on nerve pain, I have had chest pain for 2 1/2 yrs from what Ive been told by Drs from shingles, I have suffered this entire time given all kinds of B.S. pills from anti seizure to anti depressants and my one Pain Dr told me narcotics do not ease nerve pain... I would appreciated any insight on this from someone who has gone through Post Herpetic Neuralgia from shingles... thanks... shine
18 Jul 2012
It's true, but they can still help you deal with it better. Most prescribe Neurontin, and most will say narcs do not work simply because they don't want to write them, but the claim is partially valid, as I said, they still help you deal with it a little better. Hope this helps.
18 Jul 2012
Nerve pain is weird as far as what works and what doesn't. I don't think there is a differentiation between PHN pain and nerve pain caused by nerves being squished, BUT... I am on both gabapentin and narcotics for my nerve pain. For all of my other pain issues, I am on the same meds. Go figure.
Is the problem you are having related to your doctor not wanting to give you narcotics?
The thing is "Pain is Pain". One can try gabapentin, Lyrica, Cymbalta because the drug companies say they work for nerve pain, well sometimes yes, sometimes no. Do narcotics help with nerve pain? They most certainly allow me to live a functional life where I'm not in a wheelchair because I hurt so badly I can't walk. My pain is nerve pain, the nerves that come off of my spinal column are screaming at me just as your nerves from your PHN are screaming at you. I don't know if there can be a difference when talking about chronic pain.
The pain related to ... surgery is called ACUTE pain, it is self limiting. The muscles, nerves and skin heal and then you go merrily on your way. If you got run over by a car, the pain associated with injuries would be considered acute until you healed up enough for it not to hurt too badly to get out of bed. After a while and you still have specific, significant pain related to spinal injury due to being run over, you then are experiencing CHRONIC pain. I don't know how to explain pain adequately enough for you. Lemme think...
When we cut our finger, nerves are damaged and a signal is sent to the brain which we interpret to be pain. Our brain doesn't feel the pain, our peripheral nerves do. My back pain is nerve pain and so is your PHN. It's all pain.
In the end of determining which pain is what, and what pain is this, and what pain is that ... becomes irrelevant. It's PAIN. We don't like excruciating, unending pain. It's exhausting, debilitating, depressing and a whole bunch of other ings.
Sunshine, I'm sorry I don't have the same name stamped on your pain. My pain is stamped "squished nerve pain caused by bony malformations in my spinal column and compression of my vertebrae pain".
At this point, I don't know what to tell you. My mother had PHN for a while and now she has squished nerve pain. She is 79. She is on Opana with oxycodone for break through pain. I really hope someone with your specific kind of pain can give a different spin on pain issues.
I'm very sorry you are suffering so much. I wish I could make it go away, send it to me and I'll just add it to my other pain. To me, pain is pain.
Peace Sunshine, pick a flower and take a deep sniff,
Laura aka Hippie
18 Jul 2012
i hate to be the fly in the ointment here and disagree with Billy and our sweet hippie and everyone, but according to The Mayo Clinic narcotics are about the only that does work on nerve pain.
i'm proof of that, even though i still feel the sensation of 'something' going on throughout my entire body, it is no longer pain. just a sensation.
shine, i hope your pain gets better. i know the traditional 'nerve pain' meds didn't work for you. i hope something works for your PHN.
18 Jul 2012
Sometimes you are left with no choice but to use narcotic pain relievers. Your doctor should have prescribed something for you a long time ago, even a few hours of pain relief is welcome when you are afflicted with 24/7 nerve pain... any pain! Narcotic pain relievers certainly are not a cure but, help keep you somewhat functional. You deserve better Shine, maybe you should find a different doctor. Hang in there...
