Gave up on Chiro - made pain worse

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Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4646
   Posted 7/2/2010 7:46 AM (GMT -7)   
I went to one chiropractor who tried to convince me to commit $4200 and 18 weeks minimum to treatment, although he wouldn't tell me what he was going to do.  I walked out.  I went to another who crunched my neck causing shooting electric-like pain up into my head.  Then he crunched my arthritic lumbar spine.   Ouch!  I was OK the rest of the evening, but the next several days have had much worse pain, sciatic pain now down to toes.  So that's one more pain remedy that was a bad idea!  Maybe it works for young people.
 
I had to stop Neurontin (300mg TID), went through awful withdrawal, because I got twitching, muscle spasms, jerking around all night, and my breathing was stopped briefly several times.  It may have been an interaction with tramadol, or the tramadol itself, but I only take that in morning and at noon.  I restarted 100 mg Neurontin at night, but the twitching is back although not as bad, and I was able to stop it with 1mg Valium.  I can't sleep because of pain but am afraid to take another tramadol at night.   My pain doc simply doesn't believe me, although drug interaction is noted on Drugs.com.
 
I guess I just have to continue experimenting on my own, going back to stuff I've tried that didn't work alone, to find a way to sleep a little longer.  Neurontin keeps me groggy all night, but pain is bad enough to keep me awake.  I could try valium at bedtime, but it doesn't last very long.  Vicodin doesn't work any more.  Maybe Tylenol would do a little something.
Alcie
 
 


Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 7/2/2010 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Whoa $4200, geezee I would've walked away from that one too...Maybe Physical therapy
might be better for you, ask your doctor about that, the ultra sound and heat therapy helps
after some low keyed exercises/stretches...but I tried chiropractors and I could'nt
tolerate the poping of my joints...espesically my neck, I wonder sometimes if they made
the wrong pop what would happen and I don't like that thought....
ask your doctor about having a portable tens unit to use at home, and use it in conjunction
with heat from a moist heating pad...
Good luck and well wishes...
((((((((((((((((((Alcie))))))))
at night I alternate between aspercream of volteran cream to help with the pain and sometimes myloflex
these are topical creams and might be able to help, just throwing an idea out for you...
hugz

White Beard
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 7/2/2010 9:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Alcie

I am not knocking chiropractors, but some conditions of the spine you have to be very careful with! I personally will not got back to one with my back being the way it is. Gong to a Physical Therapist is bad enough enough, but at least they are working on you under a Doctors order and they do know when to quit. Also most insurance covers PT where that is not always true with a chiropractor! I guess chiropractors do have there place, in the scheme of things, but just not in my life anymore! To be honest I am afraid of them, I know what they have done to me, and it is scary! So please be careful! I do have a question for you, with the way you mentioned "experimenting on your own" if you are not happy or satisfied with the pain relief your Pain Doctor is giving you, why not talk with your PCP about it and see about maybe finding a new Pain Doctor to treat you, or even better yet maybe your PCP could talk with your Pain Doctor about your condition, and then maybe he will believe you and give you better treatment. ??? Just a thought! But I would not be experimenting allot with your meds without your Doctors consent, as that can be dangerous, and also cause you problems and grief with your Pain Doctor! So again Please be careful!

I wish you well!

White Beard

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4646
   Posted 7/2/2010 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Chartreux - $4200's what the first Chiro charges everyone, no matter their condition or treatment. Thanks for the hint about topical creams. It might be worth a try. I've got the same spine problems as you plus disconnected ribs.

White Beard - Insurance covers a few chiro visits, also PT which I've tried and doesn't do much. I still do all the exercises from spine PT and also fibro PT, when I can. Torn knee cartilege and 3 disconnected ribs are limiting.

I'm VERY careful when trying new meds, timing, combinations, but DO keep advising caution! I read a lot of good advice on this forum. The pain docs just say try this, not when and how, or stop taking one first, and they often prescribe too much. I'm sensitive to just about everything so I try 1/4 - 1/2 prescribed dose first, work up slowly. I worked in pharmaceutical industry as a lab tech, learned to recognize drug effects. I already have another pain doc, but he mostly does procedures. I'm due to see both in another week and will ask if they have anything different to recommend, as cortisone injectins are no longer working and I'd still prefer to avoid surgery. I'm not just wildly hopping from one med to the next, and I check for interactions. They keep trying to prescribe things I know I can't take: Darvocet-N, which has sulfite. My heart doc has given up on trying to control my tachycardia episodes because I don't tolerate ANY heart meds well even in small doses. My PCP doesn't have any suggestions for me, except he was the one who said take the Valium for muscle twitches - and it worked. I'm definitely not trying to get more drugs! You know how it is with fibro and chronic pain - we just want a little relief, not some stupid buzz. I wish I could see my rheumatologist, but can't get in until August because he's getting chemo. There are so few docs with the training and experience of rheumatologists!
Alcie
 
