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What can I do or say to want to get up, try to walk, even in pain.

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PT is good, however, sometimes with dementia, the patient is not able or willing to engage in PT. Their body sometimes does not cooperate with their mind. But, if he's feeling less pain with the meds, he might feel more like PT.
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Agree with all above. Get another medical workup and insist on a full workup -- mental and physical. Then discuss options for pain management. At his age -- DO NOT ACCEPT MEDICATION without being coupled with PT. Its essential to have both and keep him mobile and engaged in working through the process. Too many physicians just want to write a prescription, hand him a piece of paper with recommended excercises and dismiss. DON'T let them or you will watch him take ihis vicadin and vegetate in his chair with no improvement. I've been down this road with my elderly mother as well as my FIL. Yes, its a pain to get them up and going without grumbling to PT but once there they actually enjoy and its good to have the outside interaction.
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Shirley, I'm sorry to learn that he's had so much back pain - dealing with it all his life must be a really difficult situation for him.

Has he ever had ultrasound or TENS for the pain? I've had it in various PT sessions and found it really helped, especially the TENS.

When i attended a natural healing session hosted by one of the local hospitals (which was and still is a leader in natural alternatives), both acupuncture and deep muscle massage were demonstrated. I had the latter, and was surprised how much it helped. I don't have the long term back issues that your husband does though.

Although it's been my experience that ortho doctors don't like to prescribe back braces because the body can become reliant on it, and muscles can begin to atrophy and become weaker, we bought one for my father. In his late 90's, he needs what support he can get, and the brace helps him a lot. Iit might be something to investigate.

We got his at a DME supplier; I think it was about $40. The doctors we consulted wouldn't script for one b/c they didn't want to address the issue of muscle atrophy, which I understand and which could be appropriate if he was younger.

I think the dementia could complicate the pain, partially in the sense that his world is becoming less understandable, rational and manageable. The ability to rationalize is probably also becoming less.

I would have suggested pain management, even mindfulness (one of the doctors in my area is a specialist in this), but I'm not sure this would be effective or could address his feeling of how bad the pain is, and he's right - only he can know how bad it is.

Sunnygirl is right though about the mental connection, whether it's depression, sadness, anger, or other upsetting emotion. I can always tell when my mental attitude needs adjustment b/c whatever current muscle or orthopedic problem I have is heightened. Typically it's the most intense ortho problem, but sometimes it's the most recent. During really bad episodes, they gang up on me and my jaw, knees, arm and back all act out like really bad children throwing tantrums. That's when I get a good book to read or listen to calming music, or better yet, plan gardens. Chocolate helps too.

I wish I had some good suggestions, but I don't. And I do understand your concern. The inactivity will only cause more problems down the line.
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How advanced is his dementia? Has he been to a Pain Specialist recently? Have you inquired about stronger pain meds? Do you have a doctor who treats patients with dementia and who may be more sensitive to your husband's plight than an average Primary doctor? Some of them don't like to prescribe pain meds. They fear addiction, though, I'm not sure how that applies to someone with dementia, who has their meds administered to them.

Have you considered Palliative Care and discussed it with the doctors?

Does he suffer from depression and/or anxiety? My cousin was disabled with arthritis, mainly in her back, when she got dementia and depression. She started on Cymbalta and it has really helped her pain. Cymbalta is prescribed for Pain, Anxiety and Depression. I might ask his doctor about something like that. I realize that meds effect people differently, but if he is not able to do PT, I'd explore all things that might help him be more comfortable.

Also, my mom's doctor confirmed that sometimes depression can cause chronic back pain. She also went on meds for depression and her pain is decreased.

I have no idea what your husband's condition is, but, I might try to get him a proper diagnosis and then ask the doctors for help with pain treatment, that works despite his dementia.
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He has dementia. Diagnosed at least 3 years. Back pain has never been given a name. He says first remembrance of back pain was at age 9. It did not prevent his induction into the army nor the dock work as a longshoreman 30 plus years until he was struck by lightning and decided to retire. In 2006 he had surgery for spinal stenosis. He was referred to pain management and received muscle injections and therapy at more offices for this service than I can remember. Seemingly as he ages the pain get worse (so he says) and because he cannot tolerate pain he refuses to exercise to strengthen the muscles. I sometimes think that having dementia, maybe he doesn't know when he is in pain or not. He at one time was addicted to strong pain meds and his primary doctor explain with the government crackdown, he could only suggest Tylenol for Arthritis and exercise therapy. Even today, the first comment is "I need Tylenol." He says no one understands how severe the pain is and thus he is very hesitant about trying to walk. What do you suggest? Oh, by the way, my name is Shirley P. Thank you for any suggestions you all may give.
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What's the diagnosis of his back pain? Has an orthopedic doctor indicated that there's no way to relieve the pain? That would be my first step. If he can get PT, either at home or at a commercial PT site or hospital based PT facility, could that help him become more mobile?

He is going to lose mobility if he's not getting out of bed.

I wonder, however, if this the only reason he sleeps all day. What other meds is he on, and what other medical conditions does he have?
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