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My Mom is 92 years old and was in fantastic shape until about 3 months ago. Her arthritis kicked in to her back and she was in terrible pain. The doctor said that there were nerves touching her pelvic bone. She did end up falling also. He prescribed pain meds and she seemed better. He never actually said that she would heal. She can move around but has to sit very frequently. Is it possible she might get better? I know she is high in age but her mind is great and she takes no other medication. Any feedback would help?

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Reply to prince043
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There is an herbal pain ointment that is fantastic. I don’t know how it works but it relieves back pain. It’s called ‘Real Time’ and it can be purchased on Amazon.

An anti inflammatory medication (Rx from doctor) can also relieve a considerable amount of pain in the back.
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Reply to HolidayEnd
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Prince, what kind of doctor did she see? An orthopedic one? If not, I would have her examined by one so you get an opinion from someone skilled in the specific discipline. This is not a situation in which I would rely on a PCP.

I'm a firm advocate of diverting the mind's attention from pain to something more pleasurable. The next time she has an episode, take a time out period, put on some of her favorite CDs, let her take a few little sniffs of cinnamon, lemon, lavender or some other fragrance.

Look through magazines of magnificent scenery, cute baby animals, or gardens (if she likes flowers). If the last, keep some artificial flowers that you can bring out for these special times...anything you can do to help her relax.

This can be one of those special times when a parent reminisces or just chats with her son or daughter.

Do any neighbors have pets? If so, ask them if they'll visit. One of Dad's neighbors had two very friendly, kiss loving labs who visited him on their almost daily walks around the neighborhood. I tried to find a dog park that wasn't 100 miles away so we could visit a lot of frisky canines, but there weren't any near us.

I have lower back issues as well as a spinal compression fracture. Creating these special time with music, aromatherapy and reading (especially gardening magazines) helps divert my attention and I find myself relaxing, which also helps moderate the discomfort.

An herbal heating pack has always been helpful for me as well. If/when you get a physical therapist, ask if heat can be used. If so, buy one of the microwavable herbal ones that release fragrance as the heat warms her back.

An herbal muscle balm also helps; I currently use Tiger Balm b/c my herbal supplier doesn't seem to be in business anymore. Hers was the best muscle treatment I ever found.

For someone at 92 with no other meds than pain meds, I suspect she's a strong woman, and really could benefit from PT, especially water therapy. A few visits from an Occupational Therapist could also be beneficial, as that would provide alternate means to ADLs that don't aggravate her back condition, i.e., using a little device to help get socks on, using a grabber for reaching instead of stretching out and leaning over.

You might also want to ask about Tai Chi, some of which can be performed while seated. Dance for PD (Parkinson's Disease) doesn't necessarily have to apply to someone with PD; the movements are choreographed by a group of ballet dancers and adapted to people with movement disorders. I've watched a few programs and was really impressed.

The attendees move with grace, sometimes swaying in tune to the music, seated or standed, but they are getting slow, controlled exercise while relaxing to music. This movement is now worldwide.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Well, it's never a waste to get advice from a physical therapist. And any activity which your mother enjoys - does she like swimming? Moving to music? Singing? - that stirs the blood, improves respiration and uses her muscles is to be encouraged. Even if significant improvement is too much to hope for at least it will certainly slow further deterioration. Anything she finds fun is a bonus.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I have back problems (lower) that effect my ability to stand a long time and I am limited in how far I can walk.

The human being is an amazing ‘machine’ that can heal itself. Yes even when we get older. Your mom should rest her back frequently but also keep moving too. After a while you get a rhythm of rest-move-rest-move and all the while your back injury is slowly stabilizes. Yes she’ll always have pain but not like she had when she was first injured.

I recommend not allowing surgeries if any doctor suggests it.

After an injury caused by bones, nerves and arthritis, there will be pain and limitations. But learning ways around difficulties while the nerves settle down is crucial.
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Reply to HolidayEnd
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At 92 it's not unusual to have arthritis (heck, I have it in my neck and I'm 61.) Like JoAnn says, it will never "get better" or go away. You have to learn to work around it. Great suggestions above also. Careful with the Lidocaine patch due to some elders have really fragile skin and taking it off can actually cause skin tears. Cut a very small piece and apply it to see how she tolerates it first.

Is your Mom able to get to a Physical Therapist? After they assess her, they can work out a plan for her maximum comfort and mobility.

By the way, has your Mom had an X-Ray after her fall? Does she have osteoporosis? Sometimes the pain can come from a broken bone or hairline fracture.

She may not regain the perfect mobility she had but the PT can guide her on the right path for maximum movement.
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Reply to SueC1957
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Arthritis is not curable. The flair up probably effects the nerves in that area. Really, she is lucky she hasn't been bad before now. I find that heat helps. Also, friend of mine uses the Lidocaine patches. They can be left on for hours. I don't lay on my back. If on my stomach or side i pull one leg up. Helps keep the back straight. A small pillow put at that part of my back helps to. I also can't stand for too long in one position. Like standing in line. I also put my feet up.
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