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Re: Managing chronic pain

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Message 11 of 54
In America we provide heathcare to 80 or 90 percent of our population.

There is a clear need for pain pills in a certain percent of medically insured people.

But people without medical coverage need help as much or more than those with health care insurance. Because they have as much pain as anyone else and they have no access to other medical treatments (back surgery etc.).

Of course they are using illegal drugs. They have no choice, because legal help is not available to them.

Our government seems to think that clamping down on prescription drugs will help reduce illegal drug use. But like prohabition did, it will only make more people find help on the blackmarket.

Making something illegal does not cure pain. And assuming that all illegal drug use is not for pain relief is not accurately assessing what is going on. I know that if the government took away my pain pills, i would go to the black market for help. Life is just not worth living if you have no joy in your life, and finding joy while you are doulbled up in pain is something I could never figure out how to do.
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Re: Managing chronic pain

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Message 12 of 54
The American Geriatrics Society calls it persistent pain rather than chronic pain. Most medical references describe chronic pain as lasting longer than three months and not being curable. Often associated with depression, fatigue, and irritability.
Long term acetaminophen has the potential for liver problems. Long term medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen including the prescription versions have risks of stomach and kidney problems. In fact they are a common cause of kidney failure. They also increase your risk for heart disease.
Right now opioid are the only thing that works for severe chronic pain. They are not addicting to all people, although tolerance does develop it is different than addiction. The problem is with people that misuse them and sell them. When used properly the person is more functional and alert. When misused they are just the opposite.
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Re: Managing chronic pain

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Message 13 of 54
You just wrote my story exactly. President Obama has started a Witch Hunt against legally prescribed opioid medications that is affecting all of us who suffer from legitimate long-term chronic pain. He claims that the rate of deaths caused by opioid medications is out of control. I have performed my own research regarding opioid related deaths and found that this is not even in the top 15 causes of death in the country. I don't understand where he is getting his information and why he is so determined to get rid of opioid medications. My pain management clinic has reduced the amount of pain medications prescribed to their patients across the board to 150 milligrams a day. I have been told that this has been done for every single patient. DEA and other Federal organizations are putting so much pressure on pain management doctors and pharmacists that they are afraid to look at each patient and prescribe medications on a case-by-case basis as it should be done. This is the second time in 4 years that my medications have been reduced. My record of following the rules and taking my medications as prescribed is spotless. Even so they reduce the medications arbitrarily and don't seem to care that the more they reduce them the more they are destroying my life and my ability to take care of myself. I feel that this method of reduction of medications will continue until they have eliminated the use of opioids altogether. This is the same thing as getting rid of cars because people die in car wrecks. I am extremely frustrated and terrified of my future if this happens because doctors have told me they cannot operate on my back for fear of paralyzing me. I can function fairly well on the proper dosage of opioid medications. I also have a spinal implant which blocks pain messages to my brain, but it does not block all of them. I have gone as far as I can seeking solutions for the chronic pain in my back. If opioid medications are eliminated my future is very bleak and I will not be able to take care of myself. I am on Social Security disability because of my back injury, but I could work as a paralegal if I were not in such pain. Raising the amount of pain medication that I receive buy just a little bit would allow me to go back to work. Something needs to be done to stop this Trainwreck before millions of Americans are reduced to bedridden lives where someone has to take care of them. Please help.
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Re: Managing chronic pain

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Message 14 of 54

Hello all,

 

Being on the "othe side of the fence"and being a patient of chronic back pain suffrer, these are my personal observations:

1. We all develop arthritis as we age. The pain can be in the hips, knees or back. This is manily due to "wearing out" of the joints and drying out of the "lubricant" that had been present all our lives.

2. Some of the aggrevating circumstances are -- old age, prior injury, surgery (yes it can make it worse in certain scenarios), and lack of exercise.

3. Pain pills have a very limited role. As one consumes thsse pills, the tolerance level starts to build up over a period of time. Hence more dosage is needed to acheive the same result. Given the fact abuse of these type of drugs resulting in death has come to the attention of law makers. Hence the laws have become a whole lot more rigid in obtaining these type of narcotics. If a doctor prescribes certain number it is automatically trasmitted to the "watch dogs" to make sure the doctor is not running a "pill mill" as seen in may cities. To add to this, there have been many high profile deaths in recent years -- Michal Jackon, Prince, Whitney Houston and her daughter Christina Brown etc. 

4.The following is from the CDC site:

Recent Findings ƒ Since 2000, the age-adjusted drug-poisoning death rate more than doubled, from 6.2 per 100,000 in 2000 to 14.7 per 100,000 in 2014. ƒ In 2014, 47,055 deaths involved drug poisoning. Of these, 82% were unintentional, 12% were suicides, and 6% were of undetermined intent. ƒ In 2014, 40% of drug-poisoning deaths involved opioid analgesics (18,893 deaths). ƒ The age-adjusted rate for deaths involving opioid analgesics nearly quadrupled, from 1.5 per 100,000 in 2000 to 5.9 per 100,000 in 2014. ƒ In 2014, nearly 65% of all deaths from opioid analgesics involved natural and semisynthetic opioid analgesics, such as hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone. SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, 2000–2014.

