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Gralise for low back pain (foraminal stenosis)

JamerssfJJamerssf Posts: 2
edited 08/23/2014 - 2:04 PM in Pain Medications
Hi All,

I've been diagnosed via MRI with an L5-S1 foraminal stenosis secondary to a foraminal disc bulge and grade 1
retrolithesis of L5 on S1. I had mild sciatica for several months on the left, only came on when
standing or walking for more than a few minutes, sitting was fine.

My pain dr gave me a traditional epidural (foraminal path) and I saw slight improvement for a few days, then it returned to normal.

Suddenly a few weeks after the ESI, It has escalated to the point where pain down the entire length of my leg from glute to ankle comes on within minutes. This is absolutely the most overwhelming pain I have felt.

My pain dr was overwhelming and was had a mediocre (IMO) bedside manner.

My GP has started me on Gralise, and I am on day 5 900mg working up to 1800mg. Yesterday she started me on a 15 day round of prednisone to hopefully help the inflammation while the gralise works up.

In the meantime I am taking dilaudid to ease the pain, though it mostly just dopes me up and makes it easier to get through ye day. It does not reduce the nerve pain for me.

My questions!!

1. Has anybody here tried Gralise for this type of back pain? Gabapentin sounds like a "gold standard" for this type of pain so I am optimistic. I did not want to try plain gabapentin because I must be "sharp" for work.
2. Is there a common point on the dose curve where this medication becomes effective? Or does it have to reach the max and stay there a while to see results?

Many thanks. It is getting lonely dealing with this issue and pain.

- James


  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    edited 08/22/2014 - 9:07 PM

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Gabapentin is used to help treat nerve pain rather than mechanical back pain. I've been on it for several months and am currently taking the maximum dose. Everyone responds differently to medications but this is one that has not caused me to feel fuzzy mentally. It does cause drowsiness until your body acclimates to the medication. For me, the drowsiness resolved within a couple of weeks. Many people get relief without reaching the maximum dose, but the good thing is that there is room to increase the dosage if necessary.

    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
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  • Thanks Liz, links are most helpful! I have done a lot of reading on the forums before posting. I trust I didn't violate any rules...

    Thanks LC, good to hear some positive reviews. It seems hit and miss with Gabapentin, I've read patient stories of changing their life for the better to "unable to hold a job." I am optimistic about starting with the Gralise. My GP has had good patient experiences with it.
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