Pain Concern
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Herniated disc L5 S1 nerve

Recently had mri scan, I’m in serious amount of pain down left leg, meds initially amitrytilline cocodamol 30/500 I’m only getting relief for 2 hours, my second fall I was given morphin for pain relief in hospital, when I was discharged they gave me gabapentin, cocodamol and diclofenac suppositories. I am so confused now I don’t know what hell is going on.. I’ve been off work for 3weeks.. my gp gave me morphin liquid as well use when reqd. Someone please advice me.

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Hello Jay67..herniated discs are extremely painful but obviously don't need to tell you that.

What are you confused about? Is it the different meds?

x

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Thank you for responding. I’ve been told to have diclofenac in the morning, I started gabapentin today, I also have cocodamol,from hospital, my gp gave me morphine liquid and advised only take gabapent and take 2.5ml of morphine when pain kicks in. I read that gaba and morphin can get serious side effects. I’m scared.. I had a bad experience with tramadol..recently. I also have diazepam 5mg should I take it at night or not???

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Well that is some cocktail of pain meds. Diazapam is only ever given for very short periods and not on your script.

Gabapentin is either very good or it hates you. There is never a medium. It is certainly worth giving it a chance as you are on a low dose.

Go with what your GP tellss you.

x

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Good evening Jay and sorry to hear you are in a great deal of pain.

I can empathise entirely as I have 4 prolapsed discs, L4, L5, S1 and S2.

My initial advice to you is to press for a referral to your local Pain Management service. They will oversee your pain medication, perform spinal injections and refer you to other departments for treatment.

I am currently convalescing after Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) surgery and it was the Dr at my Pain Management team who referred me to the Neuroscience Dept for the surgery.

Keep smiling and best wishes, Ben.

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I would be careful of the diclofenic, I had same problems have had 2 disc operations but before my second one I had a rectal bleed and they took me off it straight away as they said that it was probably the cause.

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Thank you for replying... I feel someone cares.

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It’s been a long day for me, I’m going so use diclofenac, take two cocodmol and diazepam, and pray to see the sunlight tomorrow morning. Thank you for taking time to respond. Much appreciated. Hope you have a lovely sleep and a fantastic day tomorrow. Jay xx

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Speak to me in the morning. Let me know how you managed

x

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Good morning, I had a wonderful sleep with diazepam it really helped. The gabapentin(just took 1 tablet) has stopped most nerve pain, I am to take two today..I won’t be taking cocod, just liquid morph if pain is out of control. Thank you all who have replied it’s nice to know I’m not alone, it’s also sad to hear that we are all in pain... ( “what a wonderful world”) I wish it was right now! I hope all feel better with treatment.

I have been referred for pain clinic and neurologist apparently it can take forever...

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Good to hear you slept well.

How long have you been taking Diazepam?

x

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Doc said take only at night occasionally , I have 26 tablets left

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It does worry me that you are taking Diazepam with some of your other meds.

It is prescribed at strict dosage rather than taking as and when needed.

If you have 26 tablets left...when did you start taking them? And what strength are you taking?

x.

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The diazepam is 5mg I was supposed to take 1tab three times a day, but recently doc said only take 1 tab at night when required.

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OK got that but still concerns me.

How long have you been taking them?

x

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I have taken only two tablets over the past two weeks, last tablets was last night. It makes me very sleepy when I last took one in the day. So I’m only ever going to take one in the night time before bed.

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Do you manage to work?

x

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I have not been working for three weeks but I’ve just had a shower and getting ready for work. Doc said be active...

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OK so you usually work but been on sickness?

x

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Yes. Will take a risk and goto work. But I have a great team I will do minimal work. I’m home sick and fed up of going into hospital

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Good if you feel ready to return. Hopefully you work locally and not trek across the country

x

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Good evening, I had a great day at work today after three weeks at home. I just took diclofenac, and two tablets of gabapentin. Tomorrow I need to take three over the course of the day. They make me a bit dizzy and very hungry. At 6pm I went out to get some biscuits and my legs would not move so had a 2.5 mil of morphin. This took me till 12am, I feel good and feel the pain is better. I hope I can overcome this pain. I have loved as much as I did today. Thank you for your comments.

