Chronic pain is a significant health concern common among elderly individuals. As a result, identifying effective geriatric pain management strategies is critical for easing or eliminating discomfort associated with conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. Fortunately, a range of treatment measures, therapeutic approaches, and lifestyle changes can help elderly patients find relief.
Physical therapy is one of the most popular strategies for geriatric pain management, particularly for conditions caused by musculoskeletal injuries. Through physical therapy, elderly patients can build strength and improve mobility, which can help alleviate discomfort. Techniques may draw from aerobics, water exercise, passive range of motion, and other forms of physical exercise.
In cases of chronic pain, medication may be recommended to help reduce the level of discomfort. Pain relief medications for the elderly can include over-the-counter treatments like aspirin and ibuprofen to stronger, prescription-only drugs such as hydrocodone. In some cases, doctors may also recommend medications specifically geared towards addressing the underlying medical condition.
Alternative & Complementary Treatments
Alternative and complementary treatments, such as massage and acupuncture, are another possible option for geriatric pain management. Through massage, elderly patients can enjoy physical and psychological benefits as well as relief from aches and pains. Acupuncture also has the potential to break the cycle of chronic pain and provide long-term relief with few or no side-effects.
In many cases, making lifestyle changes—including maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting regular exercise, and managing stress—can be beneficial for geriatric pain management. Developing an appropriate diet, getting adequate sleep, and participating in physical activity (e.g., walks or stretching) can also help elderly patients cope with and manage chronic pain.
For elderly patients suffering from chronic pain, geriatric pain management is an important area of focus. Through physical therapy, medication, alternative treatments, and lifestyle changes, elderly individuals can find relief from their discomfort and improve their quality of life.