I was injured back in Oct of 2010 and again in Jan of 2011 during military training and suffer from chronic pain in my knees and back. I dont have a complete diagnosis but I had stress fractures in both tibias near my knees, something going on with the sciatic nerve in my lower back, and possibly some ligament issues in my knees. (Dont know for sure without an MRI). Well, I ended up getting pregnant shortly after the second injury while I was home on leave in Feb 2011 and was discharged from the military. I am home now and I still experience horrible pain in my knees and back everyday that has continuously gotten worse without treatment.
The problem is I cannot find any doctor that will treat me with injections, medication, or anything. They simply stated they wont touch me. I keep getting told to "take tylenol". I have been taking tyelnol...lots of it. It just doesnt help. My OB prescribed 5mg hydrocodone and stated it was safe for me to take during my pregnancy. (I'm 6mos now). However, it was only a week supply. That week I was able to kind of get back to the life I had prior to being injured back in Oct and it felt good to not be confined to the couch or my bed. I just dont know if my OB will be willing to treat for a chronic pain/injury that has nothing to do with his own specialty.
I've done some research online and found a few articles written by MDs stating it is safe to take opioids during pregnancy without significant risk to the baby. I just cant stand being in so much pain everyday. I dont know what to do...it seems no one will help me. How can this be fair?
welcome to the boards! First-thank you for serving our country. It is appreciated.
Pregnancy is a hard one. Even when I had my oldest(32 year ago) they were starting to cract down on how they handled meds. I do remember that I had trouble with my back then and my doctor oferred to give me valium. this has a natural muscle relaxer in it. Personally it did nothing for me. The problems that you GYN is having is that there is only a few meds out there that they feel safe giving to a preg. woman. The list varies from tri mester to tri mester.
Have you tried using heat or ice? 15 MIN. on then off. I found that to work better than I had hoped. Also bio-freeze is great. It's a gel or spray that you put on and it drops the pain. You may have to order it from on line as the only place I have seen it is the Chiroprator's office.
I don't think that the doctors mean to try to make your life miserable. It's just that they don't want to take a chance that anything would happen to either the baby or you.. it's a great personal risk that they are taking to do that. I have gone through it.
Sooo, you need to start trying the aternatives that are availbable. Heat and Ice. Try accupuncture, massages. Ask your doc for lidoderm patches. The provide relief to the area that it is slapped on. Work on this and you should see some reliefe. Maybe not as much as you would like, but it may help your pain.
Good luck and heep us posted about your little one.
Thank you for responding...
Yes I've tried all that. Ice, heat, Icy-Hot...etc. It helps slightly but not enough. This is just frustrating since I know of other pregnant women who recieve treatment for their pain. I'm just at my wits end now. I still have 3+ mos to go before this baby is born. What am I supposed to do? Stay in horrible pain until then...how is that truly fair. Its not like I dont have a legitimate injury...I have medical records that prove there is an issue. No one besides my OB will even touch me because of "liability" and I understand. Its their license..not mine.
I realize how hard it can be to manage chronic pain during pregnancy, I've had 2 kids and been doing this since I was 17. You will be very very lucky if you find a Dr. that is willing to treat you in your current condition for one reason and one reason only. No matter whether it's safe for you or not, every narcotic you take will cross the placenta and also go straight to the baby. There's a big difference between what's deemed "safe" and what's best for your baby.
If you were to be on a narcotic med schedule, theres a very high chance that your baby would be born with a drug addiction. A newborn going through withdrawl is not a pretty site.
So, I think your best course of action is to see if your OB/Gyn will RX for you for times when it's absolutey necesary, and for pain management on a whole look for non-narcotic treatment. Taking tylenol all day is not the best plan either as it can damage your and your baby's liver/kidneys.
Probably Advil or Alieve would be a better med, use with heat/cold, lydoderm patches, Voltaren gel....stuff like that. Trust me I do understand how difficult this is for you, but right now you have to think of your baby more than yourself.
I cant take any NSAIDS at all.. The risk of bleeding associated with it is apparently too high. Trust me, I've already inquired. My child wont be born "addicted"...possibly dependent but not addicted...and that is only if I am taking a narcotic right before delivery. My OB currently rx 5mg hydrocodone and I'm waiting on an MRI possibly next week. I've been told to "just take tylenol" by every other Dr besides my OB and thats just ridiculous to be taking massive amounts of tylenol...completely unsafe. I would like to have a functioning liver by the end of my pregnancy. However, I think most Drs behave as if every patient is naive or ignorant. I've been well educated and know the risks as well as the benefits of the treatments I've sought still to be treated as if I'm "untouchable". Even my OB said to me today "being pregnant is like having leprosy...no one wants to touch you". I would just like to find an open-minded Dr the is not stuck in the past. There has been alot of research about the safety of certain narcotics and the use of injections to give a pregnant patient a better quality of life. This constant pain causes unnecessary stress on myself AND my baby. I'm not just thinking of myself here.
The following user gives a hug of support to ramstress: bunny23 (07-20-2011)
I'm currently pregnant, and take only Tylenol for pain, despite the fact that I have frequent and terrible headaches and Tylenol really doesn't work on them.
With my previous deliveries, I was given Demerol during labor, so that must be safe... unless maybe it's only safe during labor, but not earlier in the pregnancy.
My other pregnancies, also, were 21 and 22 years ago, so I don't even know whether they still give Demerol to laboring women. Seems all I hear about these days is epidurals, which I'm not willing to do. I hope they still give Demerol, as it worked just dandy for me the last 2 times.
I guess I'll find out in November, lol.
Have you had injections that have been successful? With your pregnancy, there is no guarantee that they would work this go around.
Seeing you are having issues with getting sufficient meds to control the pain I would ask for lidoderm patches and Voltaren Gel. Both are scripts and both work on the pain where they are placed/rubbed. I'm sorry I can't offer more, but these would give you some relief.
No I havent tried the injections yet but I'm willing to try anything at this point to feel better. I just want my life back. I want to be active again. I miss running. I dont think I can use the Volteran Gel. Its still an NSAID and will get absorbed into my body.
There is no guarantee that the injections would work. It's a crap shoot for most people. And your body may react differently being pregnant. I am one of the lucky ones who gets 9m-year relief form a caudal injection.
The thing with the gel is that it doesn't affect your organs. It is absorbed into your skin where the pain is-and it hits the pain, but that is the extent of it.
Well so far my OB has been treating me with medication and has ordered an MRI. I'm extremely happy with my OB...hes a very good Dr. Dont wanna lose him. Just trying to find someone ELSE to help me has been next to impossible.
I can't imagine the pain when you can't use opiod meds. When we realized my back wouldn't tolerate a pregnancy we chose not to have kids and I immediately had my tubes tied. I think a high risk ob/gyn will be necessary as you could be on bed rest the majority of your pregnancy. The high risk would probably be open to a planned c-section (laboring with back problems would be very tough if not impossible). Perhaps at different stages of pregnancy there will be meds that can be used along the way.
As of right now I'm on 5mg hydrocodone...about 3 to 4 a day. OB is fine with that...he rx'd them to me because no other Dr will even give me the time of day concerning pain management. The medication helps...alot actually. I can actually get out of bed and off the couch.
I finally get to have an MRI on my knees and back next week I think. My OB has really been a tremendous help...hes my hero right now..lol