Caregiver feeling pain all over the body

Posted by jackieinsg @jackieinsg, Jun 28, 2022

I am a full time caregiver for 25 years and counting.
I am caring for a bedridden family member who weighs 40kg.
Yes i do have a hoist to help me but due to space constraint and inconvenience I would still have to hand carry / transfer her from bed to commode and bed to wheelchair (4 to 6 times per day).

I am experiencing lower back pain (dull ache), pain on the right knee, dull ache on the lower calf & sharp pain on my right heel.
I do experience pain on the neck as well.
I wonder is it caused by stiff neck or shoulder.
Sometimes the pain on the neck makes me really nausea.
I went to see many doctors but was only given painkillers. It doesn't solve the root of the problem.
I did went for chiropractic sessions on and off, it does help to alleviate some of the back pain but not on the knee and heel.
Sometimes the pain makes me wonder is it something wrong with my bone structure or there is something wrong in me.
Caregiving is not an easy feat and it tires me out easily.

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I am a full time caregiver for 25 years and counting.
I am caring for a bedridden family member who weighs 40kg.
Yes i do have a hoist to help me but due to space constraint and inconvenience I would still have to hand carry / transfer her from bed to commode and bed to wheelchair (4 to 6 times per day).

I am experiencing lower back pain (dull ache), pain on the right knee, dull ache on the lower calf & sharp pain on my right heel.
I do experience pain on the neck as well.
I wonder is it caused by stiff neck or shoulder.
Sometimes the pain on the neck makes me really nausea.
I went to see many doctors but was only given painkillers. It doesn't solve the root of the problem.
I did went for chiropractic sessions on and off, it does help to alleviate some of the back pain but not on the knee and heel.
Sometimes the pain makes me wonder is it something wrong with my bone structure or there is something wrong in me.
Caregiving is not an easy feat and it tires me out easily.

Please advise on how to alleviate all these pain.

REPLY

Good morning @jackieinsg Your post really hit home with me! I was my wife's caregiver for over 14 years and did years of transfers, which as you noted, is a tough go! As a result, I developed severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both my hands, which still plagues me. I already had a damaged knee and it grew worse.

After a couple of years, I, too, developed lower back pain. I ignored it until it really started to run down my leg and kept me awake nights so I reluctantly sent to a back specialist, who discovered I'd ruptured several discs. He recommended surgery, which I did. They did a laminectomy and fused some of my discs. It worked wonders for me. Certainly might not be for everyone, but it was a significant improvement for me and now, years later, I am still pain-free.

Again, not for everyone, but another thing that helped was when we got a hospital bed so I could adjust the height, etc. to what worked best for me — which changed day-to-day and gave me added relief, too.

I agree with you that caregiving is no easy feat and tiring for sure!

Wishing you continued Strength, Courage, & Peace

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@jackieinsg

I am a full time caregiver for 25 years and counting.
I am caring for a bedridden family member who weighs 40kg.
Yes i do have a hoist to help me but due to space constraint and inconvenience I would still have to hand carry / transfer her from bed to commode and bed to wheelchair (4 to 6 times per day).

I am experiencing lower back pain (dull ache), pain on the right knee, dull ache on the lower calf & sharp pain on my right heel.
I do experience pain on the neck as well.
I wonder is it caused by stiff neck or shoulder.
Sometimes the pain on the neck makes me really nausea.
I went to see many doctors but was only given painkillers. It doesn't solve the root of the problem.
I did went for chiropractic sessions on and off, it does help to alleviate some of the back pain but not on the knee and heel.
Sometimes the pain makes me wonder is it something wrong with my bone structure or there is something wrong in me.
Caregiving is not an easy feat and it tires me out easily.

Please advise on how to alleviate all these pain.

Jump to this post

My, you have a lot on your plate. No wonder your body is complaining after all the lifting & carrying, undoubtedly in awkward positions.
I am certainly not a doctor, but I think it is safe to say that all of the lifting, over time, has caused a number of injuries to your body. Perhaps you need to consult an orthopedic specialist about the knee and heel pain. It could be that there are injections that might help you.
Do you have any help or respite from your caregiving activities? If that is in any way an option, it might give some of the aches and pains a bit of time to heal. And to give you a bit of rest.
Connect has a great discussion group for Caregivers, where you might find some support and answers. Take a look here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/new-to-this-discussion-group-1/