 


Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 7/2/2010 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 
   Dear Alcie,
 
    Sorry the chiropractor didnt work out. I cant see chriopractors myself (I'm 30yr, have primary progressive levoscoliosis T10-SI and secondary dextroscoliosis T4-T9) but I know they do wonders for many other people I know. It seems that for mild aches and strains chiropractors work wonders. ..but honestly, the first fellow you saw, from what I gatherd from your first visit, seemed to me to be very preditory and full of himself. I am relieved you stopped seeing him. Gosh, I sure am sorry to hear that even with a different chiropractor, you wernt able to find any relief.
 
     I am sad to hear the sleep problems have only gotten worse for you. I too dont sleep much myself, but it is "normal" by product for what is happpening to me. Is your pain doctor not receptive to ANY changes or is it that you have tried all other possible treatments? I too, take tramadol as part of my "pain med cocktail" and I know how sensative tramadol can be with other meds. I had to have more frequent monitoring the first few months because it had the potential to interact with another med in my cocktail called amitryptaline. Needless to say the dose had to be slowly increased over a months time. Frustraitingly slow but it did the trick. Later when the baclofen was added it was done in at the same slow, frustraiting pace aswell. Come to think of it all the aspects of my cocktail are frustraiting, but I need them all, together, to make me somewhat comfortable. Each of the 5 by themselves dont take care of the different "types" of pain that result from my progressive spinal deformity.
 
     ...You know, I know your pain is disturbing your sleep.. but I cant help but wonder if you have other sleep problems that are contributing aswell? Have you ever had a sleep study done? Would it be something your doctor would be receptive to?  Especially since you have heart troubles as well it may have usefull information to your doctors.
 
      Most of all, I am terribly sorry you are back to square one after trying so many other things for the last 2 months. It must be increadibly aggrivating for you. I hope you and your doctors are able to come up with a treatment plann that you both can agree on. You are in our hearts.
 
*hugg*
  dani
  
 
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
 
Chronic Pain Moderator


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/2/2010 10:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Alcie,
I have to echo White Beard's thoughts about chiropractors, and also about having a good doctor to oversee your medication changes. If you have questions about things that are prescribed, checking with a licensed pharmacist can also help. I know you worked as a tech, but trying to be our own doctor is never a good idea.

Did you know tramadol can cause seizures? That is one of the primary adverse reactions, so some of the jerking at night could possibly be from that - but I'm not a doctor either so it's something to discuss with a good PM who knows meds. Also, withdrawal - especially abrupt withdrawl - from neurontin can also cause seizures. So these issues can be causing some of your problems. The reason I know about these meds is because I have a seizure disorder, so am always careful about meds that can affect seizure threshold. I do take neurontin, but would never abruptly discontinue it. It needs to be tapered slowly under the supervision of a doctor if you're going to stop taking it.

I hope you can find a good PM who understands all these meds.

PaLady

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 7/2/2010 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Alice,
Have you tried an Osteopath? They're similar to chiros or massage therapists, but hold an actual medical degree. ANYone you see should get scans of your neck first. My chiro did that before he would even touch me. Based on the scans he was able to see that there were certain parts of my neck that needed to be avoided (e.g., my C7 is deteriorated -- so working on that area would very likely make the pain worse & could also destabilize my already fragile neck). My neuro (Mayo) says that people with long necks are esp. prone to damage from chiro, but anyone with any length of neck can end up with permanent damage if treatment does not proceed with extreme caution & plenty of information about your anatomy.

One option I would suggest, if you haven't already tried it, is acupuncture. I couldn't sleep before either, but after a few treatments of acupuncture, I was sleeping for 4-5 hours straight. With additional treatments I now sleep about 7 hours per night. If I do wake up (I live in a noisy urban neighborhood), I get right back to sleep. They can also do acupuncture for pain, though it didn't help me (but at least it didn't make me worse).

