Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain, and while symptoms can strike at any age, they tend to happen a lot more regularly as we get older. As a result, plenty of people have come to see chronic pain as part of the natural aging process — a condition they have to accept as “just part of getting older.”
At Magnolia Pain Associates, Nina Sandhu, DO, wants patients to know that chronic, debilitating pain isn’t normal — no matter how old you are. At our practice, Dr. Sandhu and her team draw on a deep understanding of pain management techniques, including innovative, state-of-the-art methods, to help patients manage chronic pain, find relief, and lead happier, healthier lives.
Why pain increases with age
Lots of factors can cause or contribute to chronic pain, but as we get older, many of the symptoms we experience are due to wear and tear on our joints and other body parts. Ligaments and tendons stiffen, we lose muscle mass, and our bones become weaker (especially if you’re a woman).
Worn cartilage leads to symptoms of arthritis in our knees, hips, and other joints. Even the cushiony discs that protect our vertebrae start to lose fluid, making them thinner and increasing the likelihood of back and neck pain.
On top of that, as we get older we tend to be less physically active. If we’re already dealing with a pain issue, we’re even more likely to stay off our feet. That’s especially bad for musculoskeletal pain, since our joints and other components depend on regular activity to stay limber and mobile. When we decrease our activity level, pain symptoms actually tend to get worse, leading to even less activity — and the cycle continues.
Treating chronic pain
No two people experience pain in exactly the same way — even when the underlying cause is the same. One of the benefits of seeing a pain management specialist is that your own treatment plan will be optimized for your wellness, so you can feel confident in the results you’ll achieve.
Dr. Sandhu offers an array of techniques for managing pain, with treatments selected based on the underlying cause of pain and other factors. Some of the most effective treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Minimally invasive treatments to block nerve pain
Many patients benefit from a combination of treatments to help relieve symptoms and to prevent pain in the future.
Prevent pain before it starts
If you already suffer from chronic pain, a customized pain management plan is essential for your well-being. But there are also things you can do to prevent pain before it starts or to prevent existing symptoms from getting worse.
Engaging in regular exercises is one of the most important things you can do to ward off many types of chronic pain. You don’t have to be a star athlete — just 30 minutes a day spent walking or swimming can work wonders for your musculoskeletal system (and your heart, too).
Losing extra pounds is another important step you can take to decrease strain on sore joints. Regular exercise can help here, too, along with a healthy diet full of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.
Finally, seeing a doctor at the first sign of pain helps ensure you get treatment early on, before your symptoms (and any underlying medical problems) get worse. Dr. Sandhu will work closely with you to design a pain management plan based on your symptoms, your health, your lifestyle, and other factors.
Find relief for your chronic pain
Remember: Chronic pain is not a normal part of aging. Left untreated or poorly managed, chronic pain can progress, resulting in a greater decrease in mobility and an increase in your risks of depression and anxiety.
With locations in Plano, Dallas, and Corsicana, Texas, Magnolia Pain Associates specializes in patient-centered pain management therapies that can help you effectively manage your chronic pain — without relying on dangerous pain medications.
To learn more about the pain management options we offer, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Sandhu today.