Discussions that mention vicodin

Back Problems board

For the past year, I have been experiencing extreme muscle tension in my neck at the base of my skull. My actual pain level is minimal at the moment, but the muscle tension is about to do me in. It has pretty much consumed my life. My head feels like it weighs 50 pounds. I had an MRI last September which showed DDD, three bulging disks (C-5/6 and C 6/7 being the worst) and a straigtening of the cervical spine.

I've been through physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and massage with no relief. Yesterday I had my first appointment with an orthopedic neck/back doctor. He suggested the pain management clinic for injections. I've got vacation plans for the next few weeks (how I am going to get through that is another story), so at this point, the doctor prescribed Ibuprofen (just regular 200 mg. Motrin, two tablets three times a day), Vicodin 5 500 mg. and Soma 350 mg. I will go back to see him in approximately a month to see how I am doing.

I will admit that I am fearful of taking new medications. The Motrin I have no problem with although it doesn't seem to provide much of any relief. I cut one of the Soma tablets in half last night and took that. Other than making me drowsy, I don't feel like it helped much either.

My questions are: Does it take the Soma awhile (i.e. several days of usage) to relax the muscles? Do I need to just keep taking this to see what happens? The RX is for one tablet three times a day, which would most likely have me sleeping all day long. I will probably only take this before bed.

The other question is: Since I am not in a great day of pain, and my complaint is more the muscle tension, should I even mess with the Vicodin? This is the one that scares me the most. The doctor said that pain is often masked as muscle tension and the muscles are tense to "protect." The RX for this is also one tablet three times a day.

Finally, the Vicodin has acetaminophen in it and is that okay to take on top of the Motrin?

I browse this board all the time and you guys seem to know a great deal about these things. Any replies would be appreciated.
I have 600mg ibuprofen, but don't take it as much as I would like. I am just leery of the liver thing and long term useage. I have been on Vicodin forever it seems and think my body has gotten use to it and can take it and work. You can even break them in half if need be. I have percocet and it seems to work better than the vicodin if my pain level gets higher at times. Now mind you I don't take the pain meds every day and when I do take them, I am very careful to only take one maybe two a day. Yesterday I didn't take any, today so far none. But that is rare. And sometimes I take a couple plain ole Tylenol before bed. You will just have to see what works for you and how much you can tolerate and be mobile(like on vacation) I feel for you and the vacation factor. The stress level goes thru the roof right before our vacations over the past several years, in wondering if I can do it.
Thank you all for your replies. You have been quite helpful. As I mentioned in my original post, I tend to be a bit fearful of taking new drugs (okay maybe more than a bit). I started the first night with the Soma and took only half of the tablet. Other than making me very sleepy, it didn't seem to have much effect on relaxing the muscles in my neck. I seriously doubt that I could take these three times a day at full dosage. I would be asleep the entire day. I am a bit worried about taking even the half of a Soma on a regular basis, as I already have problems with sleep. I do NOT want to become dependent upon these to sleep.

Skipped the second day and just took two Motrin twice during the day.

Took half of the Soma the third day and had a great night's sleep. Other than that, still no effect on the muscles. I know I am not taking the full prescribed amount and this may be why the muscles aren't cooperating.

Yesterday I took one Motrin twice during the day and, I decided to try half of a Vicodin. I had no adverse reaction to the Vicodin and no sleepiness with this. The only thing I noticed was that I did have some random muscle twitches in my body, which could be just plain stress. Kind of had a rough night sleep wise. Fell asleep just fine but couldn't stay asleep and was awake for most of the night.

At this point, I am not sure what I am going to do. My neck muscles are screaming for some kind of relief and I just can't figure out what to do to get them to ease up! I have a prescription for Xanax as needed and to be quite honest, the Xanax seems to relax the muscles more than the Soma. I am well aware of the risks of taking Xanax on a regular basis so I know that this probably isn't the greatest of options either.

If anyone else has any input, I would love to hear more. Thank you again.