Understanding Musculoskeletal Pain in Seniors

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Musculoskeletal Pain in Seniors in Winnipeg, MB

Pain that affects muscles, bones, and related ligaments and tendons is referred to as musculoskeletal pain. Since such pain can have multiple sources, from sudden trauma to progressive conditions like Parkinson’s disease, treatment is typically based on the underlying cause of the discomfort rather than just the symptoms presented. Here are the basics on musculoskeletal pain. 

Possible Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain 

Musculoskeletal pain can be caused by everyday wear and tear on muscles and bones over time (e.g., inflammation-based conditions like arthritis and degenerative disc disease). Sudden falls, jerky (unnatural) movements, fractures, sprains, and dislocations can also result in intermittent or prolonged discomfort. Additional sources of musculoskeletal pain may include: 
  • Prolonged immobility (often while recovering from surgery or during a lengthy illness) 
  • Poor posture (affecting spinal alignment) 
  • Fibromyalgia (a heightened, painful response to pressure) 
  • Amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome (sporadic episodes of pain occurring anywhere within the body) 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
By making positive lifestyle choices, especially eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly, many older adults can prevent or delay musculoskeletal issues. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional homecare services. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Pain 

The most obvious sign of musculoskeletal pain in seniors is discomfort associated with movement. However, symptoms can be more subtle, such as occasional muscle twitches, a burning sensation around muscles after strenuous activity, or pain that becomes progressively worse over time. Increased fatigue and difficulty sleeping (when the pain becomes intense enough to affect sleep habits) can also be symptoms of musculoskeletal pain.  Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly home care. Winnipeg families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Treatments for Musculoskeletal Pain 

Musculoskeletal pain in seniors is initially identified through physical exams and confirmed by diagnostic testing (X-rays, MRIs) to pinpoint the source of pain. In cases where the cause of the pain isn’t obvious, medical history is taken into consideration, especially if conditions like Parkinson’s, spinal pressure, or rheumatoid arthritis may be the underlying source of the pain.  NSAIDs are typically the first line of treatment for musculoskeletal pain, and they’re prescribed to address inflammation that puts pressure on nerves and joints. Physical therapy and temporary immobilization can also be effective treatments, depending on the source of the pain. Fibromyalgia is treated with medications to boost levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the body.  Severe musculoskeletal issues can make it difficult for aging adults to handle the basic activities of daily living on their own. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Winnipeg respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (204) 489-6000.

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