Back Pain & meds, where do I go from here?
- 2 Nov 2012 by Joefnh
- pain, back pain
Hi I'm a newbie from New Hampshire... The quick details are spinal stenosis at 3 levels in the lumbar region, thickened ligament flavem and the facet joints at 3 levels in the lumbar regions are degraded and are suffering from hypertrophy, basically grinding against each other without any cartilage left. In addition the lumbar region has lost all of its curvature.
My primary care doctor had me on Norco 5/325 up to 8 a day and then I was referred to a pain specialist who cut me back to 3 a day. All he wants to do are these painful epidural steroid injections that don't really help much. This group says all they can offer are the 3 Norco a day and the steroid injections, that's it.
What in the world do I do when this does not work? The Norco is only effective for about 4 hours. I'm at the point I can't sleep or work. I feel like my primary does not want to deal with pain control and the pain specialist is relying on steroid injections only.
Any advice would be appreciated.
2 Nov 2012
All of your problems are nationwide. The DEA is giving the docs so much grief that they are afraid to treat pain appropriately. Society has given docs the right to be miserable to us. The media has convinced society that those of us with pain meds are the reason for all the illegal prescription meds on the street, when they truth is they are so hard to get, we sure aren't going to part with them. The pain management group here in town is even worse then yours, they won't prescribe any meds, just use shots. They are expensive, many times insurance won't pay for them, and they don't always work.
2 Nov 2012
Kaismama is correct, unfortunately. You need to be sure to write to law makers to tell them what hell your life has become and think of this as you vote. Find out what stance your congressman take on chronic pain and policing prescribed drugs. You may want to try a different pain clinic. Some are more strict than others depending on the fear the docs have regarding the DEA. The DEA hasnt been successful in the War on Illegal Drugs so now they have fixed their focus on Drs ( a much easier target) and legal drugs being used illegally. Prescription drug abuse has become a lucrative "street" business and some of the pain meds go for a LOT of money on the streets and there are people who make a business out of fooling Drs to get pain meds then turn around and sell them on the streets and there are most certainly unscrupulous Drs. These people are making it awful for ALL pain patients.
Most folks are legit pain patients but all the Drs are running scared thinking that they will be targeted by the DEA and worried that they may be "duped" at some point. The DEA can come in and seize all of a Drs assets if he is suspected and that is lucrative for the DEA. You can see how a doc could be worried. There is no "pain-o-meter" to weed out the liars from legit patients so they do have a difficult job. Children are getting opioid pain meds and abusing them for a high and killing themselves and their parents are very hurt and angry asking lawmakers to do something to stop all of this. The lawmakers and the DEA are NOT medical people, for the most part so their answer is to just keep EVERYONE from getting pain meds. It stands to reason if no meds are to be had, no one will have them (this is not MY thoughts but the thoughts of people trying to stop the abuse of prescription drugs). This is severly detrimental to people who deal with pain day in and day out and unless, we, as legit pain patients, also let our lawmakers know how these restrictions are hurting us, they will hear only from those lay folk (and even some Drs who are against medicating people) There is no evidence that epidurals are any more help for back pain than a placebo saline injection but pain specialists have now decided this is a much safer avenue to go than to get pointed out as one of the high level prescribers of controlled meds that will catch the eye of the DEA. It is really become sad what is going on. I'm really not much of a political person but I do advocate in letting your law makers know how these restrictions are hurting people in pain. Pain is becoming more and more untreated and undertreated in this country. People who are found diverting drugs should be penalized to the full extent of the law. Their crimes are letting legit pain patients pay right along with them and to me, that is a bigger crime than diverting in the first place! I really feel for you because stuff like this is happening to all of us. I was recently cut way back on my meds too for no reason other than my doc is scared of getting singled out by the DEA. I have written letters and I have participated in petitions to try and stop this witch hunt type tactics going on. You might try going back to your Dr if he is still willing to prescribe but most likely, he sent you to pain management so HE didnt have to write for the drugs. You can also try finding a new pain doc who might be a little more compassionate. Keep trying!
2 Nov 2012
Hello Joe. Welcome to the site. You might try the AMA, there are doctors willing and able to help. The listings are from state to state, include thier particular field, and place (office of practice) Best of wishes to you, I do hope you find the relief you are seeking (no more pain) Regards pledge
3 Nov 2012
Joe, I agree with all three responses so far. From kaismama, DzooBaby, and Pledge. I just wanted to add too, that you definately may need to try and find a new dr. who will help you out better. If you can accomplish this. I just went to my Pain Dr. Tuesday, and they had a new form everyone had to fill out regarding the DEA. It definately scares me, as I too am told constantly how I need different kind of injections like Facet, and others. I've already had Synvisc injection's in both knees, and 6 different Epidural's in my back that didn't work as you explained. There always wanting to do something. I forget the name... but I think Radiofrequency Ablation, where they burn the nerves that a bulging disc is pressing against. Putting in some kind of spinal stimulator inside my back. Fusioning? disc.s. I can't even tell you how much I am financially unable to do this stuff due to the new insurance my Husband's boss switched too. How very frusurating it is.
You did, however, join the right site, and we are so very welcome to have you aboard. I don't know what will happen, but I hope everyone dealing with this can get through it, and I hope things change soon. Hang in there, and I pray you get some more help soon. Good luck Friend, and take care. You're Friend, Ruthie
7 Mar 2013
I don't endorse this approach but I knew someone who had their spouse invent a painful shoulder condition that required pain meds.
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