I think that most docs are afraid to treat us, they give us what the text book says, prednisone. I have never found prednisone to do anything for pain, particularly, though cortisone helps, I don't react well to prednisone as a whole. Your doctor might not be realizing that giving prednisone all the time does have repercussions on your health and can cause adrenal insufficiency and other endocrine problems. As for antidepressants, I am of the position that they do absolutely nothing for pain, they merely make you not realize that you are in pain, they short circuit the pain response before it reaches your brain and in other words, you just don't care. You are still in pain and damage is still being done to your body. I think they mask problems and often help people overdo it, because your mental frame of mind may be that you just don't have time to be sick, and so you just go on and do too much.
We feel pain for a reason, it is a protective response, and we don't just feel it for no reason or because we are mentally ill or too sensitive. Just because medical science cannot explain why we may be in pain, does not mean there is not a valid medical cause for it. You have a right not to suffer, not to be in pain.
NSAIDs are very hard on the liver and I'm not a big fan of them for that reason. Tramadol is a non-narcotic pain reliever that is not an NSAID and acts like a narcotic but does not cause respiratory side effects. It is effective long term on chronic pain and I've used it for years and it is non-addicting. I've found you do need to get a few doses in you and keep it in your system daily for it to work best. I have never found a doctor that would not prescirbe it on request, it is a very reasonable medication for chronic pain.
On the anti-depressant side, I think they are estremely addicting, difficult and dangerous to quit, not effective for pain or as a sleep aid--often causing strange dreams and difficulty waking fully, bad on the liver and kidneys, easy to become allergic to, bad side effects including personality changes, and just a way for docs to dismiss patients. For people with real psychiatric conditions, some medications are effective, but I just think they are a doctor's way of avoiding prescribing proper pain medications. Usually, a doctor that will not prescribe appropriate pain medications has a problem with their narcotics license or their license in general and is probably a screwed up doctor.
Another medicine that is used for restless leg that is also used to treat bipolar disorder is klonopin. It's a benzodiazapine and addicting, but it helps me sleep and keeps me from being depressed the next day. I take a very low dose, 1 mg and have been on that for five years with no desire to increase, but I am definitely addicted to that dose. I'm allergic to most antidepressants but have tried about twenty. Have they checked your thyroid and antithyroid antibodies--they need to check both.
I would find a doctor that you can see regularly that is sympathetic and understanding of your situation and will give you what you request, if your requests are within reason. While this doctor may not be the best diagnostician or have a ton of degrees and board memberships, if he or she has a heart, they are a very valuable member of your medical team. Usually these docs don't work in the big medical centers. My primary care is very sweet and though she's missed the boat on diagnosis a few times, she manages my regular blood work fine, is willing to treat my chronic pain and post surgical pain, will refill any of my regular meds from other docs if I need her too, and listens and will refer me out and is a very kind person.
I hope you find a good doc or get your docs to give you what you need and listen to you. Your requests are not out of line. I wish you the best and hope you get what you need. Sending good thoughts your way.
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments