No help for upper back

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nothing helps
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/22/2011 6:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi I am new here and I have CHRONIC pain in my middle/upper back.I am in pain management and on methadone 1/6x daily.It doesn't help.I lay and scream in pain on a regular basis and have for the last 15+years.
I have 2 14"long Harrington rods in my lower to midle spine,have had a C2 fracture(Hangmans break) and have no paralysis even after 4 mos in a HALO-(1980car accident)
TENS units,nerve blocks,250+ injections in my spine and 2 failed neurostimulator trials later,I am still miserable and unable to function.I am NOT overweight or a smoker,nor do I drink or pop pills.
Addiction has never been an issue or an occurrance.
I have been evaluated by several orthos and neuro surgeons and all have come up with the same diagnosis.
I have a damaged thoracic nerve that is right where my bra goes across my back and to the left of my spine.
Surgery and spinal spacers is not an option,90%+ chance of at least partial paralysis.No MD will sanction that with such poor odds.
(edited for easier reading) Thanks! SE

Post Edited By Moderator (Screaming Eagle) : 6/23/2011 8:18:02 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 6/22/2011 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HW....We are sorry you have to be here because of pain...That is so great that you recovered from the C2 fracture so many years ago...and don't have any permanent paralysis...

Do the Dr.s also have you on nerve pain like Neurontin, Lyrica, or Cymbalta? Lots of people have some good help with those as it sounds like they say you have an issue with a thoracic nerve...

If you have had multiple Neurosurgeons or Orthopedic surgeons say they don't recommend any surgery right now...and the Stims or TENS units failed...

You say that you are in PM now getting treatment with the Methadone...maybe they can develop a plan specifically designed for your pain in addition to the opiates...some light exercise, yoga/stretching, acupuncture, a nerve pain med, a muscle relaxer, an antideppresant, maybe counseling or a Pain Psychologist to help deal with the emotional side of CP...which is very hard for all of us....

We can all empathize with you on here as we live with pain daily....It's a great group of folks...

Glad you are here!!
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 6/23/2011 12:19 AM (GMT -6)   
First, welcome to our group here!  But I'm sorry you are suffering from chronic pain.  sad
Many people have chronic lower back pain.... but I have the same as you - I have chronic cervical and thoracic back pain. 
Most of us here have chronic, debilatating pain.  I agree w/ the multi-discipline approach - not only using meds, but trying as many other things as possible - as SnowBunny mentioned beforehand.  I, too, have been through the TENS machine; nerve blocks; trigger point injections; pain pump trial and on down the line. 
But, speaking of medication, what else have you tried?  I'm a firm believer that w/ as many meds out there on the market.... you should be able to find *something* that works for you... no, not to rid you of all pain - but at least to get you down a few notches and where you aren't screaming in pain. 
I just wrote this on another thread, but it took me over 5 years to get to the right *combo* of meds for me.  It took so much trial and error... combining many medications, at different strengths, etc.  My pain *cocktail* now consists of narcotics, a nerve pain med, a muscle relaxer and an anti-depressant (for depression, as well as for the pain). 
Even w/ my narcotics - I have a long-lasting med that I take daily.  Then, I have 2 levels of meds for breakthrough pain.  For normal breakthrough pain - I take dilaudid.  When the pain is horrendous (from my migraines.... or my back is REALLY bad) - I use oral fentanyl.  
Without my meds - I would, too, be withering in pain w/ all my issues.... so I do understand.
Anyway - all this is just food for thought.  Let us know if you've really explored other medications.  I, too, have been on methadone - and even at the strongest of doses w/ it - it did not get me comfortable enough.
Praying that you can find something that works for you!  Let us know what you've tried, and maybe we can help you more. 
Pain Issues: DDD; fibromyalgia; migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; tendonitis
Multiple Health Issues: Disabled due to POTS (heart condition); dysautonomia (dysfunction of the nervous system); hypothyroidism; adrenal insufficiency; chronic hypertension; chronic fatigue; sleep apnea; anemia; Vitamin D deficiency; etc etc
Meds: Too many to list....
Personal: Mom to 6 boys and twins girls

Betsey Ross
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 6/23/2011 5:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Nothing Helps

Welcome to our forum. I am sorry you are having so much trouble. Our forum is very supportive and I am sure

that you will find the asnwers you seek.

rake care

Soft Hugs
crushed lower knee and vertical fx of yibia/external fixator placed/plates and screws and tried to place big pieces of cartiledge under knee cap/tremendous pain in affected legcontinously without improving/allergic to metal in left leg/leg isnt straight/need metal removed in July/wait 6 months for healing/then toatal knee replacement/straighten out leg/more phsyxical therapy/take opana er

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 6/23/2011 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome! Just adding to the good advice from the others -

Is the pain just in the back? Just in part of the back? If so, have the docs considered a nerve block or ablation? I had that for my slipping ribs, and while it wasn't permanent, it can be repeated.

I didn't have any relief with Lyrica, Cymbalta or neurontin, but I am getting some help from 1/8 dose (all I tolerate) of Topamax, which is in the same anti-seizure category as some of the fibro/nerve meds. It takes trials and time to find the right meds for each person.

nothing helps
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/23/2011 7:24 PM (GMT -6)   

Even light doses of Neurontin makes me completely clumsy,drop everything I touch and I cannot walk after a dose.

Topomax caused severe cardiac arrythmia-I was one of the lucky 8% that had that side effect.

Right now the combo is Methadone 6x10mg a day with a dose of SOMA for muscle spasms.

Thanks for the well wishes......hope all can recover from pain and disability,Drs and prayer is what keeps me going.

I have been on numerous pain meds that I am not severely allergic to,oxycontin,darvocet,kadian,fentenyl oral and 75mcg patches,tramadol,hydrocodone,dilaudid,percocet,percodan,several that I can't remember......this spans 31 years and several large surgeries and several out-patient procedures.
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