Joint Pain in Senior Citizens

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Joint pain in senior citizens is a fairly common symptom. It makes your day-to-day life more costly due to the constant discomfort it produces in a specific part of the body or even in several.

In fact, joint pain appears in other parts of the body. Examples include the hip, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, knees and ankles. These are accompanied by uncomfortable pricking sensations, swelling and stiffness.

These ailments make it impossible for those who suffer them to practice many activities, which makes the person see their quality of life diminished, since it comes to deprive them of even having a good rest or a correct sleep.

Why it appears in the seniors

Wear and tear of the joints is the main cause of pain in the joints of older adults people. Degenerative damage that affects most cases and ends up generating a disease known as osteoarthritis.

Likewise, another factor that directly affects the appearance of pain is the diseases that produce inflammation, which directly affect the musculoskeletal system.

The most common of these is rheumatoid arthritis, one of the best known rheumatic complications that cause intense joint pain. Its main problem is that it does not improve with rest because it does not increase with effort or movement.

In the following section, we are going to present to you in detail the great majority of diseases that produce the articular pain.

Diseases that cause joint pain in the older adults

As we have seen, there can be several causes that come to produce pain in the joints of the older adults, such as inflammation or degenerative processes.

And now, we are going to detail the different diseases that can produce it:

1. Arthrosis. The main characteristic of the chronic rheumatic arthritis is that it injures the cartilages of the joints and although the main cause to suffer it resides in the aging, nowadays there are studies that indicate that also it is produced by more factors.

2. Arthritis. As we have seen previously the arthritis is an inflammation that produces to the people rigidity in the joints and that comes accompanied by an intense pain. It can get to inflame several of them and to cause to the person certain deformations to him.

3. Gout. This one produces the formation of crystals of a salt, that comes from the uric acid, in the articulations. The crystals of urate cause attacks of gout, in which an intense swelling with pain or another chronic one without this one takes place, of the great one of the foot in most of cases.

4. Tennis elbow. The famous tennis elbow is another inflammation accompanied by strong pain focused in the external part of the tendon of the elbow, and that appears due to the repetitive movements that have been made in the work or in the sport during years.

5. Carpel tunnel syndrome. Is a disease in which the excessive pressure in the medium nerve of the wrist, the one that takes care of the sensitivity and movement of certain parts of the hand, causes that the person feels damage, tingling and weakness in her.

6. Scoliosis. This condition is a lateral bending of the spine and that older people who suffer from it are more likely to suffer problems after surgery than young people. However, the operation is practically painless according to the experts.

7. Herniated disc. Herniated discs occur when a spinal disc is forced by one of its weakened parts, and when it ruptures, it produces a strain that can put pressure on nearby nerves or the spinal cord. This causes a very strong and disabling back pain in some cases.

8. Fibromyalgia. Although it is not entirely clear what causes fibromyalgia, it can be caused by multiple causes and even psychological ones. It is a rheumatic disease that gradually produces pain in all muscles, tendons and ligaments. It even causes insomnia and depression due to the intense pain.

9. Tendinitis. Normally the person can suffer it in the articulations of the arm and in the zone of the ankle. The one that suffers it describes a piercing pain accompanied by difficulty to make movements with normality. They are usually referred to treatment and help from the physiotherapist.

10. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Is an incurable disease of the central nervous system, which can lead to paralysis. However the person can keep the senses, intellect and eye muscles intact. Those who suffer from it increasingly need help to perform daily activities, due to the progressive paralysis of all muscles.

These are some of the most common diseases that produce pain in the joints, but there are others like: the Psoriatic Arthritis, the ISG Syndrome, the Osteoarthritis, the Ankylosing Spondylitis, the Bursitis and the Psoriatic Arthritis, among others.

Some symptoms of joint pain in the older adults :

  • Cracks.
  • Inflammation of the affected area.
  • Redness of the skin in the affected area.
  • Muscle loss.
  • Deformation of the bones.
  • Lack of balance.
  • Hyperthermia (abnormally high body temperature)

All of these described symptoms can also lead to the person suffering a lot psychologically. They can fall into a depression, especially if it is a serious disease.

Our recommendation is that the person should rely on the family. They should also seek help from a professional in this area. If it is necessary, hire a carer specialized in the care of sick or older adults people, who can help you in the day to day and take care of you if necessary.

Treatment of joint pain in the older adults

The treatment of pain in the joints of the older adults depends first of all on the disease that the patient suffers and the degree to which this is found.

It is advisable to start by going to the specialist, who will prescribe to the person or to the patient’s relatives, the type of treatment that the patient needs.

Normally in joint pain that does not hide behind a serious illness, a series of medications are usually prescribed. (Depending on the ailment one or another), the application of heat in localized areas and the attendance of physiotherapy or osteopathy sessions.

Unfortunatly, deterioration of the joints in old people is not completely curable. Nevertheless it is very important to detect what happens to the affected one by the disease or ailment to avoid its chronification or increase of the pain.

Exercise and proper nutrition improve joint pain

To alleviate the pain in the joints we advise the patient to do physical exercise every day. This will harness the muscles and at the same time to favour mobility.

Also, a healthy and balanced diet, which can help maintain the ideal weight of the affected person, to avoid obesity, is a great factor to take into account to feel much better and reduce pain.

On the other hand, it is advisable to visit the doctor. As we have previously stated, so that they can determine exactly what is the cause of the joint pain. In some cases it could be advisable to rest with less or more intensity and take a certain amount of calcium.

It is important to know the exact cause that produces the discomfort. This will make the person can improve these pains in joints and get to protect them. As well as it will avoid that the disease that suffers does not get to progress.

Also it is advisable to leave aside the tobacco and to moderate the alcohol ingestion. We also advise that one should:

  • Use adequate footwear.
  • To take a few good schedules of sleep.
  • Avoid carrying excessive weight.
  • Take vitamin D, since it helps to absorb calcium (consult with the specialist).

We hope that this guide from Nomenial on joint pain in the older adults will help clear up any doubts you may have about this subject. If you or a family member are suffering from this condition, do not be discouraged and we wish you a speedy recovery.