Archive | June, 2014

Living with Chronic Pain

Assisted bowling with physical therapist Margie Howard and Resident Ebba is a great activity to monitor balance and mobility challenges.

Assisted bowling with physical therapist Margie Howard and Resident Ebba is a great activity to monitor balance and mobility challenges.

An invisible illness is defined as a physical or psychological medical condition that is not readily apparent. There are a wide variety of invisible illnesses and accompanying disabilities. Over 96% of chronic medical conditions do not show outward signs of their illness. A common invisible illness among older adults is chronic pain. Chronic pain is difficult to diagnose and treat due to varying definitions of pain and a lack of consensus in the medical field on treatment approaches. Chronic pain management is essential for older adults, particularly in light of findings demonstrating a connection between pain and falls.

Chronic pain is a major risk factor for falls in older people. Yet, chronic pain is often mismanaged by medical personnel due to lack of consistent guidelines for practitioners. Given the complexity of how chronic pain is managed, it is that much more important for individuals to take it upon themselves to seek information and guidance. Approaches to chronic pain management often include pharmacological, interventional, and psychological. Services are typically integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses both the physical and the psychological responses that accompany chronic pain.

Chronic pain symptoms may ebb and flow throughout a lifetime. There may be months or even years where symptoms are minimal or nonexistent. If you are experiencing chronic pain symptoms, a visit to a doctor specializing in sports medicine or physiatry could be helpful. Adjunctive medical treatment with a psychiatrist or psychologist may also be necessary.

The Doolittle Home has 24/7 licensed nursing care available to all residents. Keeping everyone safe from falls and following medication management guidelines are keys to comfortable living. Assisted bowling provides exercise for muscle groups as well as a little competitive fun.

Call Virginia for a personal tour at 508-543-2694 or email virginia@doolittle-home.org

References

www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/clinical-zones/pain-management/managing-chronic-pain-in-older-people/5061660.article

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