Pain in the Older Person

  • Bill McCarberg
  • B. Eliot Cole


The US population is aging with those 65 years or older reaching 70 million (20% of the population) by the year 2030 [1]. Chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer, and diabetes prevalent in older Americans, will contribute to the increasing costs of health care. Today, $300 billion is spent annually for the healthcare needs of older patients, representing one third of total US health care costs. Among older patients, pain is the most common symptom noted when consulting a physician [2]. Common sources of pain in one study of 97 long-term care residents include lower back pain (40%), arthritis (24%), previous fractures (14%), and neuropathies (11%)[3].

Despite the frequency of pain and the suffering that occurs, it is often underreported and undertreated in older people. The incidence of undertreated pain ranges from 25 to 50% in adult communities [4, 5], from 45 to 80% in nursing homes [3, 4, 5, 6], and as high as 85% in long-term care facilities...


Chronic Lower Back Pain Epidural Steroid Injection Chronic Neck Pain Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Founder – Chronic Pain Management Program, Kaiser Permanente, Assistant Clinical ProfessorUniversity of California San DiegoEscondidoUSA

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