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Pain is so bad - help needed (long post)

(15 Posts)
puddinggal Tue 02-Mar-04 19:56:32

I posted on here a while back. I am addicted to some pretty strong pain killers and was considering coming off them. After posting and getting some advice from some wise mumsnetters (especially Lisa) I decided to stop taking them.

I have not taken them in three weeks - which for me is a real accomplishment. It has been really hard. The problem now is my neck.

I get pains in my neck (when I move it around it clicks and creaks). It sounds silly but sometimes the pain is unbearable. When I was on the painkillers, they masked the problem. So of course now I feel it with a vengeance. The pain shoots up the back of my neck, then my head and gives me headaches.

I have had xrays - which showed no bone damage. I went to a chiropractor - which did help but is so expensive. I am considering going back.

Before I do has anybody got any tips/help/advice on how to help control the pain. I am so determined not to take the painkillers - but feel that I will rebound back onto them if I dont start managing the problem with my neck.

Any help appreciated as always. I feel quite low and desperate at the moment. It has hurt so much today that I have been crying all afternoon (bet I sound like a wimp). Thanks x x x

Marshy Tue 02-Mar-04 20:34:33

Poor you..
I might be way off here as I missed your original post, but might it be muscular tension if not a bone/joint-type problem?
I had excrutiating pain/numbness in my arm which used to wake me in the night and have me leaping about the bedroom in agony. Turned out to be all muscular originating around my shoulder blade, and trapping nerves. Responded to massage and, finally to antedepressants, which helped my undoubtedly low mood, but also helped me to sleep and relax at night. I wouldn't have believed that being tense could cause such pain, if I hadn't experienced it.
Now off the meds for some time, but still get twinges at times,and I take this as an early sign that I need to pay attention to my stress levels and start looking after myself a bit better.
Hope you get some relief soon.

twiglett Tue 02-Mar-04 21:07:10

message withdrawn

Jimjams Tue 02-Mar-04 21:18:35

Might be stress- my back plays up when I get stressed. I go the hot relaxing bath route.

If I was you I would try complemetary medicine. A course of chiropracty (over about 6 months) really sorted out my back but is expensive. other possibities are things like homeopathy (much cheaper as you only go once a month at most) or Alexander technique

Jimjams Tue 02-Mar-04 21:19:32

oh just read twigletts post- and what she says is true- if you think there's more to it keep hammering away.

JJ Tue 02-Mar-04 21:26:40

This is just a question but, why are you coming off of painkillers? I can totally understand if you're coming off because of something else they do for you. But if they're working and it's just because you don't want to be taking them, you should keep taking them.

(I have to take daily pills. Wish I didn't, but I do.)

Sorry if you answered this in your earlier post.

Otherwise, massage is a huge huge help for me. A regular massage (ie, more often than you "need" it) is best. But a licensed practioner is needed.

Metrobaby Tue 02-Mar-04 21:31:08

puddinggal - you have my sympathies. About a year or so ago, I developed pains in my neck too that was unbearable - following a simple bash on the head from a cupboard door. I literally felt sick with the pain so I can understand in a way how you feel. I ended up seeing an oestopath who was great. After 2 sessions it was great and I had another 2 sessions before it was completely better. Now I don't have any pain at all. I think if you do see a chiropractor or oestopath its important to see one that is recommended though. Hope you get it sorted out soon.

puddinggal Wed 03-Mar-04 10:46:41

Thanks for your responses. Have been feeling really down about this and not thinking clearly. As you have all said I do think that a lot of the problem is tension. I am very stressed out all the time and have problems relaxing.

JJ - the painkillers I took had a high dose of codine in them and a side effect was that I was getting headaches. Also I was becoming ammune to them - so was taking more and more to get an effect. On top of this - this is the bad part - they werent my prescription drugs I was taking they were somebody elses which was causing a tricky situation. I realised over time that I was abusing them and with a lot of help I came off them. I think massage is a good idea.

