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How can I tell if someone I'm caring for is in pain?

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Many of the signs are obvious -- crying, moaning, clenched fists, “knitted” eyebrows. A poor appetite may also be a clue.

If the person can’t tell you if they’re in pain, you may need to have a doctor or therapist do an exam, including a check for bedsores.

Arthritis Today : "5 Steps to Pain Relief."

Cleveland Clinic: "Mind Body Exercises."

Drugs: "Pain Management in the Elderly."

Health in Aging: "Eldercare at Home: Pain," "Pain Management."

Hospice: "How to Relieve Pain Without Medicine."

The AGS Panel on Pharmacological Management of Persistent Pain in Older Persons, , August 2009. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Kaye, A. , fall 2010. The Ochsner Journal

National Health Service: “TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation).”

Mayo Clinic: “Self-care approaches to treating pain.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 23, 2019

Arthritis Today : "5 Steps to Pain Relief."

Cleveland Clinic: "Mind Body Exercises."

Drugs: "Pain Management in the Elderly."

Health in Aging: "Eldercare at Home: Pain," "Pain Management."

Hospice: "How to Relieve Pain Without Medicine."

The AGS Panel on Pharmacological Management of Persistent Pain in Older Persons, , August 2009. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Kaye, A. , fall 2010. The Ochsner Journal

National Health Service: “TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation).”

Mayo Clinic: “Self-care approaches to treating pain.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 23, 2019

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How can heat help ease aches and pains?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.