Managing Pain: Top 5 Tips for Age-Related Pain Management
by AZ Pain Doctors, on Jul 13, 2021 1:20:30 PM
Did you know that nearly 53% of seniors experience persistent pain?
There's no doubt that managing pain becomes more important as you get older. However, pain management is an important topic for younger adults too. An estimated 20% of the US population — that's 50 million people — are living with chronic pain.
Back pain, hip pain, and joint pain are miserable no matter how old (or young) you are. Whether you're a senior struggling with daily pain or you're middle-aged and trying to prevent a chronic condition, help is available.
In this post, we'll share five proven ways to better manage your pain and improve your quality of life. We'll also introduce you to some pain management solutions you may not have considered before. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Stay as Active as Possible
Our bodies were designed to move. Unfortunately, though, today's busy but sedentary lifestyle wreaks havoc on our muscles and joints. Over time, this can lead to neck pain, back discomfort, and other chronic issues.
In other cases, arthritis pain or old injuries may prevent you from being as active as you used to be. You may also hesitate to try even gentle exercises, fearing you'll do more harm than good.
However, the more sedentary you become, the worse your pain is likely to become. In addition to the primary problem, your pain will worsen due to muscular tension and joint discomfort.
The solution? Even if your mobility is limited due to age or injury, find some gentle exercises and activities you enjoy. This might include:
- Chair yoga
- Water aerobics
- Tai chi
Not sure where to start? Talk to your doctor or a pain management specialist about appropriate exercises for your age and physical condition.
2. Adopt an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Did you know that the foods you eat can actually worsen your pain? Sugar, refined carbs, and processed meat are just a few examples of foods that cause inflammation inside the body.
To help your body heal from the inside out, you need to fuel it with foods that fight pain and inflammation. This includes:
- Berries and citrus fruits
- Olive oil
- Leafy green vegetables
- Whole grains
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, etc.)
These healthful foods don't just help with managing pain and inflammation. They're also great for your heart health, digestion, and weight management.
3. Find Natural Ways to Ease Stress & Anxiety
Negative feelings from anxiety, stress, and depression can increase your body's sensitivity to pain. To combat this vicious cycle, you need to find healthy ways to reduce your stress and boost your mental health.
Some ideas we suggest include:
- Tai chi
- Writing in a journal
- Getting a massage
- Playing with pets
- Taking a warm bath
- Working on a puzzle or an art project
- Spending more time in nature
Even something as simple as going for an evening walk around your neighborhood can have a profoundly calming effect on your body and mind.
4. Join a Support Group or Seek Counseling
No matter how supportive your friends and family are, they can't truly understand chronic pain if they're not living with it themselves. As a result, you may begin to feel isolated and alone.
However, you're not the only one who's living with pain and seeking to improve their quality of life. Look for a support group in your area where you can meet and talk to others who are also coping with persistent pain. You'll learn from their experience and wisdom, and you'll feel less alone as a result.
What if your pain has created anxiety or even depression? You might consider speaking with a mental health professional. Counseling and therapy can help you to control negative thinking and better cope with your situation.
5. Educate Yourself About Pain Management Options
If you've been living with ongoing pain, it's easy to become disheartened. You may feel that no matter what you try, there's simply no solution for your pain.
However, if you've only spoken to your family doctor about your pain, they may not be aware of the latest pain management solutions. Some medical doctors are also quick to dismiss natural treatments, such as acupuncture or chiropractic care, that can provide effective relief for many patients.
The truth is that there are more treatment options for managing pain than ever before. The trick is to find someone who can diagnose the cause of your pain and then guide you to the best solution for you.
That's exactly what you'll get when you visit a pain management clinic. Rather than a hasty diagnosis and a prescription for narcotics, pain doctors take the time to find the underlying source of your pain. With a proper diagnosis, they're much better equipped to find the right treatment plan.
Depending on what's happening inside your body, a pain doctor might suggest:
- Botox injections
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Cortisone injections
- Joint or bursa injections
- Muscle relaxants
- Nerve blocks
- Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy
- Stem cell therapy
These are just a few of the many treatment options available for anyone seeking pain relief. No matter what's ailing you, rest assured that an effective solution is out there!
Managing Pain Is Possible (With the Right Help)
Managing pain as you get older starts with being proactive. Whether you're young or old, the tips above can help you to better manage your pain and improve your quality of life.
Keep your body active with gentle exercises and activities you enjoy. Eat a healthy diet and find natural ways to manage your stress. You could also benefit by speaking to a counselor or joining a support group.
Finally, you'll want to stay informed of the latest options for pain management. From ancient treatments like acupuncture to cutting-edge advances in stem cell therapy and nerve blocks, there are more solutions now than ever before.
Would you like to speak with pain management professionals in Arizona? Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options. Together we can find the best solution for you!