What do you do for pain when regular NSAIDs don't work

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Nicky D
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 361
   Posted 10/19/2009 7:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,

Sorry that I haven't been very good replying to everyone's post these last couple weeks. I just haven't had the energy...I promise to do more when I can!

Anyway, I've been having a lot more pain lately- even more than I had at my worst before I started on antibiotics. It's not so bad I absolutely can't deal with it, but it is can be pretty painful.

Regular anti-inflammatory (advil, ibuprofen, tylenol etc) don't help. My dr tried me on arthritis medication (like arthrotec) and other more heavy-duty anti-inflammatory (naproxen, diclofenac), and they didn't do anything either. I also have stomach problems, and the most of the medications I tried irritated my stomach, in addition to not working.

Is there anything anyone here can recommend? I don't have a bathtub, so I can't do epsom salt baths.



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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4399
   Posted 10/19/2009 10:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I am unable to take pain medications too (stomach hates them & I'm allergic to NSAIDS & Tylenol). Here's what I use (I am able to purchase all of these things at local health food & grocery stores, and none of them are terribly expensive...):

Benadryl - helps quite a bit for me with most pain
Nettles - for joint pain (works for my wandering leg pains as well as hand/foot pain)
Homeopathic Arnica Montana - helps reduce pain in general
Homeopathic Causticum - makes joint/leg & hand pains go away, reduces restless legs/joints symptoms
Homeopathic Hypericum - reduces severity of nerve pains
Homeopathic Cuprum Met. - stops painful muscle cramps

I also find heat from a hot water bottle, heating pad, or electric warming blanket helpful for pain.

Good luck,
Chronic Lyme Disease, Chronic Bartonella (clinical dx only), Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD ("Secondary Lupus-Like Syndrome"), Osteoporosis, chronic Lymphopenia, etc.; G-Tube; Currently trying to wean off TPN.
Meds:  Pulmicort, IV Ceftazidime, Heparin (to flush PICC line), Claritin, Domperidone, Colloidal Silver (used topically), probiotics, Milk Thistle, homeopathy.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35859
   Posted 10/20/2009 2:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Okay, I'm ready to break silence!!!

I haul an black plastic horse/goat trough into the house in order to take my detox baths!!!!

When you quit giggling so hard you can't see - I promise it really works!! I purchased a small one, as at 5 ft, I don't need that much leg room.

What the heck!! Although it's kind of pain to empty - it works!!!

Otherwise, why not do some detox foot baths???
It's been said:LD patients can be as ill as people w/ congest. heart failure & in as much pain as post-op patients.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 10/20/2009 4:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I currently take Tramadol for pain. It just takes the edge off and that's about it. I still hurt all day but not as bad. I wish I didn't have to take it at all but this is the only thing that works at the moment.
**You never know how STRONG you are....until being STRONG is the ONLY choice you have**

Co-Moderator Lyme Disease Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 10/20/2009 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Wobenzymes 5-10 per day spread out on empty stomach. Reduces inflammation and blood sedimentation.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 10/21/2009 5:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Lyrica at bedtime helps my sleep and pain and I dint have a hangover. Started with 25 mg and gradually increased as needed. 100 mg is working

Doing yoga, simple , restorative and lots of fish oil also working.
Grew up on Cape Cod with Lyme... (TB aged 12 so did 2 yrs antibiotics as a kid). Weak immune system lifelong-self diagnosed Lyme 2003. Treated successfully with Cowden herbs until rebit 2007. Babs, Bart and Lyme treatments- currently using IV Clindamycin/Azithromycin and oral Mepron, Bactrim and Flagy- pulsed therapy.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 10/21/2009 5:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh and I forgot I am also getting help from using Malic Acid. In my medical practice I routinely gave fibromyalgia patients this and found it helped most.

