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Painkiller or muscle relaxent advice?

(21 Posts)
used2bthin Mon 14-Sep-09 20:21:02

Apologies if this is a bit disjointed, I am on strong painkillers for a bad shoulder/neck problem. I have had it for years and used to be on a concoction of drugs that made me feel dreadful and put on lots of weight.

I saw a chiropractor last year and after a few treatments saw a big difference. I ahd been off the painkillers etc for a few years but was still in pain every day until then.

It has got really bad again recently and despite seeing he chiropractor three times in the last week and a half, I had to call a doctor out in the night and get valium as the pain was unbearable. The doctor prescribed valium to relax the muscles and it worked but now I''ve stopped them I am still in pain.

A few people have said go back to the GP but I am just awarw that they are unlikely to do anything other than give me more drugs. I am a single parent and my DD has medical needs so I need to be with it but also to be fit enough to look after her properly.

Just wondering really if there are any long term things I can take without feeling too much of an effect but that will stop the pain? I am also terrified of gaining weight!

used2bthin Mon 14-Sep-09 21:10:58

bump in case there are any pain management experts on here this evening? For themselves or as a profession. I've just had to take half a valium, it gets worse as the day goes on and I hardly slept last night-I'm beginning to worry that I am wasting my mone with the chiropractor although Ihad good results before, ths doesnt seem to be improving much.

3littlefrogs Mon 14-Sep-09 21:30:01

I am not an expert, but have some experience of back/neck shoulder pain.

Do you know what set it off? Is it due to a congenital spinal problem such as scoliosis, or is it postural/occupational - heavy lifting or carrying for example? Or have you had an injury in the past?

You really need a proper diagnosis and screening to establish the cause.

When you have chronic pain, all your muscles tense up and over time the fibres shorten. The function of the muscles around the shoulder is to stabilise the joint. When you have chronic tension you also get a build up of lactic acid in these muscles which causes excruiating pain. Therapeutic massage can really help with this.

Valium helps because it relaxes the muscles, but doesn't cure the problem because it wears off.

Has your doctor suggested injecting the shoulder with steroids? This might help, but you do need a proper diagnosis and specialist advice.

Things like your mattress, pillow, handback, chairs etc can make a huge difference to this sort of problem too.

used2bthin Mon 14-Sep-09 21:39:48

Thanks for your reply.I had an injury in the past but this time it seems to have come on gradually. It never quite leaves me pain free but had been pretty good for the last year or so. I am finding it feels better in the morning and I can do things but then I'll bend or twist stangely to do something with DD and it gets bad again till by the evening it is so so painful again.

I had a lot of tests years ago and noting was found other than a slight disallignment. The GP that came out in th night said the muscles were in spasm around a nerve. Massage sounds good. I am also desperate enough to thin that a steroid injection does too! Would that have a similar effect to the valium or be more long trm?

morningpaper Mon 14-Sep-09 21:47:42

As your initial tests were years ago, I would start at the beginning and keep asking for referrals: something like: GP > Physio > Consultant > Pain Clinic.

In terms of drugs, different drugs work for different people: muscle pain is more of an art than a science!

Naproxen is my personal saviour but I think it's well worth trying everything and getting a proper consultant who can try you with the different pain relief/anti-inflammatories in a proper logical order to see what works and what doesn't.

Hope things improve and this doesn't last long. xxx

used2bthin Mon 14-Sep-09 21:53:33

Thank you. I am feeling really upset about it today as despite me spending nearly £200 on chiro fees I am still in pain. And I feel DD is getting such a raw deal.

I wonder if I am more down and anxious than I otherwise would be due tonot being n valium all day every day though too!

I badly don't want to be taking lots of medication again but it looks like it could be the only way. Physio didn't do much in the past but may be worth trying again now.

Maybe there are different drugs that weren't around when it was this bad before. I hven't heard of naproxen.

Oh the chiro did a scan but I'm not sure how detailed it was.

morningpaper Mon 14-Sep-09 21:56:09

Once you go down the proper route they will give you a proper MRI and all that stuff so you know that there is nothing more they can LOOK at... it's reassurig in a way, even if they find nothing.

Yes - new drugs are coming out all the time. Start again. Try not to panic. XXX

ReddyMealsAreNotWorthIt Mon 14-Sep-09 21:58:14

Sorry to hear you're in such pain.

The only over the counter drug that might be of any use would be Syndol, I think - but not really sure if this would be strong enough? Perhaps you could alternate it with ibuprofen (it's paracetamol-based but with a muscle relaxant)

used2bthin Mon 14-Sep-09 22:03:47

Thank you MP I will try not to panic. I definately need to go back to the GP I think. The chiro is now giving me reduced rates but I really can't afford ,ore treatment especially as it isnt working. Lat time I saw my GP she said save and see a chiropractor though hmm

RMANWI I haven't heard of syndol either that may be an option if it isnt too strong then. I get free prescriptions so may as well be prescribed long term but lesss strong could be good in the long term. I'm on diclofenac too atm which helps a little but its still impossible to do normal stuff (like sleep)

alypaly Mon 14-Sep-09 23:44:33

i have got a Tens machine for really bad back pain that i got in a bad car crash. My BF also uses it for groin and calf pain. They are drug free and work really well.

I was also told that if you are feeling a bit low, it often impairs your ability to control pain.

