The joints tend to wear and tear as you grow old and unfortunately – there’s no way to stop joint deterioration. The total population of United States will comprise of 20% elderly by 2030, according to the Washington University School of Medicine. Elderly population is also on the rise in India and several other countries. The epidemiological data further indicates chronic pain with the increase in age.
Seniors often feel that pain comes with growing age, and that treatment or reporting won’t help. Chronic pain should be treated as soon as possible in case of elderly because prolonged treatment can lead to further complications which later become untreatable.
Elderly Relief Options for Chronic Pain
1. Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy can restore natural functioning of joints, increase blood flow and ignite the natural healing process of the body. At first, the physical therapist will aim to reduce swelling and pain in the injured area and later use massage therapy, stretching exercises and other techniques to bring pain relief.
However, physical therapy won’t be beneficial if the elder individual isn’t open to various types of treatment. In some cases, the therapist may have to develop the patients mind frame about how one treatment may fail to bring relief but the other may work. As health expert Mahir Reiss states, the partnership between the practitioner and the client is the key to stem a successful physical therapy program.
2. Pain relieving gadgets
Elderly may have mood swings frequently when they’re suffering from chronic pain and they may refuse to seek treatment. This is where pain relieving gadgets can be the ultimate solution to help them recover/ease their pain.
There are several gadgets available such as the neck firm simulator, infrared back massager and Thai back massager. A study carried out in Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee revealed that LED infrared treatment reduced the level of painful inflammation by 37%.
3. Compounded medication
Medication is the first most therapy that’ll be suggested by doctors to elderly. The best resort would be to go for compounded medicine if possible because such medicine is derived from a mixture of drugs and are developed keeping in mind that two people may not get relief from the same treatment.
Medication such as Ibuprofen may not bring relief because they’ve been developed for the general population, and elderly have specialized treatment needs when it comes to dealing with chronic pain.
4. Psychological and social support
Chronic pain often leaves a dent in the social and psychological well-being of elderly. Therefore, they can complement any sort of medical treatment with support therapy. Talking a family psychologist can help the patient with social interactions and mobility.
Psychologists and family counselors use self-monitoring and other techniques to relax patients. What’s surprising is that elderly are often willing to talk about their pain to a person outside the family. Joining a same age support group of consisting of individuals with chronic pain can also help.
Alternative therapies such as acupuncture can also bring relief. The results published in Archives of Internal Medicine shows that acupuncture bought about 50% pain relief overall.
However, acupuncture treatment usually cost $65-$125 per session and may not be the most viable option for those who’re looking to be frugal with pain relief.
Elderly exploring treatment options and starting as soon as there are symptoms will have the best chance of being rescued from chronic pain.