Member Rara Avis
I'm going to add on to Karen's statement. Be very cautious with Hydrocodone/Vicodin - it's an addictive reliever that, much like other, "hard" drugs, has statistically proven to be less effective over time, requiring higher dosages.
I've suffered with a severe back injury for going on ten years now - off the top of my head I can't remember the exact term used, but basically I "broke" something and it's not unbreaking - I've been told by two doctor's that I need surgery to fix it (it waxes and wanes, depending on how much I ignore the "don't do anything strenuous" advice...) I'm still thinking about getting a third opinion (I'd much rather deal with the pain than go through surgery, lol).
The pain, during the "bad" parts are enough to knock me down and not move... at all.
This last time around, my wife convinced me to go to the doctor and get some pain relievers - hydrocodone was prescribed. I took it for close to 9 months... until one day, I realized that I was taking it regardless of whether i was in severe pain or not.
The first day without it wasn't bad... it felt like i had a cold or something. The second day, when I had severe shakes, hot and cold spells, and a headache from hell, I made a vow to never use the stuff on a consistent basis again. It took over a week to flush the withdrawal effects from my system. Since then, I just cope and, if it gets really bad, pop some tylenol.
So, long and short - use hydrocodone during your spikes, by all means - it is an effective pain reliever. Avoid using it on any consistent basis; i have very little tendency toward addictiveness - i can only imaging what it would do to someone who has a naturally addictive personality.