I hear ya I am well aware of the dangers of opiates, I won't take them unless it's a really bad day. Lidocaine patches don't go deep enough for my neck. I had a spinal fusion at 36 which should tell you how extreme things were, they don't normally do that kind of surgery at that age. I chose to only have one disc done instead of 3 at the time. I know I will have to go through it sometime, just holding out for as long as I can. I take gabepentin for the nerve damage pain it helps a lot and doesn't even bother your liver. My biggest problem is not being able to sleep more than a few hours at a time. I move and I wake up, every single time without fail. It is what it is though I had nearly lost the use of my right arm so I'll take the good with the bad. I like that biofreeze stuff also, my problem just isn't muscular in nature so none of that stuff does what I need it to.