Steady U Ohio Partner Newsletter
Chronic pain & falls: Don’t let pain stop you in your tracks
If you are in chronic pain, you probably don’t want to move around, much less exercise. But when you don’t move, you risk losing muscle strength that helps you keep your balance. You may also take medicines to treat your pain that can make you drowsy and less steady on your feet.
People with severe chronic pain are up to 79.2 percent more likely to fall than those without pain, according to an analysis in the journal Pain Medicine.
Studies have shown that older adults are less likely than younger adults to talk to their doctors about chronic pain. Often, older adults feel that pain comes with age, and that reporting it is unnecessary.
Pain is not a natural part of aging and experiencing pain severe enough to impact the way you live is not normal. Most conditions that cause chronic pain can be managed, and the pain controlled, in many cases without pain medicine.
Talk with your health care team about your pain and your history of falls to determine the best treatment options for you.
There are ways to cope with and reduce pain without medicine, such as relaxation exercises, and exercise and balancing activities. You can find resources and tips to manage pain at HEALTHY U Ohio.
Visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov to find more falls prevention tips and resources to make your home a falls free zone.
In February we are inviting you to participate in our Don’t Fall for Me, Valentine Campaign, which aims to engage school-age children to help prevent older adult falls. We have created a toolkit of free Valentine’s Day themed materials that teachers and community outreach professionals can use in outreach to local schools, students, and families. You can learn more about this campaign and download the toolkit at www.steadyu.ohio.gov
Older adults can be reluctant to talk to their doctor about their pain or falls for many reasons. The STEADY U website features an interactive self-assessment that helps visitors identify issues to discuss with their health care providers. Providers can then recommend treatment options and strategies. The assessment is based on a tool in the CDC’s STEADI Toolkit.