Pain is a constant companion for many older adults. Doctors often will find no obvious cause or simple treatment, which can lead to uncomfortable discussions. Pills may mask the hurt and not resolve it. Still, the suffering is as real as any discomfort from injury or decay. Medical practitioners have many ways to manage pain even without warning signs of trauma or disease.
How Do You Describe Your Pain?
Mind and Body Approaches to Pain Management
When over-the-counter drugs are not adequate for mild or moderate pain, prescription medications can avoid side effects such as upset stomach. Antidepressants and anti-seizure medicines can help some forms of chronic pain. Opioids are often a last resort, with risks that require frequent follow-up visits. Whatever your doctor prescribes, watch for drug complications and side effects. Surgery is another option to relieve nerve pressure or complications of nerve damage.
Living with pain is a reality for many older people with arthritis or pain-inducing chronic disease. A realistic goal for pain relief may be to observe the triggers and keep positive, limber and relaxed, using both mind and body in pain management. Your primary care physician or a pain management specialist can create a plan to ease the discomfort and, if possible, address the underlying causes.