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father with dementia complaining of leg/back pain
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.
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.
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.