Back Pain due to Osteoperosis & Osteoarthritus.

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Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/3/2012 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had many accidents in my life, worked construction for 20 + years & recently was diagnosed with these 2 ailments. My pain meds have little affect on it I am taking Tramadol 100 mg a day, Gabapentin 300 mg a day & Flexaril 30 mg a day.
 Now this has little to no effect on my pain, I am on disability yet my insurance will not kick in for another 16 months. Does anyone here know of any cheap pain meds or even herbs that i can buy over the counter that will help with pain? Now I also take Trazadone for depression & Warfrin as a blood thinner so I can't have anything that would counter act those meds.
I am hoping that someone here has some type of medical knowledge that may know of something that will help my pain. I do exercises that the doctor showed me and soon will be taking up swimming as i am told that this will help my back to some extent, however I have been told that because my bones are so soft that there is nothing medically they can do for my back.
 I have a slight hump to my upper back where the spine is starting to curl & it is very painful, i wear a back brace that supports my lower and upper back & it pushes my shoulders back so to try to keep my back straight. I have been told I will have to wear this brace for life, it is uncomfortable to sit in but is great when walking or standing.
 Any suggestions are welcome, thanks David. :)

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 3/3/2012 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi David,

Welcome to HW....We are glad you found us but not glad that you have chronic pain issues:(

We are not Dr.s here and no one can give any medical advice...That is going to have to be between you and your Dr.

But we can certainly empathize and offer non medical suggestions and it's just a great place overall to be able to share about good days and bad ones...

I don't have insurance right now either. It looks like thankfully that you are on 3 of the least expensive medicines out there....All 3 have generic (which I would hope you are using)....I know both the Tramadol and Flexeril are $27 each month for the dosage of 2 pills a day (of each)...And I know that the Gab is really cheap as well....

It's great that you are going to start swimming soon. The worst thing that people can do with any type of chronic pain is not move during the day...Of course working with their Dr. for appropriate exercise...But swimming is one of the best ways.

Do they have you on calcium supplements and any other medicine for the Osteoarthritis? Like corticosteroids? Or have they done cortisone injections?

I would hope that you have seen a few board certified Orthopedic surgeons to get different opinions to make sure they are not overlooking something that can be done..

It sounds like you have probably done this if you got approved for disability for those two ailments...

Anyway...others will come along to say hello...and offer any tips/tricks to help....Hope you decide to stay with us..
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

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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 3/3/2012 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Actually your dosages are quite low for the Tramadol & the Gabapentin. I take tramadol but I use 100mg 3-4 times a day and the gabapentin I use 300mg 2xday. There are alot of generic muscle relaxers available so if the flexeril is not helping possibly ask your doctor about try another. I use baclofen because the flexeril makes me too drowsy to function during the daytime. Not sure though with the Trazadone how much tramadol the doctor would allow. Maybe a narcotic med such as hydrocodone (vicodin without tylenol) or oxycodone (percocet without tylenol) would be a better choice for you, these are both generic a cheap.

Check out walmarts $10 for 90 days prescriptions. Some of your scripts may be on the list and if not maybe your doctor could work with you to save some money with what is on the list.

One thing my doctor told me to do when taking the tramadol. She told me to use acetaminophen with it. I do and I find good results from it. Some people find that ibuprophen works better for them so if that is your case that will work too. Just noticed you are on warfarin (coumadin) so no ibuprophen for you also no aspirin as they both can thin the blood.

DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3 & L-3/4, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16796
   Posted 3/3/2012 3:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Biggie and welcome to the chronic pain forum. I am sorry you have to be here but very glad that you found us.

You have two conditions that can cause a person incredible pain. I have noticed some people here have said Tramadol was not effective for them, you know we metabolize these meds differently, so what may help me may not help you. As Jag mentioned perhaps your dr will increase it, maybe that will give you some relief. I too am on 10mg of Baclofen and find it works well for me and its available in generic too. I cannot tolerate Flexeril, it makes me very sick at my stomach. I am really surprised to see that your dr has not put you on something like Mobic for the arthritis problem. I too take Mobic, I have crohns disease and this is the only NSAID we have found that does not tear up my stomach.

Even more surprised that you are not on anything for the osteoporosis. I would at least thought your dr would have you on vitamin d and calcium, thats something you really need to be on to help slow down the progression of the disease. It will not cure the disease but it can help slow down the progression.

Anyway let us know if you have any luck getting the dr to work with you on the meds and keep us posted on how you are doing. Take care.
Moderator-Chronic Pain Forum
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 3/3/2012 10:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi David, and welcome to HW. I can certainly sympathise with the osteoporosis - I have it affecting my spine and have had a large number of spinal fractures as a result of the osteoporosis. If it's starting to cause hunching, have you been checked to make sure that you don't have any fractures? 'Wedge' compression fractures can cause the kyphosis to occur - I have the same problem. If your bones are so very soft, I would echo Straydog's surprise that you are not on any medication for the osteoporosis. The bisphosphonate meds come in a variety of forms, from a tablet to a yearly infusion. There is also a newer med called Prolia (which sort of works via the immune system), which is a 6-monthly injection. Are you just seeing a regular GP, or someone like an endocrinologist?

It's interesting to see the approaches that different doctors take... I was told that wearing a brace would make my back worse because it would weaken the muscles. My bone pain and fractures are a real problem though - I am waiting on an appointment with a surgeon to see if that can be of any help.

I hope that you can find something. Please keep us posted.

Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

Full body CRPS with spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bursitis, CTS, osteoporosis, multiple compression fx, disc bulges.

Oxycodone ER/IR, Topamax, Mobic, Somac, Cipramil, Midodrine, Vit D & C, SCS, baclofen/bupivacaine pump

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16796
   Posted 3/4/2012 1:03 AM (GMT -6)   
My current PM dr took me out of my back brace too, said it would weaken my muscles. However, I am considering going back in it because I cannot stand up straight. Been thinking of doing this while I am up on my feet doing things.
Moderator-Chronic Pain Forum
Moderator-Psoriasis Forum

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/4/2012 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I thank everyone for responding, I did forget to mention I am on Calcium 600 mg twice a day, Oscal 500 mg once a week & D3 2200 once a week.
I do not as I think I mentioned have any insurance as of yet, I believe I still have about 16 months to wait to get my insurance under SSD, so my doctor is just whatever doctor shows up to a free clinic here near where I Live once every 3-5 months depending on how I am schedualed. I would love it if I could get some kind of injections into my spine, I am on a very limited income so unless I start playing the lottery and win lol...Not going to happen until at least I get my insurance.

I thank all of you again for replying & I will keep in touch as I do chat here from time to time & outside og giving some of my time to my church..I have little else to do.

Wow life is boring lol!!! Take care all and Thanks again David.
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