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Reducing nerve pain without cognitive impairment

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  • Reducing nerve pain without cognitive impairment

    I realize this is asking for much, but had anyone found ways of reducing nerve pain without suffering some significant loss of cognitive ability? For the most part I've not even found ways of reducing nerve pain even with cognitive loss; lyrica and diazepam plus tramadol barely make a difference in spite of the stupor they can impose. I've read other combinations that sound even more stupefying. But there must be strategies that allow those of us with chronic, severe pain to return to working, right?
    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

  • #2
    Sorry I am with you. The pain causes enough of a brian fog and nothing slows it down. I hate it.

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    • #3
      My nerve pain is severe as well and unfortunately I haven't found anything that works yet. I've had my hardware removed, a spinal cord stimulator implanted, and tried every medication available. After being on the max dose of gabapentin, tramadol, and one or two Percocets a day for four years I got off all my meds. The difference in pain has been minimal, and not enough to make the side effects worth it. My pain is about an 8/10 on average and I work 40 hrs a week. My only option is to push through it, so that's what I do.

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      • #4
        Brad09, what job do you work and how many hours/week? My idea of an 8 (largest number I've ever used) wouldn't be something I could work through, especially if combined with the neuromuscular pain I get after a few hours in my chair. You definitely pulled out most all the stops short of a morphine pump.
        I'm wondering, use of baclofen via spinal drip from a pump is said to have vastly reduced side-effects. Would morphine be the same? I.e. would a spinal pump of morphine be less debilitating than oral opioids?
        T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mize View Post
          Brad09, what job do you work and how many hours/week? My idea of an 8 (largest number I've ever used) wouldn't be something I could work through, especially if combined with the neuromuscular pain I get after a few hours in my chair. You definitely pulled out most all the stops short of a morphine pump.
          I'm wondering, use of baclofen via spinal drip from a pump is said to have vastly reduced side-effects. Would morphine be the same? I.e. would a spinal pump of morphine be less debilitating than oral opioids?
          Not sure about the pump, never looked into that. I'm an architect, so I sit at a computer 9 hours a day (including lunch) 5 days a week. I meant to say earlier, that for me distraction/busyness is the only thing that helps. That's why I go to work everyday. The pain would be much worse sitting at home.

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          • #6
            What's your injury level? I'm putting in for a power chair just to be able to change position enough through the day. Straight up in my manual gets very painful after a few hours.
            T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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            • #7
              T6 complete. My manual chair gets painful after a while too. I have a regular office chair with a high back that I transfer to every few hours so that I can lean back and stretch. I also have a spare roho I leave on that chair so I can work from it for longer periods of time if I want to.

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              • #8
                This gives me some real hope Brad09. It also compounds the anger of my being dismissed for being disabled. I had a job that was perfect for my injuries - running three small business units where 90% of my function was design ideas, project management and product development using diverse teams from around the globe. These last 19 months would've been so much easier had I been working and keeping involved and distracted.

                Today it's damn near impossible to even get an interview. Being a 50+ para is quite the roadblock regardless of the ADA or anything else. People just assume you're damaged goods. I danced with a non-profit for 8 weeks including two face-to-face interviews, one personality profile, one aptitude test and even a timed writing assignment. I was way overqualified and it paid 1/3 of my last job but I was also everything they said they wanted. In the end they passed and I have to wonder how much was the chair. Even my three references were called and they each contacted me to tell me how they said good things and each of them believed the person on the other end was ready to hire me.

                Sigh. If only I had time to build a company on my own (again), but with no certainty in the individual insurance market I have to find a job with health insurance before my COBRA runs out.
                T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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                • #9
                  I have a pump with baclofen, clonidine and versed. I could not tolerate the dosage of oral baclofen
                  necessary to help.

                  with the pump the dosage is much reduced but still hits the brain/mind. I just had a major meds
                  revamped with the dosage upped by 60%. I feel like I'm at the hairy edge, I get 2 bolus a day
                  and the increase hits my mind with reduced cognitive ability, takes 4-6 hours to normalize. I take
                  the boluses at night when my spasms are the worst and it helps me sleep -ket

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                  • #10
                    I take Lyrica and Cymbalta for nerve pain in my hands. I have found my nerve pain really increases when there is a cold front passing through. When these fronts pass through the amount of Lyrica and Cymbalta I'm on is not enough to provide adequate relief. I can muster through the pain during the day, but night is different. For pain relief I've found taking some cannabis that is around 70 mg as THC I can get good relief without being too spaced out. I don't take this amount every night. I only take it when my nerve pain flares up.
                    DaDutchman
                    C5/C6 since 2007 due to car accident

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                    • #11
                      Hey everyone, I have severe nerve pain in both legs, I take oxycodone, lyrica, baclofen, and cymbalta. I lay down A LOT bc it feels better to elevate my legs. I have found that heat helps, I take hot baths with epsom salt, hot showers, using a heating pad on my legs, anything with heat. Also, everyone needs to try this drink called Nopalea, from Trivita. It helps with all types of inflammation. You only drink 3-6 ounces a day everyday. After about 3 weeks, I've noticed a big difference. I was a 7-8 everyday, now I'm a 3-4. The Nopalea is about $120 per month, it comes with 4 bottles, which should last 4 weeks. $120 might be a little pricey to some people, but I think its a small price to pay to alleviate some pain. Another device I am using is called an H-wave. Its like a Tens Unit but on steroids. Its a lot stronger and emits the electrical pulses deeper than a Tens. I've only been using it for a couple weeks but so far so good. I really suggest everyone google 'Nopalea' and give it a try. It will take a few weeks to kick in. I hope you find something that works!

                      Cheers
                      T10 incomplete 12/2007 "Why tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death?"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DaDutchman View Post
                        I take Lyrica and Cymbalta for nerve pain in my hands. I have found my nerve pain really increases when there is a cold front passing through. When these fronts pass through the amount of Lyrica and Cymbalta I'm on is not enough to provide adequate relief. I can muster through the pain during the day, but night is different. For pain relief I've found taking some cannabis that is around 70 mg as THC I can get good relief without being too spaced out. I don't take this amount every night. I only take it when my nerve pain flares up.
                        Marijuana can be quite an impediment to getting a job too, unfortunately. Even in states where marijuana is legal it seems too easy for employers to drug test you for "liability" purposes. It's a damn shame. We should do something about it.

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                        • #13
                          Cymbalta helped my nerve pain but spiked my spasticity
                          T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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                          • #14
                            Hasn't worked for me, but supposedly low dose tri cyclic antidepressants like amitryptoline. No antidepressant effect at low dose. Take before bed, supposedly help sleep then also full days central neuro pain relief for some. For me, great sleep and weird day fog for a few days, no pain relief. After a few days, no sleep or fog or pain relief - sugar pill. Sounds fairly innocuous to try, tho. Have baclofen pump so considering a bit of morphine or clonidine if I can keep it low enough to not fog myself. No fog from just baclofen. Agree that distraction helps. Good nights sleep seems to help too. Good luck!

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                            • #15
                              I'm C5/6 incomplete and have had 'burning butt' since soon after my injury 21 years ago. The burning is always there, when bad it feels like i'm sitting on a hot grill. Elavil (Amitriptyline) has been very effective for me, 20 mg in morning, 20 bedtime.

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