so much pain and lack of sleep

Good morning all

i have suffered with lower back pain also have pain in neck due to playing Rugby in my younger days which now has giving me arthritis from the neck down to lower back and now gone into my hips this makes waking hard even sitting in a chair causes pain

My doctor has been very helpful but cant have a operation due to other problems at the moment i am taking 80 mg of slow release morphine every 24 hours and when pain is bad i take liquid Morphine

also Paracetamol 1000 mg 3 times a day /Gapapentin 600 mg 3 times a day / Fluoxetine 20 mg each morning and my doctor has increased my Amitriptyline from 20 mg to 50 mg to try and get me to get a good nights sleep not working will knock me out for a couple of hours then about 2 am i am awake and then it cap naps until alarm clock goes off a 06 00 then rest of the day feel so tired until bedtime i go to bed about 8 pm as you can see i have to be up early

with all the Meds above i am still in pain starts off at about 5 pain threshold and by bed time its 9-10 pain threshold i also use a tens machine during the day it helps a bit and my other problem is not only tiredness but always feel sick but never am

i wonder if there is any one who may have some advice to get over these problems

to those who read this thank you for taking you time

best wishes

Edwin (Ted)

14 Replies

  • Hi Edwin,

    Sorry to hear you are in so much pain you have come to the right place,whilst there are no magic wands to help allevIate your pain just the fact that you can talk about your pain among people whom understand and are going through chronic pain in the lives will in itself help.

    My own personal view is that after 10 years of mess that makes things worse no pt better I have had to stop taking mess and I have turned to meditation, relaxation and on the advise of my doctor plus a chance meeting with a retired surgeon, swimming a warm pool.

    Whilst the pain is still their,swimming and using the Jacuzzi and using the Sauna or steam room is of great help, one I would recommend to you, but as with all things discuss the idea with your GP and surgeon first.

    I hope you find some of the ideas here useful to you, sadly there are no easy answers, a lot of trial and error is necessary as there is no one way that works for all.

    Sending you positive vibes.

  • Hi Ted

    You're in a vortex of pain, medication, no sleep, no life, pain, medication, no sleep, no life...........

    We understand how that feels, one way or another.

    Have you been referred to a physio? They'll give you the best advice for stretching and movement.

    Maybe try Pilates or Yoga?

    As Fedup.... has already said, swimming or treading water/water walking (in it not on it!!) is lovely but also really helpful to loosen up muscles that in-turn tightening up/spasm with our pain.

    Have you been referred to/have a Pain Clinic in a hospital near you? They're the experts in pain medication & management.

    Regarding your medication, maybe something like Diazepam to help you sleep? Or even a 'sleeper' like Zopiclone just in the short term to get you into some kind of routine?

    I found Amitriptyline to not help me at all - the only effect it had was constipation!

    Does your GP seem to be knowledgeable in chronic pain? Some are, some not so much so finding some extra help will be good.

    As you're taking Gabapentin, your GP thinks you've got nerve pain too? (unless you've got epilepsy as well?) If so, I found Pregabalin to be superior to Gab.

    Also, Duloxetine (which is another anti-depressant) has nerve pain properties and seems to be the 'drug of choice' for nerve pain & depression so if you're taking the Fluoxetine for depression, maybe ask for a reconsideration?

    You can have a maximuma of 4g (4000mg) of Paracetamol a day so add in the extra two to keep the baseline analgesia up?

    Going straight up to Oramorph if you get an increase in pain is a big jump - have you tried taking Codeine as well as the Paracetamol? Maybe Tramadol before using the Oramorph? Taking the Oramorph too often reduces its effects so using a 'work up' type method could be more beneficial. Again, your GP or a Pain Clinic (although waiting lists are long) can talk you through some changing of medication or adding/omitting some.

    I know I'm waffling and have probably bamboozled you with information - too much I expect but there are more avenues for you to explore. You're not just 'stuck' where you are - many more treatments and strategies to try!!

    Best of luck Ted

    Keep posting on here - everyone is great at listening, giving advice and the value of their experience!


  • Auh you soul arthritis is so debilitating and painful what a daily struggle, has your GP referred you to pain clinic , I think a wee jiggle with meds is in order

    I know doing anything puts fear in to you but once your meds are sorted you can consider Physio and maybe use the hydro therapy pool to help .

    The sickness nausea comes from the medication you are on.

    Your GP could give you an ant-sickness med to combat it to at least help.

    I'm sorry I can't offer any more suggestions your pain is clearly what is causing you so much misery and I so feel for you , it needs addressed if the combination isn't working so well.


  • thank you for your comments and yes i am under the pain clinic and my doctor has just changed some of the meds

    With the Pain clinic i only see them once every 3 months so at the moment its a slow process

    but but of all its nice to know people care xx

  • Hi I also suffer with lower back pain I have spine blocks we should have them every 3 months but due to lack of money we are lucky if we get 2 a year.

