Relative with chronic back pain - Help

My mum has had back pain for a number of years now and has seen countless doctors and has had so many procedures to 'fix' her back pain. None of this has helped her whatsoever. She is in her early 40s and suffers so badly that she cries in pain and nothing can relieve it, not even strong prescribed medicine or tablets. Every time she sees a new doctor or professional she basically has to start all over again and even others who she has seen multiple times seem to be doing nothing. Does anyone else have this problem with GPs etc? It is as if they are guessing. I can't bare to see her in this pain any longer. She says that the pain gets considerably worse when ovulating occurs and it can be around the kidney area? I would just appreciate some advice or recommendation as it is bringing her down mentally too. Doctors are supposed to be there to help and so far have not done so :(

9 Replies

  • Oh, your poor Mum. I have spinal factures so know how very painful back pain is. Has she had morphine patches at any time. I recently had them for a few weeks and they did help. Do you ever go with your Mum when she sees the doctor? I made sure I went when I was taking care of my mother, as she didn't tell the doctor just how badly she felt, but I certainly did and I was able to make sure he took notice of me!!!! Sometimes doctors take more notice of a relative...don't ask me why!!???? :x It must be sooo hard for you to watch your mother was for me when my Mum was alive. You and your Mum will be in my prayers. When you feel down, do come on the site and talk about it. Take care.

  • Hello, thank you for replying. To be honest she has mentioned that she has cried in front of the doctors but it is as if they don't know what to do. They just repeat basic tests and never take it further when it is obvious how much she needs it :( She hasn't had the patches before. Are they prescribed or can you buy them over the counter? Thank you again x

  • No, you definitely have to have them prescribed. My doctor had to come out to the house as I couldn't move because of the pain. He immediately gave me some patches...they come in 5mg, 10mg and up to 35 mg. I started with 5, but then added 10, which meant I was on 15mg. Pain does noone any good either physically or mentally. A friend of mine who took care of her mother said that it is essential that we demand relief from pain, and demand investigation into the cause of it, etc. Does your Mum go to a consultant?? has she had xrays, etc., etc...she probably has with all her ailments, but it seems to me someone has to find out exactly what is the cause . Ask her doctor about the morphine.....they are small patches that you put on your arm. They can make you feel a bit nauseous, but I only felt that a little bit at first. I was never sick. I'd been feeling far more sick from the pain anyway. the relief from the pain was the main thing. Ask your doctor as soon as possible. We are all different and painkillers work differently on different people. I had Tramadol for ages, but it just never did anything for me, whereas other people think it's marvellous. Sadly, it's hit and miss at times. Try and take care of yourself too!!!! :)

  • Thank you very much for this :) I will look in to it. Take care xx

  • Good luck - let me know how it goes!!! Night night.

  • Hi Sophiejade93,

    You mum is lucky like I am to have a wonderful daughter,my Kate also born in 93. I personally am an endometriosis warrior, going back to 1997 was when it all began with ovulation pain.Not suggesting that this is your mum's issue it could just be a funtionsl cyst, which almost all women will experience in their lifetime. Or it could be middlesmirtz. I didn't find out by any means of diagnostic tests until a laporoscopy.I know the more she reads up on this the more scared she will begin to feel. Hopefully you will have better luck getting diagnosis via ultrasound, but if not, know they don't always detect the culprit.

    Yes I can relate to the lack of getting to the root of the problem, hense my username. The pain can be sometimes or all the time. I think maybe if she hasn't investigated the possibility of it being a gynecological issue, it's time.

    Not that that's going to change these circumstances. I'be already been diagnosed and still they somehow want me to follow through the long way around to getting the help I need.

    I would recommend posting on the endometriosis forum as there she might find others that can advice and empathize.

    I had just been investigated for all types of back issues myself but since none of them worked I have to resort to my old friend endometriosis which, after my hysterectomy 11 years ago had been dormant.

    Good luck getting to the root of the problem, sincerely,


  • In my experience there is definitely a link between hormones and chronic back pain. Please go with your mum to GP and insist they check her for endometriosis or bulky uterus (pulls on the spine) and check her kidneys (referred pain). I recently tried HRT and it gave me an acute episode of back pain! Meanwhile, she can use heat patches for relief and neurofen or other prescribed anti-inflams to see if that helps. Keep your chin up. It's hard watching people we love in pain....

  • I agree with above posts about inflammation aggravating spine problems, and if your mum has had back probs for years she may also be getting into 'wear and tear' osteo arthritis. Hormones can impact on inflammatory conditions and thus intensify bone and nerve problems.

    Trouble with hosp docs is that when the problems overlap, they just seem to 'pass the buck'.

    Few suggestions; get mum to take very positive friend to appts - someone who can push for her. Consider that pain causes depression and seek out gp to help if that is the case. (Don't be fobbed off with depression causes pain) Look at 'alternative' therapists e.g osteopath etc who are often more attuned to the patient than the problem of diagnostic complications.

    Be sure to know that you don't have the magic wand but the very fact that you love your mum and are there for her are the very best you can do at the moment. Bless you both !

  • I have had back pain for the last 6 years and have been diagnosed with ostearthritis in both hips and slipped discs in my lower back. Here is what works for me:

    1. Having a great GP who listens, empathises and works with me to manage my pain

    2. Morphine patches - 15mg that last for 7 days. Monthly reviews of meds with GP

    3. Having the support from occupational therapy - referred by GP and they arranged for higher toilet seats, hand rails & wheelchair fitting

    4. Being able to get Osteopathic treatment and accupuncture (alternate weeks)

    5. Giving myself a break and resting when required. Go on, have a nap!

    6. Support groups - access to information / latest research / sympathetic ears

    MOST OF All - having a loving and supportive wife & family.

    Hope this helps and best of luck.


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