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Did you have to travel far to work? That might explain your wobbly legs

x

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Hi Jay 67, you have nothing to worry about with your meds, I to have herniated discs, trapped nerves, arthritis, and degeneration of discs, so I too am in a lot of pain. My meds are the same as yours as well as, Zomorph, Amitriptyline, Duloxetine and instead of Diazepam I take clonazepam. The only one I would be wary of taking would be Diazepam as usually you are only given a small dose for maximum of 2 week. I would try and do without them if you could. I too had a bad reaction to Tramadol, with projectile vomiting and feeling out of it. When you next see your Doctor ask if he could make an appointment with the pain team. They are really good at sorting your medication out and putting you at ease with the meds you are taking, and may even change them to suit your needs. It is a constant battle when you are in chronic pain as you feel that all you do is pop pills. Unfortunately unless they decide on surgery or some other course of action you will have to manage your pain in this way. Hopefully they will be able to do something for you. I still go to see them at the pain clinic but have been told there is nothing more they can do for me so have to use the meds to try and keep myself as mobile as possible. Anyway sending you best wishes and good luck. X

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Thank you for your reply, can I please ask why you are taking amitriptyline and duloxetine as they are similar drugs for nerve pain.(I think).. secondly does it help with pain.

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Hi Jay 67, sorry to hear of your problems. Ask your doctor about fentanyl patches they work well for me on the pain side and I have able to up in dose and back down without any side effects. Only thing like liquid morphine you have to keep upping the dose as your body soon adapts. Also make sure your careful with the diclofenac check with your GP as quite often they will only provide these with something like omeprazole to keep your stomach lining intact. For me I ended up with a fusion at L5-S1 (subsequently L5-L4 and I think I am on the way to L4-L3 I hope not) for low back pain but did not get any sciatic so I feel for you.

Barry

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Barry I feel your pain, you had three operations?? How long did you wait for your first surgery appointment??

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The first was L5-S1 in 1991 and I waited the best part of 4 years, then I had some in-situ laser work done in 2010 but did not do the job (funded this privately in cash), then next was a full fusion in 2013 at L5-L4 and I was very lucky to be in the company AXA scheme so waiting time was 1 month as the consultant said I should not be walking. Recovery took some time (6 months) but gym work helped a lot, Pilates and keeping your core strong and not sitting down at the PC on a standard office chair for more than 30 minutes.

Then I fell down our stairs in Jan 2017 and pretty conclusively did L4-L3 pain in groin and outside of knee. Took 10 months for an x-ray and another 2 for the MRI. The morphine and patches enabled me to travel off road for work in Sierra Leon in July and at the moment I am in Vienna at work for a week. I just hope I get some positive letter in the post soon. I think they are considering a spinal stimulation for pain but I think the disc at L4-L3 is too unstable as my leg and groin pain switches for left to right occasionally. Perhaps I have a small rupture in the disc and can be stabilized laparoscopically.

Given my back history I just cant understand why and x-ray and MRI were not ordered when I first saw the consultant back in July or even suggested by my GP at the referral stage last January.

For me most of "background pain" came from the first operation when they manged to de-nervate both gastrocnemius and the frustration of the spinal team ignoring this as an issue up until 2013.

Hopefully this will all go away, but unless we can find some way of better supporting the NHS (perhaps by having NI payments ring fenced for the NHS?) and encouraging the young to go into the medical discipline, I think those of us reaching 60 are going to be in for a pretty rough ride.

keep well

Barry

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Hi,

Great post and really informative. I have similair history although no operations as yet. Prolapse l5 s1 14 months ago. No operation offered as l3 l4 problems and spinal stenosis but leg pain was not as great as back pain and spinal stenosis. Things are now much worse. Leg pain, in to groin and unable to weight bear on right leg . Referred back to neuro surgeon, next week. Reading different stories and outcomes really helps the thought process, and decision making

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Hi, I have suffered from this problem for the past two years. I am glad to say, my problem is almost gone, thanks to Chiro I saw in Harrow.

It was expensive, it has cost me around 700 pounds in total and around 10 to 12 sessions, but I have been saved from a major operation.

In the first consultation he took few X-rays, so if you already have X-rays take it with you. I didn’t have X-rays but I did have MRI scan.

