It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Osteoporosis Message Board

  • Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 02-21-2005, 08:30 PM   #1
    Mama's Daughter
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    Mama's Daughter's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Location: Northwest US
    Posts: 1
    Mama's Daughter HB User
    Exclamation Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please



    Hello! I am new to this board, and am hoping some of you good people might have some similar experiences to that of my mother, who is 88.

    Mama has osteoarthritis (as well as osteoporosis, please read on!) badly, and for this reason has been lap-swimming for over 40 years. She only stopped swimming a couple of years ago. She has also been doing weight-lifting with her legs, lying on her back, or sitting in a chair, at home. She is 1000% diligent with her exercise! But swimming is not weight-bearing. She has a whole lot of difficulty with walking and uses a walker.

    Is this sort of weight-lifting considered "weight bearing" -- if so, to what extent? Has she basically MISSED entirely, all weight bearing exercise for the past 40 odd years?

    She also has osteoporosis.

    Last week, she developed SEVERE pain in her lower back. You have to understand Mother, to understand how truly severe this pain is for her. Mama never, ever complains. She smiles and is cheerful all the time. I'm sure she must have been in pain all the time, prior to this latest, but you'd never know.

    Well, with this latest, she grimaces, and groans, and says, "OW!" when she changes position, or tries to get up or down from her chair, or in or out of bed. Hey, this is really awful for my mother, everyone. Nobody has EVER seen her like this.

    Other than changing position, she isn't complaining. But I know she is worried.

    She says she has had this pain for 6 weeks, but it only got this bad the last few days of last week. None of her three "kids" (i.e. us, in our 50s and 60s!) would have ever found out, except that her sweet helper, a dear woman who has worked for Mama for 7 years, called my sister Amy and told her, last Thursday.

    My sis took her to the doc to have her back X-rayed, on Friday. The doc also said Mother has "sigNIFFicant" osteoporosis. That is, he emphasized "significant" in some significant way. He did not give any numbers, though Amy asked him for some.

    We have had someone with her, now, 24 hours per day, since Thursday night. I was there over the weekend, and my brother has driven up now.

    She will be moving into Respite on this coming Thursday, then to Assisted Care, when the doc says it's okay. She will be selling her house -- that is, we'll be helping out on that end. She seems to have a sense of relief about that. She loves the place she's moving to, as she's been there before, and knows all about it.

    Today the doc said there are signs in the X-ray of earlier hairline fractures in her spine.

    Mother is feeling better, because she has 3 special anesthetic patches on her back, now, 12 hours per day. Also this wonderful heat pack with an elastic belt, which she got at Wallgreen's. It lasts for 2 1/2 hours. Heats in the microwave for 2 min. 30 sec. Wow. What a great piece of gear. She says that's the best thing she has. She is also taking Vicodin and a muscle relaxant. But if she does not keep taking the Vicodin, the major pain comes right back. She says the major pain,on a scale of 1-10, is about an 8, and the pain medication reduces it to a 7.

    My questions are:

    1. Could hairline fractures, or anything else related to osteoporosis be causing this major pain?

    2. How can osteoporosis pain -- if that is what it is -- be controlled? Or will she have to live with this for the rest of her life?

    3. Could this be life-threatening for her? The pain, I mean? I worry about this aspect, too. I don't think I could stand to live with a pain level of 7 and all that other discomfort of changing the patches and the hot pack all day long, that's if it was me. But Mother is very adaptable.

    (I do realize we don't have all the info yet, from the doc. And she also plans to see an orthopedist, as her pcp is an Internist.)

    Thank you for any help.

    Last edited by Mama's Daughter; 02-21-2005 at 08:38 PM.

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 02-21-2005, 09:58 PM   #2
    taape
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    taape's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2005
    Location: California
    Posts: 2,704
    taape HB Usertaape HB User
    Re: Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

    Hello,
    I'm sorry to hear about the situation with your mom. While I don't really know the answers to your questions about fractures, I would think fractures could cause alot of pain. If she has severe osteoporsois then the doctor should be offerring her some type of treatment besides just pain medications I would think. You can ask about it. I don't know if the hairline fractures heal but someone here will come along and answer your question I'm sure. As far as weight bearing exercise-as long as she's been walking for the past 40 years that is considered weight bearing. Lifting hand or leg weights would be resistance exercise which osteo patients are supposed to get also. Good Luck and let us know how she does.

