A highly unpleasant physical sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony caused by injury or illness. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, and can significantly interfere with a persons quality of life and general functioning. The importance of pain related phenomena is critical in old patients due to multidimensional losses.
Pain in the absence of disease is not a normal part of aging, yet it is experienced daily by a majority of older adults. Older adults are at high risk for under treatment of pain due to a variety of barriers.
Pharmacologic therapies include non-opioids, opioids, and adjuvant analgesics. Nonpharmacologic techniques include cognitive-behavioral strategies, such as distraction, guided imagery, education, and prayer, and physical measures, including heat, massage, bracing, and assistive devices.