questionsdoes anyone know of something stronger than…

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Similar issues going on here. I'm on Ultram and it's making me sick, along with poor sleep, and itchy all over. I have a doctor's appointment Friday to hopefully get me on a different non-opiate that could help. If you don't have a good answer by then I will let you know what they put me on.

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I know this may sound silly, but have you tried a daily regimen of BOTH acetaminophen and ibuprofen or naproxen (Aleve)?

My mom was on a daily regimen of codeine tylenol (the smallest dose 2x), 2-3x OTC time-release tylenol, and ibuprofen (800mg 2-3x), plus Prilosec/Nexium to combat any stomach issues. Despite the arthritis specialist saying she had "no cartilage" in her knees and spinal damage from a car wreck, this kept the pain to a manageable level for the last 15 years of her life, with no kidney or liver problems.

Keep in mind that choosing this route instead of having surgery also left her almost completely wheelchair bound and definitely NOT pain-free.

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i wish you luck.

hubby needed three vertebra fused. they only did one. the other two got worse. now because they used obscure parts they would have to tear out everything done and start all over again. when the doc says "you are NOT a good canidate for surgery" believe him/her. been thru every pain killer in existance. he has a high tolerance and is quick to form a ability to process thru the meds.

i know that if over the counters worked, you wouldn't be here asking for help. have you had the steriod injections yet? a lot of people really experience good relief from them IF they follow the orders to not move for the first three days after them. (there are multiple kinds). and depending on your age you might do really well with the surgery. has doc said something to lead you to believe otherwise? (like "you have great bones for a 65 year old chain smoker" when you are 30 and never smoked?) they are making great strides in the disc replacement. (teflon disc).

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Tramadol works best when taken with an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Prednisone or some other corticosteroid generally works better than the NSAIDs for back pain. A corticosteroid injection can often do wonders. If you truly need fusion surgery, get it done by a surgeon with a good track record. That type of surgery is notorious for failing or actually making things worse. Good luck. Back pain is a bitch. I have an inversion table that I use when my back acts up and it helps. I've also used Tens units to good effect as well.

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Don't underestimate the power of a good chiropractor (maybe not for fused vertebrae) & massage therapist for general back pain. I use generic Aleve and heating pads when necessary. Tramadol didn't work as well for me and I don't like taking pharmaceuticals unless absolutely necessary (also allergic/adverse to opiates). The right mattress also makes a difference (my hips & knees are toast after years of hard skiing and several MV accidents)

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@nortonsark: Prednisone can cause permanent damage to a patient's psyche. I recently had to take two full rounds of it back to back, it did next to nothing for the inflammation in my spinal cord and made me become a very mean person.

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Sorry, but I know of nothing that works like opiates. Sorry about your pain. :(

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@xarous: Yes, the corticosteroids can have multiple side effects including behavior alteration. Fortunately that type of reaction is relatively rare, but when it happens it seems to be severe. (I'm a veterinarian and I have seen a few dogs get very aggressive on this class of drugs.)You also cannot take corticosteroids when you are diabetic unless you are willing to forego decent blood sugar control for a while. Generally, though, the corticosteroids are excellent for their anti-inflammatory properties.

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@videowallart As promised your answer from my visit today.

No such luck in my case. They are having to put me back into the opiate realm of pain management. Doing morphine and somba rounds. Sorry couldn't be much help, good luck to you though.