Chronic Pain

Question:

What steps have you taken to manage your chronic pain? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: BK, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 15

I was in a high speed car accident as a passenger on my 22nd birthday, I am now 62; and wound up with chronic pain. I continued to muddle through life but not like other people. After about 15 years of seeing doctor after doctor to get codeine for the pain so I could at the very least just keep muddling through, they finally tell me that I have a degenerative disc disease and I now need surgery. I was so happy I was finally getting someone to acknowledge that it wasn't all in my head that I couldn't say ok fast enough. Three days later I was under the knife and the pain doubled. I have never before been in so much pain as the first time waking up post operation. I have always been a person who can usually take more pain than most. Another 15 years go by and I get my 1st pain pump (Dilaudid). I have had it nearly twenty five years now and the 1st 5 were great before it began to taper off. You get used to it. Now I have no space between the lumbar vertebrae, it is bone to bone and I am not in a wheel chair yet but not far off. Funny thing is other than the pain I feel great but that spine controls everything.

Comment from: Pasha, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

The perfect candidate. It started slowly, I started having aches body wide. It hurt to just have someone rub against my skin. My Fibro entered my life at the most depressing and upsetting time. Loss of my job, boyfriend, death of my father, many family illnesses and deaths, putting down my beloved dog, Noelle, probably made my friend thought I had lost desire for him. The pain intensified. No one seemed to understand and seemed to think I was just a chronic complainer. It seemed a no-win situation. Every day became a genuine struggle just to get out of bed, get dressed, and go to my physically demanding job. There was certainly no understanding on the job front, as everyone was required to pull their own weight, which I totally understood. Eventually, I became unable to work and left the job place feeling utterly defeated and wondering how I was going to support myself. I might add that the medications that did provide some relief were not allowed on the job site, so there appeared no solution. To make my already long story shorter, I have had to apply for social security disability. As of this date, no determination has been made. In the meantime, I receive food stamps, have sold possessions, have had to rely somewhat on family and friends. Of course, most families and friends can only supply so much support. Therefore, I have put my situation in God's hands, because I truly cannot deal with all it alone.

Comment from: Terri, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

I too suffer from long term chronic pain. I have facet disk disease neuropathy and arthritis in my knees. My doctor suggests pain medication that she will put me on. Then on the next visit, she tries to take me off of it. So when I find something that works that she suggested she tries to take me off it. And now she cuts the dose in half. Now I'm on 15 milligrams of long-acting morphine and 10/325 Norco. Sounds like a lot, but my quality of life improved with these medications. I heard she is afraid of the State of California. That shouldn't be my problem. I am a legitimate patient. I should probably find another doctor who is willing to listen to me and help.

Comment from: chronicspinalpain, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 07

I'm a 55 year-old guy with long-term back pain. My PCP is a wonderful doc, but she was consistently declined to treat my pain despite my attempts at non-drug therapies. When my back films showed severe damage, all she could say was, "That's really bad, but it's probably arthritis". She tells me to take NSAIDS (that I have already maxed out on) and I'm left with pain that few could endure. I have a Ph.D. in biochemistry, so I'm not a medical doctor, but I understand that drugs could make my life bearable. My doctor won't bother. I went to a "pain clinic" and they demanded that I undergo back injections, which even my PCP says are not indicated. So I have to brave the holidays in constant moderate pain because my PCP doesn't want to prescribe pain meds. O.K., my family practice PCP wins; my chronic pain won't be treated. I won't be able to "live with it" much longer. And that will probably please my PCP. I should probably see another doctor who is more concerned with my comfort and relief.

Comment from: Suzie Q, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 31

I have been in chronic pain for a year now after a surgery. The doctor gave me medicine for depression.

Comment from: amyj86, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 15

I have been looking for another doctor and trying to get through to my doctor for over 2 years about the burning stabbing pain in both my shoulder blades that sometimes causes muscle spasms in the middle of my back where I can't move. This started after a lifting injury at work. I was unable to take more than the 3 days off that I was approved and I work 2 jobs and am barely able to pull through just enough to function at work. I have tried ice, heat, massage, light relief, over the counter pain meds, herbal creams, and Flexeril from the hospital. It helped me to where I could do more besides barely make it through. My doctor won't continue the regimen and no other doctor will see me, and it is affecting my ability to provide basic care to my clients or my pets, the conditions of my house went way downhill, I had to give up all of my hobbies because I can't handle how painful they are now, and when I'm not working, I don't get out of bed, and pray that the bed rest will get me ready for the week ahead, but it never does.

Comment from: Sick of It, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I guess you could make a shorter list with what I haven't tried, but here goes: medication for moderate pain, muscle relaxers, ultrasound, tens unit (home unit and portable unit), physical therapy /occupational therapy, pool therapy, narcotic medications, pain blockers, facet blocks, selective nerve root injections, botulism injections, surgery (artificial disc replacement), meeting with a psychologist, biofeedback,and massage therapy.

Comment from: h8me2day, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

I have gone to a chiropractor, bought a hot tub, bought a zero-gravity chair, taken opioids. The meds use to work but now been on them over a year, but my body has now become immune to my meds that I currently take. Even though my blood pressure is always elevated, I have yet to find a pain doctor to switch me to a different long acting opioid and breakthrough or raise my dose. Where are the real pain management doctors that can tell the difference between a pill head and an actual pain patient?

Comment from: jamie, Published: January 31

I had my tailbone removed that ended up getting a large abscess for which I had to have four more surgeries and had an open wound for nine months. I tried injections which helped but only for brief periods. Also did physical therapy in which I had absolutely no improvement after three months so it was discontinued. Pain meds help to an extent, but only by making pain more tolerable.

Patient Comments & Reviews

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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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