I am a 50 year old female, I have in the last 2 years have pain in my lower back. Had MRI's xrays.etc. Dr. said it was Degenerative Disk,Disk Protrusion? I've been on Percocet for the last 4 years for 5 surg.for other reasons,As always after time the pain meds. dont work. I'm on muscle relaxers also,now he put me on GABPENTIN. I have terriable back pain, both legs and feet feel numb and like pins sticking me all the time. It's to the point now the pain and numbness is causing me not to sleep, I sleep maybe 2 hours a night,so I feel like I am fighting a loosing battle. I have no health insurance so I feel like the Dr.s are just putting a bandaid on a big problem. The pain meds don't work, Cortazone shots dont help. Is anyone else having these problems,and can offer any help at all. I feel like I can't go on like this much longer.
It sounds like you may have other problems as well. Have you ever had a nerve conduction study done? Some of the symptoms you describe sounds like you have nerve damage.
I would suggest having this test done. It will at least rule it out and to be quite honest I believe this may be some of your problem. You can not see nerve damage on MRI"S or X-rays.
I will see if I can find an article I read on nerve damage and the pain it causes and the fact that it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed..
You have been on the oxycodone for too long as it contains Tylenol and this is bad for your liver when taken for an extended period of time. Talk to your doctor about a extended release medication.
Welcome to the Pain Mangement Forum. I am so sorry to hear about your pain. Most of us here know how chronic pain can disrupt our daily lives and nights.
I agree with Sandee it sounds to be like your pain may have some component of nerve involvement, hence the gabapentin. Medical testing does not always reveal damage, nerve or otherwise. It can be missed. How long has it been since you had an MRI?
DDD can narrow (stenosis) the spinal canal. It can happen quickly or over a period of time. If it has been more than a year since your last one I suggest another one. EMG's or EEG's can be helpful in diagnosing nerve damage. MRI's can reveal a nerve entrapment or structural issues.
Have you applied for state insurance. Some states offer this to those that do not have access to other insurance or cannot afford it. If you haven't applied lately I would also consider that route. It's an unfortunate fact that most physicians and hospitals are reluctant to perform surgery or treatments unless they have some assure of payment.
Additionally it sounds as if your pain medications are not potent enough to control your pain. Sandee's suggestion of a slow released opiate is a good one. I would discuss this with your PCP.
Gabapentin can be very effective in reducing the pain caused by nerve involvement or damage. It takes time to build up in your system and the dosage often is gradually increased until you reach a therapeutic level. I hope you will stick with it and give the drug time to be effective.
We are here to support you or just listen if you feel the need to vent. Goodness knows many of us need or have needed both. I encourage you to become an active memeber of our community. I beleive it helps!
Please let us know how you are doing. I will look forward to your updates. Take care and best of luck to you.
I have all the same pain and symptoms as you do...I will give u my history of attempting relief.
I was dx's with DDD 2.5 yrs ago and given 5/325 mg percocet x2 daily...(I know this is low)...result was only mild relief to back pain with NO relief to leg pain(neuropathic/radiculapathic)
Gabapenin 1800mg for the last 4-5 yrs and this helped ONLY with the sciatic pain not the over all leg pain
In March I saw a pain specialist...he said to use percocet only for breakthrough pain and added an extended release oxycontin 20-25mg(again I know this is low)
again this gave a bit more relief to back pain but really NO relief to the leg pain....which has even become worse. I was also given cortisone shots to the hips(short term relief)
Currently I'm afraid to return to the pain doc as I know he will only increase the oxycontin and that scares me....I know others have posted that tolerance is not the same as addiction...but basically in the long of it they do ended up being the same!
Thus I try to live with this level of moderate relief of pain for as long as I can tolerate than will NO DOUBT need to look at an increase.
For some relief when trying to sleep use a small cushion under your lower back, helps to keep spine in alinement also I sleep on a heat pad under my lwer back and hips/thights this also helps somewhat.
The amount of pain meds you are comfortable with is up to each individual and also the level of pain ur experiencing....my history is only for information purposes.
Thanks for the replys, I have not had an MRI in about 2 years, my Doc won't send me for test because he knows my financial status,in fact the pain managment Dr. asked how I expected him to treat me because the test and treatment were really exsp. and gave me more meds. So thats why I feel like I am fighting a losing battle. The Gabapentin is not working at all, and I have been worried about taking so much Percocet because of Liver damage,and wondering why my Dr. hasnt even asked for that test yet. At least Now I know I am not losing my mind with the pain and numbness in legs and feet, gosh Its kind of good to know someone else has it too..Sorry you have it too because it is a real pain in the -------- and not feet I'm thinkin about. lol...As far as tryin to get State assistance for medical thats a big joke in Delaware, I am just 100 dollars a month over the limit!! My Doc had the nerve to tell me to Divorce my husband then I could afford it.That aint gonna happen either. Im not sure what a opiate is, can one let me know? Right now I need to get something different because I can't deal with this pain much longer,feel like I am losing my mind. Thank you all for your help, It sure means alot to know someone is on the right track..I just got home from our 15 annv. thats why it took me so long to get back in touch, and the pain kind of put a black cloud on that too. So thanks for your help. I'm still not sure how to get around on this site but I will get it soon enough. thanks again!
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