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Heat Treatment: Simplest Solution to Body Pain

Posted by Krizza Macairan on


Pain is something that people can get used to as they get older. They say it is a sign of aging. The pain, discomfort, and inconvenience of it though, are not a joking matter!

The level can range from a slight tugging to incapability to get out of bed. And yes, it can be that intense! 

After a long day at work sitting in your chair, your body just can’t help it but complain. Do you know what you can do? As simple as heat is the solution! 


Revolutionizing Heat Treatment: Therapeutic Heating



Heat is a powerful element of nature and it does not just help cook food but also heal and treat! Therapeutic heating, the opposite of cryotherapy, uses heat as a treatment for non-inflammatory body pain, including both acute and chronic pain.


Some of the conditions that can benefit from this treatment include the following: 

  • Pain & Spasms (Related to Lower Back, Back, & Neck Injury) 
  • Tendonitis or Chronic Irritation & Stiffness 
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Stiff Muscles or Tissue (Before Activity) 
  • Strains & Sprains 
  • Menstrual, Neuropathic, & Restless Leg Syndrome 
  • Fibromyalgia (Rheumatic Diseases) 
  • Body Sensitivity 

According to research (Ingraham, 2016), heat treatment, particularly continuous low-level heat wrap therapy or CLHT is more effective than taking oral analgesics, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen. The research shows that people who exercise and suffering from lower back pain but use CLHT experience less pain compared to people who don’t use the said therapy. This will, of course, be dependent on the depth of the injured and pained tissue. 


While there are many pains and injuries that heat treatment can be resolved, there are specific injuries that under no circumstance you can use this treatment. Some of these injuries are: 


  • Fresh Injuries & Open Wounds 
  • Dermatitis 
  • Numb Area 
  • Burns 
  • Infections 
  • Hot, Inflamed, & Red Injuries 


Types of Heat Therapy to Consider 


Heat Therapy can be a lot of things, from as simple as a warm compress to as more complex and meticulous as therapeutic heating. Heat applied to the affected area will promote blood flow, dilate blood vessels, and help the muscles to react. Enhancing analgesic properties, heat therapy is effective for sore joints and chronic muscle pain from arthritis. 

Using heat therapy, it is important to know which type can be most effective in specific situations. According to Mooney (2003), the most effective would be products that can maintain heat for continuous use and at the proper temperature.

Heat therapy can either by dry or moist and the difference would be on people’s preference. Some of the most popular heat therapies include: 



DIY Warm Compress & How to Use It 

Hot Compress is the most traditional heat therapy usually is done at home. 

This therapy is recommended by medical professionals and doctors for a lot of mild medical conditions (White, 2018). This method is preferred by a lot of people, primarily because it’s easy to use and make. 


Warm compress is a simple clean cloth continued to be warmed by soaking it in warm water. Here is the simple step-by-step you can follow and how to make and use it: 


  1. Warm water in a pot on a stovetop (Or run warm water from the tap)
  2. Add herbal extracts like garlic (Optional)
  3. Soak a clean cloth in Warm Water (Make sure it’s an ideal temperature)
  4.  Apply on Affected Area 
  5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 (Maximum of 10 Minutes) 


But if you are not a fan of DIYs or have no extra time to make one, there are varieties of warm compress pillows in the market right now like the Soothie Cushion.




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Taking a Chance with Non-Pharmacological Pain Treatments for the Elderly

Posted by Krizza Macairan on

Let’s just admit it, sometimes medicines can be scary when considering possible side effects, they may have! This can even get scarier with the elderly who are experiencing a lot of pain in all parts of their bodies. Start with non-pharmacological pain treatments and learn the wonder of these harmless methods.

The older people get, the more they are inclined to experience pain. According to Lee (2016), health care providers find it difficult to treat the elderly pharmacologically due to their limitations in terms of medicines. Some of these limitations and factors include:

  • Physical Effects of Aging
  • Abnormal Pain Effects
  • Tolerance with Opiates


With all the complications and possible effects that pharmacological treatments can do to elderly patients’ pain management, the best route to follow is to start with the non-pharmacological means. While it is undeniable that medications can treat pain, choosing safer treatments is the best option.


Factors Affecting Treatment Response


Evaluation of the pain and the elderly patient’s condition is always necessary for figuring out the perfect treatment that can be used for pain management. Galicia-Castillo & Weiner (2019) believes that treatment response can be affected by several factors, including: 

  • Psychological
  • Medical
  • Environmental
  • Social Conditions

Considering these factors will lead to finding the most effective treatment for pain management.


Non-Pharmacological Treatments for Pain to Consider for Elderly


There are several non-pharmacological treatments that can help manage pain in elderly patients. If need be, they can be combined and used together with pharmacological treatments (Robinson, 2019). These treatments can be divided into two groups; physical treatments and psycho-educational treatments.


Physical Treatments


  • Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy

This refers to massage and stretching therapy perfect for people with chronic pain. Hands-on care is one of the most underrated treatments today, which are in fact excellent for elderly patients. Gentle pressure, resistance, and stretching can help the elderly improve their muscle movements. In addition to that, they also provide relief, especially from massage.


  • Physical Therapy

While this is mostly offered to patients who have undergone terrible accidents and would need to empower the use of their limbs again, this treatment is also perfect for pain that even moving hands and legs a little is enough to be a big help.


