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Avatar universal

New to seeing a PM

Im new to seeing a Pain Management doctor and I just got my MRI results back which were really bad. They said my c5-c6 and c6-c7 are non existant and want to give me a cervical epidural. Im scared as hell of needles and definately dont want surgery. I too had to sign a contract and they have me on 5mg percs take 2 every 4 to 6 hrs as need but only give me 30. Im in ALOT of pain and the doctor even said herself that my disks are in really horrible condition etc. I go see my PM doc again in a couple days and would rather stay on pain meds but with a higher my and more quantity to last me the whole month but like most Ive read in here , Im too afraid to ask or say anything cuz I dont want them to see me as a drug seeker and/or kick me out. Does anyone have any advice on how to address this. And if I do get the epidural can or will they still perscribe the pain killers?
8 Responses
Avatar universal
They probably only gave you 30 to make sure that you had to come back soon.They like to push the injections, it's a money maker, and who knows, it might help?

The Pain Management Doctor is going to have to prescribe for you, that's why you're there. As far as the epidural, if you have it, their going to want to see if it helps and prescribe accordingly. If you don't, I don't know what they'd do.

Their going to have to give you a script for at least a months worth, you can't be going there every week. You might want to ask if there's anything they could prescribe that has less Tylenol. If your taking 2- 5/325's, 1- 10/325 would be less or just 10mg oxy. Just mention about the Tylenol, they get suspicious if you know too much about drugs. Pain Management involves a lot of games, although I've heard there are some good ones out there. I just couldn't deal with it.

Hopefully someone else will come along and be of more help

Take Care
Avatar universal
Hi there...

It's actually very normal for them to be starting low with pain meds and going for injections instead of rushing to surgery. Unless there was something emgergent they saw on the MRI, I would run from anyone who pushed surgery!

Close to 85% of people with spine issues get by with non surgical treatments...

I know it "seems" like they are not helping you but you need to realize that opiates...and strong ones at that are not the first line of treatment and a "right" to make all the pain go away. Just less than 20 years ago....5mg Percocet was the absolute strongest medication that was given after major surgeries! For non surgeries they were never prescribed unless you were terminal with cancer....

Believe me...I've been there and had 3 major cervical fusions...as well as about a dozen other surgeries....I'm only in PM now after my 3rd fusion...two-levels, and going in from the front AND the back of the neck....

It's not about "pushing" injections...They can be very helpful along with physical therapy, traction, TENS unit, ice, heat, steroids, acupuncture, myofascial release, nerve ablation, aqua therapy, ultrasound massage, etc.

As well as most everyone with spine issues are on an actual nerve pain medication like Lyrica, Cymbalta, or Neurontin.

Same thing with a muscle relaxer to take as needed. These are Flexeril, Robaxin, Skelaxin, Baclofen, or Zanaflex.

All of the things I mentioned above both medicinal and non medicinal are meant to all add up together to put a small dent in the pain to get it to a decent level. It's not about just getting enough opiates to do the job.

The key is being very realistic about spine issues and managing pain.

30 Percocet is a regular starting dosage as you haven't been on anything prior to this...correct and you are new to this PM..If you walk in there asking that you get more and stronger meds right now, I can almost guarantee that they will question this and even decide to not care for you long term.

A person in pain will do anything to help...which means trying all sorts of different things. You have no idea whether the injections will work and going in with an attitude (Just speaking in general and reference to the other poster...not the OP on this part) that they aren't going to work or you refuse to do them.....this will only harm you in the future...

Millions of people are helped with other modalities...you just won't find this online...especially a pain management board as many people here are wayyyyy long in the process of surgeries and procedures...

Even though I've been in PM for 6 years now and dealing with severe spine issues for 11 years....I still do everything on the list that I mentioned including injections....

The only thing I dont' need anymore is nerve pain meds since my last fusion which helped that.

So....I really hope that you can take some deep breaths and realize this is not a race and if you have spine issues..they are going to need to be treated with as many modalities as possible and other medications in addition to any opiates you are given.

There isn't a magical answer or magical pill to get rid of all the pain unfortunately...

And the most important part...no matter your pain...Please do not take more meds than prescribed and make sure how long the PM Dr. wanted those to last..I don't see where he expects you to take them every day. They should be helping a decent amount if you had nothing before besides Advil or Tylenol....Percocet is pretty strong as it usually goes from Tylenol 3, to Ultram/Tramadol, to Norco/Lortab, to Percocet...

So...baby steps....try everything and as I said, be realistic that everything is meant to be a building block to all add up to some pain loss.

Good luck...
Avatar universal
Hi There
     I went through the same thing less than two weeks ago. I was so scared that the doctor would think that I was just another addict tryinf to get a high, but I went in and was completely honest about my pain level and prescriptions given by other doctors; but I did not let on to how much I really knew about narcotics. If they thiink you know too much much they seem to caterogize you. My knowledge came from family members that I care for. Good luck and DON'T BE SCARED......BE HONEST!

Avatar universal
Yep! Don't be scared. And Peepee--i will see your BE HONEST and raise you a couple of TRUTHS! I've never seen the real Truth fail.     And i smile every time i see the name peepee. Thank you for that moment of lightheartedness.  Omhome
Avatar universal
Thanks Kalvin you were very helpful. I really appreciate your response : )
Avatar universal
Thanks Weathergirl, I've been dealing with the spine , neck and back pain for about 6 plus years now. Its just gotten extreme in the last year unfortunately and yes I am now just reaching the level of needing a PM. I've done  the traction,PT etc for years and they got to where it wasnt helping any and Im currently on the Nuerotin,lyrica, etc. Im experiencing so much pain,numbness tingling etc its crazy. I am and will try all that they suggest  even if its scary. The only things I wont beable to do are things that expensive and/or not covered with my insurance because I wont beable to afford it. I can barely afford all I have going on now with ins. help.
Avatar universal
Thanks Pee, did your Doctor understand and empathize? Or did he refuse you and/or kick you out?
Avatar universal
Glad I could help. The perfect pain management place might exist, and I assuming the person who posted after me goes to one. But realistically, anyone who has any experience with these places, Doctors included, will tell you that the money is in procedures, not prescribing drugs, and their in business to make money.
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