When it comes to chronic pain, older people are prone to it. A U.S. survey showed that 52.8% of older adults reported chronic pain in the previous month. Three-fourths of these seniors claimed they experienced pain in more than one location. Whether joint pain, lower back pain, or peripheral neuropathic pain, chronic pain is costly to treat and affects seniors’ quality of life. However, seniors don’t have to live with debilitating pain. The following tips can teach seniors how to manage chronic pain effectively.
1. Take Proper Medication
When asked how to deal with chronic pain, most individuals cite using medication. This is especially true amongst the elderly, who already suffer from several chronic conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and more. While medication is an essential chronic pain treatment, it’s not the only one available to seniors. That being said, seniors need to speak up, advocate for themselves, and ensure that they’re communicating their pain to healthcare professionals. This way, they can ensure they have the proper medication they need.
2. Use Heat and Cold to Help
Both heat and cold can help with chronic pain management. When suffering from pain, seniors can try either hot or cold therapy. Using heat helps increase circulation and aids the body in the healing process. On the other hand, cold therapy can reduce inflammation and, thus, reduce pain. Whether through a heating pad or cooling gel, seniors can take advantage of these non-pharmacological options.
3. Incorporate Exercise Programs
Exercise programs are another effective chronic pain management technique. Research has shown that even light exercise can make a massive difference in pain. Physical activity doesn’t just prevent chronic pain. It’s also used to manage it. Since many seniors lead a sedentary lifestyle, incorporating exercise programs into their daily routines can help. Even low-impact physical activity like yoga, water aerobics, swimming, and Tai Chi can help. In addition to contributing to chronic pain management, these also improve physical functioning and help fight symptoms of depression.
4. Avoid Inflammatory Food
Another helpful lifestyle tip is to avoid inflammatory food. Fried food, refined carbohydrates, and processed meat can increase inflammation, while healthy choices like vegetables, fruits, fatty fish, and nuts decrease inflammation in your body. Since inflammation can exacerbate chronic pain, avoiding such foods may help reduce this pain.
5. Manage Stress
Stress has many harmful effects on one’s body. One negative impact of stress is its ability to worsen chronic pain. While no one can altogether remove stress from their lives, it’s important to manage it to reduce its impact on chronic pain. Try techniques like meditation or mindfulness or invest in talk therapy to deal with life’s stresses.
Manage Chronic Pain in the Long Term
Chronic pain treatment is a long-term care solution. In order for seniors to live full and healthy lives, their needs must be taken care of. Living an independent life at a facility like American Grand can help reduce chronic pain by minimizing stress, having your medical needs and requirements met, and living a comfortable life surrounded by a vibrant community. Check out American Grand’s state-of-the-art living facilities for yourself by calling us at 920-585-6985 or by booking a visit here.