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Palliative Care, Arthritic, Chronic Pain Relief

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

Palliative Care Team Treatment

Mayo Clinic has a Palliative Care Consult Service for symptom control, and for those with serious illnesses and those with chronic pain, it sets realistic goals. Palliative means to alleviate or lessen, so the treatment team attempts to enhance the “quality of life by alleviating symptoms.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines palliative care as “the total active care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment."

According to WHO they consider dying as a normal process. Their goal is to relieve pain and suffering,integrate psychological and spiritual care as needed and offer a support system for the family.

Goals of Care Team

This care team at Mayo Clinic encompasses all aspects of an individual, which includes physical, mental, and spiritual issues. In addition, to working with the patient, the team also works with family members.

One of their goals is to provide the patient with a sense of personal control, to relieve suffering and to improve functional ability.

The care team may include experts in palliative care, medical oncology, radiation oncology, internal medicine, family medicine, anesthesiology, physical medicine, psychology, psychiatry, and other disciplines as needed.

Some other team members are nurses, dietitians, social workers, chaplains, physical therapists, pharmacists and respiratory therapists depending on the needs of the patient.

The typical conditions treated with palliative care are cancer, heart or lung problems, and neurological disorders. However, they treat less serious illnesses as well, such as: pain, fatigue, nausea, anorexia, skin disorders, insomnia and almost any other ailment.

Severe Headache


Benefits of Exercise

People generally think those creaking bones we experience as we grown older are a sign of a well lived life, but actually while it is part of the aging process. It may also be a signal that something is wrong in our bodies, and we may need medical attention.

Sometimes the signals are just saying we need to slow down and pace ourselves, but other times the pain may signal a serious condition. What is most important is that we pay attention to our bodies. Sometimes we just take a Tylenol for the same discomfort that seems minor and ignore it otherwise.

Some pain and other symptoms are the fist signs of more serious illnesses. Many pains today in the 50-60 year old crowd are due to the fact that we are more active than our parents were. More people realize the benefits of staying fit; they exercise routinely and eat a healthier diet. Many participate in sports such as tennis or golf.

Picture of Aches and Pains

Associated Press, Patient UK, Rehab On The Net, The Stretching Institute

Associated Press, Patient UK, Rehab On The Net, The Stretching Institute

Pay Attention to Your Body

In this age range we should not just “suck it up” or have the mentality of “no pain, no gain” either.

We need to listen to our bodies, shorten the duration of our exercise or the intensity as necessary. This is a list of typical pain sites in our bodies and possible causes:

  • Headaches can last for days being caused by stress, allergies or sinus infections. If you have a fever, are dizzy or nauseous than its time to see a doctor
  • Wrist pain is usually caused from injuries, or long term repetitive stress which may cause carpal tunnel, or arthritis pain. Persistent wrist pain accompanied by swelling, numbness or tingling should be evaluated by a doctor.
  • Back pain can come from anywhere on the spine, developing gradually from such problems as arthritis, or they can develop suddenly, be excruciating, disabling or they may be minor and more of an annoyance. After a back injury it typically takes 4-6 weeks for back pain to completely go away. Rarely is back surgery necessary.
  • Hip pan can be caused by the hip joint due to arthritis or injury. It tends to be felt on the inside of your hip and in your groin. Muscles, tendons and ligaments in that area can cause the pain. See a doctor if the intensity increases or your ambulation is limited due to pain
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  • Arm Pain can be anywhere on the arm down to the wrist. There are bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments which are susceptible to injury. An injury should be evaluated by a doctor, or pain that just is not improving.
  • Abdominal pain can be from indigestion or even a pulled muscle. If you have vomiting, constipation or blood in the stool, that may be a sign of something more serious and should be evaluated.
  • Knee pain occurs around the knee joint and may be caused by the knee joint itself, or ligaments and muscles. Pain can be debilitating and chronic.
  • Ankle pain most commonly occurs due to an injury as the result of a sprain. Treat initially with ice, and stay off the ankle until swelling subsides and the pain lessens
  • Heel pain is the most common foot problem, and it typically occurs underneath the heel or just behind it where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel bone. This should be evaluated by a podiatrist.

