Many seniors injured in motor vehicle crashes remain in pain for months afterwards, negatively affecting their quality of life and ability to live independently, according to a study published yesterday in Annals of Emergency Medicine. The study looked at patients aged 65 and older who visited one of eight emergency departments after a motor vehicle crash between June 2011 and 2014 and were discharged home after evaluation. More than half of the patients were still taking some type of pain reliever after six months and about 10% had become daily users of opioid pain relievers, the study found. Of patients with persistent moderate to severe pain, 73% had experienced a decline in their physical function and 23% had experienced a change in living situation to obtain additional help. “The types of injuries that younger people recover from relatively quickly seem to put many seniors into a negative spiral of pain and disability,” said lead author Timothy Platts-Mills, M.D. “Older adults are an important subgroup of individuals injured by motor vehicle crashes and their numbers are expected to double over the next two decades.”