If your doc isn't listening, find a new PM. Everyone responds to medication differently. My first PM kept telling me that Neurontin & Ultram/Ultracet worked for everybody. Well, the Neurontin made me suicidal & I was allergic (hives) to the Ultram/Ultracet. It was just a stupid policy, but I felt like I had no other choices so I stuck with him for a couple of years. Finally, the hives were getting so severe that I couldn't take it anymore & told the PM. He was so ANGRY that I kept that from him, but I needed something for the pain & he said that was the only pain med he would write. He told me it was really dangerous to keep taking it when I was clearly allergic (usually I wouldn't take any for a couple days before an appointment, but last time I saw him I had taken one earlier that day & was covered in hives -- chest, arms, face, even the inside of my lips). He said I would just have to make due with the Neurontin.

Well, that was stupid. I went back to my neuro who wrote me for Lyrica, which I tolerate well. Shortly thereafter, he recommended a new PM. My current PM is great -- he knows about all kinds of medications & is able to recommend different non-pharmacological treatments as well. You deserve that same kind of PM. There are plenty of other meds out there besides Vicodin & Ultram. I'm allergic to at least 6 different pain med active ingredients (base ingredient, which means dozens of actual meds) & they were able to find something that works even for me. So I'm sure there must be something that will help you get your pain down low enough to sleep.

feel better,
frances

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4646
   Posted 7/2/2010 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the reply Dani! I read your posts regularly. I can only take amitriptyline occasionally because it gives me suicidal thoughts. Frightening! Apparently there are a bunch of people going around teaching chiropractors this way of getting rich. But some chiropractors seem to do good work, just not for me.

I'll have to ask about baclofen. The sleep problem is mainly from fibromyalgia, hence the neurontin at bedtime and trying different meds. I haven't had a sleep study done, but I'm not aware of any problem, and I've asked my husband, who says no problem except that one day before I dropped the Neurontin. If I sleep well I feel much less pain the next day - typical for fibro. If the docs think I should I'll do the study.

PAlady - Yes, now that you mention it, tramadol could have caused seizures. It's known to cause all sorts of side effects. I like it because it works and I don't feel any addiction or need to raise the dose. I suspect it was both drugs that acted together that caused my problems, but a lower dose might still be OK. You're right about discontinuing suddenly being a bad idea, but after not being able to breathe I was terrified enough to go with the withdrawal pain.

Frances - Yes, I've had scans, CT and MRI with and without contrast of all of my spine. I have spinal arthritis, kyphosis, scoliosis, lordosis, degenerating disks, spondylosis, arthropathy, extraforaminal protrusions, annular tears, radiculopathy L5, S1, herniated disc L3-L4, cervical foraminal narrowing, a small syrinx in the at T8, and that's just the spine. Interestingly, I have almost no other arthritis.

Some of my docs are osteopaths. Their training is nearly the same as MD and they have the same privileges, do surgery, etc.

If I had a longer lasting than 4 hour pain med the lousy little 100mg Neurontin would let me get back to sleep.

You really should have immediately reported the hives! I've only had that with Avelox, and called my PCP immediately. He had me take Benadryl right away. No more Cipro group for me! So sorry you are allergic to ultram! I'm going to ask about an extended release.

After chiro I'm not going to try acupuncture. The studies I've read indicate it doesn't work in double blind, so I would go in not expecting it to work. I'm right there with you on the allergies and sensitivities, but it's often the additives, especially sulfite. I drive anesthesiologists to distraction because I insist on reading about anything they want to give me and refuse all sedation. I had trigger finger surgery a month ago and was really glad the surgeon was able to find bupivicaine (long lasting local) that was labeled sulfite-free. Before stomach surgery I brought my own homemade clear liquids because everything hospitals have available is sulfited.

I think you're right about switching docs. I can hardly wait for my rheumatologist to come back to work!
Alcie
 
 


Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 7/2/2010 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
  Dear Alcie,
 
     Oh gosh, I wasnt suggesting the medicines. Was just letting you know that I know how diffacult tramadol can be..but now that you mention it, the baclofen might very well help you. I mean, you tried other muscle relaxors at low dose and they helped alot. At first as I was being slowly worked up the dose it was.... kinda hard. I was super sleepy. Now I am able to function fairly well. It helps alot.
 
     You know I just had another thought, one of the other meds that are part of my "cocktail" is called Nabumetone. Non generic name is "Relafen". I do that one only twice a day, 750mg.. It helps keep the inflammation down along with steroids. Also, it is of tremendous help to my hipps. Sometimes I wish there was a one pill fixes all pain med. But, I try to not complain. It seems each "type" of pain has its own medicine *sigh* anyway, the nabumeton and baclofen might be worth a try?
 
    Gosh, I sure hope you can get atleast a little relief at some point. I know you must be exhausted right now. Inside and out.
 
