Alternatives to traditional painkillers

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi there.

I just got diagnosed with FS and had my first cortisone shot, which has offered some temporary relief. My doc has also prescribed muscle relaxants, but I am super afraid of any medication, which may be the slightest addictive as addiction runs in my family.

Four years ago I broke my back, a compression fracture, and I managed that with over-the-counter painkillers. It was painful for several months, but I truly think FS is worse on the pain-scale and because it takes a lot longer to recover from FS 😦

So any good ideas on how to manage pain when strong drugs are not an option?

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  • Posted

    morning. I also tried to stay away from taking tablets. I managed with a heat pad; TENS machine, and some pain relief gel. I also took turmeric and magnesium and cod liver oil. These I believe all help me survive. hood luck hope the road isn't to long for you and you recover quickly

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  • Posted

    I also did not want to use traditional pain killers because of the fear of addiction and I could not use the NSAIDs because they bother my stomach so I just had to grin and Bear it. I did use the TENS unit I bought on Amazon and that helped a bit ..ice was my friend.. sometimes heat. Good luck! The extreme pain probably was for 4 or 5 months and then it got better.

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  • Posted

    FSforfs -

    Well, let me begin by saying, welcome, but I wish you didn't have to be here.  Yeah, FS is bad.  But here's what helped me.  I'm on my second FS, and this one has not been nearly as bad as the previous one (other shoulder, several years ago.)   I too don't like the oral painkillers, especially since I'd be taking them long term.    So,  topical painkillers it is:  I'm a big fan of Woodlock oil.  Look it up on Amazon or your local Asian market.  It smells really strong, but numbs the area and really takes the edge off.   Next, I don't know what country you're from, but folks in the States can't get topical ibuprofen creams.  But you can make it easily by opening a  liqui-gel and mixing it with a dollop of your favorite lotion.  Another thing that works are lidocaine patches. You can get those at your drug store.  Also, get shoulder massages every once in a while.   Some people get relief with ice packs, some with heat packs.    I've heard many folks swear by CBD oil.  Though I've not tried it myself, there's good evidence that it's safe, and in most places it's legal (just make sure you check out the milligrams, since there are a lot of CBD scams).   Finally, I will take an Ibuprofen PM for those wretched sleepless nights.
    	       For my first FS, I did the PT, the home stretches, the chiropractor -- anything to make it go away faster.  None of those things brought results or relief for me.  This time, I've been taking it easy, easy, easy.  And I'm happy to say that I'm sloooooowly getting over the hill and thawing.    With a LOT less misery than the first time.   Everyone has a different approach, so it's important to do as much homework as possible, since you're going to be in this for the long haul and do what's right for YOU.    Each doctor has a favorite approach too, and you don't want to get rushed into their cure rather than one tailored to you.  This forum is an astonishingly rich source of information, first hand experience, and support for nearly all the various methods and treatments.   Go back in the vaults and you'll find a lot of answers.  Good luck.
    
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    • Posted

      Dear Hoosier.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Reading it was a relief in itself 😃 I am starting to understand that this condition requires a lot of patience, the ability to take it easy and most importantly trusting the process and that my shoulder will be ok again. Unfortunately not things I'm very good at, but I guess now it is time to learn 😃

      Another thing that I'm struggling with is how to explain to others what is wrong. I look okay, my arm looks okay and is not in a sling, so the assumption is "how bad can it be". Where I am from not a lot of people know about FS. Hell, I did not know about it before last week. Only those, who have tried it, seem to understand just how bad the pain is and I myself have a hard time figuring out just how much range of motion I have (left) and which movements I can do and cannot and how much I can lift and do and so on.

      I'm going back to work on Monday after my vacation, which I spent at the doctors getting the diagnose, and I dread having to explain what FS is and how it may/may not impact my work. I work as a clerk, so it is office work, and I have a lot of freedom in planning my work and hours, I can take frequent breaks from my desk, so I should be able to cope. It is a new job, and I've only been there three months, so I really do not want this to impact my work 😦

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    • Posted

      Haha! Yeah, I find explaining FS difficult to do too. "Frozen Shoulder" doesn't sound badass like "torn ligament" or "compound fracture". But oh, you're a trooper once you've gone through it alright!! For family folks who want to know what it is, I send them the Wikipedia link. But for quick explanations during the day, I say that my shoulder is "locked" and "inflamed", and I can't reach/move/do that task. As best I can, I power through at work, since well-meaning, uninformed suggestions can be frustrating. But for my supervisor, I said something like "Look, I've got this autoimmune disease that attacks and inflames the shoulder joint. It's going to be painful, lock up, and then get better over the course of a year. It shouldn't affect my work, but if it does, I'll let you know my restrictions." You are right in that the only people who understand the pain are those who have gone through it. And even though this is my second, I still have moments when I forget that I can do this. And, on a happy note, if your FS was spontaneous (aka "idiopathic"), then your chances of a full recovery are pretty good. (Of course, your chances of getting in the other shoulder increase too, but we won't think of that right now!)

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    • Posted

      I guess it is all about taking it easy and one day at a time, be grateful for the good days and reassured that the bad will pass 😃

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    • Posted

      I cant wait for that moment when I can say "I can do this". 8 months in and I can say the severe pain is gone and I can sleep for a little while on my bad side without severe pain. Range of motion has improved and it seems there are only a few positions I cannot get into and am stuck but otherwise just moderate pain at worse. Nothing, ice or heat, tens, OTC pain relievers have made a dent in the pain. it's worse lying down, so when I get up and walk around it's much better. my sympathies to all sufferers.

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    • Posted

      Oh, IceCoffee -- I feel for you. You and I are on the same trajectory. I'm about 8 months in too. And, like you, I'm starting to get my ROM back. I keep a chart to track my progress, and it helps when I get discouraged. I kept a chart for my first FS, and this one is following along the same time line, so that gives me an idea as to what to expect. As for pain, I'm one of the "lucky" (haha) ones for whom the cortisone shot worked. I got it late in the game for the first FS (about 8 months in), but made sure I got it early this time (3 and 6 months in). And what a difference it made. Though still dreadfully painful, I've been able to sleep through nights and avoid the worst of the "zingers". (There needs to be a better word to describe those fall-on-your-knees blindingly painful shoulder-explosions). But it looks like you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that's something to be grateful for, indeed. There are folks who are looking at the steep end of this curve. Let's be glad we've gotten through that part already.

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