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Pain Medication ideas anyone?

adam3iversonaadam3iverson Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:41 AM in Pain Medications
Hey team,

My name is Adam and in 2004 I broke my neck in four places (c3, c4, c5, & c6). Since then I have been taking tramadol and paracetamol for the pain. Everyday I take these meds as I suffer from chronic pain, where at times it can get really bad. I am only 23 and am a bit worried about what lies ahead for me. I am a bit concerned about the long term affects of tramadol and/or if there is any other medications I could take for strong neck pain that will be okay for me to take for the rest of my life (I’m guessing). Tramadol really helps me, however I am not too sure about the long term effects that tramadol will have on my insides.

If anyone can help or advice me of anything, I would greatly greatly appreciate it.

Thank you very much for your time :)



  • Hi! I'm in a similar boat as you so I hear ya'. I'm also in my early twenties, and have chronic pain from multiple lumbar fractures.

    Are you seeing a specialized pain management doctor? That is the best place to start when trying to figure out a long-term pain management plan.

    For me, everyone kept assuming that since I was young I would recover and would only be needing pain management short-term. 2.5 years later we are finally looking at long-term options. It sounds like your doctors are also looking short term with the tramadol. Have you discussed with them what they are thinking for you in the long run? Are you on the extended release version of tramadol, or the kind you have to take every 4-6 hours? An extended release pill may be something to consider. Extended release pills usually have a lower does of acetaminophen which should (theoretically) spare your liver some stress.

    The problem with trying to manage pain long-term with pain medicine is that tolerance will develop and the dosage will need to be increased. Increasing dosages often mean increased side effects which can become intolerable. I think the other thing you might want to look into (with the help of a pain management doctor to determine if it is appropriate in your case) is a spinal cord stimulator. That is one way to get long term pain control without the use of drugs. I don't know much about them, but there are a lot of people on the boards that have them. My PM doc has just begun discussing this option with me, and from what I know so far it seems like a good long-term option especially since it does not have the side effects that most pain medicines do.
  • like to take pain killers but if you are in permanent pain you have no choice ..sorry but that's the hard fact ..tramadol is a weak opiate type pain killer {i my self can not tolerate it} there are many stronger pain killers that you could get from your doctor i am on oxycontin and that would be the next step for you BUT I WOULD STRONGLY ADVISETHAT YOU DONT GO ON THEM IF YOU CAN MANAGE ON A WEAKER PAIN KILLER .there are many side effects from all drugs and oxycontin is well tolerated by most ..the main problems is that you build up a resistance and you will feel horrible withdrawal if you don't have you pain killers .i started on 10mg 2 times a day 4 yeas ago and now to get the same pain killing effect i need over 400mg a day !! you see my point? i hate taking pain killers nut i can't go a day without them ..just think on before you go down the stronger pain killer route have you tried all other forms of pain relief ?? be careful my friend
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  • Hey mate,
    Thankyou very much for your help. i will definatily look into a spinal cord stimulator. i am keen to give anything a go to be honest with you. are you taking any pain medications at the momment? i think it is hard for people like us as many people believe that if you are 'young and fit' you can reciver from anything. in our cases its not that easy aye. at times i feel pressured into not taking my medications due to the fact that people may look at me and think i am only taking them as a recreational thing. but it the complete opposite of that, and i think that people dont understand that sometimes. do you have the same problem?
    anyway, i really appreciate your help and advice.
    keep well mate,
  • hey mate,
    thankyou very much for your advise. i try my best to stick to the pain killers that i am familiar with as i find some really space me out. tramadol does the trick for me, but to tell you the truth i am finding that i am slowly taking higher doses. after 5 years i am now taking up to six per day, which isnt too bad. however when my neck is really giving me hell, i can take up to 8 or 9. i am advised to take a maximum of 8 per 24 hours. i was wondering if there is any other pain killer i could take together with tramadol that would help me lower my dose, or even just keep it at the same level, rather than it gradualy rising. i am a bit concerned as i am pretty sure that this pain wont go away any time soon. therefore i have to get a combination sorted that really works and helps.
    i really appreciate your help and advise mate.
    keep well,
  • Hiya Adam :)
    My advice is based on my experiences :? , and if i were you i would see a pain management doctor, he will gives you the correct medication, to hit the pain :) .
    Good Luck! :H Keep us posted! >:D<

    Angie x
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  • I take tramadol as my main pain medication, and it usually works fine.
    I take only 50mg every 4 hours, as needed.
    There are some pains that it doesn't do much for, like when a spinal joint is out of alignment, and the pain is very strong and persistent.
    I then have to take a codeine pill, like Panadeine Forte.
    The codeine fills in the gaps that tramadol can't fill.
    Tramadol is not addictive, and codeine is, but only of you don't have pain.
    If the pain requires codeine, then the body gets no high from it, just pain relief.
    You can get OTC pain meds with codeine, but you will need a script for the stronger ones as they are tightly controlled (in Australia, at least).
    Now you can also get a lot of pain from the other parts of the body as they try to put up with and compensate for the neck problems.
    This almost invariably leads to muscle tension and pain, and once again pain meds don't always help a lot.
    Try remedial massage to get your muscles some relief.
    You may be amazed at how much benefit you get.
    It's an often overlooked treatment, but it can have wonderful benefits.
  • Adam,
    Addiction only accounts for 2% and for the most part many pain patients are looking to reduce medication if possible and nobody here has provided any evidence of any addiction. You right to be cautious of the medication you take and proactive in keeping this to an effective level if possible, some patients have been on this type of medication for a long time and we should all be aware of the potential harm.

    I take medication that attempts to protect me from other medication, the alternative is not to take this and it is a decision we all have to decide and deliberate, constantly. As you say an amalgam of medication may offer you the same protection with reduced risk if possible, ask the PM doctor, he may suggest some evidence that supports this notion if you ask and then you can read the specific research for yourself.

    Have you discussed alternative with your doctor it is always difficult when we find some medication that we feel if effective and the idea of stopping in the future is not an easy one, ask you doctor how long do they perceive you can stay on this medication and what would be the alternatives for you, many ideas here are proposals and some are unable to take certain medication and have to define an alternative route with the medication available.

    Some medications are coated so that offers some additional protection and longevity. As said tolerance rate is never easy to quantify and specific to each individual, some here are taking more of the same medication for it to have the same effect and you will have to decide for yourself along with your doctor what the best option for you is. We swallow every pill with the hope that it will not do us permanent harm.

    Take care, you question never gets easier even over time.


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