Drug-free treatments offer hope for older people in pain

Sep 10, 2007

Mind-body therapies, which focus on the interactions between the mind, body and behavior, and the ways in which emotional, mental, social and behavioral factors can affect health, may be of particular benefit to elderly chronic pain sufferers. A new study published in Pain Medicine provides a structured review of eight mind-body interventions for older people, including progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, hypnosis, tai chi and yoga.

All eight treatments were found to be feasible for older adults, and no adverse events or safety issues were reported. The article finds evidence that, in particular, progressive muscle relaxation may be effective for older people with osteoarthritis pain, while meditation and tai chi appear to improve function and coping with low back pain and osteoarthritis.

Chronic pain is common among older people. Sufferers are often unable to receive adequate treatment because of limited physician training in pain management for the elderly and the increased likelihood of side effects from pain medication.

“The trials we reviewed indicated that mind–body therapies were especially well suited to the older adult with chronic pain,” concludes lead author Natalia E. Morone, M.D., MSc. “This was because of their gentle approach, which made them suitable for even the frail older adult. Additionally, their positive emphasis on self-exploration was a potential remedy for the heavy emotional, psychological and social burden that is a hallmark of chronic pain.”

Source: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Explore further: Ames test adapted successfully to screen complex aerosols

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Straight to the heart

Aug 18, 2014

A battery-less, wirelessly-powered implantable defibrillator for atrial fibrillation is being developed by an international team of researchers in the UK, Venezuela and the US. With the ability to sense the ...

Cone snails have multiple venoms

Mar 27, 2014

(Phys.org) —Cone snails change "weapons" depending on whether they are hunting or defending themselves, University of Queensland researchers have discovered.

Neurons from stem cells could replace mice in botulinum test

Feb 06, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Using lab-grown human neurons, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have devised an effective assay for detecting botulinum neurotoxin, the agent widely used to cosmetically smooth the wrinkles ...

Recommended for you

Mind over matter for people with disabilities

19 hours ago

People with serious physical disabilities are unable to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted despite having the will – and the brainpower – to do so. This is changing thanks to European ...

Ukraine's former world's tallest man dies

Aug 25, 2014

Ukraine's tallest man, who briefly held the world record but gave it up to live as a recluse, has died due to complications from the condition that saw him never stop growing, local media reported Monday.

User comments : 0