In spite of the fact that pain cannot kill people, every fifth person in the world’s population suffers from the pain of some kind, according to estimates from the World Health Organization.
However, aging is a slow process. One may not even realize how time went by. Along with this realization, it’s the body that starts hinting to us about getting older with the pain.
Having pain can have a huge impact on your elderly relative’s quality of life. They may not be able to perform daily activities and may withdraw from social activities as well. In addition to limiting physical activity, pain can negatively impact their health in other ways.
However, there are ways to help your aging family member who is suffering from aches and pains. Here are 5 things to ease that pain:
1. Mild Daily Physical Activities
There is nothing wrong with being hesitant to exercise if it hurts and you’re worried about further injury. Gentle exercise causes your muscles and joints to become more fit, which is why you feel pain. But if you become more active gradually, it’s unlikely you’ll cause any damage or harm. By blocking pain signals to the brain, simple everyday activities such as walking, swimming, gardening, and dancing can ease some of the pain. As a result of the activity, muscles, ligaments, and joints are stretched, which decreases pain. In the long term, the benefits of exercise far outweigh any increase in pain.
2. Heat to the rescue
By taking a hot bath or shower, using a hot water bottle, or wrapping a warm cloth, muscles can be relaxed and spasms can be reduced. Using a heating pad with an automated off switch is better than using a standard one, which can burn the skin if used for an extended period. It is advised that the painful area is heated for 5-10 minutes every three to four times a day as required with the acceptable intensity of heating.
Avoid applying heat to exposed wounds.
3. Deep Breathing or Meditation
There are multiple breathing techniques that can help you to ease pain in your body. Concentrating on your breathing when you’re in pain can help. This can help you feel more in control of your mind and body which helps you to relax and prevent any muscle tension or anxiety from worsening the pain. When the pain is intense it’s very easy to start taking shallow, rapid breaths, making you feel dizzy, anxious, or panicked. Instead, breathe slowly and deeply.
4. Communicate it
As people age, they tend to get insecure about their aging and as a result, will refrain from telling people about the pain they experience performing their daily tasks. The caretaker must take the initiative to ask the elderly about the pain and consult a doctor timely.
By using these methods, one can feel relieved from or at least ease their pain. Pain that exceeds three months can be considered Chronic Pain and one should consult a medical expert for it. Other than that, one can use medications (prescription-based or over-the-counter medications), doses, supplements, as advised by their doctor only as using them without any consultation from an expert, can be harmful and dangerous, especially for the elderly.