     
    Old 02-22-2005, 06:31 AM   #3
    Jone
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Jone's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2005
    Posts: 32
    Jone HB User
    Re: Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

    Ask your doctor about vertebroplasty. My mother and mother-in-law both had it. After it is confirmed that there is a fracture, a radiologist can inject "bone cement" into the back and it will stabilize the area and in most cases it will help the pain. This is a delicate procedure and does carry some risks. Anytime you are injecting something into the spine there are concerns. You would want someone who has done this many times to do it. Dr. Thornton at Missouri Baptist was excellent. MY mother-in-law got immediate relief, it took my mom a couple of weeks. My mom had almost every vertebrae in her back fractured and the hard pain lasted a few weeks and then discomfort. She always recovered and got back to normal for a few months until another fracture would occur. Laying in bed will help with the pain but your mom will need to get up so that she does not get pneumonia or too much muscle atrophy. She, of course, should get permission from the doctor to move around but my mom seems to have healed faster than most people and she would get up and sit up for several periods at a time. She was most comfortable in a wheelchair. I am so sorry that your mom has to go through this. (and you too) I think most people who die of osteoporsis have fallen and broken their hip. My mother always feared she would die when the pain was so bad but I told her that she wasn't going to die. (She might just wish she could when the pain was really bad)

     
    Old 02-22-2005, 08:13 AM   #4
    OppOnn
    Inactive
     
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: NY, USA
    Posts: 172
    OppOnn HB User
    Re: Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

    This is just a somewhat uninformed suggestion. But it could be possible that your Mother herniated a disc when she did her exercises. That is excrutiating pain. I know. I've had it. In fact, suffered from lower back pain from herniated disc for decades.
    Once I was so locked with pain when I bent to pick up a magazine, that I was stiff, Mr. O had to get someone to help to lift me on to the bed, like a piece of wood, and then couldn't even get my mouth open to put a pill in there.

    I spent weeks in bed every year. Fainted once, on the toilet! But, then, I discovered a chiropractor (better than the best orthopaedic in the world) and I felt better as soon as I got off his table, maybe spent 24 hours in bed, with ice packs, which take away the pain, best if used at the beginning but works all the time - not heat!!)...

    Over the next ten years, I got so much better, that I only go to him about once a year for my back, and he gets me right. I don't know what he did, but I just have
    an unstable 5th vertebrae now and I can manage that.

    However, I do have osteo in my lumbar area...

    I'm not sure if herniated discs show on all x-rays?

    For that, I used to have to go to bed immediately, put ice on it (I started off with
    heat too, very comforting, but doesn't take the pain away like ice bags, which
    I kept in the fridge, alternating between 2 or 3 of different sizes. They als work as
    heat, too.) Best to sleep with a cushion under the knees, and between them when
    on the side...to get up straight...never to carry anything the least bit heavy.

    I'm so sorry your Mother is suffering.
    O

     
    Old 02-22-2005, 08:16 AM   #5
    OppOnn
    Inactive
     
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: NY, USA
    Posts: 172
    OppOnn HB User
    Re: Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

    By the way, if anyone does visit a chiro, a manipulation is not enough.
    One must have the wonderful 20 minute electric muscle stimulator thing-y
    first, and/or sono, I think it is. I haven't been for so long, I've forgotten!

    O

     
    Old 02-22-2005, 01:11 PM   #6
    Travel
    Member
    (female)
     
    Travel's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Aug 2003
    Posts: 86
    Travel HB User
    Re: Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

    If your mother has a hairline compressison fracture of the spine she will get better after the fracture heals somewhat. It can take as long as two months to get back to almost normal after the fracture. I am 74 and have had several of these fractures in my upper spine. It is most painful and any movement is very limited. Coughing and sneezing are torture. The pain is the kind that causes the unbearable spasms in the muscles around the fracture. I am at this time recuperating from a fracture that happened on January 3. I have noticed some improvement but cannot yet lift anything heavier than a coffee cup.

    I don't believe this is something that a chiropracter could help. It happens because the bones become brittle with the osteoporosis and it would seem to me that manipulation could only make the matter worse. I always try to be as active as possible without causing a lot of pain because I believe when you do something that causes pain you could be delaying healing. If you don't remain active, however, your entire body will feel the effects.

