Chronic Pain

Question:

Please describe what treatments have been effective for your chronic pain. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Cindy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 02

I have been taking tramadol for chronic pain for 17 years and have tried solutions with diet, exercise, vitamins, Lyrica, gabapentin and even cannabis but can get no relief except with tramadol and ibuprofen. They think it could be rheumatoid arthritis but I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at the time I got the tramadol. Now it is considered a controlled substance! I do not want a drug that is going to cause bad side effects and have none with tramadol.

Comment from: JCR, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 25

I know how horrible chronic back pain can be. After a car accident, I had debilitating pain for seven years. I had been to various doctors and done physical therapy throughout that time period. Stretches worked when I was sore, but sometimes the pain was so intense that I could hardly get out of bed. I have even had to take days or weeks off of work due to the pain. I have been living in Barcelona for the past five years. It's here where I found a doctor who finally really listened to my symptoms and understood my problem. Other doctors had mentioned surgery, but my doctor didn't think that I would improve with surgery. Instead he offered me a less invasive treatment, cortisone injections in some joints of my spine called facet joints. His work was seriously life changing! I haven't felt so normal since before my back issues began. Even if you have to pay for a flight and a few nights of a hotel, it would be worth it to finally relieve the pain! Another major perk is that medical costs in Barcelona are exponentially less expensive than they are in the States, especially if you are under or uninsured, and many doctors, like mine, are fluent in English. I have been pain free for more than a year and I couldn't be more grateful.

Comment from: Kimberly, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I have had chronic myofascial pain and neuropathic pain for six years. I took anti-seizure drugs to help with the pain in the nerves and had weekly trigger point injections for years. In addition, I was taking Tylenol 3s, and Celebrex to try to control the pain. Nothing has worked as well as Lyrica. Now, instead of 2,800 mg of Neurontin, I take 225 mg of Lyrica. I have dropped the Celebrex and take Tylenol 3s rarely! Lyrica has changed my life, and after six years, I am finally ready to get back to work and living!

Comment from: justice, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

I am 72 and have had chronic pain for over 30 years due to a car wreck that was not my fault. I have been taking hydrocodone 7.5 for years due to back and neck pain and I have arthritis that is severe. Last month my doctor shut me off of my medicines and said there was nothing she could do about it so I am in pain and don't know what to do. I tried to get in to pain management. I can't get in till November. I don't know what I am going to do, I can't live with this pain, and I am unable to anything without suffering.

Comment from: Margaret Petitti , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 22

You name it, I did everything that was asked. I have chronic pain from arthritis and fibromyalgia. I did pain management, surgery, physical therapy, needles in knees, back, etc. I live in pain every day and every night since 5 years now. I am trying to get help from anyone who knows a good doctor who will help me with pain medication and I cannot find anyone. I have no quality of life, I need help.

Comment from: loise, (Patient) Published: May 09

I was suffering from chronic pain. I took many treatments and medicines, but no improvement was seen. Then somebody suggested to me to go to a pain management center for the chronic pain treatment. Professional and experienced doctors treated me in a calm way. I did not have to wait any more for the consultation with the doctor. The staff was very cooperative, experienced, and helpful. Now there is no pain.

Comment from: Mollymoo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 28

I have burning tongue syndrome, a terrible disease where your tongue literally 'burns' all the time. It feels as though you've burnt your tongue but the pain never subsides. I have had this problem for approximately 10 plus years. It causes depression, anxiety, and weight gain as the pain feels better on a full stomach. I take hydrocodone twice daily, gabapentin 3 times a day, Protonix, Xanax for anxiety and Cymbalta for the depression. Regardless, I still have pain. It is a little known disease, with little known causes and treatments. Salty foods help along with frozen drinks. Good luck to anyone who has this terrible plight.

Comment from: Judy Brown, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 11

I have been suffering for quite some time after my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) re-construction surgery. Though I am able to walk now, the pain has not diminished. So I have started consulting pain management doctors. And it has helped me quite a lot. So I would suggest others as well not to take pain into consideration and move on.

Comment from: randyc305, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 22

I have several herniated discs and had surgery 25 years ago. I had been in auto, workplace accident and since then I was off work for 3 years. Nothing helped the pain, if anything worked it was Demerol, it put me to sleep. I started 80 mg Oxycontin 2 weeks later, the doctor got me back to work, and I worked 6 more years. Still 16 years later, I take five 80 mg, five 5 mg Roxicontin for breakthrough. I have 6 herniated discs, carpal tunnel, no cartilage in both shoulders, and arthritis. I want to fuse thumb, replace both shoulders, fix carpal tunnel, and hernia, and that would require 10 years of surgery and recovery. Oxycontin lets me have a life, I could not walk or do any daily activities.

Comment from: Jeanne, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 29

My husband has suffered from chronic pain for 20+ years. The location is referred to as the lower right quadrant. The pain comes and goes about every 3 hours and the morning pain is the worst. There has been no actual diagnosis and he now takes 30 mg of morphine twice a day but still cannot function normally when the pain occurs. I feel that it is not helping and must be increased. He must be away from people, remove outer clothing as if it is restrictive and either lies on the carpet or sits on the couch, leaning away from his right side. He cannot have conversation at this time and tries to read magazines to control his thoughts. Only time changes this pain and when it is gone, he is back to normal. The only time the pain went away in 20 years was when he was hospitalized for histoplasmosis. We have list available of doctors and pain clinics he has been to, medications that have been tried and procedures that were tried. He did have some improvement when he was taking oxycontin and clonozopam, but the doctors didn't want to continue with these drugs.

