I had been on tramadol for 15 years until recently, my doctor didn't like the idea of me being on them for so long and decided to take me off them, I have recently had very bad pain in my lower back and an MRI showed that I have 2 prolapsed discs and spondylitis in my neck and spine, and also degeneration of my spine, my doctor thought that Butan patches were better for me than tramadol so slowly reduced the amount. Although the patches worked quite well I found that the pain was so bad that it was seriously effecting my life,I recently went to see a rheumatologist who gave me a steroid injection into my spine, this was brilliant it took my pain away and I was able to get on with my life sufficiently, but I am not sure how long the steroid injection will last and work for and how many I am able to have and for how long I am able to have them

Also suffer with arthritis in my hands and fingers and have now been diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome as well, .

I have very bad pain on a daily basis, but this has lessened since the injection of the steroid.

I am suffering with withdrawal symptoms from cutting back on the tramadol, any idea,s on how to help with all of this please

66 Replies

  • Hi. I feel so sorry for you as I know the pain is so debilitating & takes over the day ( in my case anyway). .do you take vitamins ? Or any other reason for stopping tramadol,mine was kidneys. I do hope you get the best advice you can & help you need. 😇 Keep safe


  • Tramadol

  • Hi Peggy76.

    Did the tramadol affect your kidneys?

  • Hi how are you experiencing the tramodol withdrawal. Sometimes I have missed my night time dose and it makes me feel really ill I hope you're coping good luck

  • Yes sometimes I have missed a dose and certainly know about it, I have been having the withdrawal symptoms but find that because my Doctor has cut my dose down slowly they haven't been to bad.

  • That's good. Not a nice thing tramodol withdrawal. Good luck

  • Try Cannabis oil.

    You can buy it for most good quality health food stores or on line.

    You will be amazed. Read up on it

    I can't believe your Dr has allowed you to remainon Tramadold for so long.

    There are so many deaths related to that drug you should be thankful he's seen since and is getting you off it

  • Hemp seed oil is the same as canabis oil. I use 1,000 mg. capsuls off ebay but dont buy from foereign places make sure its u/k.

  • Is this right? And does it help? I am so glad I found this will be going on line to check? I used to smoke cannabis for pain and it worked so well, but after my two strokes 4 years ago I stopped smoking so can no longer use it. How strong is it? Are there different strengths? Are you from UK?

  • How does cannabis oil work and is it expensive? I suffer from fybromyalgia, spondylothesis of the low back and cervical neck pain alobg with high blood pressure and carpal as well as cubital tunnel syndrome. I also suffer with arthritis in other parts of my body such as knees and both big toes!! Looking for relief 😢

  • Ok haven't been on site for a while but saw your request so

    Using opiates creates dependency and the whole system is affected which you are experiencing, the muscles and your nerve endings will be traumered at the moment; and it will take a long while for this to go .

    naprosyn /piriton mix will take the edge of the itch of the withdrawal process you can verify this with a chemist as in my experience few of the medical profession seem to know about this.

    Also turmeric paste may help I have just started this and it's done with other ingredients which if you are interested I'll give you the ingredients this may help both the arthritis and the itch .

    Try and keep yourself as mobile as possible .

    Keep warm have hot water bottles or a heated blanket even at rest especially on legs .

    I needle felt and draw the former really helps brain activity focus and movement especially in the hands and the circulation my fingers are so much better I realise you have carpel tunnel and I also have tennis elbow in both arms etc but repetive activity will help more than it hinders plus the distraction may help with the focus away from withdrawal.

    Foods that may help porridge oats especially at bed time and watermelon will help with withdrawal especially with going to toilet and I personally feel the fructose go across the pleasure centres in the brain and this helps particularly if you are trying to sleep.

    Good luck let me know if you want turmeric recipe.

