Combating Chronic Pain at Every Age

An Arthritis Foundation-led collaboration is helping provide pain relief at every stage of life.

ATLANTA, September 12, 2022  Chronic pain affects millions of Americans each day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 60 million Americans have arthritis — and by 2040, that number is expected to jump to 78 million. While the correlation between arthritis and pain may be well-known, results from the Arthritis Foundation’s INSIGHTS, a patient-reported survey, revealed that 100% of responders with arthritis said pain was their top concern, with 92% reporting that pain interfered with their day-to-day activities.

To help people better manage this pain, the Arthritis Foundation offers expert tips, strategies and support aimed at combating pain and improving quality of life for all people living with arthritis through a combination of new resources, extensive outreach and focused sponsorships.

Sponsors like Green Roads, a producer of wellness products — including those with hemp-derived CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids — joined the Arthritis Foundation’s work to combat the pain people with arthritis live with daily.

“As a company, Green Roads is 100% focused on helping people feel better today than they did yesterday,” says Tyler Robson, CEO of The Valens Company, Green Roads’ parent company. “Our Arthritis Pain Relief Roll-on was built from scratch to provide immediate benefits to this community, and we are proud to support The Arthritis Foundation’s crucial work.”

In addition to Green Roads, other sponsors, including TYLENOL, CBDMEDIC and more, all aim to provide solutions for the millions with debilitating pain and the impact aging has on its effects.

Aging and Arthritis Pain: Should Treatment Plans Change as We Age?

While all the new resources developed to address arthritis pain can be tailored to specific audiences, it’s important for each person to understand how age impacts their pain management options. For aging populations, the way pain is experienced often changes. Research suggests people have an increase in their pain threshold with advancing age. While scientists don’t fully understand why, they suspect several factors, like life experiences and a dulling of senses over time.

Treating Aging Pain

Even though pain can change and become muted with age, it still highly affects a person’s well-being. As we age, treatments once relied on may no longer be the best options for managing pain. New risk factors, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, could affect which medications are safe for the patient.

Other factors like balance or mobility could also impact a person’s ability to participate in their favorite activity. Since movement is often the best way to limit pain in joints, finding new, more stable exercise options — like water aerobics or stationary biking — may be the best way to get the movement needed without the risk of injury.

NSAIDs or Acetaminophen

For most people, medication is an important part of managing pain. But some medications are better tolerated by aging populations who may have other risk factors. For instance, while nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a mainstay of treatment for arthritis pain in most people, doctors advise caution in some older patients and those who have certain health conditions. People with chronic kidney disease, heart failure or a history of stomach ulcers should not take NSAIDs.

Instead, older adults and those who have certain conditions can turn to other over-the-counter pain products, such as acetaminophen — the medicine in TYLENOL — which can be gentler on an aging or already strained system. TYLENOL has partnered with the Arthritis Foundation to help aging populations better understand their pain management options.

CBD Products

Products formulated with hemp derived CBD are now available nationwide, but they are less utilized by the aging population. Arthritis Foundation sponsor, CBDMEDIC, offers several varieties of topical creams and ointments that deliver active pharmaceutical ingredients to specific areas for temporary relief of minor aches and pains associated with arthritis.   

“Our CBDMEDIC Arthritis Aches & Pain Relief Ointment was formulated with naturally derived topical analgesics menthol and camphor to target specific areas for temporary pain relief,” says Jacques Tortoroli, CEO of Charlotte’s Web, Inc., owner of the CBDMEDIC brand. “CBDMEDIC products also contain THC-free, broad spectrum hemp extract, as an emollient for skin nourishment.”

It’s important to consult a physician on any arthritis treatment and to properly vet all products to ensure proper use, ingredients and dose.

Goal Setting

Every person living with arthritis, no matter their age, has a different pain experience. Learning how your body responds to stress, medications, exercise and more can help you set achievable pain management goals and have more control over your body.

To help patients take back what chronic pain has taken away, the Arthritis Foundation launched Vim — a free app. Through Vim, users can set and achieve goals customized to their own needs and pain experiences, access a library of expert content to better manage arthritis and connect with a community of friends who listen and inspire.

Vim allows users to track their unique experiences with pain medications and products — discovering positive patterns that can help them refine their pain plan. For example, a patient may be looking for at-home, pain-relief solutions like cold/hot sleeve packs to reduce their pain and can log that in Vim. Discoveries about how well users respond to different pain management tools — from medications to exercise to rest and more ­­— can help them build a more successful pain management plan. Learn more about Vim.

Pain Management Solutions

Each person with arthritis, no matter their age, will have a different journey with pain. While some patients may find medications best manage their pain, others may also turn to exercise, diet and/or alternative treatments for relief. No matter what works best for each individual, the Arthritis Foundation can help people with arthritis find the resources and products they need to live a life with less pain.

For more pain management solutions, visit our arthritis pain resources page.

 

About the Arthritis Foundation

The Arthritis Foundation is fighting for all people who live with arthritis. As a Champion of Yes, it's the Arthritis Foundation's mission to turn the obstacles arthritis causes into opportunities. The Arthritis Foundation champions life-changing solutions and medical advancements, and it also provides ways for people to connect, break down barriers in health care and join the fight for a cure — uniting hearts, minds and resources to change the future of arthritis. To join the fight to cure arthritis, visit arthritis.org.

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Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

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