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Old 04-19-2008, 06:39 PM   #1
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making pain bareable

hi. I just found this site and I'm surprised to see lots of other people expressing the same concerns and feelings I have. I startled upon this forum while googling an answer for a question. Which is are percocets perscribed for a long term basis? Reason I ask Ill be coming up on my two year anniversary since I injured my back. I completly damaged my L4 and L5 disc. I still remember the moment it happened. The pain was more than I'd ever felt to the point my legs couldn't take it. I laid on the ground unmovable. Ever since then the pains never gone away allbeit it has very slowly decreased. How I live now is a constant pain and limit of movement that either gradrally gets worse as the day goes by or instantly gets worse if I move in a certain way or do a certian thing. Sitting down being one of those instantly pain increasing thing. Sometimes I have to walk with a cane and it only takes 30 minutes or so of movement for the increases in pain to begin to be felt.

Since my injury I've had 3 rounds of spinal injections that did not help at all. I've had physical theropy that didnt stop any pain but tried to teach me retraining methods to live by. Even with practicing the retraining methods it doesn't take away the pain nor stop it from increasing. When I first saw the doctor two days after my injury he prescribed me vicodon, spasm meds, but neither took away any pain at all. The spasm medicine did help just a little bit when my spasms were really bad but did nothing about the pain. After physical theropy I lived for about a year with no meds and just doing everything I had come to know to do to adjust with living a life in pain. But not too long ago I relapsed with my back early one morning helping my wife clean. She asked me to if I could sweep for her, willingly I accepted but after two sweeps I tweaked my back and was frozen in pain. This wasn't my first relapse since my initial injury, but it was the worse relapse. I went to see my doctor soon as possible and ordered more MRI's and in the meantime perecribed me percocets. I didnt think the medicine would do anything for me but was surprised when they did remebering how the vicodon didnt work. After my MRI results come in my doctor wants send me back for more pain management and physical theropy which from my previous experience does nothing for me. Oh also after I went through physical theropy and the rounds of injections the first time and neither helped my doctor said the only thing left is surgery which he told me wouldn't take away all pain and as well as restrict my movement ability on a permanent basis. The percocets have been the only thing in 2 years that have helped me, and after reading all about the med, I wonder if once I start physical theropy they'll take me off. Its something that I will definately talk about with my pain management doctor once I start. Right now I try not to take too much of the med cause I read in time your system becomes tolerant. Since this has been the only thing that has helped me I don't want it to ever loose its affect. Usually taking 2 a day does enough to get through the most painful and roughest parts of my day, because I still practice the principles of trying all I can to take personal care of my back and coping things. Anyone that can offer any answers to my 1 question it would bring great comfort. Or anyone with a personal experience on other treatments I haven't had yet that I could discuss with my doctors will be apprcieated. My wife is also concerned. After seeing me live as I have had to before this she sees the imlprovements from the percocets. And she's so happy to see me doing things I haven't done since before the injury and is happy seeing that I can be active for longer periods of time than I use to be. For us both it feels like we regained a little bit more of how things were before I got hurt. Thank you your replies and for listening.

 
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:41 AM   #2
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Re: making pain bareable

Hi, 1question, and welcome to the board!

Yes, Percocet can be prescribed long term if necessary. The docs don't like to do that too much, but if it's warranted, they will. Like you said, you can become tolerant to it. I'm on Vicodin long term. I've been on it for over a year, having moved down from Percocet a few months after surgery. My doctor has told me to expect to be on it or something similar to it forever. I try to take a break from it periodically, once every two months or so, to help keep me from becoming tolerant. My PM said some people have found that to work. My pharmacist said it takes 5 days for Vicodin to get out of your system, but I can't always make it that long. I try to do it when I'm not in a flare up and try to do nothing at all during the time I'm off it. So far, so good.

I also have a TENS unit, which your PT may try for you. It's an electronic stimulator with sticky pads you place on either side of the painful area. You can use it usually for 30 minutes no more than about 2 times a day. It works by confusing the messages your nerves are sending to your brain. Once you turn it off, it stops working, though some people get longer relief just because the pain had let up for a bit and that helped. If you use it too much, the nerves figure it out and it will stop working.

