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Chronic Migraine and Chronic Back Pain

Last updated: January 2023

I am in the process of renewing my social security disability. As part of this process, I had to see a doctor that they chose. During this appointment, the doctor caught me off guard when he questioned me multiple times about ever having a scoliosis diagnosis.

While I have never been diagnosed with scoliosis, I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have always been told that my extreme back pain is just a part of the fibromyalgia condition. At this point in my life, I think doctors use my chronic migraine and fibromyalgia diagnoses as a catch-all for any issue I may encounter.

I brought up this scoliosis concern to the orthopedic doctor that did my knee surgery, and he referred me to a spinal doctor. While I was unsure what to expect from the spinal clinic doctor, I made the appointment. The clinic is inside the hospital where I had my knee surgery. So, when they asked if I was willing to do X-rays while waiting for my appointment, I accepted the offer.

Is the pain “all in my head”?

When I saw the doctor, I explained the situation with the disability doctor and that I have had back pain since 2012 (with a fibromyalgia diagnosis in 2013). I also explained everything I have tried for the fibromyalgia and my back pain. The spinal doctor left me stunned when he did not act like the pain was all in my head.

I have gotten so used to doctors acting like my pain is all in my head or that it cannot be nearly as bad as I say. It was shocking to have a doctor believe me immediately. He also suggested that I see a pain doctor for a more permanent solution to pain management. It is his belief that injections into my back can be helpful to my pain levels.

A pain doctor, again?

I have seen a number of pain clinic doctors over the years since my migraines became chronic. The results left so much to be desired. Having yet another doctor suggest that I should see a pain doctor left me feeling anxious. At least he suggested one doctor in particular instead of simply asking me to go find one.

How did my appointment go?

The pain doctor was able to get me in for a consultation pretty quickly. I was very frustrated with the wait to see the doctor on the day of my appointment. But I can honestly say that the doctor was nice enough. I have to get some MRIs done and return to see him afterward. These scans will help him decide what kind of injections may be beneficial for my back pain.

He gave me a prescription for Nurtec ODT. This is the only migraine abortive that I have not tried yet. I am hopeful that it works. I recently tried Ubrelvy and was not impressed at all. Additionally, he is having me start Effexor. Supposedly an off-label use of Effexor is for chronic pain. I have never tried this medication.

Do you have experience with pain doctors? Have you tried Nurtec ODT or Ubrelvy for migraines?

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