Pain Management Community
9.73k Members
Avatar universal

Lower back injury-long term medication help

Hi, i need some serious help. About two years ago I was pinned by a truck to my car while I was checking my air pressure. It tools a year and a half to find out that I had a annular tear and bulging in between L4 and L5 disks in my back. I had to quit being a CNA due to enormous amounts of pain. I got a lawyer and settled for some money to help....though u can't put an amount on being pain the rest of your life. Over the last 6 months the pain has gotten worse. I've had 3 injections and have tried the following drugs: gabapentin, lyrica, Cymbalta,  amnitripaline, and naproxen 500. Nome of these provide relief. The only thing that has helped is the hydrocodone 7.5/325 that I've been on since sep. of 09'. I moved and am now seeing a doctor on my school campus and am now up to taking them 2 at a time 4 to 5 times a day. That's a whopping 8 to 10 a day and it provides relief only if I don't go anywhere or move. If I work on the house or take care of my two kids then I have really bad pain and the meds are just no longer working. They say I'm too young for surgery and just want me to stay on meds yet the doctor I see now is nervous about having me on narcotics when that's the only thing that provides relief. Ive also had physical therapy but can't afford it anymore. My doctor doesn't want to write me a script for 10s but actually wants me to get off narcotics because of my age. I didn't "ask" to get hit by a truck at 21. I've tried to find another doctor here in town but they either want to put me on meds I've already taken that don't work or they don't treat patients that are on pain meds. I'm confused, depressed, I have constant anxiety about whether I'm gonna be okay because I have no long term plan.  I'm scared of the pain and about not being able to be a good mom because I can't do the things I used to without severe pain. I just need someone to listen to me and help me get some pain medication that is actually going to work for me. I'm tired of doctors throwing my age in my face. I even paid to have my liver enzymes tested to make sure that my liver and kidneys are okay with all these hydrocodones I'm taking. Can't they just switch me to something that I don't have a high tolerance to? Or something without Tylenol? Please help I feel like any day now I'm going to lose my mind!
10 Responses
Avatar universal
I feel your pain (no pun intended) as I too suffered a severe back injury at a young age.  I was 23 when 2 of my discs in the lumbar spine were herniated, causing sciatica and a whole bunch of other problems.  First of all, have you had an MRI showing the issues in your back?  I know they can be expensive but without one how can you be sure that you have a bulging disc?  I have seen many doctors who have refused to prescribe me pain medication due to my age... It's very difficult and unfair that doctors seem to be "ageist" when it comes to treating chronic pain, so I definitely understand that.  I recently just found a doctor who specializes in chronic pain management, and he has put me on a regimented pain management plan, including physical therapy, massage and medication.  He has been the only one who I've seen who is willing to treat my pain using a variety of techniques, including medication.  If you haven't been to a doctor who specializes in this, that should be your first step.  Also if you have an MRI definitely bring that with you.  Another thing to mention is that if you do visit one of these doctors, please be 100% honest with the amount of medication you have been taking.  Perhaps he will be able to put you on the hydrocodone 10/325 so you won't be taking so much tylenol in a day.  Good luck and feel free to message me if you have any other questions.
Avatar universal
Yes I do have a MRI, actually two, showing this and also have degenerative disk disease.  I go to the doctor at my school because I have not gotten insurance yet....it's pending...I just moved here so I had a doctor from where I used to live that was prescribing 10/325 but the doctor where I live now is actually a "nurse practitioner" and is "uncomfortable" prescribing narcotics because of the DEA blah blah blah and obviously missed the class in medical school about long-term narcotics and tolerance. I'm going tomorrow morning and am hopeful that she will switch me to something new. I've been reading a lot of posts and I wonder if percocet would work well.  That way it still leaves room for me to step up on the laser of pain meds for the years to come. As soon as I get my insurance I plan to visit a pain management clinic in witchita and hopefully I'll find a real doctor....one who knows what they're doing. I VERY much look forward to getting a massage as I have not yet got one. I know that would really help me relax some of the muscles that are tensed up as well. Thanks for your input. If anyone else has any ideas please feel free to give me your opinion.
1508881 tn?1313118501
I know exactly what you're going through. I'm only 28 and have constantly had to deal with the too young talk. I have arthritis and get to hear all the time how I'm too young for arthritis. I'm currently dealing with all the conservative methods of pain treatment because no doctor will operate on someone my age unless they loss the function of their legs/bowels/bladder. It ***** knowing that they will only fix the problem when it gets to that point.
Avatar universal
I know how it feels to be sick of medications and not results. Have you tried any electrotherapy? It really helped me with back pain, but I don't have the medical history that you do. Definitely look into it!
Avatar universal
I'm fed up with doctors. I'm sick of the bouncing around...refer you here....refer you there....pay for this and pay for that.  How about this....I've jumped through all your hoops and paid all of you money. I want what I want and you're going to give it to me because that's what works. No more lectures and no more pain. Drug addicts can walk down any street in America and find someone to sell them their drugs.  I go to umpteen doctors and physical therapists, have injections that cost thousands and I can't get relief for my legitimate pain???!!! What in the hell is wrong with this world. I'm tired of doctors beatin around the bush just to suck your bank account dry and you don't get what you need. No wonder so many people in this world are on disability and depressed. If the healthcare system was actually functional maybe people could concentrate on their lives and how to improve the lives of others.  I guess instead we just have to figure out how to get off the couch or out of bed in the morning and why we should even keep trying to live a normal life. Every doctor I call says one or more of the following: you have to be referred here, you have to insurance, you have to wait up to a year to be seen here, we don't handle chronic pain patients, we don't write prescriptions for pain meds here,  we don't manage pain meds, we don't take self pay patients, or we don't take new patients. Why dont they just come out and say it....we want your money and if your not rich or haven't been referred by someone we know your screwed! The doctor I have now is a nurse practitioner and says she's not "comfortable" prescribing pain meds higher than hydrocodone 7.5 because she isn't on the board of pain management doctors and she doesnt understand how the pain medicine hierarchy goes and doesn't specialize in back injuries.  Well I'm not "comfortable" either so where does that leave us doc??? Ugh.....I'm so frustrated with our governments health system I could move to Canada!!! Oh...and apparently surgery isn't an option until pills don't work anymore or the disk herniates. So I guess I'm just going to have to be in pain then until that day comes?
1564991 tn?1307634409
I am 28 now, have had herniated/ bulging disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc, etc for about 6 years, all the way back to being in Iraq. I went a while with the doctors saying nothing wrong. Then a while with conservative treatments, and up and up the drug ladder. Now I have a whole drawer of those meds you want and I could take a dozen of them and still need my cane to get to the bathroom. ill have a morphine pump implanted in October, but right now my best relief comes from plain motrin and ice massage.
Try coming off all those nerve blockers for a few days, let your body readjust and use copious amounts of ice.  

I understand the age issues, eventually you will find a doc that does too. I hope you find some relief, I'm limping to the freezer for some ice now
Have an Answer?
Top Pain Answerers
Avatar universal
st. louis, MO
317787 tn?1473362051
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
Could it be something you ate? Lack of sleep? Here are 11 migraine triggers to look out for.
Find out if PRP therapy right for you.
Tips for preventing one of the most common types of knee injury.
Here are 10 ways to stop headaches before they start.
Tips and moves to ease backaches