3littlefrogs Tue 15-Sep-09 13:59:35

Sorry - just got back to this. Can your GP refer you to an orthopod or a rheumatologist? I do think that a proper assessment and diagnosis is vital, rather than masking the problem with painkillers.

You say there is a slight misalignment? Well that could be enough to cause chronic pain.

It sounds as if you are doing a lot of lifting with your dd - have you been taught to lift correctly, and do you have any mechanical aids? If your dd needs a lot of care, you should have an OT assessment.

used2bthin Tue 15-Sep-09 14:30:29

Tens machine a good idea alypaly I'v never tried one so maybe will ask around and see if any of my friends who have recently had babies have got one. Good point about feeling low. I feel quite anxious about it but then I'm not sure if the not being on valium anymore is part of that (it was only a three/four day course though??)

3littlefrogs I have managed to get a dr appointmnent and will be leaving soon for that. I think I will see if they will refer me somewhere else although they have done it before,they may do it again hopefully when they see how much it is affecting me.Really don't want to be put on drugs that make me feel groggy or odd though or make me gain weight I hope the doctor is understanding of that (the consultant I saw years ago dischargd me after I refused to keep taking the dothiepin he had prescribbed in a low dose-I put on so much weight and felt unlike myself.

DD shouldnt be needing mch lifting but is just a bit stroppy at times so I have resorted to lifting her to get her to go in the buggy or car or come where I want her to. Her language is delayed so she's a bit behind but the main thing that worried me was her medical needs, she needs medication and a close eye as can get very ill quicklu=y and I worry about not being able to drive her to hospital if I had to or even the toll those awful hospital bed things have on my back.

Can't decide whether to see the chiro tomorrow stll or not. Don't think its doing any harm but it isnt making the problem clear up like it did before and is costing so much. Otoh if it is just about to work I don't want to stop now iyswim!

alypaly Tue 15-Sep-09 15:01:25

get a better machine than a pregnancy tens as the better ones have bigger wave frequencies and stronger oututs. The chemist can order them in for you. Get one with 3 or 4 channels.

Diazepam is not addictive after 4 days.takes longerb than that to get hooked

used2bthin Tue 15-Sep-09 19:15:12

Good, I probably just feel edgy due to lack of sleep and constant caffiene consumption to stay awake on painkillers. Bit better today. Doctor was very dismissive of chiropractors but only offered me more drugs (tramadol) and said it is muscle spasm rest it and it will get betterhmm I will try and see the other doctor if it doesn't improve soon.

Thanks for your advice I will have a look at tens machines I can't bear it being touched but it may still help if I put it near the painful bit.

westernfront Tue 15-Sep-09 19:37:15

Hi - feel for you as in similar boat - gabapentin (neurontin)is great - I got it via rheumatologist but it is primarily for nerve pain and does'nt have horrible side effects - you can tailor the dose to you personally so can be very with it yet with your pain controlled - other stuff (codeine etc) can make you feel very spacey and yet not control teh pain - I would ask for this if you can.
Good luck and try not to panic/ get overly stressed as it gets you into a vicious cycle of pain - stress - more pain if you see what i mean -

used2bthin Tue 15-Sep-09 20:21:29

Thank you, good luck to you too. It can feel quite depressing, its the waking up in the morning and the pain is still there.

The doctor didnt want to refer me but I will see how I go and go back to a different doctor if it doesn't improve this time. Fingers crossed slightly beter today and interestingly I didnt drink any coffee today. Yesterday I'd had loads and felt quite anxious, maybe the muscles tensed up more because of that. I had thought that the valium would make the mmuscles let go of the nerve they were gripping but it seemed to just be temporary!

alypaly Wed 16-Sep-09 00:31:03

My DS2 is being treated for a muscle spasm in his lower back from a badminton injury and the physio said the one thing you shouldnt do is rest. She said gentle stretching ,warming up and warming down stretches should be done regularly throughout the day to loosen up the spasm. If reated too long it can get set in.

alypaly Wed 16-Sep-09 00:34:22

the diazepam just relaxes the muscles which is whats causing your pain. Muscle spasm can be quite painful. Try a warm hot water bottle and some extremely gentl massage with fingertips on affected areas.
Not too convinced about chiropracters but they work for some people

used2bthin Wed 16-Sep-09 13:17:35

Thanks yes the chiropractor did seem to work as a longer term thing for me before. Hard to know though.

Thats funny because the doctor who came out in the night last week said to not orry about resting and stretch it a bit. Think the doctor I saw yesterday was a bit rubbish, she was very blase about giving me tramadol even though I said I'm a single parent, need to be on my toes etc ettc.

3littlefrogs Wed 16-Sep-09 13:54:41

Tramadol????? Yikes - I would be unconscious....I don't think the doctor is taking this very seriously.

Darcey2009 Sun 20-Sep-09 15:49:18

hi,i've got fybromyalgia which causes a lot of pain, i find painkillers zonk me out which isnt practical i was told about ARNICA, went 2 the health shop got some pills which u put in the side of ur mouth or under ur tongue till they dissolve and some gel to rub on the worst affected areas u take 3 pills about every half an hour u cant take to many they are non-addictive and they REALLY DO WORK, give them a try u have nothing to lose but they are good, holland and barrett sell them so just try it hope they work as well 4 u as they did 4 me smile

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