Sorry about your issues. I've had the same since age 17 due to central canal stenosis.
I've been researching these problems for the past 30 years. I've intensively researched the SCS for the past ten years. Please provide your double blind, control group algorithmic research that suggest such a connection between electricity and cancer. As far as I've seen it cannot and does not cause cancer. Please no anecdotal data.
The SCS is ONLY for neuropathic pain. Millions of us have nociceptive, not neuropathic pain. The SCS is useless for that. I have collapsed vertebra. All the SCS in the world would not help. Nor did wearing a TENS at full power for six months.
If you have nociceptive pain and you cannot benefit from powerful pain medications (and I emphasize the plural), consider the intrathecal infusion pump. It has a better chance than the SCS.View Thread
Still talk. However, in some states it is more difficult for chronic pain patients to obtain the medication that they require to live each day and more physicians are refusing to prescribe powerful opioids at all. Many pain clinics have Draconian rules about medication. You can flunk a drug test from eating bread with poppy seeds and be booted out of the program permanently. If you become tolerant (which happens to all patients using opioids, or if your pain becomes worse and you require more medication than prescribed and you run out too soon, you may find yourself out of luck with physicians who suspect you of selling your medication or giving it to someone else. I'm guessing that most chronic pain patients today can still obtain the medications and dosages that they require. However, the tide of opinion with the FDA, DEA and physicians is going against chronic pain patients. I suspect that we'll soon see an increase in states that disallow a 90-day supply of opioids, making it more difficult (but not impossible) to obtain medications. At the same time, we see a continual increase in states that allow medical marijuana. This is beneficial for many chronic pain patients, as THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, binds with opiate receptors in the brain. But many chronic pain patients fear trying marijuana. Others find the temporary euphoria is uncomfortable. There are two ways to use cannabis pharmacologically. The drugs are Sativex and Marinol. They were designed to treat the nausea and weight loss of chemotherapy patients. However, they can also help chronic pain patients in the same way that opioids work. Chronic pain patients should complete a comprehensive pain management program. Some treatments work quite well. I can decrease my pain by up to 20% with biofeedback alone. There are many other potentially viable treatments, including Yoga, meditation, biofeedback, systematic relaxation, acupuncture, physical therapy, kinesiotherapy, TENS, counseling, combinations of long and short-acting opioids, off-label drugs (anti-depressants and anti-convulsants), spinal decompression, spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal infusion pump and much more. But when those treatments all fail, patients are left only with opioids. If they are not allowed to access the medications and dosages that they require, I'm afraid that suicides will increase substantially. The bottom line on facts is this: Among all chronic pain patients, less than 3% become addicted to pain medications. If you remove from that group patients who already had an addiction disorder before requiring opioids, the addiction rate is less than 1%. Research articles that prove those facts are here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20091598?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=1,http://updates.pain-topics.org/2011/01/study-finds-low-risk-of-rx-opioid-use.html and http://updates.pain-topics.org/2013/08/remarkably-low-opioid-abuse-in-pain.html .
The research on addiction in chronic pain patients is very obvious. These studies involve large test and control groups and they are algorithmic in nature. In other words, the vast preponderance of research on addiction among chronic pain patients all along on the same facts - the rate of addiction among patients with no prior history of addiction disorder is less than 1%. So, please tell me... where is this "massive addiction rate" that we hear about from politicians and people who stand to gain financially from addiction treatments? The truth is, it doesn't exist. We've been lied to by the medical, addiction and state lawmaker populations. In order to punish those few people who steal or illegally purchase and sell opioids, everyone will suffer from Draconian new laws. Those who will suffer the most (and who might commit suicide) are chronic pain patients with legitimate reasons for using these drugs. When they have no more medications, how will they survive? This is what we should consider.View Thread
Why no narcotics? Do/did you have an addiction disorder? You should know that just one medication reduced my pain by 80% and added 9 wonderful years to my university career. And my pain is not "incapacitating 2-3 days per month," it's been like that every day for the past 25 years! Without medication, I would have stopped living years ago. With it, my pain is managed successfully.
You should also request a referral to a comprehensive pain management program. Comprehensive means that they offer a wide range of treatments, including biofeedback, systematic relaxation, meditation, Yoga, TENS, acupuncture, etc. Mind-body treatments can help. Just one, biofeedback, reduces my pain by up to 20% at any given time.
As an axiom, all chronic pain patients should be using an anti-depressant. These drugs inhibit the reuptake of serum serotonin, one of the body's natural pain-fighting chemicals. Cymbalta is a fairly new anti-depressant that was off-label for pain until recently, as the drug characteristically reduces pain. But many other anti-depressants also work well for chronic pain.
Finally, our goal is not to eliminate chronic pain. That is impossible. However, we can learn to manage our pain so that it will not adversely effect the important parts of our lives, including work, family and enjoyment. By accessing the many valid tools of pain management, we can return to a meaningful and rewarding existence. Good luck.View Thread
Yes, millions of people have pain like yours. And millions more have pain much worse. Life with chronic pain is an exercise in perspective. For example, I can tolerate no more than five minutes of standing or twenty minutes of sitting. The rest of my life is spent horizontal - and I still have pain then. But I consider myself very lucky, because there are millions of people with my pain and worse, who will never be able to sit, stand, walk, feed, toilet or bathe themselves. Would you not rather live with severe pain than also be a paraplegic, quadriplegic or have a terminal illness? Perspective...
Some of your information cannot logically be related to a bulging disc in your cervical spine. Therefore, it may not be useful to discuss that part.
Before considering surgery you should try a comprehensive pain management program. They offer treatments such as TENS, biofeedback, meditation, Yoga and acupuncture. They also offer injections, rhyzotomy, brace, traction and spinal decompression. If all of those fail, they also offer the spinal cord stimulator and the intrathecal infusion pump.
Just please be careful to avoid a pain management group that primarily only offers injections. Research is clear that if injections do not help initially, then future iterations are also likely to fail - and injections are invasive with risks. Request a "comprehensive" pain clinic that offers the many varied treatment milieu mentioned above.
If the pain management program fails, then I recommend that you request a referral to a spine surgeon. A spine surgeon is an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon who has completed a fellowship in spine surgery (that's 3-4 years of additional training beyond a residency). No one on the planet knows more about diagnosis, treatment and possesses the most advanced surgical techniques. Spine surgeons can often be found at or near teaching hospitals.
What disease? You said nothing about having a disease - only that you have pain and depression. Perhaps you could be a little more descriptive.
P.S. Most of us with chronic pain can manage it better with a long-acting opioid. That helps you avoid the ups and downs associated with varying oral medication plasma levels. Long-acting drugs, such as Kadian, Oxycontin (which is exactly the same medication you currently use, Percodan, but in extended release format) or Fentanyl Transdermal (which is a patch that provides pain management for 48 to 72 hours) are examples of effective long-acting pain medications. You can then save the short-acting drugs for breakthrough pain. Just a thought.
Neurontin (Gabapentin) has been widely prescribed for many years as designed (as an anti-convulsant). In more recent years it has also been widely prescribed, along with Lyrica, for neuropathic pain. I have neither heard nor read anything about such dangers. Can you please provide citations to this in reputable medical and scientific journals, as wel as the FDA report?View Thread
There is no federal law that prohibits family doctors, internists or any other type of physician from prescribing any drug, including the most powerful narcotics (ex Schedule II drugs). I think that you have been misinformed.View Thread