Pain is a common complaint of the elderly. As the number of individuals older than 65 years continues to rise, frailty and chronic diseases associated with pain will likely increase, according to a report in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Primary care physicians will face a significant challenge in pain management in older adults. The elderly are more likely to have arthritis, bone and joint disorders, cancer, and other chronic disorders associated with pain.
Understanding the causes of this pain, the special medical needs of the elderly, and the role of pain self-management can help seniors reduce or eliminate this condition. Communication with your health care team is vital to your success in managing pain. Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider, courtesy of the National Institutes of Health:
-What is causing my pain? What can I do about it?
-What is the name of the pain medicine I will be taking?
-How long will it take for the medicine to work?
-What side effects should I expect?
-If I forget to take the pain medicine, what should I do?
-When should I take the pain medicine—on a regular schedule? Before, with, or after meals? At bedtime?
-Are there any dangers to taking this pain medicine I should know about?
-Will this pain medicine cause problems with any other prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines I am taking?
For a great article on older people and pain, check out this article from Huffington Post 6 Simple Ways For Older People To Deal With Chronic Pain