I now use Allergy Research, Magnesium Malate Forte with 500 mg Malic Acid and 124 mg Magnesium in 2 tabs-- I take 3 at bedtime.
Grew up on Cape Cod with Lyme... (TB aged 12 so did 2 yrs antibiotics as a kid). Weak immune system lifelong-self diagnosed Lyme 2003. Treated successfully with Cowden herbs until rebit 2007. Babs, Bart and Lyme treatments- currently using IV Clindamycin/Azithromycin and oral Mepron, Bactrim and Flagy- pulsed therapy.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 10/21/2009 7:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,  sorry to hear you are dealing with so much pain.  If you don't have access to prescription meds or can't handle them,  my rheumatologist who helped me the most following my car accident recommended flaxseed,  glucosamine w/chondroitin (sp) that one helped me the most,  fish oil,  cotton seed oil and MSM. 
I tried the MSM which didn't help,  but the Glucosamin w/ Chond... helped so much that I didn't need pain meds.  You see the doc wanted to give me the strong stuff but I told him didn't want to go that route.  I was lucky because even though he was not an herbalist he really knew about alternatives.  I really thought I was going to end up in a wheel chair,  until I started taking that.  Takes some time to build up though,  but you will feel yourself slowly improving until you don't need pain meds,  or very little.
My mother-in-law who worked on farms her entire life until recently (hard work very rough on the body)--she takes the gluc w /chond and swears by it.
Other people here have said emu oil helps too.  That one you rub on the area where it hurts,  if you're talking about joint pains etc.
For stomach problems,  you may want to try tossing some crystallized ginger into a warm beverage (if you drink any warm beverages.)  I read that ginger has over 400 different compounds (according to Dr Andrew Weil) including ones to help the immune system and kill parasites and help ease stomach problems.  Fresh ginger is good too,  but not straight--I often chop up some and put it in a meal like gluten free pasta or steamed veggies,  soup etc.  It's got a bite to it,  so you don't want to put too much in your meal unless you like things spicy.
That's about all I can think of for now.  Even if you can't go all natural,  supplementing with some natural will put less stress on your body than having to eliminate large amounts of prescription stuff.
Oh and don't forget about your calcium too.  The chews work best for me because the pills hurt my stomach,  and the chews are yummy so I remember to take them,  LOL.  I'ts one less pill to take,  too.
I also do take Tylenol sometimes,  because my stomach can't take aspirin,  ibuprofen etc.
Hope you start feeling better soon.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 670
   Posted 10/21/2009 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I have a bad stomach and can't take aspirin, Ibuprofen etc.

I did take Tramadol for a while.

I now take Neurontin (generic is Gabapentin) and it works very well for me. I take 1500mg spread out through the day.


Nicky D
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 361
   Posted 10/21/2009 12:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone!

I've bought some glucosamine chondritin- I should have thought about that one myself, because I've heard so many good things about it. I already take cod liver oil, and it does help. I'm going to try with just that and hot water bottles and see if that works, because I'm taking so many pills I already have trouble remembering/finding the time to take all of them.

As a side note....hot water bottles do work, but perhaps a little too well! I tried them yesterday, and the next thing I knew, it was two hours later and I was waking up from an unexpected nap!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 748
   Posted 11/12/2009 8:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi nicole
when I had active lyme and INTENSE pain i used darvicot it like eased some of the pain out. I never got addicted and I think my dr.. was humane in thinking too much pain. good luck!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3266
   Posted 11/13/2009 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Traveler, I like the goat trough! What does the goat use while you are in it? I use Tramadol and Vicodin sparingly: I'm allergic to just about everything else. Sometimes I'll going about my day and getting increasingly tense, irritable and over-whelmed only to suddenly realize that I am in an intolerable amount of pain. Things go better when I apply the pain killer before it gets so desperate.

They have these electric blankets that go under your bottom sheet on the mattress. Besides Epsom Salt baths, I've found that the best thing for relieving joint ache, cold spells and helping me sleep.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/15/2009 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
To draw out inflammation I use my grandmother's recipe and later rec. bya PT. Take a piece of flannel cloth and soak it with cod liver oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Place on sore area andplace hot water bottle or heating pad, etc. Its amazing. Later put it in a zip lock bag and refridgerate for later use. If not in refridg. it will smell. Take out of zip lock and reuse as necessary. The plastic around around the flannel keeps the oil from staining your clothes.
Love it.

mother natures child
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 231
   Posted 11/15/2009 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Vicodin. Is this bad? I only take it as needed and Im not the drug addict type.
 I am a Zebra

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 914
   Posted 11/15/2009 4:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I've tried all of the meds listed above and most have had absolutelyl no effect at all. I too have had some luck with darvocet in the past and now with percocet. It took a lot of trial and error to find anything at all that would even take the edge off. There are days when plain old Aleve seems to work and the percocet doesn't do anything at all. Then there are days when I need to take a percocet and then add one Aleve and then there are days when nothing at all works. Ugh!! At one point I asked to up the dosage of percocet but when I realized it didn't help any more I went back down to the lower dose.

I've been extremely careful and have limited my use with these meds. For the past two years I try to limit myself to one percocet later in the day when the pain is worse although my prescription allows for three a day. For the first few years I refused to take any prescription pain meds at all but as the disease progressed and the pain got worse I started to feel as if I didn't have much choice. Now I do what I need to to keep my sanity. lol

Good luck!
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