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How others deal with chronic pain? What medications do you use?

Hi There
I have had chronic pain for many years. Im in my early 30's and was in a car accident which crushed my spine, fractured my lower back (I have herniated discs) and as a result of my lower back, I have peripheral neuropathy.
I coped quite well for the first few years, but now the pain has affected my mental health and lifestyle.
My doctor put me on Mersyndol forte 2 years ago and it didnt really relieve the pain at all.
Only recently I was put on neurontin for my neuropathy which takes the pain down in my feet to a point of tolarance.
Very recently I explained to my doctor that I wasnt dealing with the pain anymore and I needed to be put on proper medication.
He gave me Norspan 10 patches which make me feel really sick but doesnt take the pain down at all, its just all side effects really.
Im looking for people who have similar chronic pain to mine and asking advice on what types of medications they take and what sort of things they do to help the pain. Ive done physio alot and started yoga but I find even after light excersize it makes my back alot worse instead of better so Ive been a little nervous to attempt it again.

Any advice would be so much appreciated.


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,518

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • We can't suggest medications to anyone. That is something that your doctor needs to do based on your individual condition. What works for one may not work for you, and dosing , other medical conditions, and symptoms determine which medications your doctor may feel are best in your situation.
    All of that being said, the Blend link that Liz provided above, is what we suggest to people trying to learn to manage chronic pain , and still go about their lives.
    All medications have side effects and most diminish once your body acclimates to the medication- normally two weeks or so. With some types of medications , it can take longer before you find an effective dose, along with adjusting to the side effects.
    Living with chronic pain is about learning to manage the symptoms, and flare ups, getting the proper treatment, excercise, stretching, and incorporating over the counter remedies for flare ups. Ice, heat , massage, TENS, in some cases where neuropathic pain is the bigger problem , some doctors will suggest the implanting of a spinal cord stimulator to help to manage that type of pain, if the neuropathic medications don't seem to help.
    There are tons of medications out there, it is a matter of finding the right dose, right medication, right combination of medications to manage the pain. It can take some time before you find them. So patience is a must.


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  • When all this started for me I threw myself into physical therapy & diet. I didn't want to live on meds & honestly believed I could 'cure' myself. It was before the concerns about Tylenol started so I had 8 Hydrocodone 10mg each day. I started to realize I was taking pills to do the PT & more pills to recover after. Days that I didn't have therapy were a bit better until I forced myself to do my exercises. After a year I found a new therapist & he wanted all of my diagnostic tests. He went through every exercise I was doing & showed me on a model what it was doing to my spine. 80% of my exercises & stretches were causing me more pain! I have Modic Changes, bone-on-bone areas, inflamed bones, herniations, etc. the 'standard' disc herniation, core strengthening exercises were BAD for me!

    I still believe that strength & keeping moving is very important but I will never go to a therapist with a prescription that says 'herniations DDD & what levels' ever again. A lot of us have more than 1 thing wrong with our spines & any kind of physical therapy must take that into account. I've had great PT, specialist yoga, massage etc therapists but they've all looked at my MRI & tailored routines to my condition.

    There are so many medications & combinations of meds. Some meds work best when combined with others. I read the findings of a new study that found Oxycodone works better with antiinflatories & morphine is best with Gabapentin. Both of the 2 meds are stronger & more effective when combined! so much research is happening at the moment. There are also metabolism tests that show how effective meds will be for our particular biology. Hopefully the days of trial & error will be over soon but for now we just have to try different meds & combinations until we achieve acceptable reduction in pain...generally 50% is considered good.

    I went through a stage of getting incredibly frustrated because I believed that I could live without pain if I was on strong enough meds. 40mg of morphine 3x a day with 5 breakthrough instant morphine everyday got my pain pretty low but I couldn't hold a conversation!! I felt like the walking dead. If you are a chronic pain sufferer like me & you will be in pain everyday for the rest of your life it's a vital lesson to learn. You have to find the correct balance of meds. Too many & I hobble around in a depressive fog, not enough & I can't function & the depression & anxiety is crippling.

    Some people seem to find a good blend of meds, therapy, alternative & procedures & stay that way for years. I'm constantly trying to chip away at my pain. I regularly change things. Sometimes its worse & I have to step back & sometimes it's better. If I think I need to increase meds I usually change to a different narcotic or muscle relaxant. I've been doing that for a few years & I'm now on lower doses. Often a different med will give the same or more pain reduction at a lower dose.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I am on the 20mcg/hr Norspan patch with decent relief and minimal side-effects. If you went straight from Mersyndol Forte to Norspan 10mcg, it might have been too big a jump. There is a 5mcg strength patch you could ask your doc about. That is what I started on.
  • Reds GirlRReds Girl Posts: 4
    edited 10/02/2014 - 10:55 PM
    It's a spray you can get it online try it, they've got me on neurotin/gabapentin and I think it just helps with the hot flashes from the pain. Just check out that spray and they even have it right now where you can get free samples and just pay for shipping. It's $4.95 and you get 16 applications worth a try or atleast read about it and see what ya think.
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