Severe or chronic pain is a common ailment among seniors.
One of the first steps in managing it is understanding what causes the chronic condition – which is defined as pain that lasts longer than a normal period of healing. Among older adults, this type of pain can be caused by a variety of things such as an injury, heart or pulmonary condition, or nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, or a recent medical procedure.
Chronic pain can be difficult to accurately report because of its varied nature. This is due partly to the changes our bodies undergo as we grow older. This is where an assisted living community can help manage chronic pain symptoms, and lead to a better understanding of what’s causing it.
Here are some things that can help.
Stay As Active as Possible
Our bodies are meant to move, in any capacity. Depending on pain tolerance, physical activity is a great way to reduce stress, muscle tension and stiffness in the body. Low-impact exercises like walking, biking, or swimming will keep the joints fluid and muscles strong. This will reduce the swelling and pain from a lack of movement and activity.
Keep a Close Eye on Diet
Diet has more of an impact on pain reduction than you might realize. A healthy diet not only provides the nutrients your body needs, but the right foods reduce inflammation and water retention, which is important in pain management, especially if something like osteoarthritis is present. A sensible diet combined with exercise are two major keys to good health at any age, but especially as we get older.
Reduce Stress and Unhealthy Habits
Stress is present in all our lives to some extent, but high levels of stress often translate to physical ailments, including an increase in pain. This is why managing stress is so critical because it affects both mental and physical wellbeing. Daily meditation, relaxing with a good book, or any form of exercise are all proven ways to reduce stress. Assisted living communities have many programs and fun, healthy activities designed for this very purpose.
Conversely, unhealthy habits like excessive alcohol intake and smoking will harm the body and increase stress. Settling into bad routines like this can also cause disruptions in sleep, diet and exercise routines, so minimizing or eliminating such behaviors is key to maintaining comfort and overall wellbeing.
These are just a few ways to help seniors with their chronic pain issues. For more information on how assisted living can help older adults manage these symptoms, visit our website or call 815-787-6500.
Heritage Woods of Minooka
701 Heritage Woods Dr.
Minooka, IL 60447