  • I would like the turmeric recipe please

  • If you go on utube and type in tumeric there are all the videos for this.Today I used one tablespoon of organic tumeric{get off ebay} 3 tbls honey pinch black pepper queeze of lemon juice and fill half pint with warm water.take 2/3 eggcup full per day.Slimming also for arthritus.Natures greatest antiinflamatory there is.

  • the doctor in my opinion is reducing too quickly off the tramadol as I've have withdrawals from opiates and it's not nice at all. can you not go see another doctor to explain how it's making you feel. I know that's pretty hard to do as you probably don't even want to leave home if your feeling how I have. was it an epidural in your spine you had as I had 3 and one worked and the other two made it worse. I'm not sure if I've been much help but could feel your pain.xx

  • Seeing the response about tramadol related deaths made me very nervous as I have been taking it for about six years. Reading UK data, the number of tramadol related deaths where the tramadol is prescribed for the deceased is very low indeed. It's clear that if tramadol are being prescribed long-term the analgesic effects may reduce (causing increased risk of overdose as patients exceed their prescribed dosage) and that the use of tramadol with other prescription or 'over the counter' medication needs careful monitoring due to life-threatening potential side effects.

    My GP monitors the effects of my "drugs cocktail" with a full spectrum of blood tests every 6 -12 months amongst other things. So far there is zero cause for concern. If your withdrawal is causing unpleasant side effects could it be done more slowly?

    At the risk of causing controversy, I self medicated with illicit cannabis for years and found it highly effective, if it we're legalised I would definitely be asking my GP about using it again. I know nothing about cannabis oil but will be looking to learn more. My observation is that pain relief for a range of chronic pain conditions varies enormously from person to person and getting to the right solution for you can often just be trial and error. I hope you find a solution that works for you soon.

  • Wow I never had any blood tests or anything in the 15 yrs of taking Tramadol, which part of UK you in please?

  • Steroid injections do work but only for a limited time. You can only have 3 injections in a year.

    The down side is steroids cause

    Weight gain, cataracts to grow rapidly, thinning of bones. If diabetic steroids cause huge problems.

    I know how you feel, I used to have steroid injections, now I am limited in what I can do. In the UK with the NHS if you're 70 and have spinal/hip/neck problems and have had other health issues, you will not be helped. So I don't bother with Drs or Consultants, I have developed a mental way of coping with pain and limiting the time of activities. when it hurts, sit down.

  • I am sure you have probably tried all non-pharmalogical methods, but just in case not...

    Do you know about Dr. Francomono’s 75% Plan for Pain Relief. "Take, for instance that your medications take care of 20% of your pain relief. Then you use your TENS unit for another 10% reduction. Some Tiger Balm on your painful joints brings another 5% of pain relief. Maybe you could pull out your heating pad too for another 5% of pain relief. Then you decide upon a warm soak with Epsom Salts for another 10% pain relief. Deep breathing and some PT exercises combine for another 10% of relief. And then you watch a great movie for another 15% of pain relief. So now you have 75% of your pain managed effectively. How would your days be different if 75% of your pain was gone? Dr. Francomono’s plan demonstrates the importance of using multiple strategies…even if each one only makes a tiny difference, the difference made when they all are added together is significant.”

  • I like that. I do similar but never really named it

  • I have tried a tens machine in the past and didn't get any pain relief from it

  • Not all TENS machines are equal. I tried one and it was horrible, made pain worse. then I realised it was one that was supposed to exercise muscles by pulsing, not take pain away.

  • Very true that not all tens are equal. I love mine but it's not available in the U.K.

  • Really? That is interesting, I have never heard of it not helping. If you turn it on too high it can cause spasm in the muscles and that is not good but too low and it does no good either. If you could find a physical therapist to do it for you, you may find the sweet spot for you. The idea is that it interrupts the pain signals from getting to your brain and thus stops the pain while you use it. It often only works while in use. I own 3 of them and will use 2 or even 3 at once to get all the pain locations. But everyone is different it may just not work with your kind of pain

  • Oh my gosh it sounds like you are reading my medical chart. I am so scared to do the back injections. It's stupid. I live in daily pain so bad I can't move sometimes and the thought of a needle in my back terrifies me beyond belief. How did it feel? I know they numb you but after it wore off?

