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Case studies

A 79-year-old woman with chronic low back pain

Chris Hayes

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Abstract

A whole person approach to the management of an elderly woman with chronic low back pain is discussed. This approach includes weaning of opioid medication, active self-management and appropriate support.

Key Points

  • Nervous system sensitisation is the predominant contributor to many chronic pain states.
  • Significant benefit from pharmacological therapy is unlikely in this case of an elderly woman with chronic low back pain, or in any other case of chronic pain.
  • A whole person management approach incorporating gradual medication weaning and support to develop active self-management strategies is recommended for this case.
  • Social connection, psychological strategies, physical activity and nutrition are core components of the self-management approach.

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