I also have a muscle stimulator. It works a lot like the TENS unit, except the impulse is much stronger and actually activates the muscle. It's a treatment that you do twice a day for 30-60 minutes and is supposed to have a cumulative therapeutic effect. I haven't found it to make a lot of difference. I do love the TENS unit, though.

Let us know what the MRI says. That's the biggest part of all this: getting a real diagnosis! If you aren't satisfied with what your doctor's doing, don't hesitate to get other opinions. Go to someone in a different group, as docs in the same group share notes. Your chart will follow you to anyone in their office. When you get a second opinion, it's fine to tell the doctor that that's what you're there for. They're used to that. But don't tell him what the first doctor said. Let him come to his own conclusions. Take your MRI and any other tests with you. Even if you're not unhappy with your doctor, a second opinion is always valuable.

I wish you the best,
Emily

 
Old 04-21-2008, 06:29 AM   #3
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Re: making pain bareable

thank you emily for your response and help. After my first MRI 2 years ago the diagnosis was the injury caused my 2 disc to become degenerated upon the impact. These new MRIs I was told is to see how worse the condition became. I've heard about that TENS thing. A friend told me her mom actually had that for a surgery and those pads are permantly fixed in her back and she gets the electric signals throughout the day. She told me that her mom says it helped a little. I actually can't wait to get to meet with the pain management to hear what they have in store for treatments. My MRI gets scheduled today. I'll post after that if I have any more questions or get a treatment that helps. Thank you again. Much appreciated!

 
Old 04-21-2008, 11:38 AM   #4
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Re: making pain bareable

1question,

You are to be commended for your responsible use of the percs. If you must use them long term, you are doing everything exactly right. Long term use is not a problem physically, especially at such a low dose. If this helps you manage your quality of life then that's wonderful.

steve

 
Old 04-26-2008, 01:16 PM   #5
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Re: making pain bareable

thanks for your words Steve. I had my new MRI and see my pain management dr. Tuesday. I'll post back. I got all the way to the dr. On Friday and they told me the appointment was moved to this Tuesday.

 
Old 04-26-2008, 02:35 PM   #6
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Re: making pain bareable

I hate it when that happens. No call ahead, no nothing. So disrespectful.

Hey, I used to live in Swarthmore, near Baltimore Pike. I lived there during my early years but I still remember it vividly. I miss the people and the deep greens of spring and summer.

Have a great day and please post the results of your PM appointment.

steve

Last edited by forginon; 04-26-2008 at 02:44 PM.

 
Old 04-26-2008, 06:17 PM   #7
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Re: making pain bareable

Hello and welcome! You bring up a very familiar question that people often bring here.....The difference between "acute" and "chronic" pain. Acute pain can be treated very well with short acting (SA) meds such as norco, Lortab, Percs & etc. However, if your respective condition becomes chronic, and it's determined that you need long term therapy, then a long acting (LA) med is much more appropriate. First and foremost, it's not safe to have long term regular exposure to Tylenol. Even if your particular dosage is way below the recommended guidelines, the Tylenol still poses a significant risk. The guidelines are just that....Guidelines only.....Everyone reacts differently and some can take high dosages with no problem, while others develop issues with small dosages. There is no medical need for the long term exposure to Tylenol, and the only thing that can happen is negative. There is little to no therapeutic effect with long term Tyleonol dosages as the tolerance far outweighs the dosage, and much stronger levels are needed for adequate pain management.

With the above in mind, one can take a LA med such as Oxycontin which contains no Tylenol and in it's lowest dosage (10mg) is equivalent to two 5mg Percs. There are also several other LA meds available at a Docs disposal.

Secondly, if you have a chronic condition, LA meds will help reduce the "ups & downs" of pain meds. When one first starts taking pain meds, they will typically last 4-6 hours. However, over time, tolerance develops and it's not unusual for these same meds to be reduced if efficacy to 2-3 hours. Thus, the meds are "in & out" very quickly, resulting in "ups & downs" experienced by the patient. Conversely, LA meds stabilize you as well as raise your blood plasma level (BPL). Once you BPL is elevated, you have less "minor" flare ups as well as less side effects of the meds themselves. For example, it's quite typical for those on pain meds to develop mini WDs as the "ups & downs" escalate. This is just part of the physical dependance that accompanies narcotics. No different than the heavy morning coffee drinker when he/she misses their coffee. Again, LA meds address this issue in a very positive manner.

