Geriatric Pain Management

    Taking care of our elder community

    The prevalence of persistent pain increases with age, and a majority of elderly persons have significant pain problems. However, this does NOT make pain a normal part of aging.

    Elderly people with pain are the only ones who know how much pain they are feeling, and furthermore, recognizing pain in a cognitively impaired older person can be particularly challenging. The most important factor in assuring quality pain management for an older adult is proper assessment which can be obtained by using tools and instruments that are appropriate.

    The care of older adults suffering with pain is a difficult ordeal that calls for understanding as well as compassion. Elders with pain may lose the ability to move around, may have trouble sleeping, mood swings, anxiety or depression, and poor self-image. They may be at greater risk of falling, and may experience weight loss, poor inter-personal relationship, and difficulties in performing their everyday activities.

    Most pain can be controlled, usually through a combination of medication and non-medication treatment approaches, which should be discussed with the pain doctor.

    How can we help?

    Metro Spine physicians understand that pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience; therefore, their assessment addresses both physical and psychological aspects of pain. Our doctors believe that approaches to elderly pain management should include proper assessment and the use of instruments and tools that are appropriate for the older adult. They encourage the reporting of pain by older adults who are reluctant to discuss pain, deny pain when it is likely present, or fail to follow through on prescribed treatments.

    We place special consideration to patients that have difficulty in communicating and mobility by providing them a comfortable examination environment, a shorter wait time, and paper work assistance if needed (such as Metro Access Application & Other forms).

    Our physicians recognize that elderly patients do not always report their pain. Therefore, they encourage care-givers, friends, and family members of senior patients to be involved in their assessment and treatment programs in order to optimally help the elderly patient.

    Metro Spine Pain Center physicians focus more on an interdisciplinary approach to pain management in order to achieve better therapeutic outcomes. Our doctors initiate conservative pharmacotherapy in order to avoid adverse drug effects and to avoid adding more medication in the "pool" of elderly medications. Patients are encouraged to explore non-drug pain intervention and treatment programs such as physical therapy, pool therapy, and injections.

    To find out more about our geriatric pain management program and how we can help you and your loved ones, you may reach us 301-856-5860.