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Arachnoiditis treatment options?

I have been diagnosed with adhesive arachnoiditis (after 10 lower back surgeries).  I have been seeing a pain management physician for nearly 6 years.  I take Oxycontin 80mg 3X's per day and oxycodone 30mg 1x per day for breakthrough pain.  I also take Cymbalta, Lyrica and Zanaflex.  I have been taking the same meds for 3 years and they barely put a dent in my pain.  My pain gets unbearable frequently.  I get pain down both legs.  My pain dr has decided that I should stop the pain meds (with dr assistance for withdrawl).  The dr said that the pain meds are making my pain worse.  I truly do not understand how.  Has anyone had any luck with reducing pain by stopping pain meds?  It is my understanding that my pain dr is doing this with many of his patients, but I haven't heard any positive results from other patients only from the dr.  Any input is appreciated.  
5 Responses
Avatar universal
Some doctors do this to sort of "re-set" your pain levels and your tolerance. I've heard of many people taking a drug holiday and then they are able to get along with less medication. Its not really good to keep going up and up and up, that leaves you no room for the future. I wish you the best of luck! Whatever you do, make sure you have plenty of Imodium AD, it will help tremendously with the tummy troubles you'll have.
Avatar universal
  so you are getting only one oxycodone a day?  
Avatar universal
I think the doctor's thought process is something like this:  If the patient isn't benefiting from the pain medications, then why prescribe them? My thoughts on this subject (if i may), is the fact that some doctors only seem to stop prescribing the pain medications when they don't benefit anymore, but not any of the non-narcotic medications when thay aren't benefiting the patient either. These are the type of pain doctors that I hope to never become a patient of. My doctor will simply switch me to different types of narcotics as tolerance becomes an issue. He never suggested taking a 'holiday" from pain medications, as the pain doesn't seem to take many holidays either! I would  ask your doctor to switch you to a different pain medication if he/she feels that your current medication is making you worse. my fear for you is that the answer will be that ALL narcotics will make your pain worse. It may be time to find a new doctor. It seems that alot of doctors are 'shying" away from prescibing narcotics on a regular basis. People diverting and or abusing prescription painillers are the ones making it harder and harder for legitimate pain patients.
Avatar universal
I wasn't suggesting that they do this a lot, I've just heard of people doing it themselves to see where the pain levels are at that moment in time. Please don't think that i don't mean your not in pain, as I'm sure you are. From what I've read on your condition, i really don't know how people can live with it. I really do wish you good luck and as someone else said, if your not comfortable doing this then definitely see another doctor.
Avatar universal
Thank you all for your suggestions.  I am really glad that I found this website.  Having people to turn to that understand what it is like to live with chronic pain is truly a blessing for me.  I am considering a new doctor.  My doctor has said there is some new study that found that using pain meds make you more sensitive to pain and this was his reasoning.  I have been going to this doctor for 6 years and I have followed all of his recommendations thus far, but I just cannot get behind this one.  The thought of going back to dealing with this pain without the meds is unbearable.  Before the meds I was lying in bed crying in pain.  With the meds there is still pain, but not so much that I cannot function.  I wonder if other doctors are considering this type of plan.  The research I have done suggests that alternating pain meds might be a better plan, but my doc doesn't agree with that plan.  Thanks again for your input and support.  
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