Pain Concern
22,225 members7,556 posts


Good afternoon everyone, I have suffered badly with back problems for the past 30+ years as described in my previous posts. Double scoliosis  and lately problems with my L3/4, L4/5 and L5/S1. I went back to the docs on Friday with other health problems including  low B12 etc.

My problem is that my painkillers don't seem to work as well as they used to and my doc won't change them. The painkillers I'm on are Zapain 500mg which I take 3 times a day. I phoned the hospital, only to be told that I'm on a waiting list to see a doctor about my back and the waiting  list is up to 6 months.  The pain has got that bad as some days I can't move as my back has locked. 

Has anyone any advice about how to cope with this pain. ? 😢

7 Replies

The six month wait is the same all over the country leaving people to fend for themselves. Tell your docter that you cant wait that long on the pain meds given and could he prescribe something different to try while your waiting. If he refuses then I suggest you see another docter as I did. Is the six month wait to see a pain specialist? Have you ever been on a pain management course that teaches you how to deal with the pain? What about conservative treatments such as acupuncture etc? If your not happy with the way you've been treated report it to PALS. PALS is a place to complain to if your not happy with anything regarding the NHS. The more people complain the better as those figures go to the government. You shouldn't be left to suffer like this. X


I agree with lowlife, go back to your GP and explain that you're really not coping with your pain and need some stronger analgesia whilst you wait for your hospital appointment.

Do you take regular Paracetamol and Ibuprofen (if you can take this) as a basic cover during the day? Alongside this youcould maybe ask for some Codeine for when the pain increases?

As you've got lumbar disc problems, youmay have nerve pain going on as well so perhaps some Pregabalin or Gabapentin at a low dose to start with?

If your GP really isn't helpful, again as lowlife has said, ask to see someone else as you're now struggling to cope and need help.

Alongside drugs there are other pain management strategies you could instigate yourself like massage, acupuncture, yoga & pilates; maybe look to see if there's a 'disabled group' nearby or if not, explain to the teacher that you have physical/medical implications that mean you may need a slightly different approach or can't do some of the stretches etc. If they're a good, experienced and knowledgeable teacher, they'll know how to cater for your needs.

You could/should ask for a physiotherapy referral (although there may be a bit of a waiting list) so you can get a proper assessment of the stretches & exercises you can do daily yourself at home.

I apologise if you already know and do some of this but as you're asking for ideas of how to cope, we on here don't have the definitive answer. We're all seeking that ourselves!

I used to go swimming; well, treading water and water walking to get some gentle movement going but found getting out of the pool difficult afterwards. I suddenly felt so heavy along with being tired so felt all the work & relaxation was undone! A few people on here advocate swimming greatly so again, it's something you can consider and personalise to you.

I'm sure there'll be some other ideas from other folk on this forum; we all understand the pain and desperation of needing some relief!



Get yourself a Tens machine.( As well as seeing your GP about more medication) . I couldn't do without one for my back problems. I keep it on most of the day with breaks of up to half a hour if I can. It really provides relief while it's working.

I'm onoxycodone. Supposedly 5 mg x 4 hourly but my dosage is increasing. I'm trying not to take 10 mg more than twice a day and the Tens machine allows me to do that. Order large pads for the back. The smaller ones don't cover enough area.

I can't recommend one too much. Just get a cheap one initially if you are not sure how it will go for you though . I've bought a fancy wireless one as I wear it so much.

Hope you have a better day.


1 like

I forgot to ask; what is Zapain? I haven't heard of that one - what's the actual drug name? I'm always interested in other/new medication. Are you in the UK?



Hi RAYJAYC Zapain is the same as co-codamol ie paracetamol and codeine, I don't know what strengths it comes in but my daughter was on 30/500mg ie 30mg codeine and 500mg paracetamol this means you can't then take paracetamol for breakthrough pain, hope I haven't trod on toes replying it was just reading through the posts, by the way withdrawal from Zapain is really bad so it needs to be taken carefully.

Take care and keep your chin up, it's really frustrating and demoralising having such an important procedure snatched away at the eleventh hour, hopefully something else will turn up.

Sending big hugs and love Sheryl x


Oh, ok, yes I know what you mean now; I found taking Paracetamol on its own and Codeine on its own more useful than combined. That way you're getting some reliefmore often rather than only being able to take the co-codamol three or four times aday. The Paracetamol can befour times a day and the Codeine four times a day in between. It's just a suggestion, like I've said, Ive found it better psychologically too!

They are both still quite mild in comparison to some other meds that you could be taking in this interim period, as I saidin my first post. Many of us guys on here can't manage on just those so you shouldn'thave to either. Explain to your GP that it would just be short term until the pain team get involved and they'll take over what you can/should take anyway.



What was your B12 level?


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