Med Clin North Am. 2020 Sep;104(5):855-872. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2020.05.002. Epub 2020 Jul 15.
Persistent pain in older adults is a widely prevalent and disabling condition that is the manifestation of multiple contributing physical, mental, social, and age-related factors. To effectively treat pain, the clinician must assess and address contributing factors using a comprehensive approach that includes pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies within the context of a strong therapeutic relationship among the patient, caregivers, and a multidisciplinary team. This article reviews the current understanding of persistent pain in older adults and suggests a general approach to its assessment and management, followed by specific considerations for musculoskeletal pain conditions commonly seen in older adults.