The Problem of Chronic Pain
Up to 50% of adults living at home have significant chronic pain. It’s important to distinguish between the two major forms of pain – acute and chronic. Acute pain results from a recent injury, and is temporary in nature; while chronic pain is long-lasting.
Treating Chronic Pain with Medications
Pharmaceutical pain management is often the first course of action when treating chronic conditions. Medications should always be taken under the supervision of a doctor.
Alternative Treatments for Chronic Pain
New technologies are in development for targeting soreness in specific areas of the body such as steroid injections, spinal cord stimulator and nerve blocks.
Some patients explore holistic therapies for pain control. These techniques are often termed as “integrative care” and focus on learning to live comfortably with pain, rather than attempting to eliminate it. Integrative care techniques include: massage therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis, meditation, aromatherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback and herbal supplements.
Many patients consider pain as a normal and unavoidable part of the aging process, but the discomfort is not a problem that should be ignored. With proper treatment and pain management, most people can live dignified and productive lives. Talk to your doctor for advice and treatment.
Sources: American Geriatrics Association, American Chronic Pain Association.