Question: I have recently visited my local Chronic Pain Clinic for my usual pain relief consultation.The Doctor here advised me to: Have a cervical epidural steroid injection and take Gabapentin tablets. I have read up on the side effects of these forms of pain relief and have become worried.Has anyone in this group had any of the above treatments and if so how successful were they?
Answer 1: I’ve been taking gabapentin, although at relatively low dosage to what they recommended as I felt sleepy and I do think it is helpful. It is actually an epilepsy drug. What gabapentin does is it dampens the activity of the sympathetic nervous system (sns) which is hyperactive when one suffers from chronic pain. So the original symptoms are exacerbated by the extra pain from the hyper firing of the sns and gabapentin works to slow down the firing. It is definitely worth trying in my view.
Answer 2: I have been through the cervical epidural steroid injections. The first one I had was a full block. I was fully asleep when this was done so it didn’t hurt at all. This took the pain away for a day and a half [sheer bliss and then some].Then it came back, wham! It was very depressing and the fact that it was Christmas day didn’t help. Next they tried localized injections in my neck then my back. For these you need to be awake, they just give you something to relax you.
This was bad; you need to be strapped down as I suppose to move would be dangerous. It was very painful and I don’t mind admitting that I cried like a baby every time. The only reason I kept going back was the chance it might work again. I’m very sorry to say It didn’t, but that doesn’t mean it won’t for you. You mentioned epilepsy tablets. I have been taking Epilim 200 on and off for about a year. My doctor gave me them because the nerves for my scalp, mouth and eyes were being fired up and causing a lot of extra pain.
These do help me when this happens [thankfully it does not happen all the time]. Good luck with whatever you decide to try. PS If you are lucky enough to have an injection that takes the pain away don’t go overboard with your movements, you may pay for it later.