Hello Jim and welcome to the board!
As I mentioned in my post to you on the Spinal Cord Board there's basically two types of "pain management". one being an actual doctor who prescribes medications and different modalities to help you control your pain and the other is an actual Pain Management Class or course. For pain that is chronic and long lasting I really suggest going both routes. Because you are going through WC this does somewhat limit who you can and can't see.
There are many different types of medication used to control pain. Oxycontin is one of the ones you hear more about that others but doctors also use Fentanyl, Morphine products, Methadone etc. Much of what you are given is really based often on what the doctor is comfortable in prescribing.
Many doctors will not prescribe Oxycontin because it has such a bad "rap" in the media due the the vast amount of abuse that has occured over the years by individuals who are not truly in pain.
The goal is to control pain with the least amount of medication. It is not the goal to relieve pain 100% because at some point this will no longer be realistic for you and your condition.
There are other modalities to keep in mind and try such as injections/epidurals etc. These are about 50% effective it seems. I think much of it is based on your actual condition and the degree of damage to the affected area. In your case the cervical spine. I did not find them effective.
TEN's untis, electrical stimulation, can be helpful in blocking the pain to a degree or at least it gets your mind off the pain. It too is not always 100% effective. I think it's pretty good for some types of pain but not others. It's one of those things you don't know until you try.
Lidoderm patches are another type of medication that can often be used. Basically they are lidocaine, a numbing medication, that is in a gel patch. They are effective for muscle and nerve pain but not always bone pain.
Then of course there's the non evasive or non medicine based modalities such as physical therapy, traction, massage therapy, biofeedback, meditation, guided imagry etc.
I think that the key to pain management isn't so much the medication itself but finding a doctor who is willing to use different modalities allowing you for multiple tools and ways to cope when you have chronic pain and when flare ups occur.
Best of luck
ps. I wanted to mention there's a few "sticky" posts at the top of the board that you should read that might give you some insight on pain management itself.
Last edited by Kissa; 06-30-2006 at 02:44 PM.