Pain Management

I had a Distectomy in 1999 which worked for about 10 years then started getting pain from left side of spine right down to left foot. A few years later same happened to right side. 6 years ago got very bad so began having nerve root blocks on both sides some work and last for months others just a few weeks. It has now deteriorated so bad that surgeon wants to do a fusion on L4/L5 but the pain is now unbearable and unable to lay on back, stomach or left side at all. To top it off I had a triple ankle fusion in September 2015 which didn't go to plan and have been on crutches and non weight bearing on right foot for 4 months. This has increased pain in back and on left side and the pain in hip and left leg now unbearable. Doctor gave me team adolescent which I could tolerate due to sickness and giddy Ness so then gave me oral morph which had a similar effect. Then it was buprenorphine patches which gave me all of the above plus sweats etc. Today I have been given voltarol suppositories and fentanyl patches. Any advice on how to ease the pain. Have tried move lat cream and lidocaine patches but nothing is helping.

6 Replies

  • Hi Carol M

    All I can say from experience is;

    Ask your doctor for an anti sickness tablet - I use Metoclopramide and it works for me. There is also Cyclizine or Ondansetron to try if one or the other doesn't help.

    Fentanyl patches take a little while to fully take effect - I imagine you've been given a low dose to start but if after a while they're not having any impact then you can discuss increasing the strength.

    Have you tried any of the anti convulsants or anti depressants as they're prescribed for nerve type pain as an adjunct to other analgesics.

    Maybe a muscle relaxant - I use Baclofen. Also, consider something like Diazepam in the short term for this acute phase of pain?

    I've said it before on here but regular Paracetamol and if you can take it, Ibuprofen, is surprisingly good for a baseline coverage whilst you figure out what others to take.

    Like I've said, this is my experience and was prescribed by a pain clinic and my GP working together so you'd need to seek out all the relevant avenues for medication.

    I also try relaxation (although I still haven't mastered it without the drugs), a hot water bottle, proper support on my mattress & sofa, peace & quiet (like that's possible!!) and if all that fails - screaming & wailing until I'm totally exhausted that I have to relax!!

    No magic wand I'm afraid though......


  • Thanks Rayjay. The sickness I don't like but it's the lightheadedness that's the worst. Like a bad night out! Have tried various medication and anti sickness but none worked yet. Can't take ibuprofen as on a high dose of diclofenac. Yesterday I paid to have cortisone injection in left hip so hopefully that will make it a bit easier to sleep. Have also been trying various types of massage and hydroponics. My exercise bike helps the knees so just do 10 minutes in the morning and afternoon. Started the fentanyl yesterday so will see how it goes.

  • Try Amytyptalene medication for nuro pain I take 75mg daily and it takes a lot of sciatica pain away from me Talk to your GP

    Ask to see the Pain Clinic, that may help you with different techniques to control your pain.

    The use of TENS may help as a stop gap they are sometimes given with training in the Pain Clinic

    Relaxation Techniques can help, the Clinic now use mindfulness although there are two other types, on is the Alexander Technique or the Maxwell Technique. There are books available regards above.

    You can purchase a V TENS from Boots or on the NET. One Company is Body Clock, they have various types of machine. If disabled you will get the VAT back

    Good Luck


  • Hi Bob. I have 2 tens machines which are good when they are on but an hour later or as soon as I stand back to pain. I tried the amytryptalene and just made me relaxed did nothing for pain. Have also tried gabapentin. Trying the fentynal for 10 days along with diclofenac to see if any different. Seeing surgeon next week to book more nerve root blockers. Thanks for the info x

  • I am sorry to read that you are in so much pain, Carol.

    I have just changed over to Fentanyl patches and find that they are working for me. I was on the buprenorphine ones before. I also take Gabapentin for nerve pain and find that it really works well for the pain in other joints that is linked to nerve pain.

    You may wish to consider a heat pad or wheat bag. Also the use of ice packs as long as they do not come into direct contact with the skin.

    A TENS machine may also be an option, it helps to distract me when it is really bad.

    Another thing to consider is Accupuncture. It works for some people. I was scared stiff of needles and was so desperate for the pain to go that I paid a visit. Well worth it.

    I really do hope that you find something that works for you.

    Best wishes,


  • Hi Dave. I have a tens machine but the pain is so bad now that it does nothing for it. Also tried gabapentin with no effect. Have had acupunture but it only worked on my knee not on the back. I have started the fentynal patches on a low does of 12mg patches every 3 days, so far not seeing any effect and had it on for 3 days today. I am going to wait until the week is up before going back for a review with the GP and am also seeing surgeon on Friday to see about more nerve root blockers as they are the only thing that seem to help ( when the work).

    Thank you for your comment

    Carol x

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