    Pain medication is necessary, but I only take the minimum amount possible. I sleep on the couch in the living room so that I can stack pillows and sleep in a semi-horizonal position. My fractures are in the spine between the shoulder blades in the upper back.

    I have osteoporosis and am being treated. I also have osteoarthritis which is not helped by the medications for the osterporosis.

    My good wishes go out to your mother. If she can just hang in there it really will get better. I sometimes have months between problems. They can happen for no reason at all, or sometimes I can remember exactly what I did that caused it. You are a good daughter to be trying to help her. The pain will not kill her if it is from the hairline compression fractures but it certainly can make her immobile for some time. I think any danger would come from letting it make her entirely bedfast.

    Of course, her pain could be coming from strained muscles in the lower back from twisting the wrong way or lifting something. The treatment, I believe, would be about the same, however.

    Best wishes....

     
    Old 02-23-2005, 03:33 AM   #7
    peregrine
    Inactive
     
    Join Date: Mar 2003
    Location: New York
    Posts: 1,448
    peregrine HB User
    Re: Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OppOnn
    By the way, if anyone does visit a chiro, a manipulation is not enough.
    One must have the wonderful 20 minute electric muscle stimulator thing-y
    first, and/or sono, I think it is. I haven't been for so long, I've forgotten!

    O

    Opp, welcome back!

    P.

     
    Old 02-23-2005, 09:31 AM   #8
    OppOnn
    Inactive
     
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: NY, USA
    Posts: 172
    OppOnn HB User
    Re: Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

    Thanks, P.
    See all is going well for you.
    I'm doing my Queen of Denial number and must get that book"
    "The Myth of Osteoporosis"....
    O

     
    Old 02-23-2005, 11:32 AM   #9
    rubyleo
    Newbie
    (male)
     
    rubyleo's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Posts: 5
    rubyleo HB User
    Re: Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

    There is a common misconception that osteoporosis and back pain go together. This is incorrect. Osteoporosis is a 'silent disease". It will only cause back pain if you suffer a vertebral fracture. This may be a wedge,biconcave or crush variety. It will usually show on an x-ray. However, up to 75 % of these fractures are asymptomatic- that is they cause NO symptoms. Some food for thought.

     
    Old 02-23-2005, 12:15 PM   #10
    OppOnn
    Inactive
     
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: NY, USA
    Posts: 172
    OppOnn HB User
    Re: Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

    I did realize that the problem was probably not back a herniated disc or back pain from the exercise, but thought it worth mentioning. In case it was. One never knows. Also, better to have the above than a fracture.

    And, yes, there is some food for thought.
    O

     
    Old 02-23-2005, 09:03 PM   #11
    linlinn
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    linlinn's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2005
    Posts: 14
    linlinn HB User
    Re: Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

    Talk to the dr's about IV Aredia. It really helps with the pain from osteoporosis and helps prevent factures.
    Good Luck!
    LinLinn

     
    Old 02-24-2005, 05:15 PM   #12
    lindajo
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    lindajo's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Posts: 5
    lindajo HB User
    Re: Mother has terrible back pain, and "significant" osteo -- need advice, please

    Is your mother on Fosamax? It causes severe joint pain. If she is on it and quits, she will probably feel much better, like the friends I have who have quit, per my suggestion. My aunt, whose doctor and daughter wouldn't allow her to quit, ended up with no car, no townhouse and has been moved to assisted living. She has constant joint pain and now has seizures, like a couple of my other friends who were taking Fosamax. Actonel and other Fosamax-type medicine will do the same thing. My friends who quit stopped having the seizure-like episodes, too. It is a devastating drug. Lindajo

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    Should I send this "closure" letter to my Bipolar boyfriend? It's been 4 weeks. bigshooter Family & Friends of the Mentally Ill 10 05-19-2009 06:54 PM
    Serious jealousy/trust issues... need help (long) Batboy08 Relationship Health 6 10-27-2006 09:05 AM
    MRI Report and Lower Back Pain, Help P4ul Back Problems 2 04-07-2004 07:14 PM
    Actonel & "Scrubbing Bubbles" reiki gal Osteoporosis 4 02-21-2004 01:02 PM
    "atypical duct hyperplasia"? kimberlina Cancer: Breast 2 01-05-2004 01:47 PM




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:26 AM.





    © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!