Management of Pain Symptoms

  • Megan E. Rau
  • Emily J. Chai


Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Its prevalence in the community population age 65 and older is estimated at 25–50%. There are generally three types of pain: nociceptive, neuropathic, and mixed/undetermined pain. Since pain is more than just a physical symptom, it impacts and influences the mood and personality of a person. One of the greatest barriers to effective treatment of pain in the older adult is the inadequate assessment of pain symptoms, especially in cognitively impaired patients. The general goal for treatment of pain in older adults is to improve function, allowing patients to maintain their independence. Treatment of pain can be accomplished through non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic treatments further detailed in this chapter. Treatments reviewed including physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, opioids, and trigger point injections.


Geriatric Older adult Cognitive impairment Pain Nociceptive Neuropathic Adjuvant Anti-inflammatories Opioids Constipation Tai chi 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Megan E. Rau
    • 1
  • Emily J. Chai
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care, Department of MedicineNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative MedicineMount Sinai Hospital, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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