Older adults often joke that the older they get, the more aches and pains they have. In fact, pain and growing older seem to go together. Many people believe that chronic discomfort is a normal and inevitable part of the aging process. But is it really? Is there any way to prevent chronic pain from creeping up and decreasing the quality of life for your loved one?

It’s true that older adults often experience more pain than their younger counterparts, but pain is not a normal symptom of aging. Therefore, if your loved one is experiencing a lot of aches and pains, you should work closely with his or her doctor to treat the pain and improve their quality of life. Pain management is part of good health care, and constant pain and discomfort should not be left untreated.

Untreated pain can lead to a host of problems since the brain is being told by the body that something is wrong. Fatigue, depression, anxiety, social isolation, and reduced ability to perform daily tasks are all signs that pain is taking a toll on your loved one’s life.  Talk to the doctor and work toward a manageable treatment plan that is safe and effective.

Let the doctor know all the medications that your parent is currently taking so that potential negative interactions can be identified. Since the kidneys and digestive systems slow down as the body grows older, your loved one may be affected differently from the medications, so take note of any new symptoms that arise.

There are alternative methods to treating pain, which may be helpful for your loved one.

These include:

  • Massage therapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Physical therapy

The most important thing to remember is that chronic pain does not have to be a normal part of growing older and should be treated seriously.  Your loved one will be happier, healthier and more productive by having their pain managed.