LAST EDITED ON Oct-07-07 AT 03:23 PM (CST)
No matter what is causing the pain you can treat the symptoms. Many people with chronic pain don't realize that untreated pain alone can cause changes in your nerves and brain that worsen the pain. Just treating the symptoms of pain can reduce or prevent some of the permanent changes chronic pain can cause. Hopefully you all have doctors that are willing to treat pain even if they argue about what the cause is.
Here is a 2000 article on the approach to treating chronic pain. Nice flow charts.
There are a bunch of pharmaceutical options to look into and talk to your doctors about.
1) Topical anesthetics like 5% lidocaine gel, lidocaine patch or nerve blocks
2) Capsacian Cream The FDA appoved Axsain for OTC sale. There are also patches available.
3) Non steriodal anti-inflammatories (Advil, Tylenol etc)
4) Tricyclic antidepressants (Elavil). You take a lower dose than the antidepressant dose and it chages how pain is perceived.
5) Gabapentin AKA Neurontin
6) Opiods (Codeine, Vicodan) These are usually non addictive when used in people with chronic pain. Don't be afraid of them.
7) Tramadol AKA Ultram
Here's a link to database of pain management clinics in not only the US, but in Canada as well as other International locations. (Thanks to Muffin!)
Aren't sure how to talk to your doctor about pain? Maybe some of these suggestions will be helpful.
There are also several chronic pain support groups where people can empathize with your pain in a way we might not be able to. Here's one
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been used to help people cope better with chronic pain so they have better function and an improved quality of life. Read more about it here
Will update this as I can.