  • Injections into my spine weren't to bad I didn't get any numbing medication beforehand they just went ahead and did it, I cannot say it was the worst experience I have ever had

  • I keep hearing people say amitripyline is a pain killer. My pain dr told me it's only for sleep and has so little pain relief it's not worth mentioning. I wonder why he says that. He does prescribe it for me for sleep

  • I take gabapentin . amitriptyline and a muscle relaxant at night. If I don't take these I get no sleep because of the pain , burning and the pins and needles in my lower back and legs.

  • The reason for my doctor was stopping the tramadol was that she wanted to give me Butan patches instead as she thought these would work better.

    I read up on taking both the tramadol and Butan patches and it says never take both together because they could cause seizures, so the tramadol had to go, I have been cut down from 400 ml,s a day to100 ml,s a day I had terrible withdrawal symptoms, I am to see my GP again on Wednesday but in the meantime had results from the rheumatologist clinic and the MRI I had showed the results in more detail.

    The clinic has taken me to see a physiotherapist who says not to go off tramadol all together as it's to much to soon, ( I also gave up smoking in January after 54 years), and she said with that and coming off co- codamol was enough.

    The steroid injection I had wasn't directly into my spine but was given into my buttock, (I had 3 injections into my spine 15 years ago before I had a discectomy) to see if that would correct my problem but that didn't work and I had to go on and have a discectomy anyway, these injections I found weren't too bad I didn't have any numbing medication before hand.

    I am more concerned with the discs than anything else because I think they are giving me the pain and unless I have an operation to correct them it won't go away, but the specialist ( rheumatology) thinks that they aren't the problem but the arthritis is.

    The reason for cutting the tramadol isn't worrying me that much I think I had been on them too long and they weren't have the desired effect anyway the thing that worries me is getting hooked on the patches, after all it is morphine and I shall be back to square one with that. I am being pushed from pillar to post and no solution is being found.

    To cut a long story short I think I will possibly end up disabled and have to have a wheelchair eventually, and that depresses me so much, there isn't a cure for arthritis or anything else I have, so I am stuck with my lot in life, I can only hope for a pain free existence.

  • I thought the discs were my problem too but my pain dr told me it's the swelling caused by the arthritis.

  • The herniations also cause the back muscles to be very tense. I too did physiotherapy, did it five days a week for nearly a year and it barely helped at all. Spinal surgeons have said there is no operation as my discs and other spinal damage is too much. I got injured at 27 and lived in pain ever since. Deep back massages are critical for me and also wearing a back brace to work. Beyond that I have zero answer as to how we with spinal damage can reduce the pain. If only we had that magic answer that could change our lives back to normal.

  • I was told Tramadol is more of a muscle relaxant than a pain killer?

  • I have had it as a pain killer for all those years, but cannot comment on it being a muscle relaxant,

  • Tramadol is definitely licensed & used for pain relief; it's not a muscle relaxant!

    RJC 😊

  • Thanks, I appreciate someone giving me clarity x

  • I had foot surgery 6 wks ago and my surgeon perscriped Tramadol for the pain and it worked like a hot dam. I have not heard about it being used as a muscle relaxant.

  • I've been on it for two years now, and also thought it was a painkiller. i would love to know if what my "friend" told me is true?

  • My injections gave me about 80% pain relief for about 3 months.

