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Pain in Vertebral Osteoarthitis

Started by brendaheyland on 04/22/2010 5:42am

2 years ago I could walk upright. Then I began to suffer pain in my back especially the thorasic and lumbar regions. Over the last 2 years I have developed a forward stoop which again causes extra pain. My GP said it was osteoarthritis and an X-ray confirmed that. I have been on morphine both liquid and slow release tablets for over 18 months. Also I take 8 Tramadol tablet a day. The pain is there evryday and my GP says there is nothing more he can do All this is aggrevated by my diabetic neuropathy which causes pains at times very severe in my abdomen. There again the drugs help. What could I do to improve my situation? It looks like the medical world has written me off..

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Brenda;

Don't give up!

My recommendation to you is to see a pain management doctor. That's the first step. They know about all the different drugs, the spinal cord stimulator and pain pump. Just get somebody that looks at all of the options (I had one push the scs; he worked with the company that makes them). I am now seeing a pain doc who put me on 3 different medications. He says you have to attack this with a combination method (I had a spinal cord tumor in 1988 and started having horrible pain and numbness about a couple of years ago). I just started them Tuesday and they are giving me some relief.

I wish you luck and freedom from pain!

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Consider physiotheraphy,. This is really helpful. You need not depend on such powerful medicines.
These drugs are habit forming. Consider drugs with lesser side effects. Learn some spine exercises. Heat treament is useful. Consider taking Panadol extend (Paracetamol) tablets that have been introduced for osteoarthritis.

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One of the effects that arthritis can have on the spine is an corresponding inflammation of the peripheral nerves within the facet joints (which is where the arthritis usually occurs). I have this in my cervical spine and lumbar spine (confirmed with tests) - I wouldn't be surprised if it was in my thoracic spine although that is asymptomatic. What I have done, after confirming pain relief with nerve blocks, is a procedure called radiofrequency neurolysis. What this does is essentially killing those peripheral nerves that may be causing the pain, which can also radiate. I was ready for an implantable morphine pump or a spinal cord stimulator before being introduced to this procedure. Pain relief typically last 9-12 months, as the peripheral nerves do grow back and become inflamed again. These procedures are usually performed by pain management specialists, including physiatrist (specializes in pain management) or an anesthesiologist that is a part of a pain management practice. I would obtain a referral to one of these two types of doctors. They really can do a world of good. Seeing as you have a stoop, you may need physical therapy to strengthen back muscles after the procedures have been done.

Hope this helps!

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You *absolutely* should go to a pain management doctor. It sounds like you are taking too much Tramadol. One reason is that Tramadol is a non-narcotic alternative to either Percocet or Vicodin. It often does not work as well as the narcotics.

By going to a real pain doctor you should be able to find a more effective medicine for your neuropathic pain. Don't give up but seeing a real pain doctor is essential. Also, make sure that the pain doctor is not opposed to drugs. I am not advocating drug use, per se. But a lot of pain management treatments are worthless and a lot of doctors are hesitant to prescribe narcotics.

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