Simmonds, Maureen J. and Scudds, Rhonda J.
Pain, disability, and physical therapy in older adults: issues of patients and pain, practitioners and practice
Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 16, (3), .
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Pain in older adults is a complex multidimensional (biopsychosocial) problem that is always unpleasant and is frequently associated with physical disability, psychosocial distress, and reduced quality of life. Physical therapists knowledgeable about pain are in an excellent position to identify and manage problems related to pain and pain-related dysfunction for this older population. Unfortunately, although pain is prevalent, complex, and integral to health care, it has not been integral to health care education. Inadequate knowledge has led to inadequate assessment and management. Current evidence shows that optimum pain and disability management is predicated on a sound assessment. Optimal management of the person with pain involves education and activity guided by practitioners knowledgeable about the complexities of pain. Recommendations regarding pain and disability assessment and management by physical therapists are provided.
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