Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org
Sign in to follow this  
mcjimjam

Back pain not going away/Addicted to codeine?

Recommended Posts

Hi so I hurt my back (probably weightlifting) quite a while ago (3 months.. 6 months? idk) I went to a physiotherapist and he said he thought it might be a herniated disc. Later I saw a GP who thought it was just a muscle strain. He prescribed Mobic, which is an NSAID and ordered an Xray. The Xray didn't show anything. The Mobic seems to help some, but not much.

 

I'm not sure where to go from here. I'm extremely scared that this will become chronic pain. I've got a new GP recently but have been working with him on another issue. Should I make an appointment with him especially to discuss this? Or go back to the physiotherapist? I don't really know what to do.

 

Also, since I hurt my back I've been using OTC paracetamol/APAP 500mg+ Codeine 15mg tablets most of the time. When the pain's bad, it's all that makes it tolerable. I take two tablets, four times a day when I'm using it. I ran out recently and as well as the pain coming back, which is expected, I just didn't feel "right". My nerves felt really jangled and I felt kind of trapped. The world was harsher and more abrasive.  

 

I fear I might be getting addicted to the codeine. I haven't had any physical w/d sx, so I think it's more that I've become accustomed to the doped up feeling. I don't think I'd have any trouble kicking the codeine, if it wasn't for the pain. I can bear these psychological w/d sx for a while, but after a few days with the pain I just can't take it and go buy more.

 

So I don't know what to do about that either. Is it possible to get addicted to codeine even if you follow the directions on the box? 

 

Is it possible that codeine is worsening or prolonging the pain, in a way similar to how benzos can worsen or prolong anxiety (sometimes)?

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I would make an appt with your GP for your back specifically.  That way your GP can focus specifically on one thing at the appt, and your back won't get overlooked.

 

 

Is it possible to get addicted to codeine even if you follow the directions on the box? 

 

 

IMO it could be a dependence, seeing you're not taking it recklessly.  I would guess you'd need to wean slowly down from it to get off of it.

 

 

Is it possible that codeine is worsening or prolonging the pain, in a way similar to how benzos can worsen or prolong anxiety (sometimes)?

 

Idk the answer to this.  Good question.  I'm sorry I can't answer it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no experience with OTC codeine.

 

That said, I went through a months-long period last year where I was on fentanyl patches and oral oxycodone/APAP for myofascial pain syndrome. I was also having trigger point injections and physical therapy. Discontinuing the fentanyl was a uniquely horrific experience, and I was on a LOW dose, 25mcg. Not only did my crazy go into full swing as soon as the last patch wore off (I was inpatient 24 hours after it got out of my system), but my pain threshold was lowered to a ridiculous extent. When I went to the hospital, having my blood pressure taken hurt so badly that I started to cry. And I cried daily during vitals, every day I was in the hospital and withdrawing from the opiates.

 

Mobic has helped me a ton, but we have different conditions. I will take an NSAID over an opiate any day...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it is a muscle strain/spasm (I know you don't know if so or not, but if it happens to be) have you tried a muscle relaxer like flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)?  It worked brilliantly for a sprained back I had many years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies Lark and Melissa. I haven't tried any muscle relaxants. For some reason only one muscle relaxant is available in Australia, Lioresal (baclofen). I think they're not used much here. Not sure why. I'll see have to wait and see what the doc says, I guess.

 

ETA: Just did some research, we also have Norflex and Dantrium.

Edited by mcjimjam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also take orphenadrine (norflex) PRN, and it is more for muscles that ie, like for a tension headache.  For me, it does nothing for relaxing muscles related to anything else.  It really doesn't even work for the headaches much.

 

I've also tried baclofen, and it didn't seem to help much from what I remember (I was only on it for a short time because I switched to another one when it really started not working).  But YMMV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the gdoc ordered a CT scan which I'm getting done in a few hours. He said to keep managing the pain the way I have been until we get the results of the test, presumably because different types of injury call for different types of pain relief. I'm quite nervous. The test is for the thoracic spine, and I'm pretty sure most of the time the pain is lower than that, in the lumbar region. I guess when he did the physical, it was higher up. Seems more sensible to me to just get an image of the whole spine. Anyway, guess I just have to see how it goes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the gdoc ordered a CT scan which I'm getting done in a few hours. He said to keep managing the pain the way I have been until we get the results of the test, presumably because different types of injury call for different types of pain relief. I'm quite nervous. The test is for the thoracic spine, and I'm pretty sure most of the time the pain is lower than that, in the lumbar region. I guess when he did the physical, it was higher up. Seems more sensible to me to just get an image of the whole spine. Anyway, guess I just have to see how it goes. 

