22 Aug Pain Relief for the Elderly
For people over the age of 65 chronic pain may seem like a natural part of aging. Combine this with the multiple medical issues which are also associated with aging and it becomes more clear why chronic pain is often misdiagnosed and under-treated. Headache stock picture2That doesn’t mean one’s quality of life should be diminished, however, chronic pain can be managed.
Everyone has the right to age gracefully, and pain-free, even if cognitive changes, and the diminished effectiveness of the kidneys and liver makes the dispensing of pain killers difficult to manage.
Some forms chronic pain – like arthritis, migraines, and musculoskeletal pain – can be managed with lifestyle changes including a whole-food, plant-based diet and moderate exercise. Before adopting any sort of new routine, especially one which will effect your health, seek the guidance and opinion of a professional.
Age Matters – What the Elderly Should Know Dosage Concerns – Studies shared by WebMd indicate aging not only shrinks the size and effectiveness of the kidneys, but the liver is effected as well, resulting in a diminished ability to flush not only toxins from the body, but pain relievers as well.
This can lead to an alarming buildup of drug material in the body over time.
Proper Absorption – Decreased saliva production and other factors associated with aging effect the body’s ability to absorb medications as well. Difficulty swallowing, and the challenges associated with receiving injections due to a decrease in muscle mass, are other areas to consider when approaching the topic of pain management for elderly patients.
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Risk of Side Effects – Elderly patients seeking relief for chronic pain are at an increased risk for experiencing side effects due to the decreased effectiveness of the kidneys and liver, which is why the advice of a professional is so important when seeking pain management options that work.
Drug Interactions – Not all medications work well together, and this is also true when introducing pain medications into a routine of taking prescriptions. Just as thyroid medication must be taken on an empty stomach, in the morning, with a full glass of water, pain medications have their own individual requirements which may conflict with another of your prescriptions. Be sure to check with a professional to ensure the risk of harmful interactions is minimal.
Feeling Better, Naturally Elderly individuals suffering from depression tend to report more serious cases of chronic pain, with increased frequency. One way to address chronic pain is to take up some form of mild exercise, or enjoyable activity. From qigong to gardening, there’s a form of exercise or hobby to suit any age or interest.
Laughter really is the best medicine, especially because it releases the feel-good hormones of endorphins and serotonin into the body, naturally relieving pain without need of medications.
Whatever approach you take to pain management, make sure you seek the advice of a professional as part of your overall approach to a healthy, happy, active lifestyle that’s every bit as pain-free as it is fun.