Pain meds alternative?

Am still trying to get pain meds sorted with GP. Am now taking dihydrocodeine 4x daily (2 tabs each time). Plus amitriptyline at night - just started taking. New tabs seem to help but on highest dosage. Whilst picking up tabs from chemist noticed Tens machines. Has anyone used this? Does it help? I have chronic sciatica which has got worse recently.

Thanks for any suggestions

11 Replies

  • Hi, My Daughter Inlaw has a bad back,which she says gives her like Siatica pain all down her leg. I had a Tens Machine which did nothing for my pain,so I gave it to her. She's says it's wonderful and helps a lot. So maybe works for some people but not others. But I believe if the pains bad enough you'll give anything a go. Good Luck

  • Hallo

    Yes I use a Tens machine for back and hip pain, sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't but it is certainly worth a try as you can often pick up machines quite cheaply and if you go to a Pain Clinic these sometimes can be borrowed for a trial. I bought one which did TENS, EMS and massage I was fortunate enough to buy half price in a sale (and has unfortunately just broken) and I found that the massage function seemed to help me the best with lower back pain.

    I find that the sensation that comes out of it proves a distraction from the extreme pain as it is another type of sensation. I was told by my Pain Specialist to put it on for 4 hours a day at a very low setting and on the tapping sensation then last week the physio said that they now think it was best to alternate the programmes which strangely I had been doing when the 4 hours on the tapping seemed to do no good. I have heard other people who get alot of pain relief from the Tens and I know they are often used by pregnant women so that seems to be an accolade in itself.

    I think if you buy one it is a case of experimenting yourself with the different programmes to see what works best for you. I think when you are in extreme pain you will try anything.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.x

  • Ask for a referral to physio for tens machines - they can supply one as well as show you how to use it, and where to place the electrodes to work best for you. The other thing you could ask about is referral to pain clinic as they may also be able to offer you alternatives or other things you can do.

  • Thanks for all suggestions.

    Am going to get tens machine. Research suggests that works for some and not for others but can purchase relatively cheaply.

    Problem with referrals to others is the waiting and am in severe pain now! Chronic pain for some reason has worsened for past 2 weeks.

    Am having MRI scan (hopefully) soon to see what going on.

  • I have found that the best thing for sciatica is chiropractic care. My chiropractor can get the pinched nerve "unpinched" usually at one visit and it lasts for quite a while - about a month - before I have to go back. It is the simplest and easiest for me. I also have a TENS which never worked at all even though I had a physical therapist show me various settings and trials. Regular stretching exercise also keeps the nerve from getting pinched again. You Tube has many exercises that you can try.

  • Thanks. But I saw a chiropractor when first hurt my back and she really hurt me. Osteopath was good - got pain to an ok point but then no more improvements.

    Can't do exercises at moment as in too much pain. Just trying 2nd go with tens machine I bought this morning. First go good and helped.....

  • The exercises I do are done lying on my back or side and involve light weights (1 lb.) and don't hurt. I was advised to stop any exercise that caused pain and try another one. There are three exercises that I do standing against a wall and involve moving my arms around in a comfortable way. They gently release entrapments and stretch muscles surrounding the pain. Start very slow and small and build up from there. The longer you go without any exercise, the worse the pain will become. That has been my experience.

  • Mmm. Tried some excercises from specifically for sciatica but they hurt so I stopped. I DO move around because I know that to stop moving is very bad idea. But on the other hand walking hurts lots as well. Trying to find happy medium!

  • Hi, I have been using a TENS machine in conjunction with my pain killers for several years. I find they help, especially at Night. The one I prefer I got from Lloyds pharmacy.

    Good luck and everything is worth a try.🍀

  • Yes mine came from lloyds. Got it this morning. Pleased with price and is wireless.

    Tried first time this morning. Just trying a 2nd time.

  • I use a teens machine it does help but I also have acupuncture its about £40.00 a session and they say you need at least 6 but it is very good

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