Most of my pain comes from breaking my neck – chipping vertebra C5 – due to a fall in my home in 2014. I was informed that the piece of bone that I chipped is an attachment for three neck muscles. By damaging this bone, the muscles in my neck ache regularly. I have tried a lot of different remedies for my chronic pain. Let’s look at what is advised by specialists and what has worked best for me.
Per NIH MedlinePlus, “50 percent of older adults who live on their own and 75-85 percent of the elderly in care facilities suffer from chronic pain. Yet, pain among older adults is largely undertreated, with serious health consequences, such as depression, anxiety, decreased mobility, social isolation, poor sleep, and related health risks.”
NIH MedlinePlus suggests to involve a team of different pain management specialists (physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, pharmacist, and others) who specialize in pain management to treat chronic pain.
I have also involved a neurologist and some holistic medical professionals in my care. I will relate my findings below.
Vicky Law with the Huntington Post offers “6 Simple Ways For Older People To Deal With Chronic Pain”
My experience: I agree 100%. My pain decreases when I keep myself physically fit through low-impact exercise, stretching and proper diet. Walking every day is especially important to my pain management. Sitting too long exacerbates my pain.
My experience: Pain medication helps reduce my pain when it becomes higher than a level 6 or 7 out of 10. I avoid taking pain medication unless I really need it. Of course, your health care specialist is essential in ensuring that you are taking the right kind of pain medication at the proper dose.
My experience: I have not tried this treatment but I would be interested in pursuing it. Have any of you tried TENS? If so, what was your experience?
My experience: I get a great amount of relief from massage therapy. It works so well for me that I am planning on getting massage therapy on a regular basis.
My experience: I can certainly see where this route would be important for many folks who have severe chronic pain.
My experience: I agree completely that stress increases my neck pain. This is especially true when I feel pressure to meet deadlines or I am in an uncomfortable situation. There are many ways to reduce stress, including meditation, getting outdoors, and seeking help from a therapist or life coach. These approaches have helped me immensely.
Some other remedies that I have tried include:
My pain management specialist has suggested that I might get relief from injections, including a facet block and a rhizotomy. I have not tried injections but would be curious to know whether any of you have tried them and your impressions.
Whether you have pain from an injury or from chronic conditions such as arthritis, treatment is available. I find that staying active helps me improve my overall health and disposition. I try to not dwell on the pain that much. I have learned to accept it, but have also found ways to reduce it.
If you are one of the 50 million Americans dealing with chronic pain or are a caregiver, let us know what you have found that provides you with the most relief.