In constant pain gradually pain is getting worse what can I do

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Hi I am new on this site I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the spine and sciatica last year. I have recently also been diagnosed with with spondylitis at the top of my spine I feel constantly tired headaches at the back of my head. Pain I left leg foot and toes due to the sciatica. I am not sure what to do I am currently on Lyrica and Tramodol taking those medication don't help with the tiredness. I would like to hear from any one else with similar pain .

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    Hi there, I'm Holly, and I'm so sorry for your pain and diagnoses. I was diagnosed at 4 years old with early childhood onset ankylosing spondylitis, which is a rare and more serious manifestation of typical ankylosing spondylitis, an autoimmune/auto-inflammatory disease. I, too, suffer from chronic migraines that behind at the base of my skull, which is most likely caused by the disease activity of the cervical (top) vertebrae.

    I don't have any diagnoses of nerve damage, fibromyalgia, or idiopathic (caused by an unknown reason) sciatica, but I did try Lyrica for my chronic debilitating pain, just as longshot. It actually caused me horrendous nerve pain in my arms and chest, as well as suicidal thoughts. I quickly discontinued it. My doctors and I agreed that my negative reaction to it, as well as to similar drugs such as Gabapentin, support the fact that I do not have nerve pain.

    Years ago, I tried Cymbalta, which was first advertised as a non-narcotic general chronic pain treatment. It did reduce the chronic fatigue and some of the pain in the first couple years I was taking it, but it stopped working by about year three. Unfortunately, the withdrawal from trying to wean myself off of it caused a horrific flare of my AS, so I've just been plugging along taking it for seven years now. It's not my ideal situation, but it's better than agony.

    I take 800 mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours per my rheumatological regimen, which focuses on keeping down the worst of the inflammation. This is obviously a massive amount of ibuprofen to be taking, but I don't have any other option because my gastrointestinal tract either cannot tolerate the other NSAIDs (like diclofenac), or ones like naproxen don't work as well.

    Finally, I have a doctor who specializes in pain management, and I am on a narcotics rotation where I take oxycodone for a few months, then hydrocodone for a few months, morphine for a few months, etc. to prevent me from building up tolerance as quickly as I would if I were only taking one type.

    All the medical literature encourages keeping flexible and doing light exercises such as swimming to keep the inflammation down and our joints from fusing. Unfortunately, even with the medication I take now, I can barely walk up the stairs or get out of bed without moderate pain.

    I'm sorry personal story is not one of miraculous relief, but it's real, and it is what it is. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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  • Posted

    Hello Linda, Welcome! I am sorry to hear of your difficulties.

    Unfortunately, I haven't found any one fix for my Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). I'll share a few things that have helped me with my neck and sciatica flares... Inactivity generally makes the pain MUCH worse. Pool exercises, gentle yoga, daily stretching, etc. have helped me greatly.

    Are you talking any NSAIDS? After over 30 years they recently became less effective. I added a circumin supplement to reduce inflammation and my pain has dropped significantly. (Talk to physician first, and research- I've found deceptive practices with many brands.)

    Many have had success with biologics.

    Acupuncture brought me relief for sciatica and was very helpful for fatigue.

    A pain specialist prescribed an aesthetic/anti-inflammatory topical compound for my neck pain. It worked great.

    Fatigue is tough... acupuncture helped. When I make healthier lifestyle choices (diet & exercise) I have more energy. And in a pinch, I rely way too much on caffeine. If anyone has suggestions for battling fatigue, I'd LOVE to hear them!

    I hope something here is helpful. Please ask questions if you have them.

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  • Posted name Vlad,I am fighting withAS for 3 years now,but good thing is ,I not taking any medicine at all,when was very bad ,had naproxen,then stomach ache.I found two main points, when you eating starch  symptoms worse it's true, try cut all starch,no yeast,no alcohol,less meat.And I am cutting pain simple,with fresh organic garlic.Take 2-5 cloves of garlic cut it to small peaces and SWALLOW with it minimum for three weeks before you go to sleep.thanks

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