He started treating after first consultation, he had said my problem was coming from my neck, which frankly I didn’t believe it, but I carried on as apart from money I didn’t have much to loose.

Each session was around 40 pounds and only lasted 10 mins. I felt quite cheated by that too, but I carried on. 10 sessions later I am well and off painkillers.

It may not be just the Chiro sessions which helped my recovery, I had knee replacement in February 2017, and that has recovered too, which might have helped my back as well. I am glad to say for the past 3 months I haven’t taken any painkillers, except for headache. Try Chiro, it may help, it has certainly helped me.

I have now replaced my Chiro with a body massage, enjoying that.

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All I can say is "Good luck"! I won't bore you with my story! 😭

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Good morning it would be nice to hear your experience...any way have a good day

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Hello Jay, I just replied to your post but for some reason it has been listed near the top of the posts.

Reading through some of the other replies, I noticed someone mentioned Fentanyl. I would second that endorsement. I have been previously been prescibed the patches and they worked wonders and kept me at work. Each patch lasts 72 hrs and I had no side effects at all.

Best wishes, Ben.

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Firstly apologies for the OTT emoji at the end of my initial message! That's very kind of you, to put it briefly - 12 and half years ago I had severe lower back pain and after going to GP, I was given Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy on NHS plus told to buy over the counter pain killers! The therapies worked as regards movement and stability plus the medications relieved some of the pain! I was recommended to join a Pilates class (which I still do) and get on with my life! I continued to take the medications on/off until 5 and half years ago when I suddenly virtually collapsed with lower back pain and sciatica! I managed to get a GP within two days, driven by family! I could hardly walk, sit, stand, lie down or anything! My GP asked if I had any other symptoms - when I mentioned I felt I nearly was wetting myself, he rang an ambulance with suspect CES! I was rushed into A&E - bypassing queue for MRI. "Thankfully" I didn't have CES "just" Prolapsed Lumbar Discs L3,4 and 5! I spent 4 nights under observation in orthopaedic and trauma! I start the following year with chronic Sciatica (including my 40th birthday) and lost my career! About 2 months after the year I was up, I managed to feel I could get back to work! I was still under my specialist and he sent me for another scan and discs were still prolapsed but stable! He put me forward for cortisone injection-which didn't work and 3 months later a discectomy, which my then new job (years contract) supported me through! It worked wonders and I then head hunted for another job in my convalescence, so I started new job after my "sick" note ran out but still under specialist-with checknups. Everything was fine for 6 months until lower back pain and sciatica started up again! AmazinglyI my specialist appointment within days - he fast tracked me for another MRI, my discs were unstable (often happen after discectomy), so had revision surgery - another discectomy! My work (and I am still there) very considerate and returned really well! Unfortunately 18 months ago the pain returned again and specialist recommended Fusion!!! I went for it and I am so glad I did! They couldn't do as much as they want because of previous scar tissue(from previous operations) and spinal stenosis! I am still on a low dose of Gabapentin but I doing fine! I have probably missed out some points but like I say, I am alive and kicking!!!

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Does your surgery have a clinical pharmacist or dispensary? Sometimes there are mixups with meds between GPs and secondary care, and the best people to explain it and sort it out are the drug experts, the pharmacists. So rather than wait for an appointment with a GP which at this time of year with the huge increase in flu might take a while, you could try to talk to a pharmacists, either at your local chemist or if there is one at the GP surgery you can talk to.

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Good morning to everyone, I just came out of queen Elizabeth hospital after having lumbar decompression and microdiscetomy, and by the grace of the Almighty I feel much better, I don’t feel the sciatica pain at all now, they removed the protruding disc. I just want to slowly come off these pain medication that gp’s prescribe as they can’t do much more than that...I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being by my side when I was most In need. ( I will stay on this site) I want to especially call out bananas5 and Micheal who always here to respond to any pain concerns. Love you all.. I pray that you all get some relief from your conditions. I am grateful that this site exists so that we can all share our experiences.

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I have herniated disc s1 and several other problems in that area and scoliosis. I get the pain you describe. An army nurse showrd me an exercise to do whilst slumping into a door frame. This sometimes helps me. A physio may therefore help. Ask your gp to refer you. Pills and patches do not help now. I have 25 medical issues though.

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