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How much pain should painkillers cover?

(17 Posts)
imsodizzy Sat 25-Mar-17 18:42:52

I'm on various painkillers down to a herniated disk in my back aswell as severe sciatica, I currently take 22 tablets a day to try relieve the pain yet I'm still in pain, on a scale of 1-10 the lowest my pain goes is around 4/5.
It made me wonder earlier, is the point of painkillers to completely stop you from being in pain or to just get your pain to a level where you can still kind of get by day to day?
I hope this isn't a really obvious answer but when I thought about it when I had headaches and took paracetamol the pain would completely go so maybe I need to try different painkillers. confused

Mehfruittea Sat 25-Mar-17 19:23:26

Some pain is so severe that you will not be pain-free. I take a lot of medication, including opiates, fentanyl patches and liquid morphine. I think I could achieve 2-3 out of 10, but that would leave me to dosed up to work, drive or parent my child. So I live with an average of 7 or 8 each day and offset the pain with trying to enjoy my life and my family. I use a wheelchair rather than accept I can't walk very far or up the pain killers to try walking further. I make compromises all the time in order to use as little medication as possible and still enjoy life. Sometimes I get the balance wrong and am a grouchy cow due to the pain. Or I take enough to ease the pain but sleep for hours and miss my sons bedtime stories.

It's hard but if there is no treatment, only pain relief, you need to make the choices that you know you can live with. flowers

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Sat 25-Mar-17 19:39:52

There isn't really a simple answer to that question, but generally (when treating acute pain) the goal with painkillers is to get the pain to a mild/bearable level. If that isn't possible you are generally trying to get a significant reduction in the pain.

If your level of pain is not bearable and still hovering around a 4-5/10, I would go back to your GP (assuming your GP prescribed the painkillers). Also it might be worth trying to get a referral to a pain clinic. I don't know if that would be appropriate in your case, but if you are finding the pain hard to cope with then I would definitely ask about it.

Hope you can find some relief OP, it sounds miserable flowers

Ollivander84 Sat 25-Mar-17 20:15:16

I had an emergency MRI last night. They've put me on 500mg naproxen X 2, full dose of paracetamol, 5mg diazepam and 60mg dihydrocodeine X 4. And I'm about 7/10 still 😂😂😂😂
Mine is l4/l5/s1

CMOTDibbler Sat 25-Mar-17 20:20:26

TBH, I think with nerve pain, the best you can hope for is reduction to manageable levels. I have CRPS, and am normally a 4 with medication - not much makes a big dent in it. Getting a good nights sleep makes a huge difference in my ability to cope with it though

imsodizzy Sat 25-Mar-17 20:38:48

Thanks for all your replies!
Seems the answer is as I expected, I hate this pain and being told I have to learn to live with it. I'm young and as dramatic as it sounds I feel like my lifes being ruined. The pain being at a 4/5 is when I'm doing very little so as soon as I start walking even with maximum painkillers the level of pain creeps up again.
I can't take overly strong painkillers as I end up sleepy/drowsy so I guess this is just my life for now. I'm on max dose of Paracetamol, Codeine, Naproxen, Gabapentin and amitriptyline. My gp doesn't like to prescribe diazapam so only gives me a few days worth every so often. I'm hoping once I see a specialist I'll be able to try some injections. I'm just so angry and upset with myself and my body as silly as it sounds. 
Sorry for my whingey rant blush

imsodizzy Sat 25-Mar-17 20:38:51

Thanks for all your replies!
Seems the answer is as I expected, I hate this pain and being told I have to learn to live with it. I'm young and as dramatic as it sounds I feel like my lifes being ruined. The pain being at a 4/5 is when I'm doing very little so as soon as I start walking even with maximum painkillers the level of pain creeps up again.
I can't take overly strong painkillers as I end up sleepy/drowsy so I guess this is just my life for now. I'm on max dose of Paracetamol, Codeine, Naproxen, Gabapentin and amitriptyline. My gp doesn't like to prescribe diazapam so only gives me a few days worth every so often. I'm hoping once I see a specialist I'll be able to try some injections. I'm just so angry and upset with myself and my body as silly as it sounds. 
Sorry for my whingey rant blush

Ollivander84 Sat 25-Mar-17 20:43:54

Ah don't worry about whining, I haven't had this pain for long and I've done nothing but whine about it

snotato Sat 25-Mar-17 20:48:17

Ask your doctor to prescribe you diazepam or oramorf.the only two things I've found that actually work for my cesarian or bad back pain!

imsodizzy Sat 25-Mar-17 21:04:46

I asked my gp for diazapam last week and I got given two days worth! He wouldn't prescribe it unless there was someone else to look after my dc because of the side effects so I doubt I'll get anything stronger 😔

elfonshelf Sun 26-Mar-17 20:19:40

Pain-free isn't an option the spinal neuros have ever discussed with me. The best they offer is a potential reduction.

