Do You Suffer From Chronic Pain?

Chronic PainIf you're like a lot of older Americans (55+), you have probably suffered from chronic pain that has lasted three months or more, according to a new survey. Most people report finding relief from anything ranging from medication to yoga, but more than 20% had to abandon sports, exercise or other daily activities.

Do you suffer from chronic pain? As we age we tend to develop more and more of it! Read about some things you can do! Click To Tweet

The Harris Poll

The poll of 2,041 adults was commissioned by the American Osteopathic Association, found that 57% of those surveyed between the ages of 55 and 64 and half of those 65 and older have experienced lengthy chronic pain. The most common complaint was back pain which was followed by knee and neck and shoulder problems.

According to Sheldon C. Yao, chair of osteopathic manipulative medicine at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, “There are always aches and pains that come with aging. But we can help find ways to cope so they can continue to do what they love to do.”

Finding Relief…

The good news is that 85% if the 55-64-year-olds and 88% of the 65+ adults with chronic pain said they had found effective treatments. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications helped 49% in the younger group and 56% of those 65 and older. But, 36% in both groups relied on prescription medications. Other treatments include physical therapy (29% and 26% respectively), spinal or muscular manipulation (13% and 15%), surgery (11% and 13%) and mindful movement activities such as yoga or tai chi (7% and 6%). And in this age, 4% for the younger set and 5% of the 65+ have turned to medical marijuana for relief.

Nearly two-thirds of those with chronic pain said it had affected their lives and many (20% and 25%) said it compelled them to give up sports, exercise, painting, gardening or other pastimes.

Yao urges patients to ask their medical professional to guide them toward remedies including nontraditional methods such as restorative yoga, that are appropriate for their condition.

How About CBD (Cannabidiol)…

It seems CBD is the latest for those who can't or won't use medical marijuana. CBD comes in a wide variety of forms including salves, edibles and oils, and it does not produce the high typically associated with marijuana. CBD seems to help people deal with pain, inflammation and even seizures. The catch is medical researchers and professionals aren't sure why it works, how it works or even how much to use for what ailments.

My Thoughts…

I do have some chronic pain, mainly on my left side from the neck on down to the foot. A lot of this pain is caused by a very tight posterior chain. The pain is concentrated in the shoulder and Achilles' tendon. I've had shots, I've been prescribed medicines, worked with a chiropractor, and I take OTC medicine. Right now, I'm using OTC (Alieve) for my aches, two in the morning and two before bed, which bumps it up to the prescription strength (on approval from my doctor), which does help. I also take some homeopathic pills for inflammation (turmeric, rosemary and others) that help. I do have some CBD salve that I've used with limited success; I have found the CBD foot cream helps with my dry and itchy feet. I do know some people who use medical marijuana with great success.

I also see my physical therapist twice a week and have been for about two years, off and on, for different injuries. We've done some “dry-needling” in my left calf with limited success.

I suggest working with your medical professional and if you can, a good physical therapist. For PT, it's crucial to get one that you like and you can work with. (I've had some who just didn't work well with me.)

If you have any questions about dealing with pain that I haven't covered, let me know; if I don't know the answer, I'll try and find someone who does!

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