Lack of research forcing elderly to cope with chronic pain

PITTSBURG, Pa. April 10, 2006 Annually, over 4,000 studies related to pain are published while only one percent of those look at pain and aging. There is a clear need for more investigators from many fields to further the efforts of current researchers, according to a recent paper published in the Journal Pain Medicine.

Today, chronic pain in the elderly population is viewed by many as normal. It is often communicated with patients that pain is a normal part of aging and frequently not treated. Those practitioners that do try to treat the pain are often unsuccessful because they do not have the right tools. Out of this, the need for more research for pain and aging has risen.

"Despite these growing efforts, chronic pain in the elderly is high," says author of the editorial Dr. Debra Weiner. "Many turn to a self-management strategy taking fewer medications than younger people. With more research, it is possible to find new ways to treat chronic pain, bettering the lives of older adults."

According to the editorial, between 2010 and 2030 it is estimated that those ages 65 and older will increase by 75 percent, while those under age 65 will increase by only 6.5 percent. With the number of older adults increasing at such a high rate, it is essential to find a way to treat their pain.

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This study is published in Pain Medicine. Media wishing to receive a PDF of the study please contact: medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

About Pain Medicine
Pain Medicine is a multi-disciplinary journal dedicated to the pain clinician, teacher and researcher. It is the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine and of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anesthetists.

Debra K. Weiner, M.D. has been doing research in the field of pain and aging for over a decade. Dr. Weiner is a geriatrician, rheumatologist, and acupuncturist. She is also a practitioner that provides consultative care to older adults with chronic pain conditions.

About the American Academy of Pain Medicine
The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) is the medical specialty society representing physicians practicing in the field of Pain Medicine. As a medical specialty society, the Academy is involved in education, training, advocacy, and research in the specialty of Pain Medicine. The practice of Pain Medicine is multi-disciplinary in approach, incorporating modalities from various specialties to ensure the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of the pain patient.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 665 academic, medical, and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 800 journals and, to date, has published close to 6,000 text and reference books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.


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