    I have not had a full nights sleep since my last spine block wore off

  • I am so sorry to hear about your pain, I have back problems, hip problems and bursitis really bad in both hips. I am still working but have a awful time with pain. I am not on all the medication your on, have tried the tens machine it use to help me before I had a hip replacement but now I cannot use the machine. Today and last night I was in terrible pain, I also have arthritis in my back and hips. The weather makes a difference also. I will pray for your healing so you can get off some meds. I cannot find a doctor that will help me and take the bursa out. I have tried everything, I was a farm girl and raised two kids alone until I got remarried. Worked two jobs all my life after school, but never get ahead. I have 9 grandchildren two are little and really want to play with them outside more, do gardening and I miss traveling. But it is too hard to sit or stand too long, laying down also can be a problem so I know how you feel. Lost is a good word for it. Take Care

  • Don't know what you mean by arthritis in the neck. Is this x-ray or is this muscle behaviour.

    Pain killers is not going to improve your situation you are going to explore what your muscle behaviour is and find ways to stretch out over contracted muscle. Unfortunately this is an area that medical consultants know nothing about. It can be quite painful working to get over contracted muscle stretched out, but the effect is worth it as non contracted muscle is more pain free.

    This is an area that you need to network with in your local community to find out who the local healers are to help you work with your muscles.

    Disciplines to investigate are Alexander Technique, T'ai Chi, Yoga, Massage and McTimony chiropractic. There are probably other disciplines as well, but I can only discuss the ones I know something about.

    Hope I have been helpful.

  • Hi thank you for reading my message my problem in my neck I have spurs on 5/6 which causes the spurs to trap the nerve and this makes my right arm go dead it goes all the way Down the arm and in to my hand. A fingers and just lately I have pain in both hands and thank you again for you helpful hints kind regards ted

  • Thanks for the reply. What you say is an indication you need not to take pain killers. You need to register when your muscle is contracting and pulling the spurs on to the nerve. Pain killers will cost you your arm from nerve damage.

    I am presenting theory here. I am making a guess that you need to investigate. Another words search through anatomy books which show the relationship of the muscles in the back and neck and how these muscles modify the position of the neck when they contract.

    I have extended discs in the neck which impinge on nerve roots so I know about muscle tension and loss of strength in my arm as well as pain.

    I have had to study movement and tension and note relationship between what I do and what happens afterwards. One thing I have noticed for me is that I can do an activity and a short time afterwards I will suffer effects, but not at the time I conducted the activity. I have put this down to bruising of the nerve which then inflames and takes up more space space which in turn results in greater pressure on the nerve. It is worth checking if this theory makes sense or not for you.

    Alexander Technique will be helpful as this will teach you to balance the head on top the spine which reduce the pulling of the spurs onto the nerve root. McTimony chiropractic which tackle the micro cramps in muscle which also pull the spurs onto the nerve root. Look at the NICE recommendations about chiropractic treatment. You may be able to persuade your GP to help you get chiropractic treatment to ease the spur pressure. You have to fund this in the initial stages so as to obtain the evidence you need to show that such a treatment is productive for what you have.

    Hope this helps.

  • I've l5/s1 fusion young in life then broke the fusion needing a radical anterior posterior repair....suffice to say I have maintained terrible pain and get decent sleep. Panadeine Forte when needed + my magic painkiller Indocid 100 ( anti inflammatory suppository before bed. Does little to affect internal organs as its dispersed through fine blood vessels. Gabapentin is excellent med to treat any Nerve damage and I take a fairly high dose of it. It's not on the PBS in Australia but the hospital supply it for me from their dispensary for govt net price.....I save my 20 mg slow release morphine for absolute worst case scenario.......this was I have managed horrific back/Rheumatoid/Fibro for almost 30 yrs now. Good luck.

  • Ted, hi, my dog is called Ted and I have suffered pain for near 17 years .. I am up the wall with my back and shoulder and neck. I have limited mobility.

    I go to the beach with Ted and often sit off and look to the horizon of how much I would like to walk there with someone. Pipe dreams I think as I sit and watch the ships pass by.

    I have found that as I get older it affects me more. I also have carpel tunnel syndrome .. Oh the joys oh and a mental health problem .. I stay alone as I do not think I will find anyone either. It is hard work with ailments and would be unfair to bestow this on someone I feel. A friend would be better for me. Finding one is hard isn't it ? The people I have met have ulterior motives.

  • Hope u find peace in your undertakings and some kind of relief. I use essential oils. I like meditation too.

  • I have a favourite pillow spray from Avon 'lavender and chamomile' that I spray liberally on my pillow that helps to relax me. I also wear Leitz T shape earplugs and wrap a scarf around my head, so nothing else can wake me and then leave me awake until the small hours (like now!)

  • Know the feeling. Pain and sleep do not go well together. I also end up cat napping day and night. You are still on relatively low doses of gabapentin and SR morphine. These could be gradually increased. Diazepam 10mg can help or even Zopiclone, which is a sleeping pill. I actually find Pukka night time tea helps too!


    (2 level lumbar fusion, waiting for complete revision)

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