Discussions that mention lidoderm

Pain Management board

I have been trying to come up with a long term plan to deal with my chronic pain from arthritis, post op fusion (lumbar), small bulges in neck, and tight sore burning muscles. So far, I don't have a good plan and would like some feedback. I do see a dr regarding this, but he isn't much of a helper. I have to kinda tell him what I want. This clinic isn't really a pain clinic-they don't deal with narcotics.
So, my previous help has been:
I got physical therapy a few times, never seemed to help. maybe it was my fault and I didn't keep up with it long enough at home. I use heat and little ice-the heat helps more. I have had some manipulation, but with the bulges and fusion I don't think that is a way to go, unless I go back to using the activator method. I feel my upper back out a lot and I can't get it back. I have done the TENS unit. NAda there. I have had botox, and really that is great. BUT, i can't keep getting this every three months! THe long term effects of amounts that big isn't known, it is expensive (well, out of pocket was only 100.00) and the first two weeks are hell, my muscles burn so bad on my traps I can't hardly stand it, but it goes away. I have lidoderm patches for that, but they are expensive too! 45.00 for ten patches! I was taking Ultram religously and decided to try the ER, but that does diddly.
I can't disclose my profession, but let's just say I hold life in my hands.
I really have stayed off narcotics for some time, but I don't know if I can! Anyone here take Oxycontin, MS Contin or other extended release meds? I think if I just take one in the am and one at night or just even one when I get up that might keep my Ultram use at bay (I take nearly the max dose of Ultram a day!. I just don't know with work how it would make me FEEL. I have to be on top of my game, I can't be in la la land or feel fuzzy.
Any thoughts, suggestions, what ever would be great.
Oh, I did have a series of ESI in my neck, the first day I had zero pain in the problem area, then it came back and the second dose didn't help at all.
Please, I really could use some direction.
Oh, the fusion isn't really all that bad, after a long day I might be bothered, but for the most part it is fine.