 

What works:

1. Given the fact we cannot reverse the aging process, we can improve upon what we do and how we live. AARP has been advising its readers about "staying young". Many of these articles revolve around staying busy by exercising regulary, Yoga, swimming, walking, tennis, golf etc and the very last use of medicines. We can sit and keep complaining about pain or start doing any or all of the above. 

2. I have read an article about consuming one ounce of Apple cider vinegar in warm water daily AM on an empty stomach. This has been tried with moderate success.

3. Yes. The use of turmeric has been repeatedly written up. One can easily get a large pack of this from any Indian grocery store for just $2.00 or $4.00 depending upon the size. This can be added in cooking (sprinkle on any food as it truely does not change the taste). This is a mainstay in Indain food. There have been multiple studies about use of Turmeric pills which show they are in no way superior to store bought powder, except pills cost a whole lot more.

4. In the Indian diet Garlic has been widely used. This also has significant "healing properties" of inflammation and pain control.

5. If one has chronic back pain, weight loss to the most ideal weight WILL do the magic. Just today I met a patient who has lost about 35 LBS and feels and looks great. She is determined to loose additional 25 LBS for the chronic back pain she USED to suffer!

Lastly, I practice what I preach. I never ever take any narcotics. This was true even after a major brain surgery.These are to be used for a short period of time for SEVERE pain only. Yoga is a must -- either early AM or in the evening. (Go to Youtube.com and see many easy to do yoga for back pain-- this is FREE).I Walk about 3 miles daily, take the Turmeric powder in warm water and the Apple cider vinegar also. Turmeric is a daily food item. At night I take one 800 mg Ibuprofen. This keeps the neck and back pain at bay early AM. 

Pain is very subjective. It is mind over matter which can overcome need for such narcotics and keep pain at bay. Many physicians just refuse to write any form of Analgesic narcotics for fear of loosing his/her license. This will get a whole lot tougher as the new federal rules go into effect soon.

Hope this helps...

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Re: Managing chronic pain

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Message 15 of 54
Ask your pain doctor about an implanted stimulator. I am happier since having my "Boston Scientific" installed. Simple out-patient procedure and you have control to turn up or down depending on how you feel.
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Re: Managing chronic pain

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Message 16 of 54
Ask your pain doctor about an implanted stimulator. I am happier since having my "Boston Scientific" installed. Simple out-patient procedure and you have control to turn up or down depending on how you feel.
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Re: Managing chronic pain

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Message 17 of 54
Tylenol doesn't work all by itself when you have multiple problems that cause chronic pain. If you are on Plavix, you cannot take Ibuprofen or Advil or Aleve or any other nsaid type of drug. So it only leaves opiods or opiod-like medications. That is the situation that I faced 5 years ago and I've been on an opiod-like medication that they just included in the list of narcotics and I tell you it does nothing like that to me. It only takes care of my pain. I could stop it tomorrow if my pain went away but that's not going to happen so I will continue to take my medications; a whole long list of them and that's the way some people have to live their lives. I can't even walk more than a block without having to stop because I'm in severe pain. I'm 50 going on 51 years old.
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Re: Managing chronic pain

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Message 18 of 54
Do you or have you taken Neurontin for your nerve pain? Good Luck with your pain control. I have chronic pain and I'm on a number of pain medications. It's all in the mind, if you know you are only taking them for the pain and you stick to the prescribed dose and no more than that then you have a good chance of being okay. I've been on pain meds for 5 years and I've never asked for an increase in my dosage. Again, good luck.!
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Re: Managing chronic pain

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Message 19 of 54
You are right to a point. Some people have diseases that hurt so bad the only option is to take opiates. I have Arachnoiditis which is a severe ner e disease. I started off just using non opiates but as I progressed it became a nesissity to take the opiates just so I could have some kind of quality of life. Did I want to go down this road? Absolutely not! I was scared to death of these meds. I had never taken a pain pill in my life. I was afraid that I was going to become addicted.I had my therapist explain to me the definition of addiction. All though my body needs these medicines to function as best as I can. My mind is NOT dependent on them. If they were to find a cure for Arachnoiditis tomorrow I would be first in line to properly take me off these opiates.
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Re: Managing chronic pain

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Message 20 of 54
I agree with you! It upsets me to hear when they talk about more and more tough laws on opioids. It ruins it for us that have chronic pain that only one medicine helps. I do not abuse mine but bad apples are ruining it for the rest of us! If Over the counter medicine worked believe me I would take it and get off the prescribed medicine but Tylonal, Advil and ibuphrophin don't do anything to help with the pain!
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