Pain is the most common reason people see a doctor.

The pain can be sharp or dull, intermittent or continuous, pulsating or single. Sometimes the patient may find it difficult to describe the pain they feel. The pain may spread to a limited area or across a wide area of ​​the body. The intensity of the pain varies from mild to intolerable.

People vary significantly in their degree of pain tolerance. One person may not be able to bear the pain of a small cut or bruise, while another person can bear the pain of a major accident or knife cut without complaining much. A person’s ability to tolerate pain is affected by mood, personality, and surrounding circumstances. In moments of excitement in sports matches, the athlete may not feel the pain caused by a severe bruise, but he does feel that pain clearly after the end of the match, especially if his team loses.

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Pain is an unpleasant feeling that indicates real or potential harm.
Pain is the most common reason people see a doctor.

The pain can be sharp or dull, intermittent or continuous, pulsating or single. Sometimes the patient may find it difficult to describe the pain they feel. The pain may spread to a limited area or across a wide area of ​​the body. The intensity of the pain varies from mild to intolerable.

People vary significantly in their degree of pain tolerance. One person may not be able to bear the pain of a small cut or bruise, while another person can bear the pain of a major accident or knife cut without complaining much. A person’s ability to tolerate pain is affected by mood, personality, and surrounding circumstances. In moments of excitement in sports matches, the athlete may not feel the pain caused by a severe bruise, but he does feel that pain clearly after the end of the match, especially if his team loses.

Spotlight on Aging: Pain
Spotlight on Aging: Pain
Pain is common among older adults. However, as a person ages, his complaints of pain decline. Perhaps the reason is a decrease in the body’s sensitivity to pain, or the display of more skin and tolerance to pain. Some older adults may mistakenly believe that pain is a normal and unavoidable part of aging, so they may be reluctant to report or underestimate it.

Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common cause of pain. But many elderly people suffer from chronic pain that may be due to many different causes.

The effects of pain can be more serious in older people:

Chronic pain can make older adults less able to function and more dependent on other people.
The elderly may suffer from poor sleep quality and fatigue.
The elderly may lose his appetite for food, leading to malnutrition.
Pain may prevent a person from interacting with others and getting out of the house. As a result, the person may become isolated and depressed.
The pain can also make a person less active. The lack of activity, in turn, leads to a loss of muscle strength and flexibility, which makes activities more difficult and increases the risk of falls.
The elderly and pain relievers

Older people are more likely to complain of side effects from pain relievers than younger people, and these side effects tend to be more severe in them. These drugs can remain in the bodies of the elderly for longer periods, and these people are more sensitive to them. Many elderly people take a variety of medications, which increases the risk of drug interactions with analgesics, reduces the effectiveness of one of these medications, or increases the risk of side effects.

Older adults are more likely to develop disorders that increase the risk of side effects from pain medications. Taking an NSAID (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) along with a heart or vascular disorder, or risk factors for one of these disorders, increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots in the legs, or heart failure. Having a kidney disorder, heart failure, or liver disorder also makes older adults more susceptible to NSAID-induced kidney damage and less able to deal with fluid retention caused by these medications.

Older people are more likely to develop ulcers or bleeding in the digestive tract when taking NSAIDs. The doctor may prescribe medication to help protect the digestive tract from such damage. These medications include proton pump inhibitors (such as omeprazole) and misoprostol. When the elderly person is taking NSAIDs, they should inform the doctor, who will in turn monitor the patient periodically for any side effects.

Older people are generally more sensitive to opioids than younger people are. When an elderly person takes an opioid for a short time, it may help them reduce pain and function better, but it can also negatively affect mental function and sometimes cause mental confusion. Opioids also increase the risk of falls and cause constipation and urinary retention, leading to more problems in older adults.

Many elderly people are concerned about the risk of becoming addicted to opioids. However, this risk is generally small if they are used as directed by your doctor. The risk of addiction is higher if the older person or a family member is addicted to alcohol, opiates or other drugs.

To reduce the risk of side effects, especially opioid analgesics, the doctor prescribes low doses at first. The dose is gradually increased as needed, while monitoring for effects. Doctors also choose painkillers that have fewer side effects in the elderly. For example, for the treatment of mild to moderate chronic pain not associated with inflammation, acetaminophen is often preferred over NSAIDs. Older people may avoid prescribing certain types of NSAIDs (such as indomethacin and ketorolac) and some opioids (such as pentazocine) because of the risk of side effects.

The pain can be acute or chronic. Acute pain begins suddenly and usually does not last long (up to 3 months). Chronic pain may last for months or years.

When acute pain is severe, it may cause anxiety, a fast heartbeat, an increased breathing rate, high blood pressure, sweating, and dilated pupils. Chronic pain does not usually leave these effects, but may lead to other problems, such as depression, sleep disturbance, low energy, loss of appetite, weight loss, decreased sexual desire, or loss of interest in activities.

One or more components can contribute to the occurrence of pain and how it is perceived, either chronic or acute. These components are:

nociceptive tissue injury
neuropathic
The pain of tissue damage is caused by stimulation of pain receptors. Most types of pain, especially acute, are tissue injury pain.

Neuropathic pain results from damage or malfunction of the brain or spinal cord (central nervous system) or nerves outside the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nervous system).

Psychological factors can also contribute to the pain. Psychological factors often influence how and how severe pain feels, but these factors are rarely a single cause of pain.