Pain Management and Aging
While occasional aches and pains are a normal part of aging, the discomfort should usually resolve itself in a day or two with rest and care. Pain that lingers or returns frequently, for three months or more, can be considered chronic pain. Chronic pain is not a normal part of aging and can disrupt your daily activities and damage your quality of life. If you suffer chronic pain, knowing strategies to reduce your discomfort can allow you to cope with pain and keep it from being too detrimental to your life.
When you’re experiencing muscle or joint ache, it seems intuitive to minimize physical activity, but the fact is that can make things worse. Moving less can make your joints and muscles become stiffer and sorer. Starting each morning off with gentle stretches can loosen your body up and enhance flexibility. Stretches can also be performed throughout the day if any tightness or stiffness is felt.
Another negative effect of chronic pain is the mental toll it takes in the form of stress. Incorporating mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing into your day can help. Focus on breathing deeply in and out, while relaxing your upper body to relieve tension in your neck, back and shoulders. Relaxation exercises help connect the body and mind and give you a greater sense of peace and calmness.
When speaking with your doctor, it is important to be forthright and honest about the frequency, severity, and location of any pain you experience. Your doctor may be able to suggest different pain management strategies or find any underlying problems causing the issues.