As people age, it often becomes necessary to find methods of pain management related to injuries, illness, or simply getting older. While many people turn to prescription pain relief, mainly opioids, there are other methods that work and don’t lead to addiction. The following are some ways seniors can learn to manage pain without the use of highly addictive opioids.
Why Opioids are a Concern
Most opioid addictions begin innocently enough with someone becoming addicted to a legitimately prescribed medication. Only 11 percent of those who needed care for opioid use received specialty treatment. Of those with past-year drug use disorders, a whopping 82.3 percent aged 12 and older did not perceive the need for treatment and thus did not get the help they needed. The issues related to addiction of opioids and the treatment of that addiction are the reason many seniors are trying the following alternative methods of pain management.
1. Visit a Chiropractor
Regular visits to a chiropractor can have many health benefits, including pain relief. A chiropractor deals with whole body care and focuses on the misalignment of the spine. Seniors who regularly have chiropractor visits often report a higher range of movement, better balance, and more energy. Plus, this type of care has no side effects.
2. Try Acupuncture or Massage Therapy
Acupuncture is a popular method of pain relief in Eastern medicine where thin needles are inserted into specific areas of the body. This type of therapy, along with massage therapy, can help with joint pain and whole-body health without the use of medications. A major benefit of acupuncture and massage therapy is that they are both patient driven and can be used to create a care plan based on the individual needs of each patient.
3. Use Natural Pain Remedies
Exercise can actually be very beneficial for seniors dealing with certain types of pain. It’s essential to speak with the primary care physician to find the best type of exercise depending on the individual’s abilities and stamina. Another natural way to combat pain is using natural pain relievers like willow bark, turmeric, and cloves.
4. Holistic Diet
Many people don’t realize the benefits that can come from a healthy diet. Inflammation can be one of the leading causes of pain when it comes to seniors. Many times, inflammation is related to eating unhealthy foods. A holistic diet can eliminate those problem foods and often improve overall health. Most holistic diets will recommend eating lots of fish, healthy fats, whole fruits, and vegetables.
Prescription opioids can be as dangerous and as addictive as heroin an illegal drug, especially when they’re misused. Opioids are frequently prescribed to seniors without consideration of side effects. But there are alternatives to opioids for those who prefer to maintain a lifestyle without addictive medications. By trying alternative pain management solutions like visiting a chiropractor, using natural pain remedies, and experimenting with other natural treatments, many seniors can find relief from pain without resorting to prescription drugs.
Sometimes taking care of seniors can be hard, and sometimes it’s hard for seniors to take care of themselves. That’s where Welcome Homecare comes in! We offer full service home healthcare to make sure that no matter the level of activity of the senior, they can always receive the help they need!