CAUSES – Chronic pain may be related to a number of different medical conditions, previous trauma or injury. Chronic pain in older adults is often related to degenerative conditions that are caused by advancing age, including arthritis and wear and tear issues affecting the spine. These conditions commonly cause pain in the neck, knees, back, and hips. Chronic pain may worsen in response to environmental or psychological factors.
Chronic pain can also lead to other problems, including:
- A weakened immune system
- Anxiety, fear, feeling of hopelessness
TREATMENT – The goal of pain management is to provide symptom relief and improve an individual’s level of functioning in daily activities. A number of types of medications have been used in the management of chronic pain. Interestingly, chronic pain can sometimes be relieved by reducing weight, and exercising. A number of types of medications have been used in the management of chronic pain, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, antianxiety drugs, sedatives, and antidepressants. You can also manage chronic pain by taking your medicines as prescribed by your physician, professional counseling, and doing physical therapy.
Alternative treatments for chronic pain can include exercise, physical therapy, counseling, biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnosis, and other treatments. Alternative therapies may reduce pain, help you cope with stress, and improve your emotional and physical well-being. These therapies include:
- Chiropractic therapy
- Healing touch
PREVENTION – By maintaining a regular exercise program, it can be key to minimizing and perhaps preventing chronic pain.