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Thread: if i could handle the pain i could do so much more

  1. #1

    if i could handle the pain i could do so much more

    i have severe pain in my upper left thigh. i am paraplegic due to car accident 15 yrs ago and the pain has only gotten worse over the years. it sucks, i cant feel touch on my legs but i can feel pain. i guees the pain is actually in my back but sends the message to my leg. i have tried neurotin and meds like that and ive done the narcotic route as well along with muscle relaxers...nothing works. the narcotics, well they eased it some, made it managable but i dont want to get hooked on pain meds again. does anyone have any suggestions??

  2. #2
    They try some antidepressents for pain management too. Lyrica also (similar to neurontin).

    But if the narcotics made it manageable for you, why not use them? They are medications, just like anything else.

    If you had actual mental problems with addiction to the drugs that is one thing. But most people who take narcotics for pain do not become addicted.

    You become physically dependant, yes - as in you can't just suddenly stop the drugs. But that applies to a lot of medications - a diabetic is physically dependant upon insulin.

    If they work for you, and don't cause you an actual addiction (not physical dependance) problem - controlling pain so you can live your life is what they are for. No need for you to suffer unnecessarily.

  3. #3
    How much neurontin did you take? And for how long? Did you use it alone? Many people use it (or Lyrica) with an tricyclic antidepressant to help neuro pain.

    In case you weren't aware, it's pretty common to feel neuropathic pain in parts of the body where you can't feel normal sensation.

  4. #4


    well with narcotics, yes they help but i get immune to them so quickly that my doc has to keep uping the dose. i was at 300mg of methadone a day when i quit using it. it was insane, i couldnt remember what i had done 10 minutes ago. i am just reaching for a differant route. i want a life. i dont remember how much neurotin i was on but i might try that route again. thank you both for your responses. has anyone tried acupuncture? i am really curious about that. sometimes in the height of a pain momment i have rubbed my left temple and it seemed to have eased it just a tad. i dont know if it was actually helping or if it just eased. you see my pain is a lot like contractions it comes and goes like lighting almost. again thank you both so much

  5. #5
    I see, you get tolerant quickly.

    We have been told that the maximum effective dose of Methaodone is 180mg per day. Sometimes they combine opiates - for example methadone + fentanyl. I do understand you may want to stay away from them however, just trying to look at all options.

    Perhaps you might want to try Lyrica instead of neurontin - some people respond better one, some to others.

    If yours is central pain, I'm not sure if the antidepressant type drugs work (others more knowledgeable on that issue on the forum can chime in I'm sure) but drugs such as amitryltaline, nortryptaline, and a newer one, Savella can be tried.

    As far as acupuncture, I think for some people it does work. Actually, there are two types - eastern and western. My (limited) understanding is that eastern inserts the needles in areas perhaps far from the pain, on the basis of the body's energy. Western is more scientific, aiming at areas where nerves are, or tense muscles (I'm low on details here, sorry). But you can look into both kinds.

  6. #6

    pain cont

    i took myself off hte methadone, and i tell you it was pure hell. it was 300mg a day it was 100mg 3 times a day. the doc which was only a family practitioner would write the script for 225 40mg wafers a month. my dad was furious when he saw the sickness i was in, and he did some research, and like you said the max dose is 180mg a day. i really dont know how he had a license. but he was only trying to help me. and the doc i had before that had me on oxycontin 80mg every 12 hrs, and the new doc wanted nothing to do with oxy so i guess this was the alter route. ayways i am glad to be done with that. and tell me if this is stange but actually benzo's help, the anxiety medicines like xanax and antivan but only for a short time so i cant take those either. and i wanted to tell someone else about this story...i took a ambien some yrs ago to help me sleep, my mother had give me one well i started to get sensation in my legs, i was feeling my toes rub together and it felt like i could move my legs it was the most amazing feeling, but when i looked down their was nothing going on, but in my head their sure was some activity. i was just wondering if anyone else had that experiance and why? about the pain,i think im going to do some research on acupuncture and talk with my doc about maybe trying neurontin again. again thank you for your responses

  7. #7
    Have you tried seeing a pain specialist, rather than just a GP? A good one will have a better understanding and more experience with the various medications. That has worked well for my wife.
    - Richard

  8. #8
    I agree, a good pain doc does sound like a good idea. I can see several problems with the things that have already been tried, and there are probably lots of others that haven't been tried.

  9. #9

    Your post is interesting. I am sorry you have the pain.

    You say the pain can come on like lightning. Does that mean the pain quality is electric, shooting, or lancinating; or are you using the term simply to describe the suddenness of its appearance.

    Does the pain have a burning quality? Any other qualities. Does it feel like pain you could have felt prior to the injury, or is it a new kind of pain, ie. is it strange. Does the touch of clothing on the painful area make it worse?

    Your story is pretty typical. Opiates help but tolerance develops. It has always made me wonder if the opiates are hitting the pain or if the person is just sedated. Maybe it doesn't matter. The pain clinic gave me very high doses of opiate IV as a test and it did nothing for the pain.

    A pain specialist is great if you can afford it. Here, an initial workup is fifteen thousand dollars. They use more or less the same meds as other docs so sometimes it feels like the money was spent without permanent help. Methadone plus fentanyl or fentanyl alone is fairly popular, but fentanyl is just a more potent opiate than methadone, so you may or may not encounter tolerance problems there also. I am not clear that if you develop tolerance on opiate X, so you then go to one half the dose opiate X plus one half the dose of opiate Y that progress has been made.

    Synergism is popular to avoid side effects at high doses, but if the two drugs are both opiates, I am not sure if you really wind up better off. No question fentanyl is powerful, but there is still the question of efficacy for central pain, AND development of tolerance, AND the problem of addiction on the more powerful opiates.

  10. #10
    Fifteen thousand dollars????? Wow. Here, it's always just been the cost of a regular doctor's visit, not something so horrendous. I believe you of course, just - wow.

    I'm not sure if a cross-tolerance occurs either. I suspect some at least.

    As far as mixing opiates, I'm not sure why it works - but I have been told it does. Methadone is an NMDA antagonist in addition, so I think that's why it is combined with others.

    I probably sound repetitive, but it is a "thing" of mine - people who take opiates for pain rarely become addicted. Dependant, yes - but not addicted. If someone has had an actual past addiction problem (and perhaps even then) I hate to see people live in pain, because of the fear of addiction.

    There are plenty of reasons to avoid opiates when possible, but imo fear of addiction (without such a past) shouldn't be a big one.

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