Understanding Musculoskeletal Pain in Elderly

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Musculoskeletal pain is any type of pain affecting the bones, tendons, ligaments, and/or muscles. While this pain can affect people of any age, it’s especially concerning for seniors, as many dismiss body aches and joint pain as a normal part of aging and avoid seeking treatment.

Chronic musculoskeletal pain can impact quality of life and indicate an underlying health problem like degenerative disc disease or arthritis. However, Caledon senior home care professionals also note the pain can be treated effectively with a variety of home remedies and solutions.

What Causes Musculoskeletal Pain

Musculoskeletal pain has many causes, including trauma (such as a fall or fracture) to overuse, long-term wear and tear, and medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease. Sometimes seniors experience pain due to poor posture or a problem with the alignment of the spine, which leads to shortened muscles.

Symptoms to Watch For

If your senior loved one complains to you or his or her at-home caregiver about the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with his or her physician as soon as possible: 

  • Muscle spasms
  • A burning sensation in the muscles
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Stiffness or body aches
  • Pain that is localized or widespread and worsens during movement
  • The feeling of an overworked or pulled muscle

There are also different types of musculoskeletal pain that can cause different symptoms, including tendon or ligament pain that gets worse when the area is moved, fibromyalgia with pain in different areas, joint pain that causes arthritis pain, bone pain that can be deep, dull, or penetrating, and muscle pain, which is usually less intense than bone pain.

Treating Musculoskeletal Pain

Treating chronic pain requires first diagnosing the cause, whether it’s due to an injury or indicates a more serious health problem that may need attention. The best treatment will depend on whether the pain is tendon, ligament, bone, muscle, or joint pain. Effective treatments include:

  • Therapeutic massage
  • Anti-inflammatory or steroid injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Heat packs
  • Physical therapy
  • Stress reduction techniques
  • Stretching exercises

If chronic pain is making the activities of daily living more challenging for your senior loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to hourly and live-in care, we offer stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia home care in Caledon, ensuring seniors of all abilities have the help they need when they need it. Our caregivers can help with everything from running errands and transportation to light housework and mobility support. To learn more, please call 905-951-8885 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.