Aging & Health A to Z
Lifestyle & Management
The importance of maintaining an engaged and active lifestyle cannot be overemphasized. To the extent possible, you should participate in physical activities or exercise programs, and keep up social activities and family engagements. This approach will reduce your risk of depression and isolation.
Diet and Exercise
It is important to stay well-nourished and active, even if you are in pain. Having a good diet will improve the way your medications work, reduce side effects (such as constipation from opioids), and help you maintain the energy you need to carry out your daily activities An exercise program that involves joining a group or a gym can also help reduce the risk of social isolation. Gentle exercise like yoga or Tai Chi will also keep muscles toned, improve balance, and reduce the risk of falling.
Taking an Active Role in Your Treatment
Only you know what the experience of your pain is. For this reason, it is important that you take control of your situation. Make sure to inform your healthcare professional if you are still in a lot of pain even when you are following his or her instructions. A simple dosage change, trying a different drug in the same class, or using a different combination of drugs is part of the process of finding what works for you. There is no reason to suffer in silence when effective pain relief is available.
Updated: March 2012
Posted: March 2012