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Medication for Chronic Back Pain – History

A friend of mine started having back issues in 2009. He was referred to a pain management doctor.  He was started on Tramadol and then shortly switched to Tylenol with Codeine #4. The Tylenol with Codeine became ineffective after about 6 months, so was switched to percocet 7.5mg x 2 per day. As the pain increased the doesage was increased to 10mg x 2 per day.

He was steady with this for years. Between wear and tear from his job and a car accident, his condition had worsen and the pain level increased. He went to a 50mcg/hr Fentanyl Patch and 2 Percocet 5mg x 2 per day. The patch was giving him rashes, He then switched to oxycontin 30mg x3 per day. As his pain increased and tolerance built up, his percocet increased to 10mg x 5 per day.

So he was on oxycontin 30mg x 3 per day and oxycodone 10mg x 5 per day. He was steady with this plan for about a year. His tolerance had built up and was switched to oxycodone 15mg x 5 per day, still on the same oxycontin doseage. It wasnt working. He was then switched to oxycodone 30mg pills x4 per day. He was still having minimal luck due to his tolerance and pain level.

The doctor had decided to change his plan. He was started on Methadone 10mg x2 per day and 15mg oxycodone x4 per day. Now, increased to 20mg Methadone x3 per day. The methadone supposedly plays a special role in reducing opiate tolerance. This is the current plan and it is working for him finally.

Back Injury from Car Accident Disability

Let me first apologize for not updating everyone about my back condition. I haven’t posted in a long time because I have been working 12 to 14 hours per day and trying to be a loving father and husband to my family.

As all of you know, I suffer from disc problems in the lumbar spine L4 L5 S1 and muscle problems in the thoracic area which are causing pinched nerves. I get numbness and shooting pain that goes down my left leg and radiates into my left and right foot.

I was on a treatment regimen which included physical therapy twice per week, medication, and hours restriction at my job. I had applied for an ADA request due to my situation. My job has temporarily accommodated my request for 8-10 hour work day maximum. I am in management and paid a salary. Unfortunately most days require extended hours at my facility. The physical demand of the job is heavy with minimal sitting time.

I was on the road to recovery but unfortunaltely got into a minor car accident. I really didn’t think much of it at the time because I felt fine. Boy was I wrong! Later that night when I went to work (I work nights), I started to feel aches and shooting pain. I was already accustomed to a certain amount of pain that I managed with my medication. The pain I was feeling in my back, left leg, and feet felt horrible and I wasn’t able to find enough relief from my current medication.

I took myself to the hospital to get checked out. They treated me and excused me from work until I saw my pain management doctor. When I saw my doctor he stated he wanted me to stay out of work for 4 weeks. He had changed my medication and increased physical therapy to 3 times per week. He said another epidural injection would be given in two weeks. He doesn’t want me to do any heavy lifting and no excessive sitting, walking, or standing.

I really took a step backwards. I was showing some progress prior to the accident. It didn’t seem that bad until the next day. The accident really exacerbated my back problems. My back, leg, and feet hurt more than ever. I applied for disability for now, hopefully I won’t be out too long and things will calm down over the next few weeks while I’m getting plenty of rest.