I am a new to this posting on this board.
I've been a PM patient for the past 10 years. My neck issues started after a car accident 21 years ago.
5 years ago my new (and current) PM doctor said I was half way to needing surgery. In an attempt to avoid the knife, I've run the gauntlet of conservative treatments; PT (many rounds), chiropractic, massage and neuro-muscular therapy, heat, ice, various injections. I took Neurontin for years before starting with this PM. He prefers Baclofen. My pain has been treated with cervical facet injections 1-2 times a year, Lortab 7.5/500 and 10mg Baclofen - both 3X a day. Well, this isn't cutting it anymore.
My pain is largely left sided. Neck, shoulder, upper arm. Also pain in upper back and clavicle area.
My last MRI indicates:
C4-5: mild disc bulge and moderate facet degenerative changes.
C5-6: Right central disc osteophyte complex, focally narrowing the right anterior canal and producing right sided foraminal narrowing. Mass effect upon the right anterior cord is present.
C 6-7: Left central disc extrusion entirely filling the left root exit zone.
I know osteophytes don't go away, but can disc extrusions heal on their own? My doc doesn't think I need a new MRI unless I develop new symptoms. Is increased pain considered a new symptom
? The end of June I had facet injections at 4 levels and the relief was not what I used to get from them. I've been on the same dose Lortab for the last 8 years. Yes, 8 years
! For whatever reason I haven't built up a tolerance to this dose or maybe I'm just stoic and stubborn. What will my PM think in regards to me being on same meds for so long and suddenly asking for something stronger? .
Over the years when pain got unbearable, PCP would Rx a small amount of Oxycodone. It got me through bad flare ups and then I'd just go back to the Lortab. I have not had to sign a contract, do pill counts etc. I don't want to create any issues.
But now this is no longer adequate, having more bad pain days than ever and am scared to death to ask for something stronger. I am seeing him on Friday and don't know the right adjectives to use to get better pain management. When I had my last injections I asked him if there way anything else I could do and he said "No, other than surgery. And there is no guarantee surgery would relieve all my pain". Woud PT be of any help at this stage?
Sorry, I'm scattered and rambling.... Pain is bad today. Just wanted to introduce myself and get started posting. I know the stronger meds question gets asked all the time here, but I'm really at a loss for words. I need some support from those who understand chronic pain and the associated PM pains.
Thanks in advance for ny replies.