  • Sorry to hear of your troubles. The way I understand Tramadol is that it is a synthetic non-opiate that processes to an opiate type pain releif in some people. I have also read it has part of it that is similar to drugs like Cymbalta or 'duloxotine?' Whivh is an anti - deppresant that can have action of pain relief in long term pain in some people. Have you talked to your doctor of trying trying low dose Cymbalta (duloxotine) or similar anti -depressant used in main management if Tramadol was useful for you? You may be able to avoid opiates altogether if this was the part of the drug that was helping things. I am not a medical person & have not tried Tramadol due to the risks. Good luck in working with the doctors for staying mobile & pain relief. I guess if it was helping you need to talk to your doctor. Please make sure your spinal injections are being done with imagry to reduce risks of things like arachnoiditis, when you have this procedure. Take care.

  • I have been on Maxitram ie Tramadol since 2010 also co-codalmol 30/500 and was told both are opiates I'm not saying you are wrong just your statement has brought up an something I would like to find out the answer to.

  • sorry but I need to ask, are you sure you should be taking tramadol and co-codamol together? My doctor told me I mustn't take them together.

  • Hi Granny5 Yes I was put on them and amitriptyline and Gabapentine by my neuro consultant. Also have had my knees injected and use a tens machine for my lower back pain. The co codamol I was taking up to 2 4 times a day but now have it mainly at 2 twice a day except when I'm awake at 4.47am with lower leg pain and icy cold legs and feet then I have to take them a 3rd time for some relief.

  • Hello, did you find the Gabepenton of any use? I am trying it at a very low dosage (100mg) but had a bit of a bad reaction to Lyrica so am a bit wary. Did you try it seperately to the others or was it all at the same time? I dont like trying medications it makes me feel like a Guinia pig, but need to try whatever might work. Any tips appreciated. I am also a very big fan of tens machine, this is wonderful pain relief and drug free.

  • Hi granny 5 I have been on tramadol and Butran patches for some weeks now and I have just read that they should never be taken together as they can cause seizures, my GP has been trying to get me off tramadol for the last 2 months and now I know why, it's a wonder I am still able to focus, let alone live a normal life, I went on to the site and that where I read about the dangers

  • Thanks reply. I would be interested to find out more about it too. Maybe someone with better knowledge of this medicine can help? I have never tried Tramadol so don't know much about it or if it would work for me. The way I understand it is that it is synthetic and becomes an opium type medication inside the body. But is not an opiod outside the body if that makes sense. I think thats why is has been prescribed sometimes so that people who are not in bad pain like us cannot take it and use it the wrong way like some of the other opiates?

    I wanted to post to you about the Cymbalta as I have tried the cymbalta (unfortunately it did not work for me to treat pain). It is an SNRI inhibitor type of anti depressent. But is used in trearing pain. I understand that Tramadol has a similar action to this, or a similar SNRI to Cymbalta / duloxotine is added into the Tramadol so I wanted to suggest you talk to your doctor to try one of these SNRI if Tramadol was working well and what you have now is just too much bad pain. Maybe if you are not getting relief and were managing to stay active on Tramadol they should not have changed your medications? It is always seems such a trade off for staying active or bad side effects whatever we try to take. Best of luck with it.

  • Oh my goodness if you can handle cymbalta try it! It cured my back pain almost 90% but I can't take it because of the side effects. It was the first time in a long time that I was pain free. I just could not leave the bathroom

  • Hi I'm sorry you are having withdrawals I was taken straight off Tramadol by a gp and it was hell at the time I didn't realise what was wrong with me, Cold sweats but couldn't get heat in me blankets and sleeping bags on me and still complained about being cold and shivering. I was admitted to casualty with seizures( which I had been taken previously but these were occurring more frequently )and was saw by a neuro consultant and promptly put back on them. I will be following your post as I am interested in knowing if there is an alternative to the pain relief I'm on. Wishing you all the best.

  • So sorry & surprised they didn't wean you off tramadol as it's classed as a controlled drug now !! Hope it gets easier for you real soon ,until then my best wishes go to you.ill say be strong but we have no choice ,pain is so debilitating.

