My mother-in-law had a back injury when she was in her late teens/early 20s that has caused problems for her ever since. Things have gotten progressively worse for her over the years. She has had multiple neck and back surgeries. As it stands now, she is in so much pain that she can’t sleep. There is no comfortable position. She can barely go anywhere. Just getting ready to leave exhausts her. Her hands continually shake.

She underwent physical therapy for months, including traction, massage, the application of heat and cold, and electrostimulation. She says these things weren’t much help at all. What does help are shots administered by a pain specialist, but either they are done inaccurately (without the use of X-ray) or accurately with the risk of blood clots. And the shots are very expensive. In her condition she can’t work.

Her doctors refuse to prescribe pain medicine any stronger than Tylenol, for fear of addiction.

She saw her neurologist this week and got the strong impression that there’s nothing more that can be done for her.

This is wrong. No one should have to live like this.

I don’t know what to do or how to help.


  1. That’s AWFUL!! :(

    “Strong impression” though, isn’t a full on answer! She needs some stronger options for treatment, and I hope she gets some.

  2. I would advise she see an acupuncturist, even if she has to pay for the cost herself. A friend at work who was getting no relief through physical therapy/chiropractor has said the acupuncture has really helped.

  3. There are pain management specialists who can prescribe heavier meds – she needs to check with her insurance company about the procedure for getting the right referral. Hang in there.

  4. Thanks, everyone.

    Brooke: Her mom and I both said she should see a different neurologist. I think she’s just so tired she doesn’t want to deal with it.

    Chuck: I will mention acupuncture, but I don’t know if there’s anyone good who does it around here, and I also don’t know if she can afford it. Though maybe I could pay for a session…

    Stu: She claims she’s already seen a pain management specialist…maybe she should see another one.

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