Maryjo L. Cleveland, MD
Medical Director, Post Acute & Senior Services
Chief, Division of Geriatric Medicine
Summa Health System
There are many issues facing older adults that are common, but should not be considered inevitable. This blog will launch a series for 2014, all bundled under the general heading of “It’s Not Normal”. Over the next year, I intend to cover a variety of topics that include dementia, incontinence, falls and depression. If you have suggestions for this series, please leave a comment.
The kick-off for this series is pain. While pain is common as we age, it should never be considered “normal”. Pain should always be discussed with your healthcare provider, so that he or she can help determine the cause (or causes). Your healthcare provider can then help you figure out an approach to remove or reduce both the pain and the affect it has on your life.
Acute pain is pain that has happened recently and usually has a known cause. An example of this is a sprained ankle. A few weeks of ice, rest and over the counter pain medications (such as acetaminophen) is usually all that is required for relief to occur.
Chronic or persistent pain, however, is more of a problem. You may have had this pain for some time and the direct cause may not be known. There are different kinds of chronic pain. These include:
- pain from nerves, such as diabetic neuropathy or pain from a stroke
- joint or bone pain such as arthritis or gout
- some kinds of internal pain, such as abdominal pain from Irritable Bowel Syndrome