I'm done. I have a bad herniated disc in l5-s1 from falling off a horse. I have shooting stabbing pain down both legs into my knees. I also have horrible tension headaches and migraines due to a bad neck. I've not wanted surgery on my back (I'm 19, I don't need a fused disc) and so I've done two rounds of platelet rich injections (prp) into my back. This has been going on for years. My back is a little better (40% better) but the shooting pain down my legs are worse. I'm on full dose gabapentin and take hydrocodone daily. My tolerance for hydros are so high they don't work. I can't take it anymore. Nothing helps. Not even my pool exercises. I'm at a loss. If this doesn't work we go to stem cell in my back which is super expensive and we may not afford it. I'm so upset.
Zooy, have you seen a pain specialist? I went through 2 years of epidural steroid injections (ESI's), 3 injx to each level of spine (cerv/thoracic/lumbar/sacral), twice per level. It has been 2 years since my last series and my cervicogenic/migraine headaches & sciatica has only returned since October. The ESI's deaden/block the pain sensations in the nerves. Years ago I had cervical disc fusions ('92 & '95) due to ruptured pressing on nerves, and the surgery was instant relief from pain. My neck discs started bothering me again around 2008-2009. The areas above & below the fusions are deteriorating now, and I need surgery to repair them but the risk is too ugh for paralyzing me due to the location of damage. If you haven't checked into nerve blocks you might want to give them a try. Everything has its risk, even meds, but sometimes the risk is worth taking. It took all 3 injx at each level before I felt any true & lasting relief. And if my memory serves me correctly the 1st injx actually worsened the pain for about 2weeks. But ice packs are important the first 24-48 hours, due to swelling around the nerves. The doc forgot to tell me that until I called them crying. They moved my 2nd injx up 2 weeks, and it was easier.
If you're not opposed to continue to want relief using meds & Hydrocodone (assuming you are on 10's) has ceased to help, it's probably time to move up to Oxycodone (15mg IR). Talk to your doc about your tolerance issues. He should know about tolerance build up, but if he's not willing, seek out a pain specialist that is not opposed to treating with pain meds. -Also look into Lyrica for the nerve pain. Lyrica helped with my nerve pain & potentates the opiates as well.
I have a bad l5 s1, but no idea how it got like it is... On top of fibro and all the rest. What about a TENS unit? We know nothing short of fusion will fix me, but this little box zaps away enough pain that I can walk and do what needs to be done on the worst days. You can get a fairly good unit on Amazon starting at about $35.
I know what your feeling. In Jan 2014 back surgery fusion lumbar rods and screws.2015 Oct Lt knee total replacement osteoarthritis most of joints. Now myneck and upper back starting. Unable to work for two years. Fight depression and anxiety ups and downs daily. Hard to be positive
I have to say my spinal cord stimulator by Boston Scientific really helped my leg pain that I have due to CRPS. Zero medications helped me, but that did. So you never know, you might find something that helps you! It takes a lot more trial and error then you might think, but that's why being a doctor is called " a practice" they are always learning!
If your doctor won't prescribe you a tens unit you can get one that's a lot cheaper and works just as well. About your medication problems, do you have a pàin doctor? They are trained in pain meds, and usually will work with you to find a drug that gives you relief. I've used lydocaine patches, fentynyl patches(wouldn't recommend unless you enjoy vomiting a lot) I take a lot of morphine. A lot of people fear morphine but I couldn't have survived without it. Nothing takes care of the pain completely but morphine hrelps me along with other drugs. Like lyrics, oxycodone without Tylenol, zanaflex which is a muscle relaxer.