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Coping with Post-Surgery Pain

Coping with Post-Surgery Pain

April 14, 2014

Surgery recovery can be a long process with plenty of associated concerns, from use of transportation to ease of food preparation. Caregivers and senior citizens alike may be overwhelmed with all it entails.

According to a recent medical study by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, scientists are one step closer to understanding why patients continue living in pain after successful spinal surgeries. It was determined by lead researcher Dr. Mohammed Farid Shamji that residual back pain comes from molecular changes to neurons during the healing process. This occurs as acute inflammatory pain from surgery becomes chronic neuropathic pain, a side effect of nerve damage.

Regardless of which surgery your loved one has gone through, an assisted living center can help with rehabilitation and pain management. Pain can be eased with drug and non-drug treatments, but it's best to consult with a doctor before turning to medication.

Woman post-surgery

Healthinaging.org has several tips for caregivers who are helping others with pain. One is encouraging your loved one to take a warm shower or bath, which should help relax muscles. Heat can reduce pain overall so you can also try a hot water bottle, warm washcloth or heating pad. If there is swelling, it's better to cool the muscles with ice or cold washcloths.

Another medication-free pain management option is physical or occupational therapy which is easily accessible through senior assisted living. Physical therapy is beneficial when pain from surgery limits range of motion, making it difficult to do regular activities. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, treatment targets flexibility, endurance, strength and balance through exercise and stretching. However, therapy is specialized for each patient.

If you're looking into pain management for yourself or someone you love during surgery recovery, consider how an assisted living center could make a difference in the process. These communities allow seniors to remain independent while providing on-site care for recovery. Residents live in comfortable, individual apartments with amenities such as housekeeping, organized social gatherings and freshly prepared meals.

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