    Warm regards. Peggy🌹😊🌹

  • Tramadol..... is I believe is in the opiod based group.

    I took it for years....

    I've just realised ive been living with chronic pain for 21 years..... and I'll bet half of them are lost in my 'Tramodol years'....

    Only after coming off them did I really realise how fuddled my mind would get..

    I made some really bad descisions while under the influence.... thinking about it.

    I found it didn't take my pain away more of moved it onto a back burner..... I slept and slept and slept.. I found it quite draining.

    However while I was taking it I just didn't see it.

    At my max doses.... I decided to came off it when i reised I'd been in a local shop to pay my newspaper bill I was stood there looking at the spare change in my hand and I just couldn't work out which coins added up to the amount I needed. ...

    Scary........ when you think I was driving, responsible for my children etc...

  • If the Tramadol was working ask your GP if you can go back on it, I have been on Tramadol now for about twenty years and basically I feel quite stable

    You can use NSID ointments and rub on the parts that are bad.

    Do you have a TENS, use this as a nerve block, it is always worth a try.


  • I would venture to guess your Dr. " didn't like " you being on the Tramadol because of the big crackdown on pain meds . Professionals are so afraid of losing their license because of overprescribing that they just can't help us anymore. It's very sad...☹️

  • Buttons patches are no stronger than co-codamol 8/500's. You don't say if you also have sciatica or nerve pain in your legs. As a ward sister I wouldn't recommend tramadol. My consultant in the pain clinic put me on palexia 200mgs morning and night and it works well for me. It is classed as a controlled drug. Steroid injection, spinal blocks and pulsed radio frequency all failed for me as did 2 discectmonies and decompression. I now have a spinal cord stimulator in my spine. My advice would be to get your gp to refer you to your nearest pain clinic for assessment and advice. Living with chronic pain is horrible. I have prolapsed five on both sides at L3,L4,L5 and S1, nerve pain in both legs from buttock to feet, degenerative disc disease and scoliosis. Hope you get sorted out. The only way is to try different analgesics until you find one that works for you. That's why a referral to the pain clinic is essential.

  • I would like to go to a pain clinic, but I think I have to be recommended for it, I will speak to my GP and ask her how I should go on, thank you for all your advice and suggestions it really helps to hear what other people think

  • Yes your gp will refer you. I don't think I'll ever be pain free but the best way to manage pain is to keep taking pain killers. If u wait until you are in pain then you'll never get on top of it. Ask your gp about the pain management program me or long term condition management. A lot of it has to do with your mind set, resting when you need to and keeping mobile. Getting out of bed when you can't sleep rather than lying awake frustrated. I have few good days but I won't lie down and let it beat me. Anyone suffering from chronic pain knows how much it can wear you down. I get down like everyone else and have days I feel sorry for myself, then I remember that it won't kill me. Talk to your gp, they don't know how to treat you if you don't tell them. I'm on a mix of palexia, amitrypyline, duloxetine, co-codamol 30/500, zopiclone and ibuprofen and have a spinal cord stimulator for the nerve pain in both my legs. Its taken almost 6 years of pain and suffering to get the right treatment. Don't give up, stay positive. Remember its your pain and only you can fight for you.

  • Yes I like this comment. I have days when the pain is really bad and its not any good playing 'catch up'. I sometimes make it my self talk that I am not a person that is physically tough but I can be mentally tough. I just have to not apply that to finishing tasks that are going to make me sorer, but to keep moving. Its a hard balance. Thanks for your information on Palexia. That is interesting to hear you use it with Cymbalta.

  • Pain consultant put me on duloxetine and weaned me off pregabalin top dose. The best way to get the right treatment is through a pain clinic. At least they know what they're doing and what meds work together

  • Thanks reply. Yes I am on a waiting list to one. It is hard accessing services where I am. My GP helps alot. I did 5 days of low dose gabepenton 100mg then 300mg and am throwing the gabepenton out, I had a similar bad reaction to it as the Lyrica on the 4th or 5th day. Was hoping it would be different, but they are similar medicines oh well. It is good to hear of others having benefit with a pain clinic. Thanks

  • Hello, you sound knowledgable. Is 'Palexia' that you mention worked for you similar to Tramadol or better in some way?

