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Pain managment and treatment for back pain

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  • Pain managment and treatment for back pain

    I am interested in hearing any advice regarding my pain management and treatments regarding mid back pain that I have been having. I have had recurring back pain for decades and numerous x-rays, MRI's and cat scans over the years. Recently the mid back pain has become unbearable but there was no obvious incident that brought this pain on. I am very active and in good shape 5'10" 188lbs give or take. So in the beginning of February I went to my primary care DR who referred me to an ortho DR where I got an x-ray and he gave me a prescription of Hydrocodone 10's. I rationed them, only taking when I absolutely could not bear the pain and after 68 days I went back and told him I still was in intense pain so he refilled my hydro 10. I am fully aware of the opioid abuse going on these days and obviously I am not abusing these when I am taking 1 every 2-3 days when needed. I should add that this pain killer when taking like I am barely takes the edge off but I imagine if I took it as prescribed it would be more effective. So my first question is, "Am I wrong to think this way and only take a narcotic when absolutely necessary to ease the pain?" Second, I have been told by someone that Hydrocodone, even 10's are junk and that I should be taking something stronger to begin with. Can someone weigh in on that?
    Another point I need to make is I have an incredibly easy office job where I am not tied to my desk. I get up frequently and walk around normally over 10K steps a day. I have good posture while sitting, standing, and walking. So after the 2nd refill of hydro I had to go back to the DR and in my mind, beg for more as I figured he would say he couldn't or wouldn't give me any more. I explained to his nurse I would gladly give a urine sample to show the amount of Hydro in my body is a fraction of what I could or maybe should have considering my pain level. He then told me he was not giving me enough for him to be concerned about me abusing it which really pissed me off because I am so stressed about this pain and the thought that I may have to deal with it. I'm sure some of you are thinking I'm and idiot and should just take the hydro as directed but I am stubborn. I don't want to take that much despite my pain level. So what is the alternative? Something stronger that will knock out my pain but I can only take 1 when the pain is just unbearable? As far as treatments I requested an MRI since the last one was over 2 years ago but despite telling my DR and pointing to the mid back where my pain is, getting 3 pain prescriptions over 3-4 months, when radiology called me to schedule the MRI they said the order was for the low back! Of course they would not change the area to image and told me I need to call the DR's office and have them correct the order. Am I wrong to be livid and considering changing DR's? Aside from still trying to get a solid diagnosis, I am also going to a chiropractor who has several spinal decompression machines. I would like to hear anyone's thoughts on this sort of treatment as well.

  • #2
    If its that bad you NEED to find a dr that can figure out what is causing your pain. You make the choices on your care and if you feel that someone isnt helping it is time to go elsewhere. The conus medullaris (the lower section of my spinal cord) was damaged and one of the affects of that is severe lower back pain. when it first happened it felt like something was clamped on my hips and was crushing them! i had not yet started to see an actual spinal injury dr and the regular dr would only give the hydro 10's and it didnt even touch my pain and i was in agony. I started to see a spinal dr and he immediatly put me on a long acting pain med and an oxycodone which was a world of difference and lowered my pain to a 1 or 2 level and manageable. I now have to see a pain management dr. I dont know whats right for you but i would find a better dr to figure it out. Being healthy and pain free is worth more than anything!


    • #3
      I had terrible back pain for years. It was caused by spasms, lifestyle, and diet all of which caused bladder and bowel problems. It was hard to figure out because the meds I was taking for spasms made the spasms worse. I told this to the doctors and they laughed that no way would baclofen increase spasms. Then I asked them if constipation was a side effect? They agreed. Then I asked them if constipation could increase spasms. They agreed and I could see the light bulb moment in his eyes. Realistically, I need baclofen. But the pump works so much better than the pills. I also have Celiac disease and was eating lots of grains. The combination of spasms, drug side effects, and lifestyle choices was a perfect storm for terrible pain.

      Don't underestimate the scope of neurogenic bladder bowels. Question everything. It may take a while. But only you can know for sure what works for you.


      • #4
        Agreed. You need a pain management doctor that is familiar with the medications available and can address your concerns. I hate having to take it but with two degenerative disks in the lumbar it's impossible to live somewhat comfortably. Good luck!
        Say what you mean and mean what you say because those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind.

        My Myspace


        • #5
          Narcotic pain medications like hydrocodone make pain worse in the long run. Period. There's excellent evidence to support this. If you take opiod pain medications for chronic pain you are going to have a similar pain level as if you had not taken them, but you will also be physiologically dependent on the medication. Hydrocodone is every bit as addictive with long term use as heroin and acts on the same receptors (the high just isn't as good).