There are large numbers of senior citizens who experience chronic pain on a daily basis. Many times, it can be an enormous task convincing seniors there are ways to manage their pain. Senior caregivers should be aware that some pain is easily alleviated by using proper techniques. Seniors must also be encouraged to seek medical attention and discuss individual pain treatment options. In-home health services and loved ones should also support seniors who suffer from chronic pain, assuring them the decision to seek medical help is never something to be ashamed of. So which techniques can seniors utilize to treat chronic pain?
Deep Breathing and Relaxation: these techniques work for reducing stress and relaxing muscles, but can also reduce pain levels.
Physical Therapy: exercises performed during a physical treatment can increase both blood and oxygen within the body, reducing pain
Electronic Nerve Stimulation: sending several low-voltage electrical currents through the skin using electrodes placed near the pain source to stimulate nerves can decrease the amount of pain awareness
Heat and/or Cold: heat application relaxes the muscles, cold application numb them and can interrupt chronic pain for seniors
Support groups — which can enable your parent to feel less alone and share coping strategies — can help.
Pain Treatment Centers: There are a large number of pain treatment centers available to help seniors and their caregivers successfully treat and manage symptoms of chronic pain
Proper Nutrition: while the importance of a healthy and nutritious diet can enable peak performance, seniors can get an added bonus for eating well, as proper nutrition helps to manage pain.
Sleeping Well: people who cannot sleep well often have tense muscles, which increases pain – in turn, sleeping well can actually reduce pain levels for many seniors.
Yoga: performing exercises like yoga can actually relax muscles, but must be done very carefully when treating seniors. It is vital that yoga is done properly, as poor technique can aggravate the painful situation — can help reduce pain.
Tai chi: this exercise is defined as series of gentle movements done by the practitioner, focusing intently on movement and breathing. Tai chi is capable of producing a sense of relaxation and calm, thereby reducing stress and pain.
Many seniors mistakenly believe that they must suffer in silence with chronic pain. Due to this widespread thought process among seniors, it is imperative for both at-home caregivers and loved ones to understand chronic pain and its treatment. It is also important to know that good health habits can prevent the development of chronic pain for many seniors.