Chronic pain is a condition millions around the world deal with on a daily basis. It can make it difficult to do even the most mundane tasks, yet it is often overlooked. Why is that? Often it has to do with age. Many of the pain sufferers in the world are older adults. Caregivers and medical professionals tend to under-treat pain in these individuals, or so it has been documented in the recent newsletter from the Gerontological Society of America (GSA).
Many people have come to associate aches and pains with advanced age and, therefore, they do not see the importance in properly treating pain signals. Pain is experienced as a red flag for some other problem within the body. It should not be overlooked. The GSA has pointed out that many of these elderly folk have developed other problems, which all stem from the fact that they are not receiving proper care for the pain that they feel.
Including on the list of concerns that continues to grow as these conditions are left untreated are decreased motor function, difficulty sleeping, and disability. Experts in the field agree that with the proper multidisciplinary approach to pain management plan, much of this could be alleviated – including the discomfort. Effective treatment models will generally include supervised physical activity, alternative treatments of pain as needed, and proper dosing of medication. The newsletter draws a great deal of attention to the concept of careful selection and use of pain drugs. Even over-the-counter medications have are commonly misused by chronic pain patients. Properly educating all involved – family, friends, caregivers, and patients – can prevent this.
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