Healthy Exercising Woman

source betterbody

source betterbody

Suggestions for good Health

  1. Pay attention to your body and set realistic limits for activity.
  2. Get enough rest.
  3. Be careful when walking to prevent falls and keep your exercise within a tolerable limit.
  4. Get injuries or pains that are not resolving evaluated by a doctor.
  5. Eat a healthy diet.calcium and vitamin D intake are important as we age to prevent osteoporosis.
  6. Understand that muscle aches hurt all over, but joint pain is more constant and localized. The joint pain typically occurs when the cartilage wears down usually in the neck, hops knees and lower back.
  7. Osteoarthritis is helped with exercise, taking vitamin D and Calcium, taking Tylenol, and there are topical ointments, which help alleviate pain that have capsaicin that is derived from the pepper plant.
  8. Abdominal pain happens to everyone occasionally and may be diet related if you have eaten something spicy or too rich. However, it can occur from more serious problems, so again see a physician if you don’t improve rapidly.
  9. Headaches occur occasionally for most people. Migraines typically occur when you are younger. Stress, allergies or sinus infections are you typically causes and headaches should be treated according to their cause.
  10. The BEST advice for a healthy body is to stay active, know your limits, use your mind, pay attention to your body if there is a new pain or problem and eat healthy.

The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

In Summary

As older people are living longer, many of them are dealing with some type of pain. It may be a temporary pain from some type of injury, or a more serious pain from disease.

Palliative care can assist you with pain, but also several other problems, that include: depression,anxiety, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, constipation, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.

Palliative care is an important concept that we did not hear about many years ago. There are several ways to relieve pain today without surgery. Besides daily medications, there is physical therapy, massages, acupuncture, meditation and just reducing the stress if your life.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 29, 2011:

DePuy Pinnacle, I agree is the importance in the importance of palliative care and I am sorry that you apparently received one of the defective Pinnacle hips. That is a horrible tragedy. Thanks for your comments.

DePuy Pinnacle recall on April 29, 2011:

Hi Pamela! Palliative care is so important for chronic pain suffers, including those with defective Pinnacle hip replacements who want to improve their overall health. Thanks for the info!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 01, 2010:

50 Calliber, I feel the same way. My mother and my husband are always telling me to not "overdo". I've been doing what I want or what I think needs doing for a lot of years and change doesn't come easy. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

50 Caliber from Arizona on May 01, 2010:

Pamela, great informative topic. I need reminders that as I get older that 50 pound bag of dog food or what ever it much more apt to hurt me silently, leaving wondering the next day what it was I did that caused all this neck or back pain. I just don't want to own up to needing to slow down and set my limits lower these days.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 27, 2010:

Al, I agree with you about a positive attitude. Thank you so much for your comments

Mystique1957 from Caracas-Venezuela on April 27, 2010:

Dearest Pam...

Thank you so much for sharing this information. It is good to know! Sometimes people does more than they physically can! It is important is to maintain a positive attitude, but excesses are all bad... Great hub!

Thumbs up!

warmest regards and infinite eternal blessings,


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 26, 2010:

Money Glitch, Thank you for your comment.

Money Glitch from Texas on April 26, 2010:

Wow, this is a wonderful hub. First I've heard of palliative care, however, I really like the idea behind it's purpose and the service being render by the Mayo Clinic. Thanks for sharing your insight. :)

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 23, 2010:

Jack, I certainly wouldn't imply you are getting old but it is a possibility. I certainly have had more of those problems as I've gotten older. The older years aren't completely golden! Thanks for your comment.

TnFlash from Tampa, Florida on April 23, 2010:

Great Hub! I have all of this stuff. does this mean I'm getting really old?

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 23, 2010:

Electricsky, Thank you for your comments and some very good suggestions.

