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Is there any OTC pain medication that will help me?
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Is there any OTC pain medication that will help me?

I am a 62 year-old female and am at my wit's end.  I would like suggestions as to what I can do for pain management.  My PCP will NOT prescribe any medication for pain and/or stiffness.  I sneak OTC Motrin when I can't move, but she is adamant I take no NSAID because of potential kidney damage.  So, I'm coming to you to ask what I can do to help myself.

History is three cervical fusions approximately 35 years ago and MRI in that area 2 1/2 years ago shows severe narrowing.  Again, tests from 2 1/2 years ago show  three ruptured disks in thoracic region.  Here is my latest MRI of the lumbar region from 2 1/2 years ago -- nothing more recent.  Is my stiffness (mostly stiffness as opposed to pain) all in my head and I shouldn't be asking for help or is there something someone can recommend.

Here are the results from the lumbar region (2 1/2 years ago) where I have most of my problem, i.e. severe stiffness:

There is suggestion of diffuse bone demineralization.  Discogenic degenerative changes visualized at all levels with intervertebral disc space narrowing at the T11-T12, T12-L1, L1-L2, and L4-L5 levels greater than L2-3, L3-4, and L5-S1 levels.  Multilevel posterior facet hypertrophi degenerative changes are suspected with asymmetrically increased sclerosis, most notable at the L5-S1 level.

L1-L2, there is retrolisthesis with a right paracentral disc hernination.  The extruded disc material measures 1 cm craniocaudad x 0.5 cm AP.  This disc material causes some narrowing of the right lateral recess.  There is some right neural foraminal narrowing.  There is mild left neural foraminal narrowing.

There is some ligamentum flavum and facet hypertrophy.  There is fluid in the facet joints.

L2-L3, there is a left paracentral disc hernination.  This narrows the left lateral recess.  There is also some ligamentum flavum and facet hypertrophy.  There is likely some impingment upon the left L3 nerve root.  There is some minimal right neural foraminal narrowing.  There is moderate-to-severe left neural foraminal narrowing.

L3-L4, there is a left paracentral disc hernination with liglamentum flavum and facet hypertrophy.  This narrows the left lateral recess and displaces the left L4 nerve root posteriorly.  There is mild bilateral neural foramnal narrowing.

L4-L5, there is some liagmentum flavum and facet hypertrophy.  There is a central annular disc tear with a broad-based disc bulge.  There is no significant thecal sac narrowing.  There is mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, right greater than left.

L5-S1, there is no significant spinal canel stenosis or neural foraminal narrowing.  There is some ligamentum flavum and facet hypertrophy.  There is a right synovial cyst that measures 6 mm AP x 3 mm transverse.  This displaces some of the nerve roots to the left.  The right neural foramen is patent.  There is some moderate left neural foraminal narrowing.  The left L5 exiting nerve root abuts the disc material.

There appears to be a disc hernination at T11-T12 and at T12-L1.  Multiple levels of degeneration in the thoracic spine with a 4.0 mm disc hernination at T7-8 posteriorly as well as numerous disc bulges at T9-10, T11-12, and T12-L1.

So, my question is:  Is this damage sufficient to justify some type of prescription strength medication or should I try to toughen up and keep my mouth shut? This just goes on year after year without relief.   Is there something out there that might help me?

Thanks, I'm not sure how much longer I can hang in w/o some type of help.
9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello there! I am so sorry to hear about all of your pain issues. Sounds like you are having a difficult go of it my dear! How are you managing your pain at the current time? Does your physician prescribe prescription pain medications? If not, how could you possibly keep your mouth shut when it comes to requesting pain relief? Your body is in shambles. My heart goes out to you! I would not even consider feeling guilty sneeking Ibuprofen. That is just not enough pain medication to remedy the pain associated with all of your ailments. I know that it is awful to say the word,"Narcotic", but in your case, I think it is justified. If you are in pain, please request relief from your health care professional. There is something available to ease your discomfort. Compassionately yours, Trixie
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Trixie.  The only thing I have available that I know helps is a heating pad and the occasional OTC Motrin.  Some days are better than others but the stiffness is having more and more of an impact on my daily life.  Today is definitely not a good day.

I really needed an opinion from an outsider if my back issues warrant more or if it something I should be able to handle on my own with home remedies.  I appreciate your input.
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1613542_tn?1366472143
I agree with Trixie your dr should put you on pain meds you are a mess! Do you have kidney problems? I try to take the natural path when I can and if they work and I have taken cherry extract pills for years for arthritis. I don't know if it will help you but it may and it is the same as drinking cherry juice or eating cherries only it is concentrated. I wish I could be more helpful but I would say the cherry pills will help with some stiffness at least. It has greatly improved mine. Best wishes to you I hope you find relief soon, Sissie
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Bigsissie.  Yes, I do have kidney problems so I do understand her concern.  I will definitely try the cherry extract pills.  i'm assuming I can get that at a natural supplement store?
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1613542_tn?1366472143
Yes you can get them there but the cheapest place I have found and the ones I use are the NOW brand that I buy online. They are about half the price of the ones you find in the store. Also for the first two  weeks I took 2 pills 3X's a day then dropped to two in the evening. On days I know I have more to do I take extra. I hope they help you let me know if you try them how they work for you. If not on this post feel free to send me a private message. Best of luck to you I really hope you get relief soon, Sissie
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Avatar_n_tn
Sissie,

Thanks.  I ordered it and it will be here Thursday.  I truly appreciate your information.   I'm holding out hope this will help some with the stiffness.
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1613542_tn?1366472143
You are more than welcome, I truly hope it helps you. Best wishes, Sissie
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1326416_tn?1370930601
If you feel your pain is interfering with your quality of life, then maybe it's time to find a doctor who will not only listen to you, but treat you as well. Please be very careful with the NSAIDS, as your doctor may be quite correct in telling you not to take them. they could cause you some very serious problems/complications. Good Luck,
                                                 shinty
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Avatar_n_tn
I had new x-rays and MRIs taken last month.  I picked up a copy of each.  It shows everything in previous reports have worsened.  I will see the doctor on July 18th.  I have two questions in the meantime:

1.  It's now showing Modic Changes Type 1, increased retrolisthesis, worsened degenerative changes, and diffuse disc bulge at L1-L2 level.  Does anyone know what dr. might suggest as course of treatment?

2.  Any suggestions as to what I can do in meantime for pain management besides heating pad?  I cannot take NSAID because of kidney issues.

I need some help with pain management . . . seriously!

Thanks
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