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Tips for Pain Management
By Peter Ganther
Almost all seniors today face some
degree of pain and soreness. But up to 35% of all
seniors face chronic pain resulting in depression and
can greatly affect their daily life. Often this chronic
pain goes undiagnosed or overlooked, and only after life
is negatively altered is it caught and treated. Some of
the obvious chronic pain symptoms include limping,
moaning, spending more time in bed, and reduction in
activity. Often it is left up to the caregiverís
discretion surrounding the severity of the pain, because
the loved one usually refuses help and does not want to
visit a doctor. Once the pain is realized, the next step
is finding the right doctor who can locate the pain and
find a probable cause.
As a caregiver, understanding the aspects of pain
management can greatly help your loved one return to
better health and daily living. The most common
recommendations made by doctors in the treatment of pain
Medication- Doctors usually are not eager to prescribe
pain relievers that may be abused or simply looked at to
numb the pain. Commonly prescribed medications include
analgesics and narcotics, but both have potentially
adverse effects associated with them.
Cortisone Treatments- This can be done through creams or
injections into the affected muscles, but it usually
only dulls the pain and should not be used for any
Regular Exercise- Routines that involve weights and
stretching can correct oneís pain and body movement, as
well as enhancing your loved oneís well-being in the
Other Health Alternatives- Treatments such as
acupuncture, yoga, and meditation may correct some pain,
but these approaches are not for everyone, and do not
work on all pain sufferers.
Advice to Caregivers- Doctors are always reminding
caregivers to remain positive and supportive to ensure
that they can cope and deal with the daily pain and
struggle their loved one faces.
Dietary Changes- Doctors also urge your loved ones to
cut back on any high fat, cholesterol rich foods that
may dampen their ability to respond to treatment.
Lifestyle Changes- Often it is activities such as
smoking, excessive sleeping, and general laziness that
prevents the body from reaching its daily potential and
causes pain to begin in other parts of the body.
Avoiding such unnecessary habits could spell less pain
for your loved one.