Ultimate Guide to Pain Management in Elderly People
by AZ Pain Doctors, on Nov 23, 2020 8:15:00 AM
Whether its due to temporary or chronic health issues, the elderly are prone to experiencing daily pain. Joint and back pain, mobility problems, and other ailments are common issues we have to face as we get older.
Luckily, there are a few ways to treat and prevent pain. This guide will cover the different ways to plan pain management in elderly friends and family.
How To Know When It's Time For Pain Management
By 2050, over 26% of people over 65 will experience chronic pain. Long-term and short-term pain are both valid reasons to start a pain management regimen.
Elderly people who are already experiencing pain, whether it's chronic or due to an injury, should consider implementing pain management into their daily routine.
In addition, older adult pain or pain in people under 65 shouldn't ignore pain mitigation. The earlier a person begins a pain management routine, the less likely they'll experience major pain later in life.
Exercises for Elderly Pain Management
Everyone should have some sort of exercise routine, especially the elderly. Exercise improves overall health, endurance, and flexibility. Each of these factors is a prevalent issue in the elderly community. Poor health, endurance, and flexibility lead to dangerous falls, chronic pain, and mobility problems.
The number of available exercises drastically decreases as a person gets older since many exercises are too high-impact for aging bodies. But the elderly still have plenty of low-impact options to choose from.
Yoga is all about balance and stretching, which are two exercises that are vital for every elderly person. Balance is important for elderly people to maintain because stability helps prevent falls, which are more life-threatening for older adults.
Yoga also lowers blood pressure and encourages better mental health. Better yet, yoga is very easy to learn and doesn't require much equipment. The relaxing nature of yoga makes it easy to introduce to older adults who don't exercise much.
While the elderly don't need to bulk up their muscles, they need to maintain good strength and stability by doing regular strength training. Strength training helps maintain muscle mass, balance, and overall strength. It also helps maintain joint and bone health, as well as prevent chronic diseases.
Strength training is highly customizable and easy to learn. Elderly people who aren't used to exercising or already have chronic pain benefit from smaller weights and slower routines. As long as a daily routine is followed, the positive results will appear.
One of the most approachable exercise routines is a long walk. Walks are simple and don't require equipment. Plus, walks are scenic and relaxing, making it the perfect daily workout for the elderly.
Not only does walking help regulate stress, but it also lowers blood pressure and improves coordination skills. Walking is also a social exercise and perfect for the whole family.
Cardio is essential for heart health in the elderly. However, strenuous cardio workouts are potentially dangerous, so it's important to keep the cardio workouts simple. Pilates is a low-impact exercise and strengthens core muscles and balance.
Exercise classes are fantastic ways for older adults to socialize easily, which tends to get harder as people age. Mixing socializing with exercising helps people stick to their routine.
Swimming is one of the lowest-impact cardio exercises available to the elderly. The best part about swimming is that it's fun and easy to learn.
This exercise is gentle on the joints and perfect for those who have experienced a recent accident. Swimming is also ideal for increasing endurance and lung capacity.
Diets for Elderly Pain Management
Alongside a daily exercise routine, older adults should also maintain a healthy diet. Pain in older adults may be helped with a diet lacking sugar, carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats. There are plenty of tasty and healthy diets to choose from, even for the pickiest person.
Inflammation is a common cause of chronic issues like rheumatoid arthritis. While low-grade inflammation is often unavoidable in older adults, it's important to keep an eye on it.
An anti-inflammatory diet consists of whole grains, beans, fish, nuts, and more. These foods are loaded with healthy fats and nutrients that are essential for fighting inflammatory issues.
Vegetables are rich in fiber and help maintain a full feeling, which prevents overeating. Leafy green vegetables are especially helpful. These greens are dense in much-needed nutrients that elderly people need as they age.
Fiber also lowers blood sugar levels, which is vital for people with diabetes. By adding a mix of vegetables into each dish, older adults will easily get a healthy variety of nutrients.
Low-Calorie, High Protein Diet
For older adults who plan on incorporating daily strength training, a low-calorie, high protein diet is ideal. Protein helps provide energy for workouts, while low-calorie food prevents unnecessary weight gain.
This diet helps maintain muscles and curb fat accumulation. In turn, this helps prevent and manage chronic ailments like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Why Elderly in Pain Should See a Professional
Diets and exercise plans are a must for all older adults. However, it's important to understand when professional help is required. It doesn't hurt to have professional opinions regarding an elderly diet an exercise routine.
Older adults with diagnosed chronic pain should regularly see a pain management professional to help treat and prevent pain. These professionals understand the different types of chronic pain seen in the elderly, like arthritis and sciatica. Easing the pain from chronic conditions improves happiness and lifestyle considerably.
Planning Pain Management in Elderly Years
This guide covered ways to plan pain management in elderly people. From food to daily activities, the pain management you choose for yourself or an elderly family member depends on overall health and pain levels. However, don't hesitate to see a professional for more advice and comfort.
If you're searching for professional pain assistance, check out the AZ Pain Doctors. We help patients in Arizona manage and recover from body pains with chronic pain treatments, chiropractic care, and more. Call us to schedule an appointment today.