You CAN take the narcotics you require and minimize side effects. To manage that, you need to visit an allergist. There are medications that will reduce the itching. I'd bet that a combination of anti-histamine medication and Rx-level cortisone cream will drastically reduce the itching.
I too had side effects from pain medication. Most of them dissipate after the first few weeks or months of use. Others can be managed by using anti-histamines and topical steroidal creams. But, you need to put up with the itching for those weeks and months before it dissipates. That's the hard part.
Finally, I live with constant severe pain. I've had it for more than 40 years. Honestly, with my severe pain, I would love to have to deal with itching, as long as the medication worked. I suppose we all have our own level of tolerance for pain.
Going to a chiropractor with an unstable neck (cervical vertebra) is like pouring gasoline on a fire. Chiropractors are NOT physicians. They do not go to medical school. They do not participate in a residency or a fellowship. They have minimal or no hospital privileges and they cannot write a Rx. In essence, going to a chiropractor for an unstable spine is like asking your auto mechanic to perform brain surgery. The chiropractor is over his or her head. I've encountered literally dozens of patients in physician waiting rooms over the past 40 years who were damaged permanently by chiropractors. I'm talking about permanent paralysis as a result of going to a chiropractor.
If you have had an MRI and you have been examined by a physician who informs you that you have a problem with a muscle or tendon, then go to a chiropractor to your heart's content. But know this... chiropractors use X-ray imaging for diagnosis. Yet, spinal discs and tumors do not visualize on an X-ray. If you had a tumor and you went to a chiropractor, you would never know about it until it had metastasized into a fatal cancer. Are you willing to risk your life by seeing a chiropractor? I don't know about you, but I would not allow anyone to examine my spine unless that person was not only a physician, but had also completed a residency and a fellowship in spine surgery. If you want to maintain or improve your health, then go to someone with the initials "MD" after his or her name. All others, especially chiropractors, are a dangerous substitute. They are not a physician. They never graduated from medical school. Isn't your health more important? Don't you deserve to be treated by a REAL doctor? Of course, Caveat Emptor!
OK, I have the same problem. I only feel OK when I lie flat. But I tried PT and it made me worse, three times. I still want to have a life. Two pain clinics later and still severe pain. So, I take really powerful pain medications. Guess what? It works! In 40 years I haven't become addicted. I take exactly as much as I am prescribed. In return, the drugs extended my career by 9 amazing years, just when I thought I had to stop. I took vacations with my family and I was a good husband and father. It helps me now in retirement. I have no adverse side effects whatsoever. So, why not use it, if necessary?