Jackie Gardner-Nix, MB BS, PhD, MRCP(UK), Assistant Professor, University of Toronto; Chronic Pain Consultant, Department of Anesthesia, St Michael’s Hospital; and Pain Management Programme, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON.
The management of neuropathic pain at any age is aimed at the relief of suffering rather than focusing on decreasing pain scores, and it should involve even simple measures that affect pain and coping. Addressing physical stressors—poor diet, hydration, and sleep quality and quantity—is particularly relevant in older adults. Medications relieving neuropathic pain may be adjunctive to initial interventions and need to be carefully assessed for efficacy and side effects to ensure they relieve, rather than add to, suffering.
Key words: neuropathic pain, analgesics, older adults, mindfulness, psychological interventions.