ORAL MEDICATIONS AND SUPPLEMENTS

Note: This content is not intended as and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. (See full Disclaimer.)

Painkillers

My Personal Experience:

I took painkillers (e.g., oxycodone, hydrocodone) when I first ruptured my disc (before surgery), and they had barely any effect on my excruciating pain. That said, I did welcome the one hour of slight relief I got of the four hours they were supposed to work. 


I took pain medications after surgery, too. But when weeks turned to months and they were not reducing my still daily, debilitating pain, I stopped taking them. In fact, lying down to relieve my neck pain actually worked better than the drugs and didn't have side effects, except for limiting my daily activities.


I know pain meds work for some people, and when pain is acute and intense, they can help the body begin to heal. Sadly, there is a war going on against opioids, which makes life miserable for pain patients who truly need them. Another sad reality of opioids and other prescription painkillers is that some people who need them at first to control pain end up getting addicted to them.


I believe that the more we can address underlying sources of pain (e.g., emotions/trauma) to reduce our pain and our dependence on medications, the better off many of us will be.

Rating: (-)

BOTTOM LINE: Hardly worked. 


My Ratings Key:

-----------------------------

(+++) Most effective

(++) Effective

(+) Somewhat effective 

(-) Not effective or hardly effective 

(--) Not effective or partial negative impact 

(---) Not effective and negative impact 

(+/-) Unsure or some positive and some negative impact 

(?) Don't know because I haven't tried at all or enough

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Note: Described here is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain.


This content is not intended as and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. (See full Disclaimer.)


Oral Steroid Dose Pack

My Personal Experience:

After an MRI revealed I had ruptured a disc and because I was losing neurological function of my arm, I was scheduled for surgery. My neurosurgeon prescribed an oral steroid dose pack to relieve some of my excruciating acute pain until the day of my surgery.


Oral steroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medications, usually taken in the form of pills. They are typically prescribed for a short duration because of the potentially serious adverse side effects with long-term use.


The steroid pack, which starts at a high dose and the dose tapers down over several days, made the week leading up to my surgery a bit more bearable. I still couldn't stand up for more than fifteen minutes without terrible pain. But at least when I was lying down the penetrating and surging pain through my neck, shoulder, and arm subsided somewhat while the steroids were in my system.


Although oral steroids are not a recommended treatment for chronic pain, the packs helped to slightly lower my acute pain.

Rating: (+)

BOTTOM LINE: Temporarily relieved some of the excruciating nerve pain from my ruptured disc.


My Ratings Key:

-----------------------------

(+++) Most effective

(++) Effective

(+) Somewhat effective 

(-) Not effective or hardly effective 

(--) Not effective or partial negative impact 

(---) Not effective and negative impact 

(+/-) Unsure or some positive and some negative impact 

(?) Don't know because I haven't tried at all or enough

------------------------------


Note: Described here is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain.


This content is not intended as and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. (See full Disclaimer.)

Other Oral Medications & Supplements

My Personal Experience:

After the painkillers (e.g., oxycodone, hydrocodone) were ineffective, I took muscle relaxants (Flexeril®), NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil® and Aleve®), and anti-seizure medication (Neurontin®). None of them reduced my pain.


Then, I tried SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, such as Cymbalta® and Savella®), which are prescribed for depression most often but also for pain. The Cymbalta made me vomit and the Savella made me nauseated. When I tried the Savella, it had recently been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for fibromyalgia (although that isn't my specific affliction). 


At first it made me nauseated, so later I took it at a very low dose. It had a very slight and temporary pain-reduction effect. (I'll never know if it was just the placebo effect.) However, it also gave me disconcerting heart palpitations, so I eventually stopped taking it, since the pain relief didn't last and the heart palpitations grew worse.


Like Neurontin, Lyrica® is another anti-seizure medicine that is sometimes used for chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia. I never tried it because of my track record with the other ineffective pills and my eventual significant healing through John F. Barnes myofascial release bodywork (​JFB-MFR PT).


I also tried vitamin D at the suggestion of my physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor. After a few weeks of seeing no effect, I stopped taking the vitamin. Months later I tried it again for a month or two, but I still saw no effect. 


Several years later, my vitamin D levels tested very low, so for general health I was taking vitamin D supplements again (from 2015 to 2016), but they didn't have a direct impact on my pain, so I stopped taking them. However, I plan on resuming taking them because if my overall health and vitamin levels are good, then maybe there is a better chance my pain can resolve easier.


Some people I've met have suggested other remedies, such as fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acid) supplements. I have not tried these because mind-body approaches ended up significantly helping me (e.g., JFB-MFR PT and reading about mindbody).


I feel that while some vitamins dietary supplements probably can't hurt, they are not the key to my ultimate healing from chronic myofascial pain. Addressing underlying physical and emotional traumas, which are held in the body's connective tissue, is what has helped me the most. I have, however, recently modified my diet, for general health and for the long shot that it might reduce my myofascial pain. In doing so, I've increased my intake of foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., salmon, sardines, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, basil, oregano, spinach).


In 2015, I also took an antioxidant nutrition supplement. After one month, I didn't see any change in my pain, but after three weeks I did notice a significant reduction in my allergic reaction to dust. When I began the supplement, I was already a month into my healthy diet of eating more antioxidants, which also may have affected my reduced reaction to dust, so I can't say for sure if the supplement had an effect.


Instead of continuing on the supplement, I've chosen to get my antioxidants through natural foods, spices, and herbs (e.g., berries, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, green tea, apples, walnuts), and my dust allergy is still under control. Various lists of antioxidant-rich foods can be found on the internet at sites such as Best Health, WebMd, Wikipedia, and Livestrong. For more information on my experience, click here.  

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BOTTOM LINE:  These medications didn't help or had unacceptable side effects. Supplements haven't reduced my pain.


My Ratings Key:

-----------------------------

(+++) Most effective

(++) Effective

(+) Somewhat effective 

(-) Not effective or hardly effective 

(--) Not effective or partial negative impact 

(---) Not effective and negative impact 

(+/-) Unsure or some positive and some negative impact 

(?) Don't know because I haven't tried at all or enough

------------------------------


Note: Described here is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain.


This content is not intended as and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. (See full Disclaimer.)