Musculoskeletal pains are common and disabling condition to the elderly. Conditions predisposing people to rheumatic pain such as osteoarthritis and conditions of the soft tissue which include tendonitis are generally incurable. Pain management being paramount to maintain quality of life is diverse and unique for each patient. Management involves a combined use of non-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical treatments which begin with educating the patients.
They are then encouraged by healthcare professionals to practice personal goals and be attentive to healthy habits including exercise and weight control. Although Studies on the efficacy of herbals and supplements on the elderly have proven limited, topical applications especially the NSAIDs are used more since they have fewer side effects as compared to oral suspensions. An injection into the articular and soft- tissues is a simple, safe and cheap option for pain relieve.
Use of pharmacological products for these patients must be done with care in regard of drug complications and other underlying conditions. Regulation of dosages and attention to risk verses benefit of treatment should be observed for the old.
The four treatment categories include: simple analgesics (paracetamol), NSAIDs drugs, analgesics such as opioids and adjuvants. Particular drugs have there unique adverse effects profiles. There is however no single ideal pain medication for rheumatic pain management.
During treatment, physicians must remain vigilant for emerging adverse effects on continued use of drugs through out the treatment period. Although Complete relieve from pain is rarely achieved, steps have to be taken to help improve the quality of life of the elderly. This includes modulating pain, causes disturbing sleep and mood disorders. Their still exist obstacles to managing pain efficiently by both the care giver and patients and this can be overcome by educating them more.
Treatment from a physician should be multimodal with accurate diagnosis for success in managing rheumatic pain in the old. Attention should be give to comorbidities of pain and the general health status of these patients. A favorable outcome is determined by both treatment impact and its ability to improve functioning while enhancing quality of the patients’ life. The diverse means of treatment available today is of great importance and encourages physicians in management of muscular-skeletal pain for the old.
For the healthcare professional, this article provides additional advantage since it points out that there are newer and better management solutions available. It also points out that some of the hindrances to successful treatment is as a result of the professionals also and hence shows that they to need to be educated more on the field of achieving excellent pain management levels.
The article also shows that there are non- pharmaceutical interventions to try before going into drugs and hence give the healthcare professional wide range knowledge of interventions with which to approach each individual patient with. Healthcare professionals are encouraged to give all the necessary information to the patient and make them understand the outcome of each before they begin with any therapy.