Again thanks for all your tips and advice - I think I will go back to my chiropractor (and my doctor). Alot of the problem is how low I feel - so I thik I need to think about ways of chilling out a bit! Have been finding life a lot harder to cope with recently.

AussieSim Wed 03-Mar-04 18:34:14

Puddingal, I have the same problem on and off. As I am Breastfeeding I can't take anything. I used to go to the chiro very regularly but find that now I can't get there I can treat the prob reasonably effectively myself. I usually take a couple of paracetamol, heat up a wheat bag or similar in the mircrowave and put it on the back of my neck and then wrap a towel around it and lay down (not flat) on the lounge with a bit of pressure on the back of the neck. Once it has cooled off I take the towl and fold in in thirds on the short end and then roll it till it makes about 15cm radius and lie flat on my back on the floor with it behind my neck. This stretches the joints at the base of the skull away from the top of the spine - I got this tip from my chiro - who used to get me to do it for 15 - 20mins after an adjustment. If this doesn't give you relief then instead of the hot pack try a cold pack instead. I have recommended this treatment to quite a few people with lots of success. It could well be to do with your posture. Working at a computer is particularly bad, but I can do it without hours on MN as well - so you need to focus on sitting up straight, not crossing your legs, holding your head up high with your chin tucked in.

I hope some of that might help. Good Luck!

SofiaAmes Wed 03-Mar-04 18:55:01

I used to get terrible terrible tension headaches and pains in my neck that would shoot down my arm. Sometimes it was so bad I could barely lift my arm. I found muscle relaxants and massage to be only useful while they were going on, but not a long term solution. In the end my cure was yoga. I started going once a week, then twice a week and eventually 5 times a week. It was a lifesaver. I highly recommend it. Not only did it get rid of all my "pinched" nerves, tension headaches and general aches and pains and pulled muscles, but it also toned my body and I ended up with the closest thing to a flat stomach I have ever had (even in my dreams). Chances are your local sports centre has a yoga class once a week and it's certainly worth going there to begin with. Good luck.

AussieSim Sat 06-Mar-04 21:10:15

So Puddingal - how are you doing?

puddinggal Mon 08-Mar-04 22:58:33

Hi everybody, thanks so much for your help and advice.
Aussiesim - thanks so much for asking me how I am doing! That was so nice. I am not too bad. Have been doing ice packs on my neck at least 3 times a day and it has improved a bit. I think you are so right about posture. The day after reading your post I straightened out my posture each time I felt I was slouching. The first time I did this my back and shoulders made a clicking sound! I have now realised just how bad my posture is. I have also tried the other things you said about stretching my joints (and have brought a pilates video).
I think a lot of my problem is stress and if I learn to relax a little my neck and headaches will improve. My husband has got me a foot spa to help me relax!! Bless his heart - not sure how that will work but will try it to make him happy!
How are your aches? I think it is great you can manage it effectively without a chiropractor (they are expensive)

AussieSim Wed 24-Mar-04 18:54:39

Hi Puddingal - sorry I didn't make it back for such a long time. I have a habit of checking active messages only. Anyway, I am glad to be of help and very happy that you are feeling better. I have started at the gym and I am feeling fitter and stronger after every visit, but doubt that I have seen the end of my problems, but it does make it easier to manage. Thanks for asking.

SoupDragon Wed 24-Mar-04 20:44:29

A bit late joining in but ...

I know they're expensive but I'd also recommend an osteopath. Generally speaking you do unfortunately need a course of treatments but they can work wonders.

Rush Mon 03-Jan-05 13:07:32

I am 35 weeks preganant now and so far i have had a healthy pregnancy. Just a week back i had this sciatic nerve pull which has developed into a shooting pain right from my left thigh till my toes and now it has even graduated to the left shoulder and arms and hands. Since i cant take pain killers i was looking for an alternative treatment such as Oestopath/ Accupressure...but have no previous experience on these. Would anyone be able to advise me on the same?

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