Yoga and Tai Chi may Help Ease Chronic Pain in Elderly People

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 12 2007 2:42 PM

Pain Medicine has published a study, which states that Mind-body therapies such as yoga and tai chi that cause interactions between the mind, body and behaviour can help elderly people get rid of chronic pain. The elderly people can now release themselves with eight mind-body interventions, which includes progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, hypnosis, tai chi and yoga.

The eight mind body treatments proved to be easy to perform for older adults and it does not raise queries of safety issues or adverse effects.

The article finds evidence that, in particular, progressive muscle relaxation may be effective for older people with osteoarthritis pain, while meditation and tai chi appear to improve function and coping with low back pain and osteoarthritis.

Chronic pain is common among older people. Sufferers are often unable to receive adequate treatment because of limited physician training in pain management for the elderly and the increased likelihood of side effects from pain medication.

“The trials we reviewed indicated that mind–body therapies were especially well suited to the older adult with chronic pain,” concludes lead author Natalia E. Morone, M.D., MSc.

“This was because of their gentle approach, which made them suitable for even the frail older adult. Additionally, their positive emphasis on self-exploration was a potential remedy for the heavy emotional, psychological and social burden that is a hallmark of chronic pain.”