March 2, 2016

Seven Neglected Areas That Sabotage Healthy Aging – P6

Surveys suggest that about 50% of all adults aged 65+ experience bothersome pain every month, often in multiple parts of the body. Persistent pain is linked to decreased social and physical activity, depression, and taking worse care of one’s own health. Pain can also be a sign of a new health problem that needs attention or a chronic problem that’s being inadequately managed.

Pain can and should be treated with non-drug approaches whenever possible. Studies have found that pain can often be lessened through certain types of psychotherapy, exercises or physical therapy, and many other treatments. Treatment with medication may still be necessary, especially for short-term purposes or in combination with other treatments. Bear in mind that many over-the-counter pain medications (such as Advil and Motrin) are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are risky for older adults when used chronically or in high doses.

People with type 2 diabetes often have neuropathy pain and this should not be treated with NSAIDs. Excellent blood glucose management does more to lessen the pain and will over time greatly reduce the pain. There are other medications that will help more than NSAIDs.

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