Pain, as unpleasant as it is, has one positive side. Pain alerts us to problems our bodies may be having. Constant aching, burning, and throbbing elevates discomfort to a new level where pain is impossible to be ignored, also known as Chronic Pain.
Chronic pain happens anywhere in the body, changes focus, leads to depression or anxiety, and interferes with life. According to the International Association for the Study of Pain 50.2 million adults (20.5%) reported pain on most days or every day. Quality of Life changes drastically when a Senior or loved one experiences constant pain. Social activities become difficult, appetites decrease, and emotions run high. Depression easily results.
The most common type of chronic pain is back pain. Arthritis, neck pain, headaches or migraines, and overall muscle pain complete the list. Since each individual experiences pain differently, treatments may be difficult to find. Patients need to describe where pain is, intensity, rate of occurrence, approaches lessening the pain, and medical history.
Treatments for chronic pain are available with a combination of actions sometimes being a good choice. The following is a list of treatments physicians may consider. ALWAYS consult a medical professional before attempting to treat yourself.
- Epidural Steroid injections.
- Muscle relaxers.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen.
- Topical products (applied to the skin) containing pain relievers or ingredients to create soothing heat or cold.
- Opioids (narcotics). Healthcare providers will usually try other pain treatment options before prescribing opioids.
- Sedatives to help with anxiety or insomnia.
- Medical marijuana, where it is legalized.
Chronic pain is not a natural part of aging. Seniors need not “live” with pain when so many treatments and natural approaches (acupuncture, yoga, specialized diets) are in place. Stress may be one of the causes of chronic pain in the elderly as worry and anxiety do cause damage to the body. Appetites decrease, social activities wane, and sleep patterns suffer. Take charge of chronic pain and consult a medical expert.
Bridge to Better Living believes in Quality of Life. If a client needs assistance managing their pain our Transition Consultants will assist them in finding the most appropriate Senior Living Community. Bridge to Better Living takes the pain and stress out of researching Senior Living Options at no cost to the client ever. Why? Because it really is about YOU!!!