Comment from: psspurgeon1, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I have sacroiliitis and have had it for 2.5 years. I have had around 12 shots over the last two years for it. Part of them were just a regular Cortizone type injection, some were into my hip joint for bursitis and the rest were put into my ball and socket with ultrasound guidance. Not one single procedure has helped. I have begged for surgery but my condition does not warrant surgery nor would it benefit from it according to several doctors. I have two small children to take care of on a daily basis as I am a stay at home mom and it is so hard to get through the day sometimes. What I am using right now is a combination of somewhat scary narcotics and it controls it enough for me to function to care for my children. I don't know what the future holds for me as I am sure I will become intolerant to the Avinza (which is a time release morphine) and the Norco, but for now it is all I can do. I have also considered a spinal block but my doctor doesn't agree so I seem to have run out of options.

Comment from: lp532014, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 06

I've had whiplash injuries and have osteoarthritis, masked for 12 years on a pain med that made me like Superwoman. Now that medication has been labeled as a narcotic in my state (Indiana) and I'm suffering big time! Withdrawals are so severe I can't work in the caregiving field, dress myself without severe spasms, etc. I'm trying aquatic therapy and Epsom salt soaks. I'm getting better so far.

Comment from: always in pain, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

I suffer from severe fibromyalgia pain and severe chronic lower back pain. Pain medication has been the only thing that has EVER really truly helped me. I've tried Lyrica, Cymbalta, gabapentin, Neurontin, Ultram, tramadol, muscle relaxers, and over the counter medications. I'm scheduled to go to a pain management doctor so I'm hoping I'll get some pain medication for my agony.

Comment from: becky, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

Oxycontin doses get higher when the pain gets worse from arthritis. Still, I'm staying somewhat active helps but at the end of the day I go to bed with an electric blanket wrapped around me. I can't hardly get out of bed in the mornings. Pain meds make me not want to do anything including cleaning house or going to work. My health ins. is $800/month with $5000 deductible. I can no longer afford to pay it so now in the process of finding something else which seems impossible and I just made an appointment with my doctor to get off the Oxycontin.

Comment from: gizmo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

After suffering severe CHRONIC PAIN for over fifteen years I finally had found a Doctor who truly cared and tried his best to keep me as pain free as possible and at the same time functioning on a daily basis. As I read in the Chronic Pain Article I was taking long term acting Kadian (morphine) also short term lasting roxicodone. I finally had my life back. I'm able to do my own housework and shopping.

Comment from: Katie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I found this article very helpful. I have suffered chronic severe pain for a number of years. I was totally incapacitated by this until I was referred to the Pain Management Clinic at a fine medical center. The combination of medications tailored to my situation, radio frequency lesioning, staff support, physical therapy with a therapist that understands my situation and pool therapy in a warm pool have allowed me to return to a almost normal life. Of course I still have limitations, but I have been given an arsenal of strategies to treat my pain as it changes throughout the days and months of my life. I have been able to return to my life, and my career as a professional artist, and can now go shopping and walking and do most of the things, within limits, that were impossible before. It is vital for me to "work" the program set up for me. Best of all the joy has returned to my life.

Comment from: rose, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 15

I have a number of health problems. I have severe arthritis in my right leg and hip. I use a cane or walker most of the time. I'm on oxygen 24x7 for C.O.P.D., and I have been fighting with depression for 20 years. And I'm in so much pain at night that I'm up and down all night. My doctor put me on morphine 12 hour caps.

Comment from: functioningsenior, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 25

My chronic pain is severe. I have been going to pain clinics since approximately 2000 and have been taking Gabapentin for that time. Also, I have been given spinal injections about every six months. So far these procedures have worked. I am told that spinal injections tend to "not" work at some point. I hope not because Gabapentin has limitations, causing dizziness that does not go away at higher doses.

Comment from: gpfmaci, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: February 17

My Father is 82 years old and is suffering with chronic arthritis in his hip. He also has a defibrillator pacemaker which I believe prevents him from some of the treatments available. He has had many steroid shots and they have never helped. His doctor said he could not take NAIDS because of his heart. He has taken vicodin but he gets severely constipated. So, his quality of life is terrible. So if anybody knows of any treatment my Dad could use please let me know.

Comment from: Living Life, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 18

Everything in this article is true and please take it to heart!! It is quite simple; you control the pain or the pain will control you. My regret, not taking more pain medications. Every day I face a choice to be in bed or take the pain pills. I have support from my family and friends every day. They encourage me to take my pain meds because everyone else especially the doctors tell me not to. They are afraid for their license, cost of meds and who knows what else, but not concerned about patient well being. There is more ignorance among doctors in the chronic pain field than anywhere else. The information is there they just want to close their eyes to it!! They would rather have patients suffer in pain than do what is medically appropriate.

Published: May 20

I have been on many medicines. The most effective for me was oxycontin. Methadone works well also, but duragesic made me too sick to tolerate even after being on it for 6 months. Dilaudid worked for a time but has a fast tolerance rate. Be careful with this or any strong opioid.

Comment from: sara, 45-54 Female Published: January 20

I have had chronic pain for the past 9yrs. I've taken Oxycocets then went to OxyContin 80gms. I have been on them for about 7 years. My doctor told me I would probably be on them rest of my life, but now my doctor got suspended in giving out narcotics.

Patient Comments & Reviews

Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCES:

The American Chronic Pain Association.

World Health Organization. WHO's pain ladder.

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