Older adults are at a higher risk for adverse drug events from natural physiological changes in the body. When attempting to manage or reduce pain, consider taking a holistic approach. A holistic approach to health is comprised of treatment options for those dealing with various health ailments, that focuses on the whole body instead of one individual body part. Adults over the age of 65 often experience some type of pain. According to the National Health and Aging Trends Study, “Treating pain in the elderly is complicated further by the fact that 75% of people aged 65 and older have 2 or more chronic conditions—such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, or arthritis.” When trying to reduce or manage pain, do not just treat one physical symptom; consider the whole body, taking mental and social factors into account. Here are a few holistic ways to manage pain for seniors.
Aromatherapy is a comprehensive treatment that uses plant extracts to alleviate issues with the body and promote a healthy lifestyle. The scents used during aromatherapy are often admitted through our sensory organs. As humans, we have five sensory organs: nose, ears, mouth, hands, and eyes. Each of these sensory organs provides us with a way to perceive an external stimulus. Aromatherapy may also be useful as a treatment for: carpal tunnel, low back pain, and fibromyalgia.
A holistic way to manage pain can be done with Herbal Remedies. This method may be useful as a treatment for: overall well-being, which can, in turn, help reduce pain. The use of herbs and alternative therapies to manage pain has been around for hundreds of years. However, before you go diving into the world of herbal remedies, make sure to research into their safety and efficacy as the government doesn’t regulate herbal products.
Yoga is a series of slow, deliberate movements and is suitable for just about every fitness level. This activity improves balance and flexibility – not to mention posture, but have also been shown to have positive effects on memory and concentration. The primary reason why older adults become hospitalized is because of falls due to lower body extremity weakness. Preserving muscle strength is very important in the elderly population which can be executed with yoga. This activity helps sustain or improve health and fitness for people of all ages.
Not only strengthening but, relaxing your muscles can help prevent and manage pain in your body. Massage therapy can be useful as a treatment for: chronic pain conditions by relaxing painful muscles, tendons, and joints. According to a study by the Annals of Family Medicine found that “60-minute therapeutic massage sessions two or three times a week for four weeks relieved chronic neck pain better than no massage or fewer or shorter massage sessions.” Although massage therapy has no harmful side effects, it is not recommended for every situation. Do your research or consider discussing holistic approaches to manage pain with your healthcare professional.
At Poet’s Walk, a Spring Hills Memory Care Community, we motivate our seniors to stay active by incorporating daily full-body exercise classes as well as various forms of physical therapy. Through the active and independent lifestyle we promote, we are able to combat and alleviate pain allowing our seniors to enjoy a better overall quality of life.