  • Acupuncture

Needles can be terrifying, and it is the only thing that makes people scared about this treatment. The truth though, is that this therapy is painless and can be helpful in relieving people from pain.


  • Gel Packs

The old school home remedy gel packs provide more relief and benefit than people know. Easing localized pain, these packs can be warmed or chilled depending on the condition of the painful area.


Psycho-Educational Treatments


  • Relaxation Techniques


Diverting the conscious mind away from the pain is an effective way to ease it. This is particularly excellent for anxious patients who need to be calmed down. Some of the most popular relaxation techniques are:

  • Hypnosis
  • Guided Imagery
  • Music Therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Aromatherapy
  • Breathing Techniques
  • Tai Chi
  • Pet Therapy
  • Spirituality


Religious people are said to be less likely to suffer from chronic pain or fatigue, according to studies (Lee, 2016). Whatever religion one may have, having a positive outlook is always beneficial to people and this extends even to pain management.


Pain management can be tricky and a case of trial and error for a lot of people. For elderly patients, choosing the right treatment can mean a big improvement in their everyday lives. Daily pain for them is a struggle and getting relief from that is what they truly deserve.




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A Guide for Veteran’s Pain: Pain Management for Our Elders

Posted by Krizza Macairan on

Altered Physiology of Peripheral & Central Pain Mechanisms Aging can be a frightful experience, with all the changes that the body goes through. This is especially unpleasant for the veterans whose body has undergone rigorous activities in service of their nation. With pain is normally associated with aging, it is generally managed poorly.


Looking for better pain management methods is relevant, especially in the coming years. It is expected that the age distribution of over 65 years of age range will rise in the year 2050 by 36% that which is said to triple the current number (Schofield, 2007). To understand better, here are the physiological changes that the body goes through because of aging:


  • Decrease in Water & Lean Mass
  • Increase of Body Fat
  • Shrinking of Bones & Viscera
  • Decrease of Basal Metabolic Rate
  • Decline of Renal Function
  • Decline of Hepatic Metabolism
  • Impairment of Central Nervous System
  • Reduced Mobility
  • Decrease Socialization
  • Slow Rehabilitation 

 Pain and Its Impact on the Body

Pain has become normalcy to the elders. According to Schofield (2007), there is a pain time bomb to be wary of, affecting 80% of elders living in care homes and 73% of community elder dwellers.

Chronic pain has become a constant in the elderly, affecting their day-to-day activities that moving alone can be problematic. With the idea of pain being normal, most don’t complain about it and simply try to manage it on their own, being guided by their bodies and what can possibly make them feel better.

Besides aging, some of the conditions of elders that can lead to chronic pain include the following (Peterson, 2010):

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders: Arthritis & Osteoporosis
  • Peripheral Vascular Disorders
  • Neuropathic Pain (Includes Post Herpetic Neuralgia)

 Pain disrupts people’s lives; there is no going around with it, affecting the quality of life and imposing social and economic costs.

Some of the more specific effects of pain to elder’s daily lives are the following:

  • Sleep Deprivation & Altered Sleep Quality
  • Reduced Social Activity
  • Depression
  • Poor Physical Functioning
  • Worsen Cognitive Dysfunction & Malnutrition

Understanding Pain Management Better


Pain management is an endeavor that a lot of elders fail in. There are several reasons why and some of which are:

  • Altered Physiology of Peripheral & Central Pain Mechanisms
  • Age-related Perception of Pain: Stoicism & Reluctance to Confirm/Admit Presence of Pain
  • Lack of Acceptable Pain Treatment for Elders
  • Fear of Chemical & Pharmacological Interventions

The first thing that should be accepted when dealing with pain is that it is a symptom and is never normal. Assessment is the second thing that must be considered, especially in identifying whether it is chronic (continues for 3 months or longer) or not. Considering the pain management method to use is the next step.

Different Pain Management Methods to Consider

It is a guaranteed challenge even for medical professionals and pain practitioners to manage pain for the elderly. Even being highly prevalent in the elderly, pain is undertreated, despite 75% of people aging 65 years and older suffer from it (Hulla, R. et al., 2019). There are several limitations to some traditional treatments due to their physical condition. Some of the most popular methods used though include:


  • Traditional Home Pain Remedy. Hot and cold therapy is considered one of the simplest yet most effective treatments for pain even for the elderly. The correct application of both therapies will lead to success and comfort. 

  • Myofascial Release. There are several methods for which myofascial release techniques can be implemented, including physical and occupational therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care.

  • Hypnosis. An altered state of consciousness that includes increased responsiveness can affect brain structured, particular pain perception, helping elders deal with their pain.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Mindfulness and meditation, despite demanding discipline and committed routine, help manage pain through increasing awareness of the present.

  • Basic Analgesics. Nonopioid medications like NSAIDs and acetaminophen can be considered for mild pain, which can gradually increase with the addition of opioid medications based on the severity of pain and by following the World Health Organization’s pain ladder (Tracy & Morrison, 2013).

    Helping elders by promoting health awareness is a step towards their improved pain management. Accepting the need for pain management methods will be highly beneficial, as well as staying up-to-date on the latest researches on it.



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