Posted 11/19/2018 1:02 PM (GMT -6)
Hello Paul & welcome to the chronic pain forum. Sorry to read about what your wife is dealing with. Sadly, under-treated chronic pain can literally suck the life out of a person.
You said she has been off of pain medications for 9 month & her pain is worse. She apparently did get some benefit of being on pain medication. It really is a personal choice. While pain medications are not prescribed to make us pain free, they can help lower the pain to a more tolerable level. I have been fortunate to have good pain mgt drs & never once was I ever told I would be pain free. It is more about quality of life & being able to function as best as I can. I have been under the care of pain mgt drs since about 1994. A very long time & I am now 65 years old.
Spinal implants has been around for quite a long time now. I am assuming you are talking about the implanted SCS units, similar to a Tens unit, only these are implanted. Patients that do go this route are under the care of a pain mgt dr. Speaking of a Tens unit, has your wife ever tried one? They can really help some people & it would be worth considering if she has not tried one. Physical therapy can try a Tens Unit on her. You mentioned NSAIDS, has she ever been tried on oral Voltaren? If not it may be worth trying. NSAIDS help me too, however, I have crohns disease & they are off the table. I have had too many ulcers from medicating myself against medical advice. Saving my stomach is more important than losing some of it.
There are a lot of threads here about the SCS units. You can use the google search above & type in "chronic pain forum SCS units". This will bring up a lot of older posts. I will caution you, there are many negative stories here about them. Keep in mind, when a person has an issue with one of these units, the dr is out of the picture. He is not trained to handle the unit, a tech from the company is called in to deal with whatever problem comes up. If you have more specific questions about the units, please feel free to ask. Anyone considering one of these implants really needs to investigate diligently. No snap decisions & never let a dr push a patient into getting one.
To my knowledge there are not any specialty centers, hospitals or drs for treatment of back pain. Chronic pain patients are under the care of pain mgt drs that are local to their area or neighboring cities. Unlike, treatment of PCa having specialty drs & centers as an example, CPers do not have that option. The odds of ever having something like this is slim to none because chronic pain is not as accepted as a true medical condition by many. Much of the mentality is take something OTC & get over it. If there was such a place this forum would certainly know about it.