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Medication Management

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Tips for Pain Management

By Peter Ganther

Almost all seniors today face some degree of pain and soreness. But up to 35% of all seniors face chronic pain resulting in depression and can greatly affect their daily life. Often this chronic pain goes undiagnosed or overlooked, and only after life is negatively altered is it caught and treated. Some of the obvious chronic pain symptoms include limping, moaning, spending more time in bed, and reduction in activity. Often it is left up to the caregiverís discretion surrounding the severity of the pain, because the loved one usually refuses help and does not want to visit a doctor. Once the pain is realized, the next step is finding the right doctor who can locate the pain and find a probable cause. 

As a caregiver, understanding the aspects of pain management can greatly help your loved one return to better health and daily living. The most common recommendations made by doctors in the treatment of pain include:

Medication- Doctors usually are not eager to prescribe pain relievers that may be abused or simply looked at to numb the pain. Commonly prescribed medications include analgesics and narcotics, but both have potentially adverse effects associated with them.

Cortisone Treatments- This can be done through creams or injections into the affected muscles, but it usually only dulls the pain and should not be used for any extended period.

Regular Exercise- Routines that involve weights and stretching can correct oneís pain and body movement, as well as enhancing your loved oneís well-being in the process. 

Other Health Alternatives- Treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, and meditation may correct some pain, but these approaches are not for everyone, and do not work on all pain sufferers.

Advice to Caregivers- Doctors are always reminding caregivers to remain positive and supportive to ensure that they can cope and deal with the daily pain and struggle their loved one faces.

Dietary Changes- Doctors also urge your loved ones to cut back on any high fat, cholesterol rich foods that may dampen their ability to respond to treatment.

Lifestyle Changes- Often it is activities such as smoking, excessive sleeping, and general laziness that prevents the body from reaching its daily potential and causes pain to begin in other parts of the body. Avoiding such unnecessary habits could spell less pain for your loved one. 

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