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Aging with Pain — Stay Informed and Stay Well

Pain management is a very personal topic, and for many, understanding what options are best can be a challenge.

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Pain management is a very personal topic and for many, understanding what options are best can be a challenge. The Integrative Pain Management Series presented by the Aging and Integrative Pain Assessment and Management Initiative (AI-PAMI) at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville is a comprehensive project aiming to educate adults ages 50 and older, their caregivers and the health care providers who work with this population about pain management options beyond medications alone.

For aging adults, there may be considerations such as chronic health conditions and medications to keep in mind that make it difficult to opt for traditional pain management. Integrative pain management options can be lower risk and a valuable tool for adults looking to incorporate self-management. This can include diet modifications, mindful movement like tai chi and yoga, or even meditation.

Health care providers do not often have formal training on such integrative techniques. This may impede a clinician from recommending or referring such an option simply due to lack of awareness. AI-PAMI aims to increase education to help better equip all parties to make informed choices about pain management.

COVID-19 and pain patients

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the U.S. has seen a large uptick in opioid overdoses. Many patients are unable to attend regularly scheduled health care appointments, and procedures have been cancelled or postponed. Many hospitals and integrative providers are now operating on a normal schedule, but for older adults who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, in-person options may still not be a reality.

The AI-PAMI program has gone virtual to accommodate patients safely and still deliver education on a variety of integrative pain management techniques and general pain management planning and safety. Online content includes recorded presentation videos to access on-demand and live Zoom webinars where participants can ask questions and engage in discussion with presenters. All presentations and events are free and presented by a multidisciplinary team of experts.

Visit the AI-PAMI website to access integrative pain management recorded presentations and sign up for upcoming live Zoom webinar events. Upcoming event topics focus on innovative alternatives for pain management, including virtual reality and acupuncture and acupressure.

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