Did you express your concern to the doctor?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the gdoc ordered a CT scan which I'm getting done in a few hours. He said to keep managing the pain the way I have been until we get the results of the test, presumably because different types of injury call for different types of pain relief. I'm quite nervous. The test is for the thoracic spine, and I'm pretty sure most of the time the pain is lower than that, in the lumbar region. I guess when he did the physical, it was higher up. Seems more sensible to me to just get an image of the whole spine. Anyway, guess I just have to see how it goes. 

 

Me too.  I agree with jt about expressing your concern to your DR.  Because the CT hasn't been done yet, maybe you could call your DR back and ask if you could get a CT of the whole spine.  The worst your DR can say is 'no.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you had an MRI? Lots of back pain (especially from lifting heavy in the gym) is from trapped nerves or swollen or slipped discs. Nerve pain doesn't respond very well to most painkillers unfortunately and I'm pretty sure the only way to get a good look at it is with an MRI (but they're hell expensive so I guess they'll probably do every other test first).

I would guess that codiene OTC can be addictive. I was taking it 4 times a day a few months ago and the doctor who gave it to me told me no more than 4 days because he didn't want to build up a dependency or addiction. If you're being monitered though and your doctor knows you're taking it then I imagine it's fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

is from trapped nerves or swollen or slipped discs.

 

^THIS.  It might be a pinched nerve or a slipped disc.  I have L4-L5 slipped disc that hurts off and on, and they found that by MRI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies jt, melissa and jess. I've already had the scan. I got the impression that something showed up. After I did the test, the radiologist came and pressed her finger on a point in my spine and asked if it hurt. So I guess there's something wrong at that spot. She said that because of the radiation it would be better to get an MRI next of the whole spine, since I feel like the pain is in the lumbar region most of the time. It is higher up sometimes. I would have mentioned the area of the spine thing to my gdoc at the appointment but I didn't really notice he was ordering a thoracic CT until I'd left. I don't see him again until Saturday.

 

It's weird, but I'm so relieved that there seems to be something wrong. The prospect of having an injury that causes this much pain is terrifying, but the prospect of having this much pain for no apparent reason is worse.


Have you had an MRI? Lots of back pain (especially from lifting heavy in the gym) is from trapped nerves or swollen or slipped discs. Nerve pain doesn't respond very well to most painkillers unfortunately and I'm pretty sure the only way to get a good look at it is with an MRI (but they're hell expensive so I guess they'll probably do every other test first).

I would guess that codiene OTC can be addictive. I was taking it 4 times a day a few months ago and the doctor who gave it to me told me no more than 4 days because he didn't want to build up a dependency or addiction. If you're being monitered though and your doctor knows you're taking it then I imagine it's fine.

I'd like to get an MRI. I haven't yet. I've heard you need a referral from a specialist. What are the costs? I have a pensioner concession card and private health insurence.


 

 

is from trapped nerves or swollen or slipped discs.

 

^THIS.  It might be a pinched nerve or a slipped disc.  I have L4-L5 slipped disc that hurts off and on, and they found that by MRI.

 

My physio does think it's probably a slipped disc. Does CT detect that sort of thing or only MRI?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinion is that I think an MRI would detect it better because they show more detail.  But I could be wrong.  I just know with all the back issues I've had over the years, I have never had a CT for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It's weird, but I'm so relieved that there seems to be something wrong. The prospect of having an injury that causes this much pain is terrifying, but the prospect of having this much pain for no apparent reason is worse.

 

I know what you mean ... sometimes it is "nice" to know something is wrong so at least it can be treated, rather than living with the pain and "nothing" being wrong with no treatment.  If that makes sense.  It sucks to live with back pain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, exactly. I think if there's a known cause for the pain, the doctors are more likely to provide good treatment.

 

From what I've heard, the MRI is better. I think it's just that it's expensive and difficult to access here. There are hoops to jump through to get it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure on exact costs and I don't have a health care card. I believe it's about $500 or $600 and you maybe get around half that back through medicare but again, I'm not real sure. You only need a GP referral to get one done though.

And I hear you on sometimes hoping to find something. I've had so many tests for my IBS that doesn't always behave like IBS and yet everything always comes back clear which is a relief but very frustrating.

I hope it's something but something they can fix. Permanent injuries are no fun to deal with either and spinal surgery is a little scary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here an MRI (in the US) is in the $1000's to get done.  I only know this because Medicare sends me the summary of costs after I have them done.  Medicare does pay for part of it though, I think 80% of it (or if you also have Medicaid all of it is paid for).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please stop conflating dependence with addiction. They are not the same thing. It is entirely possible you are dependent on the codeine, but you are not using it to get a high, and needing larger and larger amounts to achieve that high. That would be addiction.