Let me know if you think seeing an ortho might help you.
Sue

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hi Jackie
I'm not a medical professional but I've had the same problems you have and can provide some ideas that may help you. You have to be more specific when visiting a MD about a problem (i.e. lower back? right side or left? above the waist?; knee problem? inside or outside of knee). I've had: shots in my lower back (and many pills) for pain; two knee replacements; etc. but the thing that helped me more than anything, was a great Physical Therapist (PT). She helped me start with the correct exercises to alleviate pain in my back, strengthen my legs prior to the knee replacements (I had both knees replaced at the same time). I last saw the PT 13 years ago but I've continued with all her exercises because I do not want to go through that pain again. I'm 75 and in a few years I know I'm going to start physically helping my wife get around, so I'm preparing for the future. I agree with your comments on MD's who are pill pushers, in the long run, they are not doing you any favors. good luck

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Hi,

I took care of my father in law and my son both who were bedridden. Father in law had a hoist thank the lord, and my son was small enough I could and did which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea. I too began to have aches and pains all over many misdiagnosed pains when I did go see the Dr. Pain meds and Advil which in turn caused tummy problems. It wasn’t until after my son passed, 8 months after my Father in law that my pain became debilitating. I went to bed because it literally hurt to breathe. A sheet touching my skin hurt so badly I thought for sure I was going insane. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 6 months later. I mention this because my pains started out smaller, a tweak in my neck, my back out etc. it maybe just your body reacting to everything, the physical work, the mental and emotional as well. My suggestion is that maybe you get a panel done for autoimmune diseases. With the right combo of meds, exercise and diet it can be well maintained, I do still have bad days but it’s not at all what it once was. My drs have said it was there all along but the added stress and strain caused my body to just scream out and demand help.

My heart and thoughts are with you, being a caregiver is terribly hard. Remember to care for yourself too !
-Jane

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@monkeysmom

Hi,

I took care of my father in law and my son both who were bedridden. Father in law had a hoist thank the lord, and my son was small enough I could and did which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea. I too began to have aches and pains all over many misdiagnosed pains when I did go see the Dr. Pain meds and Advil which in turn caused tummy problems. It wasn’t until after my son passed, 8 months after my Father in law that my pain became debilitating. I went to bed because it literally hurt to breathe. A sheet touching my skin hurt so badly I thought for sure I was going insane. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 6 months later. I mention this because my pains started out smaller, a tweak in my neck, my back out etc. it maybe just your body reacting to everything, the physical work, the mental and emotional as well. My suggestion is that maybe you get a panel done for autoimmune diseases. With the right combo of meds, exercise and diet it can be well maintained, I do still have bad days but it’s not at all what it once was. My drs have said it was there all along but the added stress and strain caused my body to just scream out and demand help.

My heart and thoughts are with you, being a caregiver is terribly hard. Remember to care for yourself too !
-Jane

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Hi Jane, thanks for sharing with me. May i know how and when do you get diagnosed with Fibromyalgia? I did some research on the Internet and it states that it is very hard to diagnose Fibromyalgia.

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I sympathize with you greatly. I cared for my husband before he died 13 years ago. It was hard and physically took its toll. I have a lot of pain now different from you but from what you say it could be arthritis setting in. With all you do that is hardly surpising

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@monkeysmom

Hi,

I took care of my father in law and my son both who were bedridden. Father in law had a hoist thank the lord, and my son was small enough I could and did which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea. I too began to have aches and pains all over many misdiagnosed pains when I did go see the Dr. Pain meds and Advil which in turn caused tummy problems. It wasn’t until after my son passed, 8 months after my Father in law that my pain became debilitating. I went to bed because it literally hurt to breathe. A sheet touching my skin hurt so badly I thought for sure I was going insane. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 6 months later. I mention this because my pains started out smaller, a tweak in my neck, my back out etc. it maybe just your body reacting to everything, the physical work, the mental and emotional as well. My suggestion is that maybe you get a panel done for autoimmune diseases. With the right combo of meds, exercise and diet it can be well maintained, I do still have bad days but it’s not at all what it once was. My drs have said it was there all along but the added stress and strain caused my body to just scream out and demand help.

My heart and thoughts are with you, being a caregiver is terribly hard. Remember to care for yourself too !
-Jane

Jump to this post

I agree with gettintg the panel for autoimmune diseases, just to be on the safe side. I had the quick onset of pain and stiffness throughout my whole body following a sore ankle. Initially blood work didn't show much and I self diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I had this pain for a year and got increasingly different symptoms, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue, shingles (despite the Shingrex vaccine), sore scalp, incredibly stiff neck. Long story short, blood work showed elevated inflammation markers. I had two autoimmune disorders – Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) and Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) which had to be treated with prednisone. I am caregiver to my husband who has Alzheimer's Disease, but he is not bedridden so my care of him is not very physically demanding at this time.

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