Pain Management Options For Seniors
There is no denying that people of a certain age navigate their days with more aches and pains than their younger counterparts. But if those aches and pains start to hinder your ability to enjoy life, it’s important to find a solution. Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication is an easy, go-to choice for many, but there are serious downsides to this as a long-term solution. As the current, well-publicized opioid epidemic has shown, readily available pain medications can often be highly addictive. In addition, opioids can have other negative side effects, such as loss of balance. Fortunately, several non-medicinal techniques are available to help alleviate pain. They don’t have unpleasant side effects and can be a viable alternative to medication.
Acupuncture is administered by a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and involves the insertion of small, sterile needles into acupoints, or acupressure points, in specific places throughout the body. Studies have shown that acupuncture can significantly reduce chronic pain in patients if used regularly as a therapy. Treatment can be tailored to the individual and may be beneficial for reducing back pain, neck pain, arthritis, migraines and conditions like fibromyalgia.
Chiropractic care is a holistic form of pain management that uses spinal adjustments to correct misalignments in the back and neck to restore proper function to the nervous system with the aim of helping your body heal. Chiropractic care has been shown to help people who have various types of musculoskeletal pain and conditions such as asthma and fibromyalgia.
Another highly effective technique for pain management is massage. Professionally trained massage therapists use their hands to soothe aching muscles and joints. Some massage therapists are specifically trained to help chronic pain sufferers as well as to relieve pain associated with arthritis or circulation issues in older adults.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Chronic, unyielding pain can wreak havoc on the psyche. That’s why practicing mindfulness and meditation is a valuable component of any pain management treatment plan. During meditation, participants are encouraged to focus on the present moment using relaxation, breathing, and guided imagery techniques.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy treatment that takes a practical approach to problem-solving. Using CBT, the patient and therapist work together verbally using the notion that individuals create their own experiences, including pain. The goal of CBT is to alter behaviors and patterns of thinking to reduce the amount of pain felt by the patient.
One of the best pain relief strategies is to focus on the improvement of flexibility and movement. Movement-based therapies like yoga, tai chi, and other more mainstream exercise have long been known to be effective in providing relief to sufferers of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions. The trick part is getting motivated to exercise when movement hurts. That’s where group exercise can be just what the doctor ordered. A skilled leader and a friendly group can encourage participants to push through and see results.
Find Someone To Help
If you are suffering from chronic pain issues, don’t suffer in silence. Talk to a doctor before trying any of the techniques listed above. At The Maples of Towson, our supportive care staff will help you find medical professionals with the pain management solutions that are best for you. Our signature Move for Life program improves strength and balance; the key ingredients for maintaining pain-free mobility. Our goal is to make every day the best day possible, and that includes feeling as good as possible. To learn more, schedule a tour with us today.