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Palliative Care, Arthritic, Chronic Pain Relief
Palliative Care Team Treatment
Mayo Clinic has a Palliative Care Consult Service for symptom control, and for those with serious illnesses and those with chronic pain, it sets realistic goals. Palliative means to alleviate or lessen, so the treatment team attempts to enhance the “quality of life by alleviating symptoms.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines palliative care as “the total active care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment."
According to WHO they consider dying as a normal process. Their goal is to relieve pain and suffering,integrate psychological and spiritual care as needed and offer a support system for the family.
Goals of Care Team
This care team at Mayo Clinic encompasses all aspects of an individual, which includes physical, mental, and spiritual issues. In addition, to working with the patient, the team also works with family members.
One of their goals is to provide the patient with a sense of personal control, to relieve suffering and to improve functional ability.
The care team may include experts in palliative care, medical oncology, radiation oncology, internal medicine, family medicine, anesthesiology, physical medicine, psychology, psychiatry, and other disciplines as needed.
Some other team members are nurses, dietitians, social workers, chaplains, physical therapists, pharmacists and respiratory therapists depending on the needs of the patient.
The typical conditions treated with palliative care are cancer, heart or lung problems, and neurological disorders. However, they treat less serious illnesses as well, such as: pain, fatigue, nausea, anorexia, skin disorders, insomnia and almost any other ailment.
Benefits of Exercise
People generally think those creaking bones we experience as we grown older are a sign of a well lived life, but actually while it is part of the aging process. It may also be a signal that something is wrong in our bodies, and we may need medical attention.
Sometimes the signals are just saying we need to slow down and pace ourselves, but other times the pain may signal a serious condition. What is most important is that we pay attention to our bodies. Sometimes we just take a Tylenol for the same discomfort that seems minor and ignore it otherwise.
Some pain and other symptoms are the fist signs of more serious illnesses. Many pains today in the 50-60 year old crowd are due to the fact that we are more active than our parents were. More people realize the benefits of staying fit; they exercise routinely and eat a healthier diet. Many participate in sports such as tennis or golf.
Picture of Aches and Pains
Pay Attention to Your Body
In this age range we should not just “suck it up” or have the mentality of “no pain, no gain” either.
We need to listen to our bodies, shorten the duration of our exercise or the intensity as necessary. This is a list of typical pain sites in our bodies and possible causes:
- Headaches can last for days being caused by stress, allergies or sinus infections. If you have a fever, are dizzy or nauseous than its time to see a doctor
- Wrist pain is usually caused from injuries, or long term repetitive stress which may cause carpal tunnel, or arthritis pain. Persistent wrist pain accompanied by swelling, numbness or tingling should be evaluated by a doctor.
- Back pain can come from anywhere on the spine, developing gradually from such problems as arthritis, or they can develop suddenly, be excruciating, disabling or they may be minor and more of an annoyance. After a back injury it typically takes 4-6 weeks for back pain to completely go away. Rarely is back surgery necessary.
- Hip pan can be caused by the hip joint due to arthritis or injury. It tends to be felt on the inside of your hip and in your groin. Muscles, tendons and ligaments in that area can cause the pain. See a doctor if the intensity increases or your ambulation is limited due to pain
- Arm Pain can be anywhere on the arm down to the wrist. There are bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments which are susceptible to injury. An injury should be evaluated by a doctor, or pain that just is not improving.
- Abdominal pain can be from indigestion or even a pulled muscle. If you have vomiting, constipation or blood in the stool, that may be a sign of something more serious and should be evaluated.
- Knee pain occurs around the knee joint and may be caused by the knee joint itself, or ligaments and muscles. Pain can be debilitating and chronic.
- Ankle pain most commonly occurs due to an injury as the result of a sprain. Treat initially with ice, and stay off the ankle until swelling subsides and the pain lessens
- Heel pain is the most common foot problem, and it typically occurs underneath the heel or just behind it where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel bone. This should be evaluated by a podiatrist.
Healthy Exercising Woman
Suggestions for good Health
- Pay attention to your body and set realistic limits for activity.
- Get enough rest.
- Be careful when walking to prevent falls and keep your exercise within a tolerable limit.
- Get injuries or pains that are not resolving evaluated by a doctor.
- Eat a healthy diet.calcium and vitamin D intake are important as we age to prevent osteoporosis.
- Understand that muscle aches hurt all over, but joint pain is more constant and localized. The joint pain typically occurs when the cartilage wears down usually in the neck, hops knees and lower back.
- Osteoarthritis is helped with exercise, taking vitamin D and Calcium, taking Tylenol, and there are topical ointments, which help alleviate pain that have capsaicin that is derived from the pepper plant.
- Abdominal pain happens to everyone occasionally and may be diet related if you have eaten something spicy or too rich. However, it can occur from more serious problems, so again see a physician if you don’t improve rapidly.
- Headaches occur occasionally for most people. Migraines typically occur when you are younger. Stress, allergies or sinus infections are you typically causes and headaches should be treated according to their cause.
- The BEST advice for a healthy body is to stay active, know your limits, use your mind, pay attention to your body if there is a new pain or problem and eat healthy.
The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
As older people are living longer, many of them are dealing with some type of pain. It may be a temporary pain from some type of injury, or a more serious pain from disease.
Palliative care can assist you with pain, but also several other problems, that include: depression,anxiety, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, constipation, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.
Palliative care is an important concept that we did not hear about many years ago. There are several ways to relieve pain today without surgery. Besides daily medications, there is physical therapy, massages, acupuncture, meditation and just reducing the stress if your life.