Alesandria, Thank you so much for your comment.

alexandriaruthk from US on April 23, 2010:

great health hub and thumbs up again!

electricsky from North Georgia on April 22, 2010:

Pain is usually a symptom like you say. You have listed many effective pain management plans and aids to help those who suffer; without resorting to drugs.

I think vitamin therapy and a nutrition plan are the most important to prevent diseases. Also don't forget a very good night's sleep. Many people who work hard all week neglect their sleep and it catches up with them.

Gel heating pads over tired muscle aches are what I prescribe for pain in the evening.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 22, 2010:

Prasetio, Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I am interested in good health and like to pass the information along. I am glad to follow you hubs also as they have good information and are so well written.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on April 22, 2010:

That's why I am glad join your community. You always give us a good information about healthy life. You have great suggestion. I am glad to follow your advice. Good work, Pamela. I hope you always healthy...amen.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 22, 2010:

Nancym JTrempe & Habee, Thank you for your comments.

Holle Abee from Georgia on April 21, 2010:

Great job researching, and nice presentation. I think I have arthritis everywhere!

JTrempe from CA, USA on April 21, 2010:

Great article! Nice to hear about the reference from a well respected organization like Mayo clinic.

As a physical therapist I can't emphasize how important exercise is to both general health and joint health!

For more information about exericse and joint pain, visit:

nancy_30 from Georgia on April 21, 2010:

Thank you for this very informative hub.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 21, 2010:

Miata, Smireles and Jayjay, Thank you so much for your comments. I am glad you enjoyed the hub.

jayjay40 from Bristol England on April 21, 2010:

You are so right we must listen to our bodies. lots of good advice, thanks for sharing

Sandra Mireles from Texas on April 21, 2010:

Pamela, this is a great hub with a lot of research! We should all listen to what our bodies are telling us!

prettydarkhorse from US on April 21, 2010:

very useful hub and thumbs up Pam, Maita

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 21, 2010:

Hello, Thank you for your comment.

Myownworld, There is a good chance you will get arthritis as it does seem to run in families but I have much worse arthritis than my parents, and my sister doesn't have any, so maybe you will be spared. Chondrotin combination vitamins are very good for joints also.

Janny, They do say exercise is important for people with arthritis and other problem as lying in bed all the time is a sure way to not recover. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to put one foot in front of the other even if I don't do a lot. Some activity is better than none. Thank you for your comments.

Support Med, It is neat that you worked with a team. You probably know more about how they operate than I do. I was glad find that people are receiving care that addresses all their needs, not just the medical ones. Thanks for your comment.

Support Med. from Michigan on April 21, 2010:

Your article is very well written. I have been a part of that palliative care team, working as a nurse assistant, doing in-home care. I am glad more attention is being focused on it. Patients know that they are sick, and yet, most would like to live the best they can, with less pain and not feeling as if they are forgotten. Very good read!

JannyC on April 21, 2010:

This pallitative care reminds me of something I saw on the medical tv in the doctors office in dealing with chronic pain and back pain. Most doctors had you laid up if you had back pain and problems, now so are saying that is not the case anymore and its advised you have to keep moving. Not sure it related but it made me think on. I have done this and its helped. Only if I am in severe pain do I lay down and rest. But I keep active otherwise my joints will freeze and I will be very stiff and in pain. It hurt though to do my therapy but it keep me limber and loose an I am better for it for my pain is less.

myownworld from uk on April 21, 2010:

My mother suffers from the worst Arthritis pain ever and is always telling me to take care of my joints while I'm young. Hence, my interest in this hub! Great information there....and I took in all your suggestions for good health. Must start having more calcium too...! May you stay healthy and active always... :)

Hello, hello, from London, UK on April 21, 2010:

Pamela, you have written again an excellent hub. Thank you for all these information.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 21, 2010:

Ann, I'm glad you found the hub helpful and thanks for your comment.

Carolina, Glad to see you're back home. I use those supplements too and they make a huge difference. Thanks for your comment.

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on April 21, 2010:

I don't know what I'd do without glucosamine, chondroitin, msm and other joint supplements.. I guess I wouldn't be able to move! LOL. Great post.

