Hey guys, can any one tell me what I can expect from pain management? I am going for the first time and I am quite anxious. I really don't want to end up on pain meds, but my insurance won't pay for epidural injections unless the doctor jumps through crazy hoops. I did physical therapy for a long time when I first injured my back 11 years ago. Are there other options besides medication? The disc is bulging at L5-S1 and hasn't gotten much worse, I just beginning the degeneration stage. The neurosurgeons says that I am not a surgery candidate because of my age and that the disc is stable, yet there are nights like last night that paralysis sounds like a viable option. The doctor I will be seeing is tough but good from what I have been told. I just want someone to make the pain stop without drugging me up all the time. Any suggestions on how to deal with the anxiety of my first appointment?
Normally, they don't resort to pain medications right away. They will try other modalities before going the pain medication route. They are used to dealing with insurance companies and the hoops they might make them jump through for authorizations . They will also offer other types of medications that may help with nerve pain, rather than opiates. Expect to be sent back to physical therapy, and to be told to swim, stretch, use ice, heat and other methods to help manage the pain. Then if all of those options fail, and if injections fail, then they may want you to try to use pain medications ( opiates). If they do use opiate medications, expect urine testing, pill counts , monthly appointments, and other rules to make sure that you are in compliance with the doctors orders.
You really should not worry, you will be a PM's dream patient...someone coming in who doesn't want pain meds. They will be happy to treat you. And don't worry they deal with insurance hoops all the time. so they should have many different suggestions of things they can try on you to make you feel better.
Just tell them what you told us. My PM is very proactive in trying tons of new non-narcotic meds, accupuncture, injections, etc to alleviate this pain. Yours will probably do the same. It's not just about narcotics.