Are opioid medications good for chronic pain in older adults?

Chronic pain is common among older adults. Sometimes it is severe and other medicines “don’t work”. A narcotic pain reliever is then often tried. Is this good or bad? More than 10% of older adults have had a prescription for an opioid in the past year. Almost 25% of long-term users of opioids are older adults. Are these numbers cause for alarm?

Part 2: I Need Something Stronger

My elderly mom has pain in her calves and feet. She uses Tylenol® every day but some days the pain is so bad that she doesn’t leave the house. Like many frail adults, my mom has chronic pain that has an impact on her quality of life. What would help her? …. Is it time to try cannabis? The last post was about first-line medicines for chronic pain. Acetaminophen is safe and effective for mild to moderate pain. NSAIDs sometimes work better but have more side effects, particularly among seniors. What’s next when more pain […]

It hurts so much I can’t walk

“My 82-year-old Mom has had back pain for decades. She had back surgery, but the pain came back after 5 years. Then she had kyphoplasty but that only helped for about a year. Since then, she’s had injections and taken many pain medications including narcotics. Sometimes I think she’s drugged. Now she also has neck pain. She’s investigating stem cell therapy. What do you think?” Stem cell therapy has been used for degenerative disc disease of the back. The intent is to grow cells that restore the disc and decrease inflammation. Patients with less severe […]