How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask KortneyPA-C Your Own Question
KortneyPA-C, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 54
Experience:  8+ yrs, Orthopedics, Worker's Comp, general practice
Type Your Health Question Here...
KortneyPA-C is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have two discs in my back that are degenerated. I am in pain

This answer was rated:

I have two discs in my back that are degenerated. I am in pain much of the time. My doctor originaly prescribed me Vicodin to take after work for the pain. My prescription ran out and I cant afford to go back for another Doctors visit. I have the original prescription bottle that she prescribed for me that is empty. My question is can I get a legal prescription for Vicodin or something similiar for my pain?I have tried chiropracters and am working on physical therapy as well. I just dont want to be in constant pain all the time. I work full time and by the time I get home I am in severe pain. Is it possible to get another prescription?

Hello, welcome to JustAnswer! My goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive answer, so if you need more info, please ask!


Based on the information that you provided for me, it appears that you have lower back pain and have had pain for quite some time. You have been told by your doctor that you have degeneration in the discs of your lower back, so I assume that you have had an MRI study already. How long have you had lower back pain?


It appears that you are already receiving some treatment for this condition, including physical therapy and chiropractic therapy previously. Have you had any benefit from physical therapy? Have they shown you exercises that you can perform at home?


I understand that your question is regarding the prescription for Vicodin and whether or not you can get a prescription for this medication without going back to see your doctor. Unfortunately, in the United States, it is illegal to prescribe medications to someone who you do not physically see in an office and evaluate. You can not obtain a prescription from talking with a doctor on the internet or even over the phone, unless you have been evaluated by the prescribing doctor in an office. Violating this federal law can result in the loss of the license to practice as well as criminal charges, both for the person who prescribes the medication and for the person who it is prescribed for. So, in response to your question, no, you can not get a prescription unless you are evaluated in an office or clinic, especially for controlled substances, like Vicodin.


However, there are several conservative treatments that you can do at home that may help with your pain, and I would be happy to review some things with you that may help to decrease your pain overall. There are also medications that are available over the counter that can help with your condition, provided that they are taken regularly. An anti-inflammatory medication, like Ibuprofen, or Naprosyn, if taken on a regular basis, up to 2 times per day, can help address the inflammation in your back that is causing some of your painful symptoms. Additionally, Tylenol is a mild pain medication, but may also help at the end of your work day.


You can apply ice/heat at the end of your workday. It is usually recommended that you do this for about 15 minutes at a time, up to 3-4 times per day. The heat with bring all of the good healing properties of your blood to the area and can help over time with your condition. Ice can decrease swelling and inflammation and also has some very short term numbing properties.


Exercises can be taught by a therapist to stretch out your back and help relieve muscle spasms. It also may be helpful to get an electrical stimulation unit, prescribed by a doctor, that can be used on your lower back several times throughout the day to help with pain.


Depending on the type of job that you do, you may benefit from a back brace or support to be worn when you are stressing the lower back, which can help to minimize the painful symptoms at the end of the day.


Has your doctor suggested steroid injections for your back? Have you seen a surgeon regarding your condition?


I understand that you have some financial barriers with regards XXXXX XXXXX treatment for your back, which can be very frustrating when you are in constant pain. I understand that it is very easy to feel almost helpless when it comes to what can be done to address the pain. However, there are several options for more definitive treatment of your condition, which may be worthwhile to look into and to try to get more of a permanent solution to your condition.


Did your back pain develop initially as a result of an injury at work? Or have you had gradual onset of pain? Do you have pain that goes into your legs as well? Can you describe the pain and rate it from 1-10 with 10 being most severe?


Some of the answers to the above questions will help me to get a better understanding of your unique situation so that I can try to guide you in the right direction with regard to what type of doctor would be most helpful for you.


I'm very sorry to hear about the significant pain that you have daily, and I am happy to provide some information and guidance in this regard.

KortneyPA-C and other Health Specialists are ready to help you
I wanted to follow up with you regarding your lower back pain that we discussed a couple days ago. I hope that your pain is better under control and that you were able to benefit from my suggestions. I am hopeful that you will not hesitate to ask any additional questions that you may have. I would be more than happy to assist you in the future, please follow up if you have concerns! I wish you the best!