Pain Management and the Elderly

There’s a common misconception that pain is a part of growing older, and that a person just needs to get used to it. This misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, pain is a part of life, but it’s not normal. Actually, the truth is the opposite. Pain is a warning system that lets the sufferer know that something is not right within his or her body. The body is expecting you to do something about the pain.

Expressing Pain Can Be Difficult for the Elderly

Due to various factors, such as dementia or stroke, some elderly patients may not be able to verbally express that he or she is in pain. In these cases, the individuals that provide care for the elderly should be attentive and actively look for the effects of pain. Just as the elderly may not be able to express that they are in pain, they may not be able to express their wishes regarding pain management. It’s important that elderly care providers speak with the family of the patient to gain an understanding of the patient’s wishes.

Pain medication and the Elderly

Elderly patients may react differently to pain medications than younger patients would. As the body ages, changes occur internally that change the body’s acceptance of certain medications. To compensate for these unseen changes, doctors usually prescribe a lower dose for elderly patients, at first. Once the doctor has determined that the medication is safe for the patient, he or she may increase the dosage.

What Else Can Be a Part of Elderly Pain Management?

Because of the psychological effects of chronic pain, a pain management plan for an elderly patient should include attention and care. Even if the resident isn’t able to communicate, have conversations with him or. Show them that you care. In addition to this, provide the patient a pleasant environment. Environmental factors can exacerbate the negative feelings that a patient could be feeling due to pain. Provide the patient with activities that give the patient something to focus on, such as music or crafts. Most of all, don’t forget the power of human contact. A touch can go a long way toward easing the suffering of another person.

They Don’t “Have to Live With It”

While pain is a reality of human existence, pain does not have to control a person’s life. A person’s age does not determine the quality of life that he or she deserves. Pain management is a needed practice for the elderly, just as it is with any other person. It’s simply that pain management techniques need to be carefully considered for an elderly patient.

Pain management should be a vital component to the quality of life equation for an elderly patient. After spending a lifetime dealing with pain, the elderly patient deserves the right to be relieved of the pain that they are currently experiencing. Providing proper pain management for the elderly is a choice that respects the value of all human li

Dealing With Different Sports Injuries And Associated Pain

Sports are celebrated and incredibly important in our culture. From Achilles to Hercules, Gilgamesh to Arjuna, Peyton Manning to Abby Wambach, athletic excellence and feats of heroism and awe is something towards which many of us aspire, and even more of us admire.

Woman with hip pain

Woman with hip pain

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat…and the pain of sports injuries.

Sprains, strains, and ACL tears are commonplace in the sports zeitgeist today. If you play for a national squad, or a popular and well-funded team, pain relief and pain management treatments are as high-quality as they are commonplace. For the average athlete, however, or amateurs just trying to break through the lower ranks and make a name for themselves, options can be limited, and it therefore becomes all the more important to recognize different types of sports injuries and treat them and the associated pain before they become critical.

A few examples of sports injuries and treatments include:

  • Broken bones: A broken bone is one of the most common injuries, and not just for athletes. Above all, when dealing with a broken bone, DO NOT take it upon yourself to try and fix the break yourself. If you can, set the bone, or have another do it for you, but if this is beyond your capability, DO NOT move the damaged area. If you see any bone sticking out of the skin, do your best to keep the region clean and let the wound breathe. Check with your doctor for an effective pain relief agent, ie, morphine.
  • Dizziness: It may be difficult to see dizziness as a sports injury, but make no mistake—not only does it qualify, but it can be one of the most serious. Dizziness, coupled with disorientation, instability, nausea, and/or memory loss can all point to a concussion, which itself can lead to everything from short or long-term memory loss to sensitivity to light and sound to long-term brain damage, depending on the nature, severity, and repetition of the injury. In addition, dizziness coupled with thirst or light-headedness can point towards dehydration, which is itself a serious and painful injury. The best-case scenario includes a loss of energy and disorientation—the worst-case scenario? Death, has happened in the past in National Football League mini-camps. Hydration and regular attention to any cramps or irregular athletic-related pain is vital.
  • Sprains and strains: Whirlpools and warmth are your friend when suffering the pain of a sprain or strain. Twisting or overextending your muscles and ligaments can lead to a sprain or strain, depending on the angle and force of the impact.
  • Ligament damage: Once upon a time there was a pitcher on that great and glorious bat and ball sport not named cricket. Yes, we are of course referring to baseball (fans of rounders will have to wait.) In 1974, Tommy John damaged the UCL in his pitching elbow. The pain was immense, the disappointment was intense, and his career looked over—until, on a wing and a prayer (and a hunch) doctors performed the first of what is now termed Tommy John Surgery. If you pitch in American baseball, this is a term that is at once feared and revered. On the one hand, the surgery (which surgically moves other ligaments to the site and attaches them in such a way as to allow the player to throw a ball once more) has a year recovery time. That’s a long time away from your sport, to say nothing of the fact that attaching ligaments and slowly, painstakingly recovering your form can lead to a great deal of discomfort, which in turn may require pain relief pills. On the other hand, surgeries like this are extending the livelihoods of athletes across the globe.