Alternative Pain Relief Options for Senior Adults

Updated on October 19, 2022

When it comes to chronic pain, many of us would do anything to find relief. However often the options at our disposal are less than ideal, with many painkillers such as opioids having dangerous and risky side effects. Seniors are especially susceptible to the side effects of painkillers, and taking them can create a whole new problem while fixing the old one. Common side effects of opioids for seniors include constipation, breathing problems, confusion, and dangerous interactions with other medications.

Additionally, seniors who take opioids become four to five times more likely to fall and injure themselves than those who are utilizing other pain relief methods. Fortunately, there are other options for reducing chronic pain from various joint, muscle, and nerve conditions that are much safer and less debilitating than opioids and other strong pain medications. 

Ozone Therapy

For more than 100 years, Ozone (o3) has been used in a medical capacity to disinfect medical supplies and treat various conditions. Research from 2018 shows that when ozone comes into contact with bodily fluids a reaction occurs and forms more proteins and red blood cells. As a result, more oxygen is supplied to the rest of your body. 

Ozone therapy can be used to help seniors get relief from chronic joint pain and has been for decades now. In 1989 a study at the University of Bologna in Italy studied the effects of medical ozone injected into patients who had knee osteoarthritis. The study concluded that knee joint disorders could be treated using an oxygen and ozone miniature. This jumpstarted more research into the use of ozone for therapy to treat various musculoskeletal disorders. 

Some research also found that this treatment can promote the growth of new cartilage and reduce inflammation. As a result, patients get relief from their pain. 

Peptide Therapy

Peptide therapy has medical professionals excited, as new research provides hope that it could serve as an alternative to painkillers like opioids. The University of Buffalo in the U.S. started looking into the origins of the sensation of pain, which led to the development of peptide treatment which has been found to reduce inflammatory pain. This is a great option for seniors suffering from conditions that cause joint, muscle, and nerve pain without having to take strong, potentially addictive painkillers. 


Acupuncture is a centuries-old tradition in Chinese medicine, and it involves inserting very thin needles through the skin in certain parts of the body. It is commonly used to treat stress, overall wellness, as well as pain. Western practitioners say that acupuncture stimulates nerves, muscles, and connective tissue, and it is believed that it can boost your body’s natural painkillers. Acupuncture and similar processes such as microneedling are used to treat a variety of conditions both cosmetic and medical, so it is a technique trusted by professionals across the globe. 

This is a great pain relief option for seniors because it does not take a toll on your stomach or mind as some painkilling options can. Research has shown that acupuncture is highly effective for treating chronic pain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, which is commonly treated with acupuncture. Many seniors suffer from arthritis and similar conditions, but acupuncture can reduce inflammation in these areas and relieve the pain and discomfort. 

Acupuncture can also be used to treat nerve-related pain in the neck and back by promoting the conduction of nerves. 

Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beach goer operating out of Southern New Jersey.

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