Discussions that mention lidoderm

Pain Management board

I've posted a couple times on here, but I am sort of lost recently.

I have had chronic back pain for about 14 years, after I was in a car accident in high school--injured my thoracic spine and had some pretty bad whiplash.

Cut to a few years ago and it has started getting worse and worse. Of course I don't really tell anyone and just deal with it on my own, because I have some sort of weird shame or something. Haven't even told my primary who takes care of everything else.

Anyway, it got to the point where I had to do something this past summer. I found a physiaatrist and started seeing him. We tried ultram, skelaxin, lidoderm patchs. Later moved on to norcos and trigger point injections (I've had about 5 rounds of those).

I got scared about the norcos because I was taking more and more to get the same relief and was worried about being dependent on a med. I stopped taking them altogether at the first of the year.

After that I started to see a therapist, acupuncturist, and most recently a chiropractor. The therapist is helping with some of the shame issues, the acupuncture helps while I have the needles in, but no long lasting results, and the chiro hurt me (I think). I was in a world of pain after my first adjustment last week, and actually had to take a couple Norcos because I couldn't even function.

I've been back to the chiro 2 more times since, and he doesn't seem to be increasing the pain anymore. According to my xrays, he said I have pretty significant cervical disc degeneration for my age (30). He wants to see me twice a week for a month, then we'll reassess.

Anyway, I don't have a real firm diagnosis. My physiatrist did order MRIs, but no disc problems/herniations, thank god. I don't really know what's going on and he never shared the full report with me.

I'm so torn about pain meds. After I stopped the norco I started taking Etodolac 3 times a day, but my bowels have been in knots, and I really can't tell a difference in taking it or not. He also gave me soma, which just sort of makes me loopy. The norcos help, but I am being very conservative and only taking 2 at night when I can't deal with the pain anymore (been going on last 5 days).

So I don't know what to do. The pain doc was concerned about me maxing out the norcos and wanted to switch me to a long-acting medicine, but I was so scared of those I declined several times. Now I'm not so sure what's better. Do the long-acting meds have less dependency risks because you don't have that up and down?

Also, my wife wants me to see a spine doc and get a firm diagnosis. Does this sound like what I should do? Is that an orthopedic doctor? I just don't know what to do. And I feel like I am trying everything as far as alternative treatments.

Oh, did I mention I'm an athlete? This has been making everything that much harder, because I know my training is hurting me. I've laid off it the last 4 days, which is huge for me.

Anyway, thanks for wading through all this