Hope this gives you some basic information from which you can inquire further. This board is a great resource for lots of information as many "regulars" have a vast array of experiences. I would strongly encourage you to search back through the pages of old threads as there is a lot of great information contained within.

Ex

 
Old 04-27-2008, 09:47 AM   #8
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Thumbs up Re: making pain bareable

It sounds like you need a long acting pain med ...There are many out there but you have to find the right combonation that works for you! Remember everyone is different. I was on percocets for about 6 months til finally I had enough of all the ups and downs! Now I take oxycontin and my life has changed dramatically! Good luck,

niap

 
Old 04-27-2008, 03:06 PM   #9
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Re: making pain bareable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Executor View Post
There is no medical need for the long term exposure to Tylenol, and the only thing that can happen is negative. There is little to no therapeutic effect with long term Tyleonol dosages as the tolerance far outweighs the dosage, and much stronger levels are needed for adequate pain management.Ex
Let's not forget that acetaminophen(Tylenol) is #6 on the most deaths with medications according the FDA. Yes that is ALOT of people dying because of it

brian

 
Old 05-01-2008, 06:35 PM   #10
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Re: making pain bareable

wow. So much information I didnt know about. I think I had oxycotin before can't remeber weither it was for my back or when I had my wisdom teeth pulled. I met with my pain manangment dr. and from looking at my MRI he says the two disc have degenerated a little worse and I've got some authritis in both now as well. My wifes hearted dropped when she heard that. The only real thing he's suggesting is more injection treatments ad I had before along with the long term use of pills that he says could lower in dosage over time if the shots help. Last time they dint though. We did talk about (I can't remember the name) surgical pads that give electro shocks. But he says it wouldn't be a good ideal for me since I'm still young. He. Mentioned something about that type of thing is not good in conjuntion with being physically active. And since I'm young apparently I'm prone to be more active than a older person. He said that as well as the fact I need to work some kind of job so I can continue paying my bills makes those pads for me a bad ideal. He wants me to talk to my (I always get doctors practice messed up) orthapedic??? about possible surgerys. Since he's not a surgon he just wants to see what he says about wiether surgery would be a good thing in accordance with the extent of my condition as well as give me the chance to know what else is possible besides what he can do. So that's my next appointment in a few weeks. Last time (2yrs ago) I talked to him though he said a surgery for me would involve screws. All this is bothersome. I don't want a surgery that could handicap me more. For the pastyear and a half i lived on nothing for pain but just bared it and cooped but there were always times daily when it was too much pain to cope with. When my dr. perecribed me percocets a few months ago its when I found that I finally have some help to get me through those tough painful times in the day. Hence me usually only taking 2 a day. Ive been using them for when I need to get through the most active part of my day when the pain and unhealhiness of my discs get to its worst. Outside of that you can find me trying to take iteasy on my back and just baring with the pain. The more I do and move around and be active the more the pain increases and ifad those times if I'm doing something that's important to my life like working or those types things is when I takes pill. I've changed a lot from how my life use to be. I've always worked and now I can't really work for more than 3 hours at a time and that's from a non laboring job. I use to work in the auto field. I was a technician for BMW and then a parts manager but I. Can't do that anymore. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place sometimes betwen thinking and caring for my back and taking care of my household. Oh well. Sorry for wailing a little. Baltimore pike though. I know that area. At BMW I did a lot of business with shops out that way. Thanks for all the advice and the ears. This thread and forum has been a lot of help and I can see not just for me.

 
Old 05-01-2008, 08:37 PM   #11
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Re: making pain bareable

1question: Welcome! I am glad you found us. If surgery is not an option, whether it's not something you want to do, or if it's not possible to repair your disc problems with surgery, you may have reached the point where you are chronic. It's definitely something we have all struggled with or are still struggling with, here on the board.

I just wanted to wish you the best and welcome you to the board. Please post often and if you have other questions, there is always someone here who can answer. This is a wonderful place to get info and support.

Take care and I hope we hear more from you. cmpgirl

 
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