Often perceived as an age-related condition, chronic pain is linked to restricted mobility, lost productivity, anxiety, depression and reduced quality of life. It’s true that as people age, they are more likely to experience chronic pain, but pain is neither inevitable nor limited to the aging population. In fact, chronic pain is one of the most common reasons adults seek medical care. Chronic pain, defined as pain on most days or every day of the past six months, afflicts approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population, or 50 million American adults. Another eight percent, or more than 19 million adults, experience high-impact or severe chronic pain that frequently limits work or life activities over the same time period.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic pain has negative consequences on individuals, their families and society as a whole. While pain is a component of many chronic health conditions, chronic pain itself is now viewed as a health concern rather than a symptom of other ailments. Chronic pain has a distinct pathology, causing changes throughout the nervous system that may worsen over time. Pain can result from a combination of biological, psychological and social factors that require comprehensive approaches to treatment and management. While chronic pain is common in older adults, numerous studies have failed to find a direct relationship between pain and aging.
While many older adults attempt to ignore pain and try to “tough it out” in order to avoid prescription pain medications, ongoing pain can have powerful negative effects, particularly insomnia, distress, disability and depression. As such, good pain management is critically important, as stoicism regarding pain does not diminish its consequences over time nor help one to better tolerate it. Research does show that people often look to heathy living strategies for pain relief, as well as nonmedical approaches for pain management. Dependent upon one’s condition and the location and severity of the pain, there are some therapies that may benefit some people.
Complementary approaches for pain management
- Physical therapy can be an effective first step in addressing common sources of pain, including the back, knees, and shoulders. A therapist works with you to create individualized exercises, stretches and body alignment positions that help relax tight muscles, decrease back and joint pain and improve range of motion.
- Therapeutic massage can help ease pain by relieving muscle tension, stress and anxiety. Massage is particularly helpful for back and neck pain or during injury recovery.
- Yoga or tai chi incorporate gentle movement with breath control and meditation to relax, stretch and strengthen the muscles. These techniques have been shown to help manage pain caused by a variety of conditions, such as headaches, arthritis or lingering injuries.
- Keep moving. Gentle on the body aerobic activities like swimming, walking or cycling can help to break the cycle of pain and improve mobility in conditions including fibromyalgia and arthritis.
- Relaxation techniques, such as meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises, help to restore a sense of control and wellbeing by helping to normalize the stress response. Chronic stress, along with elevated stress hormones, can contribute to or worsen muscle tension and pain.
- Science backed supplements with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that have shown to be beneficial in painful arthritic conditions include SAM-e, boswellia, turmeric, omega-3 fatty acids, ginger, alpha-lipoic acid, magnesium, MSM and hyaluronic acid.
Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of optimal health and wellbeing:
Advanced Pain Formula by Diamond Formulations: ON SALE This formula provides specific ingredients that support healthy joint function, encourage a normal stress and inflammatory response, support muscular relaxation to aid restful sleep and help relieve symptoms associated with minor aches and pains. Free of wheat, yeast, soy, gluten, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, animal products and artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO formulation.
Magnesium Balance by Professional Supplement Center®: ON SALE This proprietary complex provides a blend of magnesium in chelated forms in support of healthy muscle and nerve function, cardiovascular health and energy production. Free of wheat, gluten, corn, yeast, soy, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO formulation.
MSM Powder by Pure Encapsulations®: Each serving of MSM Powder provides 3 g of patented MSM, a naturally occurring sulfur compound that promotes healthy joints and assists in maintaining connective tissue health. Gluten free, Non-GMO, hypoallergenic formulation.
Curcumin Pro-95 by Professional Supplement Center®: ON SALE Curcumin Pro-95 features BCM-95®, a 100% pure standardized turmeric extract and essential oils of turmeric rhizome. This natural composition optimizes bioavailability and reflects true turmeric identity to deliver optimal health benefits that include antioxidant cell-protective activity, relief of minor aches and pains, and support for cellular, joint, organ and brain health.
Those who are taking medication or have a medical condition should consult their healthcare provider before taking supplements containing turmeric.
Chronic Pain is a Chronic Condition, Not Just a Symptom. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3396080/
Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Adults — United States, 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6736a2.htm
Aging: Are these 4 myths complicating care? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4356472/
8 non-invasive pain relief techniques that really work. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/8-non-invasive-pain-relief-techniques-that-really-work