Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Well, they finally found out
A small and thus far preliminary study at the Univ of Florida shows that inflammation occurs more quickly, hurts more, and sticks around longer in older adults than younger ones.
For one thing, older adults have a certain amount of chronic inflammation. But the researchers found that when they induced pain in older adults, it increased more than it did in younger adults and peaked later.
Induced pain in older adults--what a fun project.
Also, in older adults, elevated inflammatory responses resulted in pain in the periphery of the body--meaning the tissues and limbs outside the spinal cord and brain.
They had set out to see if getting a lot of painful procedures (as older people tend to have) made them more pain-prone. It's possible, they still think, although this did not show that.
So what is the upshot? More research needed...
I think many older people can attest that pain is a part of aging. I know my friends and I--on lower pain days--email each other saying it doesn't hurt much today...But we always add, "Don't want to jinx myself."