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Opioids Safely Curb Chronic Back Pain: Study
  1. #1
    rusty is offline Junior Member
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    Default Opioids Safely Curb Chronic Back Pain: Study

    Opioids Safely Curb Chronic Back Pain: Study
    Wed Feb 23, 2005 04:35 PM ET

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Opioid therapy can provide significant pain relief for patients with chronic back pain due to non-cancerous disorders of the spine and is unlikely to lead to the development of tolerance or addiction, according to Minnesota-based investigators.
    Concerns regarding efficacy and side effects -- as well as the potential for dependence and abuse -- have limited the use of opioids for patients with chronic spine-related pain, Dr. Maren L. Mahowald and colleagues from the Minneapolis VA Medical Center point out in the medical journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.

    However, narcotic agents do have a role in treatment of pain associated with conditions such as damaged discs, narrowing of the spinal canal, persistent back pain after surgery.

    To investigate the safety of opioid treatment for severe back pain, the researches analyzed use of the drugs over three years by 230 spine clinic patients. A total of 152 patients were prescribed opioids -- most commonly codeine, oxycodone, propoxyphene and tramadol. Ninety-four patients took them for less than 3 months.

    Interviews conducted with a cross-section of the opioid users showed that these agents significantly reduced the severity of back pain, from 8.3 to 4.5 on a 10-point scale. The patients did not find that the drugs became less effective over time, and there was no significant increase in the average daily dose of opioid over the study period.

    The authors conclude that, "doubts or concerns about opioid efficacy, toxicity, tolerance, and abuse or addiction should not be used to justify the withholding of opioids from patients who have pain related to defined spinal diseases."

    This study, they add, "provides clinical evidence to support and protect physicians treating patients with chronic musculoskeletal diseases, who may be reluctant to prescribe opioids because of possible sanctions from regulatory agencies."

    SOURCE: Arthritis and Rheumatism, January 2005.

  2. #2
    dutchgirl is offline New Member
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    I believe that opiods have been the best choice for my chronic back condition(s). I have herniated discs at L5-L6 (yes, I have an L6) and L6-S1, bulging at C4-C5 and degenerative disc disease. I have tried epidurals and Neurontin without much relief. I have also had Prolotherapy in my lumbar (3 rounds) and cervical (2 rounds) with some relief for about 6 months in the particular area (3-4 months AFTER injections). I will not take tylenol or any NSAID for fear that the amount I would have to take for relief would damage my liver and kidneys in no time!!! As far as physical addiction, well, yes, I could not go a day without my meds. But I won't abuse them either, because I can't go a day without my meds or I'd be in extreme pain!!! I think of it as I do my thyroid medicine, it is something that I have to take on a regular basis for a condition.

    I also believe that you have to treat the whole person. In addition to the meds, you have to treat the mind & soul! Meditation, therapy to ward off depression, spirituality, and a good diet will go a long way!!!

    Just my opinion... and it works for me [:I]

    Mary Helen

  3. #3
    Miles is offline Member
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    "Among the remedies which it has pleased the Almighty God to give to man to relieve his sufferings, none is so universal and so efficacious as opium."
    --Thomas Sydenham, M. D. (1680)



  4. #4
    danapoch is offline New Member
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    I have been suffering from low back pain for about 5 years. I have three bulging disc at L4 L5 and S1. They are getting increasing worse every year. I cannot find a doctor that will treat me as far as giving me pain meds. I have been taking vicodin HP for some time now.(I had one doctor that would give me 100 at a time and now won't give me anymore) About three or four a week. I cannot take more than that because they give me hives. If someone knows what I can take instead, I would appreciate any help. Or if someone knows of a doctor in the Southern California area. I wish they weren't so stick with these drups for people like me who really need them.

  5. #5
    The Coach is offline New Member
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    You should try time released pills such as oxycontin or kadian for pain releif. What are the doc's doing in lieu of pain meds? There are many non surgical procedures that could alleviate your pain. Pain medication is never the only answer, it is far too easy to become addicted over long term use. I would love to help if I can. I am fused from L2 to S1, would love to know what your treatment is now, will give advice if you want it. Coach

  6. #6
    danapoch is offline New Member
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    Thanks for your reply coach. My docs want me to go to physical therapy. I have had 2 epideral shots. I do not have insurance at this time and I am considered a high risks so it is almost impossible to get insurance. I was dropped by blue cross when the doc that did my epideral charged the insurance company $10,000 for one shot. I can not get addicted to the vicodin, because I can only take three or four a week. I get hives if I take more. I call this my built in defense against addiction. I do not have a addictive personality. I have friends who have gotten addicted to vidodin, but I have been taking it for a while now and can still do without it if my back doesn't hurt. I am a certified sports massage therapist and I do lots of core work and other things to help my back, but some days I have trouble walking. My fear is that I will run out of vicodin soon and not be able to get anymore or that it will not work any longer (which it already doesn't work for as long as it use to, plus it doesn't get rid of the pain sometimes.) I am 40 years old in top physical condition. I do cardio 5 times a week, plus pilates and I weight train 3 days a week. I hate feeling like I am 100 years old. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  7. #7
    The Coach is offline New Member
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    DANAPOCH, TRY FINDING A PAIN CLINIC, MOST WILL ALLOW YOU TO MAKE PAYMENTS. IF YOU CAN FIND A CLINIC ASK THE DOC ABOUT FACET INJECTIONS, THESE DEADEN THE NERVES AROUND THE DAMAGED AREA. THIS TYPE OF INJECTION IN ARIZONA COSTS AROUND $1100.00 AND ALLEVIATES ALL PAIN FOR USUALLY TWO YEARS. YOU COULD ALSO TRY VAX-D, WHICH IS A PROCEDURE TO STRETCH YOUR BACK AND ALLOW THE BULGE TO NATURALLY SUCK BACK IN OR TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS WITH ACUPUNCTURE, THIS WILL ALLEVIATE THE MUSCLE SPASMS THAT ARE ALL TO COMMON WITH BULGING DISCS. AS FOR YOU RUNNING OUT OF PAIN MEDS ANY GENERAL PRACTIONER CAN WRITE A SCRIPT FOR YOU, JUST TELL THEM YOU ARE LOOKING INTO A PAIN CLINC THAT WILL ACCEPT A PAYMENT PLAN AND YOU NEED THEM TO HELP IN THE MEANTIME. IF YOU NEED ANYTHING ELSE JUST ASK THE COACH

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