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Pain Management/Alternative pain relief


Hi, I have a question about pain management. I had a spinal fusion in 2007 and have been on around the clock pain medication ever since. I'm currently taking 60mg Morphine ER every 8 hours and 30mg Morphine IR several times daily for break through pain. I've been on morphine for about 4 years now, and have also tried Oxycontin, Opana, and Fentanyl patches among other meds.

While I'm overall satisfied with the pain relief from the morphine I really hate feeling that I'm so dependent upon medication and would love to find a more natural solution and something that I could do on my own without seeing a doctor. I want to move out to a more rural area, but I worry as to how I'll be able to do so because currently I have to see my doctor monthly, and in a rural area there are very few pain management doctors.

It's getting worse and worse as far as the laws and regulations. Just in the past four years I've gone from being able to see my doctor every 3 months, to every 2 months, and now since July it's monthly due to new laws which pain management doctors must follow. This makes it hard for me to go out of town or travel when I can only be given 30 days worth of meds at a time, and must have an appointment with my doctor before I can be given another 30 day script. I don't like to be dependent upon this and want to be free of this hassle which complicates my plans.

I've tried acupuncture, physical therapy, electrical stimulation (TENS), and other things, but none of these gave me any noticeable pain relief. I'm looking for something more natural and something I can do on my own (Vitamin supplements, exercises, etc) without needing to see a doctor or other health care provider. Thanks for your help.

Dear Bethany,

A comprehensive answer would take a good article and I'll need to ask you some questions to start. A couple of ideas for the time being:

First of all, there are conventional options, did your GP discuss them with you?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
Inhibitors of tumor necrosis factor
Local exposure to static magnetic field
Peripheral nerve field stimulation (different from TENS)

Evidence-based effective alternative therapies shown to elevate pain threshold include (but are not limited to):

Exercise therapy (e.g. to create a muscle bandage around the vertebrae).
Antioxidant supplementation
Tai-chi and meditative movement generally e.g. dance therapy
Music therapy
One more option depends on where you live

Also, take a look at this (watch the video on the front page). I use this method for decades for my pain.

What do you think?

= TZ

Pain Management

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Tatiana Zilberter


I'll do my best to answer any question, which can ease your pain. My stronger topics are:
- General pain mechanisms: explanatory answers
- Pain neuroscience you can use
- Pain management without drugs
- Alternative/holistic techniques
- Pain education for self help

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