's, or Baclofen or Zanaflex to work the best. I am currently using Zanaflex, but it can be problematic if taken with food as it drives the blood plasma levels up by 30% and can make you want to stop and take a nap before you pass out face first.

    Acupunture works nice, but the effect it has on muscle spasms, usually only lasts me a few minutes.

    Soaking in a hot tub is one of my favorites for moist heat and has really been a huge help.

    Hope you can find some combination that will work for you.

  • Thanks C.... I have been trying to research different kinds of muscle relaxers to find something to help. Have you ever heard of Formula 303? A friend recommended it- her chiropractor told her about it. I will ask my doc about the Zanaflex though. I am open to trying something different...What i am doing now just isn't cutting it. Thanks for the input...
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  • I take flexiril now and unlike most other people, it no longer makes me sleepy.

    However, before the flexiril, my doc tried Robaxin and then Skelaxin and the Skelaxin worked and didn't make me sleepy at all.

    Just talk it over with your doc. Many times it's the first doses that make you sleepy and then your body gets used to the med and it doesn't make you sleepy any more.

    Good luck.
  • Cath-

    I have been on the Flexeril for a long time...but used to only take it at night...so it didn't bother me that it made me sleepy. I think I am going to ask my doctor to try the Skelaxin. It seems like my muscles are at their worst early evening time....when I really want to be alert and awake for my girls. And, for me the Flexeril makes me sleepy...or it could be the Vicodin...which really doesn't seem to be doing much for the pain either. What pain meds do you take with the Skelaxin then? Thanks again for the input....
  • Hi Jeanne,

    When is the last set of films you have had taken? Did they follow your fusion and did you fuse completely? I see you have had films taken was there anything on those films? As far as the meds I have been through so many till we found a good mix for me. After awhile the effects of a muscle relaxer would wear off or we would change something else and they didn't mix well with the other med. Have you tried any types of message therapy, since surgery. There is a very good video on myofascial pain syndrome here, if you look in the video section you will find it. To help the spasms I also do daily stretching it is a must. In combination with that i have a ball I got out of therapy that I place between me and the wall to help the spots I can't reach and I apply gentle pressure till the spots breaks down. I have used the zanaflex and had good results with it as well. Just keep working with your doctors till they find the right mix. If you have a problem with a med be sure they understand the side effects your feeling. I do hope you get some relief and back to the way you were feeling following surgery.
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  • Tamtam

    I have had an new films since surgery. They showed some new degeneration at the level below my fusion and some abnormalities in the facet joints. The neurosurgeon said he considers the surgery a success as i have no radiating pain now. I am happy that i no longer have the stabbing pain in my shoulder and elbow. I just wish I could get these muscle issues figured out. I called my doctor today and he wants to try Orphenadrine (Norflex). I just called him back and asked him to change my pain meds as well. I am currently taking Vicodin and Flexeril. I am hoping the med change makes a difference. I think you are right about your body getting too used to the meds. Maybe a change will be a good thing. As for massage therapy...I haven't done solely massage therapy...my doc had been prescribing PT or OT and a lot of that seemed to be centered on strengthening my lower shoulder muscles...as they are extrememly weak...my upper shoulder and neck muscsles are like a body builder,lol... The PT says because of my constant guarding of my neck...and stress. ANother doctor told me he would refer me to a different OT and tell them to solely work on massage therapy for the time being.

    Thanks for your input...Every little bit helps...at least lets me know I am not just giving up just yet.

    Jeanne (fourgirlzmom)
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