One day out of the blue my 90 year old mom began complaining about pain in her lower back. She hasn't fallen or done anything strenuous. On the third day she could barely get out of bed. Advil, aspercream and a heating pad helped a little but I was worried. Took her to doctor's office - she's saw a PA; her primary doctor was on vacation. Her urinalysis was negative. PA said its just old age and prescribed a heavy duty ibuprofen which is a narcotic! It's easing her pain much better than Advil but I wonder if a different bed mattress or buying an egg crate mattress topper would help so she's not dependent on pain medication. Any advice? To wake up one day with lower back pain is strange to me. Maybe she slept wrong?
Is your mother getting a pain reliever that has ibuprofen in it, with codeine or some other narcotic in it? Perhaps that's where the confusion is; Ibuprofen itself is not a narcotic, it's an NSAID ( non steroidal anti inflammatory drug)
Was the PA who treated your mother in an orthopedic medical practice? If not, I'd find a good orthopedic doctor as opposed to a primary care doctor. An MRI might even be ordered to give more insight into your mother's spinal situation. That's what typically happens when I go to an ortho doctor. The MRI will provide much more information on your mother's spinal condition.
I don't believe that old causes spontaneous lower back pain that just worsens. Something caused this.
One thing that might help is a combination of aromatherapy and a modality: it's an herbal scented heating pad. I use them exclusively. The mixture of geranium and cinnamon relaxes me well before the heat does.
Another thing you might get from an orthopedic doctor is a script for therapy. If your mother can get to a PT facility, she can have other modality treatments, such as ultrasound or TENS, depending on the PT's diagnosis. I found both to be very helpful, especially the TENS.
I don't know whether u/s or TENS units are available for PT in home, but I do know that TENS units can be purchased, and the caregiver taught how to use them properly. This would something to discuss with an orthopedic doctor.
Something else to consider is a back brace. I was originally opposed to using them, as were my father's doctor's, b/c we wanted him to regain his postural strength through exercise. But eventually the osteoporosis was too severe to be altered (helped, yet, but not changed) by exercise. So I got him a back brace which he wears when we go to medical visits or shopping, and it helps immensely. We bought Dad's at a DME supplier store.
Best wishes in solving this dilemma.
I am unimpressed with medical professionals who attribute conditions to old age. I think I'd seek a second opinion, perhaps from an orthopedic doctor.