18 Jul 2012
Everyone is different... but when my fiance had shingles his doctor gave him a shot of vitamin B12, and Demerol! Demerol is a very strong narcotic! and he gave him Demerol pills to take at home and it worked wonders for him! Like I said, everyone is different and different meds work for different ppl. and some doctors are afraid to give out narcotics so that may be why your doc won't give you a narcotic..who knows?? but I hope you feel better! :)
26 Apr 2013
I have occasional significant pain from a herniated disc and also PHN. For me, opiates took the back pain away, but not the PHN pain. Also got a frozen shoulder along the way. For me the opiates helped with the shoulder, but not the PHN pain. I have to admit when on opiates I didn't focus as much on being overwhelmed with a life of torture and being in debt the rest of my life. From people I've talked to, opiates do help a few people with their PHN pain and is a common course of treatment, but so are the other dozen meds that docs ran us through at the beginning of it. The docs have to try so many meds and dosages for PHN because PHN victims are all different in how we react to drugs.
27 Apr 2013
Thanks Sara. I did learn a lot about this pain. gabapentin is effective. One adjusts the dose until the pain is manageable. There are also lidocaine patches which are effective for a good twelve hours or more. The two together were very helpful. However, so was the four days I spent in the hospital where I got IV dilaudid during the initial breakthrough.
You cannot make it go away completely. One does adjust and it is now helpful in the remaining four spots to use pressure until it stops hurting, for about 30 seconds, and then quickly releasing. Often it lasts hours before it starts again. If it doesn't, I use the patches. I weaned off the GABA and used that as a judge of pain. Reduced one capsule every three or four days and went back up if too much breakthrough.
I had two breakouts during that month. I still get occasional spots occurring. This is because of my suppressed immune system.
The pain does not completely leave. Narcotics are completely ineffective, as my Vicodin and others did nothing. And I surely don't want that addiction. Stay strong. This can be managed if one does not get lost in the pain. Meditation and relaxation is very helpful. Karen
5 May 2013
Going for my second procedure tomorrow (Radio Frequency Ablation) and am so nervous as the first one didnt work so they are doing another nerve tomorrow, im dreading this so much. If this doesnt work I'm done, im just gonna have to learn other ways to cope with this pain. I will not be a guinea pig anymore, as desperate as I am for relief I feel after this I have tried everything. Wish me luck and I'll let ya all know how it goes..shine
30 Jun 2013
After taking everything under the sun (non-narcotic) having nerve blocks, being PT'd to death, trying patches, rubs and creams, the list goes on forever, I had breast CA twice, the second round involved a complete mastectomy which resulted in severe nerve damage and phantom breast pain, Narcotic's were the only thing that saved my life. I had zero quality of life up til then, and I was seriously contemplating self euthanasia. Sounds quite radical I know, but at that point I wouldn't have wished my worst enemy to go thru what I was going thru.
Over the years, yes, the relief was decreasing due to being on the same dose for such a long time, but I have an excellent pain management doc who would switch my meds around, sometimes temporarily raising the dose, then tapering me down once a crisis was over. Without narcotic's I may as well not be here. Some Psych would love to analyze that statement, I am sure. But first he'd have to walk a day in my shoes and see what he'd come up with.
Narcotic's are not for everyone, but for us that depend on them to have some quality of life, don't judge or assume anything.
And for all those IDIOTS out there who divert and sell their meds, thanks a lot guys for making it hard on us true pain patients. I pray there never comes a day when you REALLY NEED THEM.
So much for the "war on drugs", it has causes us chronic pain patients to be treated like criminals.
Search for questions
Still looking for answers? Try searching for what you seek or ask your own question.
... gone away but the throbbing, pin sticking pain is there. I know she took Lyrica for a while. It made her speech slurred and her balance uneasy. ...
4 answers • 1 Jul 2011
its not getting better its getting worse and the pain now is unbearable.. it is on my left front chest I have been on several different meds ...
8 answers • 5 May 2012
Postherpetic Neuralgia - I was diagnosed with shingles on April 19 when rash appeared, but the pain?
... started April 17
2 answers • 25 May 2013
Dear all My mother is a 77 years old sufferer of PHN who has been trying obediently all the range of drugs (Gabapentin-Neurontin... nerve blocking ...
7 answers • 15 Dec 2013
Postherpetic Neuralgia - Hi, I had Shingles followed by PHN (then followed by Bell's Palsy) about 15
... years ago. I do take anti-anxiety meds and have annual physicals where I discuss my issues with my doctor. My question is after this long, I ...
1 answer • 11 Nov 2014