I have DDD, Spondilothesis, grade 1 Scoliosis and Arthritis. I had L-5/S-1 surgery. I am only 42 and just found out about the arthritis in my hips. I was hoping it was a pulled groin muscle. I have had steroid injections, very painful probey shock thingies, NSAIDs Lidoderm patches,Zanaflex, Elavil, tenz, PT, spinal stim trial (it went horribly wrong) right now my quality of life is rapidly declining. I don't want to go back to using but I can't continue to hurt like this. Right now I'm getting the MD shuffle, PCM, Pain Interventionist, Orthopedic Surgeon, and now a Pain Management Specialist. Besides opiates what other options are there? I'm feeling pretty frustrated and hopeless.
Physical therapy may help. Things like hot packs and massage. Does the zanaflex help? If not there are other muscle relaxers. Have you had steroid and anesthesia shots in your back? Your back is a real mess, so I do understand the need for something strong. Unfortunately the only strong meds for pain are also opiates. Something like a fentanyl patch may be good for you. Its a constant dose, and frequently because of that you need less then you would if you're taking it every so often. Whatever you do, try not to get something with tylenol in it, because you will need it forever and tylenol long term can damage your liver.
Boy you sound like me asking a question all symptoms everything you mention sounds like I wrote it. The only thing I might suggest have you tried Lyrica that helped me, but the best help sorry to say are opiates. I would get on a long acting pill. I am going to follow your journey maybe we can help each other. See ya
I too have all the conditions you list plus a few more since my cervical spine is also involved. C4-C5-C6 are fused but I'm currently having new problems. My lumbar fusion is L3-L4-L5 but L2 needs added due to L2-L3 spondolisthesis. I'm a tiny bit older than you.
I have tried very hard to avoid most of the interventions you've had because I don't see much assurance that they help, and some of the drugs can have horrible side effects. My friend was switched from opiates to hi-dose nerve drugs and now has permanent brain damage that baffles her docs. May not be nerve drug related but symptoms are similar to the drug side effects she experienced. I have avoided pain clinics cuz I have had an epidural go terribly wrong and will not allow injections. I prefer to avoid long-acting drugs like oxycontin cuz you have no control of dose -- you cannot cut them in half for instance. Plus I worry about addiction since you cannot vary the dose and it's in your body non-stop. On special occasions I might want a beer but do not want to mix beer and pain meds. So I like pills that you can break in half, skip a dose, etc. and that last only a few hours. Basically, I value having control of my pain control, vs. having full-time relief.
My drug regimin worked well for the past 4 yrs but doc retired and its very hard to get this drug combo -- esp long-term. It's 3 to 4 times daily combo of Norco (hydro 10/325), Soma 350mg, and Ibuprofen 600mg (this is the one I tolerate the least). The pain drug can be varied. Its the Soma that makes the pain pill work and which improves quality of life -- but it's also the hardest to get, now. On very bad days I may take more but on some days I may reduce the dosages.
Some pain remains, and for that I use ice packs, moist heat, and distractions -- pets, TV, Netflix, Xbox, puzzle books, the internet (esp Facebook, Youtube, and forums like this).
- Cymbalta Information for Consumers
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