Hi Mysti....welcome to HW....others have given great advice...and I hope that you will have a successful appt. next month with the PM..
I absolutely adore my PM...Hopefully you will get lucky and this one will be able to help you find a good combination of things to help your pain..
A good PM Dr. will want to treat your pain with many modalities and find the best one's that will help.
I use daily/weekly/monthly exercise, yoga/stretching, Physical Therapy, acupuncture, injections of cortisone when needed, counseling when needed to help cope with living with CP, opiates when needed, a muscle relaxer when needed, a sleep med at night, I eat all Organic, don't smoke, take hot baths, massage, etc..
These are just some of the things I use...There are also antidepressants that help with pain...nerve pain medications...and other types of injections as mentioned by others..
So...the key about
chronic pain is to not rely on one medicine to solve the issue...as well as it's not meant to take away all our pain...Unfortunately...most of us will never get to a 0 again...I live with a 5-7 depending on my activity...and that is using all the things I wrote above..
As mentioned...if they haven't sent you the new patient packet...if they have a website like my Dr. does...where you can print all that out to fill out beforehand...so check and see...
And Straydog mentioned about
the 'how' you explain your pain...Dr.s like facts and figures...so it helps to tell them what you can/can't do...and what hurts worse...and what helps...
They will want to know that you want to be part of the team as well...and yes..that means taking the medicine exactly as prescribed...I know your in pain...we all are...but minus anything like a ruptured appendix or something like this....sometimes we will have more pain on days that others...that doesn't mean we can decide to take more medicine...that's when you pull out other tools in the toolbox...like a hot bath, massage, stretching, etc. to help...because even though it hurts...we aren't going to die of the pain...(not trying to be snarky..I promise...I just mean that this too shall pass)...
Now...if your pain is getting worse over many days...then it's best to call the Dr. and ask them what to do...sometimes they will allow taking some extra medication...but it's only allowed if they ok it...as you found...when you self medicate...you may have a few hours where the pain is less...but then on the days you run out...then your pain is skyrocted...as well as going through withdrawals...
Obviously surgery is the last resort...but sometimes...it is needed to help with the symptoms and pain...I had to have all 3 of mine or risk paralysis....it wasn't meant to cure the pain...but it took away the nerve pain...and relieved the pressure on the spinal cord...they were all done within a week of MRI...
You really need to be seeing a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon or Neurosurgeon to be looking at the MRI and seeing if you need another..
they aren't there to just do surgery..they can recommend many treatments to help and work with your PM DR...a GP does not specialize in the spine...
It sounds like you have many things to try like PM and injections...it's just about
open to use any and every modality to help your pain...and finding the right combination of things to use every day/week/month to help you live a good life...
Again...welcome to HW...it's a wonderful group of people 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