Question Hi. I am asking Ms. Patricia M. this question b/c I have had an awesome experience with her in the past and need to give her a good review. Maybe asking another question will prompt me with the screen for giving reviews. First of all, when I used to hear the word "spasm", I always thought that meant some kind of momentary thing. However, I am told by my physical therapists each time I come that I have spasms that they have to try to massage out. I do my exercises and expect them to say that the spasms are lightening or getting better (even though the pain kinda stays the same). Anyway, what does one do about chronic spasms and I can't help but wonder why the ortho doctors that sent me to PT don't try muscle relaxants with me. I asked and was told "that won't help." They sent me to a surgeon who kinda said that the shoulder pain portion of my chronic back pain is not bad enough to merit surgery yet they say "muscle relaxants won't help." I'm confused. How do muscle relaxants work? Wouldn't that also improve my sleep problems that are the result of chronic pain? I know the times I take my occasional Klonapin I feel some wonderful neck and should relief and sleep so nicely. I can't take Klonapin all the time though because I notice I develop a tolerance and don't want to get hooked on it. Just curious. Thank you.
Answer Hi again, Jennifer:
I don't know if I expounded on the subject of muscle relaxants or not, but they would be an excellent adjunctive to the painkillers which your doctor is prescribing. PT is good, but the muscle relaxants are cheaper and longer lasting, and you can take them on your own as needed. Who can afford PT indefinitely?? There are some good ones out there. Soma is available, but it causes a great deal of sedation, as does Flexeril. Both of these are sometimes abused by people though neither are narcotic. There is one called 'Zanaflex' which is a short acting one, and it does cause drowsiness, but not a hangover. I would suggest that you question the doctor as to why you are not given muscle relaxants to use "as needed". Its a valid question. Also, the use of heat and if you can be taught self-massage of the jaws and TMJ that is effective as well.
I welcome questions from people who may want a "nurse's perspective" on the subject of chronic pain and pain management. I am a nurse, NOT a physician (MD).I can answer questions on medications, alternative approaches, and the various organs and body systems. There are many avenues to explore with chronic pain. I am against seeing patients suffer simply because healthcare professionals might suspect they are "drug seekers". There are methods of identifying true pain, and this makes patients feel as if they are taken seriously, which they should be.
Over 25 years working experience in Internal Medicine, Adult Cardiology, Post-Surgery care, Cancer, psychiatry and some experience as a lay-counselor in addictive medicine (dependence to alcohol and/or drugs, both legal and illegal drugs).
Organizations I am an Expert with AllExperts in several areas: Pharmacy, Internal Medicine, Medical Errors. Feel free to check my Q&A history as well as my ratings, which are very high.
Education/Credentials Diploma from hospital-based nursing school. Additional courses in pharmacology. I keep current in continuing education. Am currently working as lay-counselor which can lead to my certification as Substance Abuse Counselor.
Awards and Honors Dean's List while in college.
Past/Present Clients Internal medicine patients, cardiology patients recovering from heart disease and/or open-heart surgery, cancer, as well as recently working as a lay-counselor to individuals dealing with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. NOTE: Just because I attempt to help patients with addictive diseases, I have over 25 years in Internal Medicine, have nursed patients with great deal of pain, and I am compassionate. I never label anyone as a "drug seeker". I have seen that done for years, and am against it. All patients should be evaluated for pain in a fair and comprehensive manner. Am an Expert with AllExperts in three other medical categories; feel free to check my ratings, which are high.