Pain Awareness Month: Five Common Causes of Chronic Pain in the Elderly

Fifty million Americans experience chronic pain every day. September’s Pain Awareness Month brings awareness to chronic pain and the ways it impacts your day-to-day living.

If your mom is dealing with chronic pain, it can be debilitating and make it hard for her to complete daily routines. Learn more about the five common causes of chronic pain in the elderly and how you can help your mom.


Companion Care at Home Hillsborough, FL: Pain Awareness
Companion Care at Home Hillsborough, FL: Pain Awareness

One of the ways depression can present itself is through chronic pain. If you find your mom is dealing with insomnia, mood swings, chronic sadness, and chronic pain, she may be dealing with depression.

It’s important to talk to her doctor about the risk of depression and have her screened. If it’s depression, there are ways to help her. She may need to take prescription medications or engage more in outdoor activities. Sometimes, walks in nature can make a big difference. The best options for managing depression vary from one person to the next.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances can trigger inflammation that causes chronic pain. Women are more likely to experience this during menopause. As an example, women going through menopause may experience “frozen shoulder,” where the hormonal changes lead to inflammation in one or both shoulders.

If your mom has frozen shoulder, she may find it impossible to raise her arm up to wash her hair. It can be hard to lift a laundry basket, push a vacuum, or carry groceries or boxes into the house. Companion care aides are helpful when it comes to laundry, shopping, and light housekeeping.

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Some neurodegenerative diseases can trigger chronic pain. Parkinson’s disease is an example. Many people with Parkinson’s experience chronic pain in the lower back. 

People with Alzheimer’s disease also deal with chronic pain, but it can be hard for a person with Alzheimer’s to communicate the pain they’re feeling, making it hard to know why a parent with Alzheimer’s is distressed and lashing out. If your mom has Alzheimer’s and is agitated, check for a UTI and common causes of chronic pain, such as headaches, osteoarthritis pain, and sores.


Osteoarthritis is common in aging adults. It’s caused by the cartilage of a joint wearing out so that bones rub together. There’s no cure, and surgical replacement of a joint may be necessary if the joint pain severely limits mobility.

If your mom has severe arthritis pain, as hard as it is to keep exercising, she needs to remain active. A daily walk is important. Swimming is helpful as it eases pressure on the joints due to one’s buoyancy in the water.

Viral Infections

Finally, some viral infections can trigger chronic pain. Shingles is one of the most prevalent. Make sure your mom is vaccinated to prevent shingles from happening. If she does develop shingles anyway, make an appointment with her doctor as medications can prevent shingles from being severe.

If chronic pain affects your mom, make sure it’s not able to impact her daily routines. Arrange companion care at home to help her with her daily activities. With companion care at home, she has an aide for housekeeping, meals, outside activities, and errands. Call to learn more.

If you or an aging loved one is considering Companion Care at Home in Hillsborough, FL , please contact the caring staff at R.B. Home Health Services, Inc today. 305-220-6309



This entry was posted in Seniors and Health Issues and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *