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father with dementia complaining of leg/back pain
pa123
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 6:48 PM
Joined: 8/11/2019
Posts: 37


My father has dementia and my father occasionally complains of leg or back pain.   We have taken him to numerous doctors and have done xrays to confirm that there is nothing physically wrong with him.    I am assuming the pain is neurological.    He gets very agitated and aggressive toward my mom and me when he is in this state.   Has anyone else has similar experiences?  If so, what have you done to deal with it?

ruthmendez
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 8:25 PM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 2152


Was there any signs of arthritis, at least?  My father would complain often about his foot or ankle, knee, and headaches.  It was found he had some arthritis but nothing to cause such complaining...I think my father was in some discomfort and didn't know how to explain what he was really feeling.  However, I do believe he had headaches (the orthopedic said he had some arthritis on his neck) which I believe had to do with the progression of his disease with dementia.  My opinion.

I could not do much with his complaining, but I think it's time your father is referred to a geriatric psychiatrist.  This next phase is tough, but hang in there.  


Abuela
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 8:00 AM
Joined: 6/24/2012
Posts: 405


My mom has 'phantom' complaints of pain often.  She does have stenosis in her neck so I don't discount her pain, but if she is busy she never complains about it.  Then she will complain about other pains off and on.  She has med management in her MC unit and they can offer her Tylenol when she is in pain.  But she does not know enough to ask for it.  So I have them offer it to her as a routine.  If the Tylenol can kick in before the pain starts she is better for it. 

And sometimes it is like giving a kid a bandaid when they don't really need it.  It makes them feel better even if it does nothing to fix what is wrong.  

Good luck.  


MN Chickadee
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:05 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 901


My mom complained of chest pain a lot. After extensive tests it was determined there was nothing physically wrong with her. We wondered if maybe it was anxiety manifesting as pain. We would give her half an aspirin and a tums to "treat it" and that seemed to take care of it, whatever it was.
pa123
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:22 AM
Joined: 8/11/2019
Posts: 37


When my mother or I try to give him medicine (usually a placebo) and tell him that it will help with the back pain/leg pain, he refuses it and says nothing will help him.   And he continues screaming of pain.    It takes about a hour for my mom and I to calm him down.
blanch
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 10:31 AM
Joined: 8/12/2019
Posts: 4


My LO has pain in her legs and feet.  Her doctor thinks it's neurological because nothing really seems to help the pain.  She's on Tylenol 2x a day and as needed for more pain but it doesn't seem to do anything.
MN Chickadee
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 10:51 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 901


If it were me I would consult a neurologist and/or geriatric psychiatrist. It very well might be a delusion but he believes it to be true. A low dose of medication might help.
Doityourselfer
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 11:29 AM
Joined: 9/5/2017
Posts: 409


Pa123,  Is your father in his feet a lot during the day, or not walking around much?  Sometimes when my DH is pacing a lot and finally sits down on the couch he'll say it feels good to get off his feet.  Also, sitting most of the day isn't good for your back.
pa123
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 7:23 PM
Joined: 8/11/2019
Posts: 37


Usually my father complains of backpain when he wakes up either from sleep or nap.   We decided to get an xray of his back to rule of any physical issues.
lizziepooh
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 7:36 PM
Joined: 5/2/2019
Posts: 141


You may think about getting him massages or trying to use a foam roller on him. I have a lot of lower back pain and leg pain and it is from sitting so much and not being active.

 It got so bad that when I bent down to do one thing, my lower back would hurt for weeks.

I went to a massage therapist once a week for four weeks and he loosened me up. I forgot what it felt like to have separate muscles between my hip, back and leg. Oh yeah! That is how it is supposed to be! lol!

Now I have a tennis ball to relax my hip flexor and a foam roller that I use on my IT band (tendon down the side of my leg) and then I very carefully use the roller on my lower back. 

The idea is to press into the muscle and then the muscle will eventually relax. It is the tightness of the muscles that was causing me issues and I bet that is what is happening with your father.

Good luck.


lizziepooh
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 7:49 PM
Joined: 5/2/2019
Posts: 141


PS: You might want to try a hot water bottle. That may bring some relief.
 
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