Ann Nonymous from Virginia on April 20, 2010:

This was very, very helpful, Pamela and i will definitely take it to heart and towards better health! Thank you so much!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 20, 2010:

Enlydia, Thank you for your comment. Hopefully there will be more teams like this over time and maybe you will get your wish.

EnLydia Listener on April 20, 2010:

very good article...I would love to be a part of a palliative care team if there was one close to is frustrating when you know you can help, but can't find the avenues to be of help.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 20, 2010:

Since I had to take my mother to the doctors office today I came home to all these wonderful comments. I am glad everyone enjoyed the hub and each has a unique story. I have had chronic pain for years due to arthritis and lupus also, so I know how hard it can be. Patriot, I am amazed you can still be as active as you are after 3 hip replacements. I think our attitudes and determination have a lot to do with the quality of our lives. Katiem, it makes sens for you to walk instead of run and you are still getting the health benefits. Rpaaplus, At 32 it is a shame you have to suffer due to that accident. I'm glad you are listening to your body also as that have made a huge difference in my life as well. Lorlie, I wish you the best with this second surgery. You certainly know what you are getting into since this is the second one. Aley, I know molds and chemical can make us sick but look how long it took you to get well. I'm glad that is behind you. Pop, Darlent and Anginwu, I appreciate your sense of humor and your comments. Thanks to all.

Partisan Patriot on April 20, 2010:


Up until age 57 I was playing softball 2 nights a week; couples tennis on Friday nights and golf on Sundays. Now 3 hip replacements later I can only work out 3 days per week and play golf on Tuesdays and Sundays.

I guess I exacerbated the erosion of my joints!

Katie McMurray from Ohio on April 20, 2010:

Great Hub Pamela. I love to walk but no running for me...if I try every joint in my feet hurts, I've been told to buy different shoes, but I prefer to take the good supplements mentioned and walk, practice Yoga and weight train. Great and helpful hub, it looks great, reads well and is a Rate Up for me... Thanks and Peace :)

rpalulis from NY on April 20, 2010:

I'm only 32 but suffered a scaffolding accident 10 years ago that has left be with all sorts of joint pains. I have learned to listen to the body! I rather obey the voice of my body and do less now when I am suffering from aches and pains, than to not be able to do anything later on in life. Great Hub!

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on April 20, 2010:

Thanks, Pamela, for such an informative hub. I am currently facing total hip replacement surgery for the 2nd time-different hips!-due to degenerative arthritis.

I'm only 53, but my eyes have opened to the challenges elderly people face.

anglnwu on April 20, 2010:

I agree with you that we need to listen to our bodies, for they are not just complaining with little signs and pains but indicative of some underlying problems. Thanks for the very comprehensive hub. Love your suggestions and rated it up.

HealthyHanna from Utah on April 20, 2010:

I am so glad to hear the medical profession is taking heed of the growing need to help people with quality of life, not just life or death.

Hooray for the Mayo Clinic!

Alice Lee Martin from Sumner, Washington,USA on April 20, 2010:

This is great Pamela. I lived for several years in an apartment in a storage facility, as I was a manager. I was sick ALL the time. I thought I had fibromyalgia, but it was "sick building syndrome". It took me years to rid myself of the effects of the molds and deep pain in my joints. We need to pay attention is right! Thanks so much for this wonderful HUB.

Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on April 20, 2010:

Oh pop that is exactly what I was going to write, yes I think I have everything you mentioned now I am sure of it, even my butt hurts from sitting and reading and writing hubs. Lol, great hub my friend, very informed information and this is a thumbs up...

breakfastpop on April 20, 2010:

Interesting hub. After reading it every part of my body hurts!

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on April 20, 2010:


Thank you for a very informative hub on palliative care. This a very important area in the medical field and today it's application is very timely. I fear that like much of Europe and Canada palliative care will become a higher priority under Obamacare. They will keep us "comfortable" rather than treat the underlying cause. I've seen it myself in England, and it's coming to us soon!!!!!!!!!!!

I realize ther are legitimate reasons for usual palliative care and that is a good use.

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