  • Much better than tramadol. Less side effects too. I had been on targanet before palexia. Pain clinic consultant prescribed it.

  • Hi. I'm so sorry to hear of your pain. I am on Tramadol, since August 2016. Already I notice if I miss or leave a huge gap in between. I used to have Carpal Tunnel, both Wrists.

    I had the op and it worked a treat. That was back in 2005 and 2008. SO far so good.

    Cocodamol 30/500 8 a day, was my pain killer. I was taken off this because it ceased to do anything after 9 yrs of taking them.

    Could you have a second opinion from another gp that you have seen?

    I deeply sympathise with you regarding Arthritis.Which one is you have?

    The cold weather can't be helping much. I have it in my feet, knee and hip.

    Would your doctor consider putting you on a minimum dose of Tramadol? Maybe help to fight with the addiction and eventually rid your system of the remaining drug. I'm sorry I can't be much help, but I sincerely do hope that your pain eases and you can return to some kind of normality..

    Take care

  • I too have more or less the same symptoms as you, also been on Tramadol same no. of years. I decided that although I was on 8 per day I was still in pain. Unfortunately I stopped taking the Tramadol suddenly, which made me so ill I had to contact NHS 24, who informed me that coming off Tramadol is like withdrawing from Heroin as they are both oppiates. NOTE TO ONE AND ALL NEVER STOP MEDICATION SUDDENLEY WITHOUT DISCUSSING IT WITH YOUR OWN DR. I am now free of Tramadol and in chronic pain, with a new chronic shoulder. It's a case of sucking it up, and above all keep moving as much as possible despite the pain. Staying in bed or just sitting for long periods is the worst thing one can do. I tend to use an aromatherapy heat pad on various parts of my body where pain is worst and it dies relieve, albeit short. term . You can only gave 3 steroid injections a year, roughly every four months. You are lucky your injection worked, had no affect on me after first one so no point in carrying on. A long response and I apologise, I hope some if it will help.

  • According to my GP I can have as many steroid injections as I want, this seemed very unusual to me, but I am not about to argue with her on this point, if my pain gets to bad to take I shall ask her what to do, I am on morphine patches which I change weekly, they are 10mg, she has said that if my pain gets to bad she can up my dosage, I asked her about a pain management clinic and she doesn't think I need this yet but if nothing else works then she will recommend me to them, I really think it's all to do with cost,

  • Addendum to my last reply I was on 8 a day and reduced one per 4 weeks until I was off them hope this helps

  • Definitely try CBD oil / hemp, it worked very well for me when I was away and couldn't get more tramadol. You can order online from Switzerland where the dosage is higher.

  • I also was addicted to Tramadol decided to cut down after media reports were warning about the very real dependence, I had my Drs help at first with reducing the amount I took, this was disastrous it effected my sleep patterns to my daily life. I decided on cold turkey and with difficulties it worked and I'm still off them thank god. Now unfortunately for the last 3 weeks I have developed Sciatica HELP !!!!!!

  • I've been on Fentanyl patch for 5 years now and it has worked wonders. I too have spinal injuries and multiple bulging discs etc but it was the Fentanyl that allowed me to regain a life after the military. I also get 30/500 solpodol and worry about liver damage. Thankfully ok so far. These drugs are life savers but when the patch starts wearing off etc, it is torture. I've never felt so restless and sick.

    Would love to be off the medicines but just not realistic. Hope you get through everything.

  • I know this is an old post, but that was just cruel. Tramadol is a medication that the body can become dependant on, so in addition to your pain you have to deal with withdrawal. Thats just terrible

You may also like...