*hugg*
  dani
 
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
 
Chronic Pain Moderator


Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4646
   Posted 7/2/2010 6:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Dani - Thanks for the med ideas. I think each patient with complex problems need to be handled individually. Muscle relaxers might just be the key for me since my pain gets worse with exercise and physical stress.

I drive a tractor - mowing or snowplowing a 125 acre property, and do heavy lifting - filling the diesel tank, lifting the 5 gal can to the hood of the tractor. When I absolutely can't do it I can hire a tenant or neighbor to do part of the job, but that's not the same as getting it done right. Then there's the grandkids to take to the pool and the 50k gal pool maintenance.

Spine problems are one thing, but combined with fibro and then post-polio, where the nerves are dying every year, I'm not in the one-size-fits-all category. I don't expect to find a perfect fit or even one that lasts, but the docs need a little help, especially the ones we only see twice a year. Calling to say a med didn't help or had side effects doesn't usually end up giving me a different Rx or dosage. As I said of the pain doc, he just didn't believe me and ignored the problem. I'll see him again and maybe he'll read my chart and remember who I am. University docs in busy clinics often don't.
Alcie
 
 


White Beard
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 7/2/2010 8:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Alcie

I have taken all kinds of muscle relaxers for mucle spasms, and Baclofen has by far been the best, for me I have not noticed any side affects like I have with other muscle relaxers, and it also has helped with the pain control. It is usually started off in lower doses and is slowly increased till it becomes effective. I take the max oral dose of 30mg every eight hours. It does control my spasms really well. It is a med that you can not just stop taking, especially if you have been on it for quite some time, and at the higher doses, you have to be weaned back off of it. Anyway it might be something that you might want to check out.

Just as an after thought Alcie have you ever tried a TENS unit for pain control? They don't work for everyone, but it was just a thought I had considering the problems that you have with taking medications. I have several units, but I have trouble with keeping the electrodes on and I am allergic to so many of the adhesives, that I finally gave up on them. I never thought they did that much for my pain anyway, but some people have very good luck with them. Just another thought that you might consider.

One other thought I have is what type of bed do you have? Could that be contributing to you pain and lack of sleep? I know that I wake up allot in the night due to pain, I also have sleep complex sleep apnea and am on VPAP ASV. but I can not lay flat due to my back and I have an adjustable bed, and when I often wake up in the night with pain , I just grab my wireless remote for the bed and press an button or two and adjust the head or the foot of the bed just a little, and then I am comfortable again. For Fibro it is great! Just trying to think of things that might be of help to you!

I do wish you well!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
 After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then  went back to school and became a  licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!--   DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in  Sep 2009,  C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV  I am White Beard with a White Beard!


Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4646
   Posted 7/3/2010 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the tips, White Beard. I will certainly discuss Baclofen next week. I was put on stim units for PT a couple of times. It was nice while it was running, but heat helped about as much, as does just making an attempt to relax. I don't think pain docs like prescribing durable goods, but will discuss it.

I can't sleep on back at all. Vasovagal syncope when supine. Since I sleep with my husband, raising bed is not an option.

I tried 2 Arthritis strength Tylenol at bedtime last night. I woke up at 3AM as usual, but was able to at least get back to sleep, if somewhat fitfully. The Neurontin 100 at 9PM seems enough to let me get to sleep (until I build up a tolerance again). I still need a little more something to get through the night. Morning is really bad. Tramadol isn't doing enough to get me moving today.

The spinal arthritis is getting worse. Is there anything but surgery, or does even that help?
Alcie
 
 


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 7/3/2010 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Alcie


The bed I have are two single adjustable beds that are side by side and they fit into a King size sleigh bed frame, each bed has its own wireless remote, they also have a vibrating function with separate controls for head and foot of bed and a zillion different types of vibrations from wave motion to a host of others, I don't use that because the vibrations trigger muscle spasms in me. but the nice thing about the beds this way is you and your spouse, and each set your be to the way you want it, and still be together. I wish I had some answers for you Alcie, I do know what it is like not being able to get a really good nights sleep, because of pain! It is a heck of a way to have to live isn't it?



I wish you well!



White Beard

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4646
   Posted 7/3/2010 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Sounds expensive! I wonder if it's deductible and who would prescribe it. I don't even have a fancy bed, just a metal frame underneath, but king-size mattress. I'll have to save up for adjustable!

I have a very small hot tub that fits in a 5x5' space in my bathroom. It's a lifesaver for loosening up muscles and tendons in the morning and before bed. It's making it possible for me to use the hand that had the 3 trigger finger surgery a month ago. I wish I had found out how long the recuperation from that would be!
Alcie
 
 

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