I find rotating painkillers works best - diclofenac is my emergency wonder-drug and lamotrigine is also excellent (as well as the morphine SR, tramadol, oramorph, codeine, gabapentine etc etc). If all else fails then a good big gin and tonic.

Most of the time I trundle along with a 5/10 and can hold down a job, look after DD and be pretty with it, if things are really bad then I just take a bit of everything, all washed down with gin and write the evening off. Not recommended but needs must.

Acupuncture, and heat pads are also helpful.

Much sympathy from me.

Mehfruittea Sun 26-Mar-17 23:43:33

OP, You sound like you are on a similar concoction to me. I have fentanyl patches in addition, which were only prescribed after a consultant told my GP that was the next step for me. It was rheumatology for me, I have EDS. perhaps a consult can back you up on needing something more? I agree diazepam is prob not the best thing for you as it sounds like you need long term pain relief. flowers

imsodizzy Tue 28-Mar-17 14:20:08

Just out of curiosity what kind of job do you do elfonshelf? I've been on sick leave for months and I'm gearing up to get dismissed so I'm trying to find a more suitable one, my current one is manual labour which is a major no no at the moment.

imsodizzy Tue 28-Mar-17 14:25:24

It's awful to know I'll probably live most of my life in pain, thank you for all your replies though it's nice (in a horribly strange way because I'd hate for others to suffer this much) that other people are in the same position. I know no one in rl who has anything as bad as me so I always end up with sly digs about not working or taking endless pills etc.
I seen my gp yesterday, poor womans probably sick of me but she suggested the consultant may want to do an operation so I'm crossing my fingers for that but trying not to get my hopes up as I'm assuming it will be more injections

Drunkvet Tue 28-Mar-17 14:35:53

Hi OP I had spinal surgery for a disc prolapse and nerve root compression when I was 23. I can honestly say the surgery was the best thing that ever happened to me. My pain was daily at 7-8 on diclofenac/paracetamol/tramadol/diazepam and I couldn't walk or sit for more than 5mins. However surgery is not the answer for everyone and I would recommend you get referral to a neurosurgeon NOT an orthopaedic surgeon who does spines. I found that post op Pilates helped and my physio did something called Bowen which was devine and got rid of all the horrible tightness and cramps.

Piehunter Tue 28-Mar-17 14:35:57

I think the answer is different to chronic pain than acute. I've had chronic pain since I was 15 and on an average day pain is between a 5-7, I had my tonsils out at 21 and was VERY surprised to discover that the diclofenac and co-codamol completely got rid of the post op pain, not a sensation I was familiar with! I'm 25 now and only really take dihydrocodeine and oramorph, sometimes tramadol and I get quite a lot of diazepam as I have inflammation but can't have anti inflammatories anymore due to other medication. Best pain days ever are about a 4 with medication. I don't take gabapentin/pregabalin any more as they don't do enough for pain to outweigh side effects personally, I can't take amitriptyline although have in the past. So I take what I need and just live with it.

How long have you had the pain? It does get easier and you can do more with it as you get used to it, it's not easy but it can be possible.

Are they considering surgery? my DH has just had surgery to decompress disc/nerve at l5/s1 after many years of pain, becoming severe in the last year (max dose gabapentin, tramadol, naproxen, with amitriptyline, paracetamol, diazepam and also oramorph at worst) It's worked really well. He's been able to keep working right up until op as work were fantastic, although he was on crutches and leg was starting to collapse regularly as nerve was being compressed so badly. He's not pain free 6 weeks on but it's infinitely better and he's reduced meds hugely.

Pain is crap flowers

imsodizzy Tue 28-Mar-17 15:24:43

This time round I've only had the pain for 8 months but I've had a herniated disk before and that lasted two years before I had an op. I've seen a muscoskeletal(sp) specialist and a physio, physio said that most back/nerve pain resolves within two years and didnt suggest anything else, the other said I'll need injections or surgery but it's down to the consultant I see soon. Surgery worked really well first time round, I still suffered with pain after for a while but it ease up and I had a few wonderful pain free years 😁

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