85 year old mother has aches in arms and legs

by Nancy

Hi....My mom is 85 and in good health. But, she does suffer from osteoperosis. She has had 2 compression fractures in her back, and recently discovered she has one in her T5. She is in a lot of pain. She saw a GP and then went to the orthopedic surgeon that replaced her hips several years ago. He did a bone scan, blood tests, and x-rays. It was confirmed this new compression fracture had happened. She is on a pain killer and was given a brace, which she hates to wear. The fracture was caused by pulling open a door that was stuck three weeks ago. She says the pain in her back is not what is bothering her, it is the pain in her arms....from her shoulders to her elbows..and her legs. She says it is a very painful ache. She had complained of this before her compression fracture. The GP prescribed Aleve type product....nothing. So he put her on Predisone...but only for a short time. This seemed to help. She also has glaucoma....so worries how this would affect her eyes. So now, she is on prescribed pain meds for the compression fracture....but complains more of the ache in her arms and legs. It is more when she wakes up in the morning. ...but is bothersome throughout the day. She does have a slightly elevated arthritis factor. I am concerned as I have read on your site about the nerves being pinched.....We used to have an amazing chiropractor...but he passed away. She does not want anyone pushing on her back....because of the fractures....but is there something that could be done for the ache? Yikes.not easy to get old.....but really not easy to live in pain. Thank you!

I look forward to your reply...

Hello Nancy,
No it's not easy to get old, but when you think of the alternative, you realise it's a privilege to get old.

It would seem that Mother's leg and arm aches are probably independent of the new fracture. In fact, if it's not bothering, it probably isn't new.

I obviously can't assess and diagnose your mother's problems but I'm busy right now with a 90 year old lady, fit and feisty, but low back and leg pain. She's amazingly better, not cured of course, that doesn't exist, but better, walking better, sleeping better...

It's hard going to a new chiropractor, like a new dentist, but that's what's needed. Start looking for a reputable chiro in your town, gather all your X-rays, and I expect he can contribute to her condition.

Try and keep her as active as possible, walk with a stick, do back, hip and shoulder exercises...

I hope this has contributed.

Dr B
And of course, make sure her diet doesn't consist of tea and toast. Like everyone else, she needs fruit and veg, protein, preferably including vegetable protein (like tofu or hummus, green beans...) and the healthy fats, especially avocado and olive, and if her cholesterol is okay, butter in moderation.

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