Pain Management - Effective Treatments

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Please describe the type of pain you suffer from, and what treatments have been effective for the pain.

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How is pain treatment guided?

The treatment of pain is guided by the history of the pain, its intensity, duration, aggravating and relieving conditions, and structures involved in causing the pain. In order for a structure to cause pain, it must have a nerve supply, be susceptible to injury, and stimulation of the structure should cause pain. The concept behind most interventional procedures for treating pain is that there is a specific structure in the body with nerves of sensation that is generating the pain. Pain management has a role in identifying the precise source of the problem and isolating the optimal treatment.

Fluoroscopy is an X-ray guided viewing method. Fluoroscopy is often used to assist the doctor in precisely locating the injection so that the medication reaches the appropriate spot and only the appropriate spot. Ultrasound is also used to identify structures and guide injections.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: NCmommakat, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 17

I am diagnosed with sciatica along with degenerative disc disorder (DDD). I suffered needlessly for years before finally referred to pain management (PM). I have maintained a dose of 30 mg morphine ER twice a day with 10 mg Percocet for breakthrough (BT) pain. Occasionally I switch to a different long acting (LA) medicine and BT medicine to keep dosage low. Pain has never gone but tolerable.

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Comment from: motorbike_crash, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 13

I had a motorbike accident in 1984 and crush fractured 4 vertebra in my lower back, T12, L2, L4 and 5. I also fractured fingers, jaw and check bones requiring 22 screws and plates to put my face back together. I have had 8 major surgeries on my lumber spine with the last 3 being re-fusions because of broken hardware, screws etc.; the last in 1996 (more plates and screws). I get urinary retention when lower back pain is bad, which was about 1 week out of 6, less muscle tone in my right calf and numbness in my right foot. My main pain is right side sciatica and lower back pain. So I could keep working, I took ever increasing doses of MS-Contin (SR morphine) and Ordine (morphine liquid) for 13 years prescribed by a pain specialist, which was really effective as long as the dose was increased about every 6 months. A year ago I got so sick of planning my life around going to doctors for prescriptions and being treated like an out of control junkie if I had to see another doctor, or be admitted to hospital for another problem and having to explain and prove how much morphine I was taking (600-800mg/day). I went to my doctor and told him I was going to stop and go through withdrawal if it killed me. He told me about a medication called Suboxone, which is used by drug and alcohol centers to get addicts off narcotics. It works similar to morphine, but doesn"t have all of the side effects. I stopped the morphine and 3 days later started the Suboxone, which was increased to 32 mg over about 4 weeks. As well as controlling my pain, I now have my life back. I can taste food again, I feel alert and clear headed, and I've lost 18kgs and no more constipation. I also take Arthrotec 75 mg BD, which is an anti-inflammatory medication for arthritis that isn"t as hard on my stomach, and I feel the best I have felt for years. I have owned a bakery for 5 years now and I can now go to work for 8 to 10 hours, 6 days/week and still feel good enough to coach my 6 year old son's soccer team after work and week-ends, something I haven"t been able to do for years. My wife is so happy to have the old me back. I haven"t had any morphine for 13 months now and I don"t miss it. I would have stopped a long time ago, but I was so afraid of my pain being out of control and the terrible withdrawal symptoms, I couldn"t stop. Every time I asked my doctor about stopping, he said morphine was the only alternative I had for controlling my pain. It wasn"t until I made a stand about stopping that he suggested trying Suboxone. It's been used in Australia for 2-3 years now as drug to withdraw heroin addicts, so it's not well known or prescribed as a pain medication. If I had known how addictive morphine was and how it affects your life, I would never have agreed to take it. I have tried not taking the Suboxone for as long as 12 days, with the only side effect being a dramatic increase in my pain after 10 days. My pain is debilitating and it works for me.

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