Some people are adamant that they will not take any form of drugs for pain relief, and would rather cope with the pain instead.

I have suffered from back pain for over 30 years and the ‘not taking’ of pain relief would be out of the question.

Don’t get me wrong, I see where they are coming from but there is also the saying ‘get a life’ which can come into the equation. For me personally, my life would be very miserable if I had to suffer pain 24/7. My moods, I know, would be up and down like a yo-yo and as there is no ‘cure’ for my back condition, I know it will not get better, in fact if anything, it will get worse and worse.

Of course when I was first put on pain meds I started on a low dosage of fairly mild drugs but over the years as my condition has deteriorated the drugs have just got stronger and stronger.

I had spells of taking an anti-inflammatory but suffered a stomach ulcer so I am very wary of them nowadays.

The only ‘over the counter’ pain relief that I take is ‘paracetamol’, which is a simple analgesic pain reliever which I use as a top up on my bad days.

Nowadays I take the maximum dosage of ‘Tramadol’ which is what they call a ‘opioid receptor’ which I take by ‘slow release’ which means you have something in your system all the time. I find this the most beneficial way to take it for me.

Another group of medicines used to alleviate back pain are muscle relaxants/antidepressants which are called tricycle antidepressants. It’s obvious that if you are in constant pain that you could become quite depressed and need an antidepressant. But, in actual fact you take such a low dosage of the drug that it wouldn’t work for depression.

I take one called Nortryptyline at night before I go to bed and depending on my day (pain wise) I can take between 20 – 50mg, which also helps me sleep.

Of course, just about ‘all’ drugs have side effects, and actually if you read the list of them, it’s no wonder some people say they wont take them. However, generally once you have taken them for a short while you just get used to the side effects.

Learning to live with the good and the bad points of pain relieving drugs is just part of living with ‘chronic pain’.

I do understand some people’s problem with taking drugs, but for me I can enjoy a relatively normal life while taking them, and that’s more important to me.



  1. Hi. I feel so bad for people who suffer chronic conditions. I have a friend who was in this situation for years and acupuncture really helped her. The pain relief lasted for months at a time and no side effects…


    • Thanks m, I have intermittant sessions of acupuncture and spinal injections which do help for a while but like everything else I take for my pain, they just stop working after a while. I am on a waiting list for some spinal injections.


  2. I know how much an inflamed bunion can hurt, and given the choice between Diclofenac and lying there all night whimpering with pain, I can cheerfully say that anyone who argues with me when I need pain relief will get hit very hard indeed.

    I had press-when-you-need-some morphine when I had my big operation, and that worked well, but I can’t see how anyone would use it for fun, what with the paranoid delusions and the things coming out of the walls…


    • Ditto walrus, I had an arthritic toe joint removed last year and that pain is a bugger, especially at night – why?

      I have tried morphine but like you say it’s a bit wild and I was just as I put it ‘in another world’ so declined that one. It’s a case of trying different ones to get your best option but you need a pain clinic to help you with this, which luckily we have here.


  3. Hubby has been battling chronic severe pain for decades. Sadly the pain relief needed to make him comfortable is of such strength it does not allow for ‘normal’ life if he takes it. So he manages without. He tried TENS for a while but ended up with burns at the electrode sites as he needed it up to max strength for too long.

    He was on Voltarol for a short time but it was impractical and also during the bursts of pain free time he got – he ended up overdoing things and causing permanent damage 😦

    Cinammon seems to blunt the worst of it – which is great – but on the days he hasn’t been able to get a cinammon ‘hit’ he is in agony.

    But he always has the tinnitus to take his mind off the pain LOL 😉

    Joking aside – I have no idea how he functions. If he was a dog he would have been put down years ago. We’re hoping his new GP will manage to get him operations for his shoulders, knees and hips. Latest worry is that he thinks he has lost an inch or more in height – so his scoliosis may be getting worse or his spine may be deteriorating. It is all quite scary.


    • Gosh m, is your husband a robot ? He must suffer an awful lot. I must admit though until I was referred to a pain clinic I just plodded along taking the same old drugs that were gradually working less and less.

      What they offered was to try different ones to see which suited me. I try quite a few including morphine which left me in what I called ‘another world’, until I found Tramadol worked best for me. I was on Voltarol after my second spinal surgery for quite a while but Tramadol is a lot stronger. I hope he gets the ops soon but if he is not already in a pain clinic get his GP to refer him to one. :)x


      • They did mention something about that – but it doesn’t seem to have materialised. Will need to get on to it.
        Ha and apart from all the jointy stuff – he has bilateral hearing aids, and his eyes are a bit dodgy since he had his retinal detachments and cataracts.

        On the plus side getting old is not a fear to him – he doesn’t expect he’ll notice – unless maybe there’s an improvement. :))

        He is very brave and my hero.


  4. I think, as long as you have found the cause of the pain then you must absolutely take pain relief. It is silly to suffer if you don’t have to. If pain is new then you should of course always find out why you have it but then it would be pain meds all the way for me x


    • Spot on bda, NEVER resort to pain killing drugs until you have seen you GP. I’ve seen mine this morning as have been struggling a bit lately and the wait for my next spinal injection is endless.

      She has given me some liquid morphine to use when I am desperate but she knows i’m not stupid and will not abuse it but sometimes its just the knowing that something is available that can help with the pain.

      Hope your well, take care xxx


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