Some Common Causes of Pain in Older Adults

Some Common Causes of Pain in Older Adults

Many older adults suffer from different types of pain, and a good number of them see it as a norm that’s supposed to be a part of the aging process, and rarely do anything about it. However, it isn’t usually the case.

It’s important to identify the root cause of chronic pains to be able to manage them, even at old age. San Diego pain management doctors at Pacific Medical Care can help you identify and manage chronic pains, call 619-333-8114!!

Here are some major causes of chronic pain in older adults.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Also known as PMR, Polymyalgia rheumatica is a disease that’s indicated by widespread inflammation. It typically shows up in adults above 50 years old, with the typical average patient being around 70 years old.  Polymyalgia would also often show up alongside other diseases such as giant cell arteritis. Common symptoms of this disease include:

  • Muscle stiffness and pain that shows up in the shoulders, thighs, pelvic girdle, and upper arms,
  • Stiffness that hinders daily activities,
  • Weight loss,
  • Depression,
  • Fatigue,
  • Fever, and
  • Muscle atrophy.

It’s also possible to experience inflammation of the bursae and synovial cavities in the shoulder area. This condition can be diagnosed with a blood test, an ultrasound, or MRI. Physical therapy, dietary and lifestyle changes, and Corticosteroid drugs are the most common approaches taken to treat PMR.

Repetitive strain injuries

Repetitive strain injuries will typically affect about one-fourth of older adults and can be caused by different types of repetitive motion like typing, knitting, playing sports, frequently reaching overhead, amongst others.

These repetitive strain injuries will cause painful muscle knots which lead to general feelings of stiffness and soreness in the affected areas. In addition to the pain, common symptoms also include:

  • Swelling,
  • Throbbing,
  • Cramps,
  • Tingling, and

A repetitive strain injury typically starts with a specific task and goes on to involve more tasks over time. It can be beneficial to take a break from the specific activity to find ways to treat these injuries. Physical therapy can help to correct the muscle imbalances that are leading to pain.


Fibromyalgia is a type of chronic pain that is indicated by muscle pain felt through the entire body. The precise cause of fibromyalgia isn’t known, but it’s believed that the condition also affects the brain’s processing power, particularly for pain signals and it amplifies the sensations of pain.  Fibromyalgia would typically develop after major physical trauma, while the symptoms can appear gradually with no obvious cause. Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Sleep issues,
  • Depression,
  • Poor memory

Patients with fibromyalgia will typically suffer from other prolonged conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, or temporomandibular joint issues.  Doctors typically recommend muscle relaxers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications to fight fibromyalgia. Natural pain relief treatments, like physical therapy, massage and acupuncture can be used.

Treatment and management

If you’re an adult or you know an adult suffering from different body pains, it’s important to point out that this is not the norm. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the pain and improve the quality of life.

Do you need an internist to help your senior citizen walkthrough and manage pain? Then, visit a San Diego restorative pain management center today.

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