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Any Tips For Chronic Rib and Back Pain?
HelpingSon posted:
I have been managing my mom's health care for over five years now. She is now 77 years old and her health has deteriorated steadily due to chronic pain in her left front bottom rib, her left rear rib/side, and her lower back. She has been diagnosed with a chronic T-11 compression fracture, has moderate central stenosis at the L3-L4 and L4-L5 levels, and osteoporosis, among several other ailments. Her pain shows up at 10 levels in the areas I mention above, primarily in the early morning after sleeping awhile and it lasts into early afternoon. Its so debilitating that she stays in bed when she's hurting the most. She is being treated by a pain management clinic at a major university health care system, and in the past two months has been on varying levels of opiads, including a fentanyl patch, morphine, vicodin, norco, keratin, hydromorphone and a compounding creme. No combination will give her relief through the high pain level period, and combinations that give her some (very little) relief make her disoriented and dizzy to the point she is scared. Right now she's on a 12 mcg fentanly patch, one 10/325 Norco every six hours, and one 2 mg hydromorphone as a "rescue" medicine during the high pain periods. We also apply ice/heat treatments and ben gay (the compounding creme did nothing) to try to help. None of these combinations, even with higher (25 mcg) doses of the patch that cause her the disorientation, can break this pain barrier when it decides to come on. The medical center is continuing "trial and error" medicines, and in the meantime she suffers each and every day through several hours of 10+ pain levels to where the pain makes her dizzy and gives her a horrible "crazy" feeling as she calls it. Its horrible to watch. When it gets absolutely unbearable I take her to the emergency room to get injections of medications that always seem to temporarily relieve her pain. The local emergency room is an 8-12 hour ordeal. The last visit was last Monday and they gave her hydromorphone by IV and it took the pain away. They gave here some 2 mg pills to take home and they don't do anything when the pain comes on. Eventually with the pain meds and time she comes out of it in the afternoon. This morning it started at around midnight and still hasn't broken at 8:00 am. The pain seems unbearable.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm at my wit's end and have spent countless nights and days away from work and at medical facilities trying to help her and there seems to be no answers from the medical field.

Featuring Experts

Peter Abaci, MD , is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate educat...More

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