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Mom has broken her back 4 times. Latest fall July 5th ended up with a concussion. Pain is traveling (as usual) all up and down her spine which is normal. for mom. We really need some help as we don't know what to do for her.

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My 84-year-old mother also broke her back a few years ago. Her pain and resultant depression was so bad she wanted to die. She was taking up to four hydrocodone tablets a day. Then her doctor prescribed Cymbalta for her depression and said it helps some people with their pain. It worked wonderfully for the pain! And there were no adverse side effects. She doesn't take hydrocodone any more. I've heard this doesn't work for everyone, but I'm thankful it worked for us.
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If the pain is caused by arthritis, your mother MIGHT get some relieve from several acupuncture treatments. In convinced my 92 year old mother to try acupuncture for lower back pain caused by arthritis and she has experienced relief from the pain. Acupuncture can can be an effective pain management technique if the more traditional treatments have failed.
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A couple things not tried - some people get pain relief from wearing a body brace (TLSO or "corset") depending on where the fractures are. Osteoporosis can be treated also; the one drug that has a reputation for reducing pain though not the most potent at improving bone is calcitonin. Also, some people benefit from trying Neurontin or Lyrica even if the first thought is that the pain is not "neuropathic" in origin - I have been suprised and tend to think of it more often for a variety of circumstances in my own patients these days.
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I am so sorry. Does she refuse to use a walker?
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Thank you for your response. Mom has had the shots in her back but they refuse to do it anymore because she would claim it worked hooray, but it was minutes after getting the shot. Two days later, she was hurting as usual. This happened several times and the last time, we were told they would not do anymore shots.]
I don't know what to do.
We took her to the doctor today and was told she is like a china plate, every time she falls she cracks or breaks something and there is a limited number of times they can fix her. Not too encouraging.
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Chances are she has osteoarthritis. Have they done an MRI on her? My mother has constant pain in her back as well and has had a 4 level fusion to stabalize the spine - it doesn't really do anything about the pain, long term, however. It sometimes will short term. Mom has had lots of procedures done at the pain clinic that help short term with pain ranging from shots in the back (can last from a few weeks to a couple of months) to a procedure called a rhizotomy, which is where they go in and burn the nerve endings (she's had that doen twice). The nerve ending do eventually grow back, but there is total pain relief for a period of time because the signal can't get through. Darn little buggers DO grow back though. And, of course, there is the always present pain medication. Back pain is the worst. It will never go away, sorry to say, and if your Mom is falling, she shouldn't be walking without a walker. My Mom's ability to walk has gotten progressively worse and more bent over, but I won't let her go anywhere without her walker unless it's just a few steps with her cane and my arm. Good luck!
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