 

This is an important distinction, especially for people who use pain medication, or have anxiety. Needing to wean off a med does not ipso facto mean you are addicted to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

crtclms, you are right. I should have chosen my words more carefully. Dependence is very different from addiction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got my CT results today. I have something called osteochondrosis. I'd never heard of it before today, and don't really understand it yet. I've been referred to a physiotherapist and an exercise physiologist. Gdoc thinks I'll be able to get to pain-free with an exercise program specifically designed for this problem. I'll stay on codeine and NSAIDs till then.

 

I don't know how I feel about it. I really hope he's right and I can get 100% pain free. That what would be amazing. At the insistence of my family I'm going to get a shiatsu massage. Apparently this masseur has worked on quite a few family members and fixed them up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By morpheus
      Last 4 months since  I started new job, I have used codeine every 2 days at dosage 320-500mg. At first these doses gave me great buzz, relaxation and euphoaria (thought short lived), but now these doses just make me "normal". 
      I've tried to reduce dosage,but without sucess.
      Withdrawal  sets in after 24h after last dose. I can stand  physical simptoms (day 2-3 being the worst) , but cannot stand psychological simtoms - cravings,depression,anxiety. Which leads to relapse and so on.
      Maybe there are peoples who are ex users and can share their own sucess story.
    • By crazyguy
      I'm struggling the last few weeks with foot pain and a general increase in overall pain levels.  I've had back pain for years now as well as other muscular symptoms; all tests were basically normal, MRI normal, the pain consultant diagnosed it as myofascial pain but apparently not fibromyalgia (although I understasnd the two things are quite similar). 
       
      These last 5-6 months I've had increasing foot pain. The GP ruled out plantar fasciitis and some other stuff with blood tests (diabetes, B12, etc) and said it might be down to flat feet and to get some orthotics made.  I'm waiting for the orthotics but I don't think they will help as the pain feels nervy rather than mechanical...   red feet, burning sensations, aching, etc.  The burning used to happen mainly at night but now it is all the time. 
       
      Basically I'm not sure what to do. Because of the depression and anxiety issues I feel the physical pain doesn't get taken seriously when I talk to doctors.  The first thing they want to do is talk about psychological causes and treatments which is fine, I accept the connection between the mind and body, but treating the mind isn't making my real physical pain any better.     Lately I can't even enjoy basic things like going for a walk due to the pain which is making me MORE depressed and the pain killers I'm given (codeine based) are not as effective as they were a few years back. 
       
      I would like the foot pain investigated further to rule out some kind of nerve issue.  I would also like more effective pain relief, whether that is in the form of nerve meds (lyrica?) or pain killers (opiates?) I don't care as long as it works.  How do I get this taken more seriously by the doctor?
    • By Octopuppy
      After falling off my skates yesterday, landing on my back and having to wave down a car to ring for a pickup, my back is killing me.
      I can walk around a bit and sorta staggeringly bend over to get stuff but it's like I'm about 70yo. Hobbling around like a hobbly thing.

      I'm doing the exercises for my back anyway (it was already a tad borkbork) and just putting some extra lower back stretches in there. But I'm a cleaner and vacuuming isn't great for the ol' spine anyway. So I have to go to work tomorrow, and I've been in touch with my morning job to let them know i'm not in, but I haven't long started the afternoon one and I cannot find the contact. The information on the website is real outdated and says the company's UK branch is in Birmingham, and I certainly don't live there.
      So... I may have to go in and work the afternoon shift because I can't give them the notice. BUGGER.

      In the meantime I'll do some stretching, some resting, some ice and many painkillers. And there's the other thing: painkillers make me derpy and dopey. They'll find me having a nap under the boardroom table.
    • By Misty_77
      I have been battling mood disorder - bipolar since a teenager, alone untreated un-medicated. Then all hell broke loose!
      I had a car crash in 2007 and my knee was broken, I was in ICU for a week with broken bones, deep vein thrombosis & pulmonary embolism.
      The accident brought me into a severe depression, the physical pain was debilitating and the headaches were so intense I just cried in the dark all the time.

      Eventually the broken bones healed, I started walking and some light exercise, mostly swimming at the gym but then the chronic pain started, my leg and hip on the broken knee side and over time this lead to lower back pain and then neck and shoulder pain too. I began getting headaches that lasted weeks if not months and displaying signs of PTSD. Still nobody was convinced that I needed treatment and I stupidly believed them even though I knew something was seriously wrong (I was 30 years old at this time)

      Now finally after MRI and CT scans, many trips to various neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and so on I exhausted my medical insurance then lost my job. Enter severe bout of depression. Now on the governments dime I am getting mood stabilizers (Epilim & Rivotril) which is helping my moods and they said that when my mind is "right" the pain will become manageable... is this to be my life?
      Pill popping and pain management?

      Anyone have words of encouragement? Anyone had a similar situation with mood disorders being aggravated by a physical act?
×
×
  • Create New...