The two most common types of arthritis in the elderly are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the progressive wear and tear of joint cartilage. As it becomes less elastic, cartilage loses its ability to cushion the painful rubbing of bones against each other.
Muscle and bone conditions in older age osteoarthritis – the cartilage within the joint breaks down, causing pain and stiffness. osteomalacia – the bones become soft, due to problems with the metabolism of vitamin D. osteoporosis – the bones lose mass and become brittle. Fractures are more likely.
Causes of Aches & Pains as We Age Three major sources of physical pain for seniors are joint pain, muscle strains and trauma from falls and broken bones. We become more susceptible to these as we age because the risk of certain chronic conditions rises over time.
A deficiency in calcium and vitamin D often leads to osteoporosis, the most common type of bone disease. People in the late stages of osteoporosis often have bone pain.
Musculoskeletal disorders such as degenerative spine and arthritic conditions are the most common cause of chronic pain in the elderly. Other common causes of significance include neuropathic pain, ischemic pain, and pain due to cancer as well as its treatment .
While bone pain is most likely due to decreased bone density or an injury to your bone, it can also be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition. Bone pain or tenderness could be the result of infection, an interruption in the blood supply, or cancer. These conditions require immediate medical attention.
Other tips for managing bone/joint pain:
Don’t lift, push, or pull heavy items without help. Stretching and exercises like yoga and Pilates can help keep your muscles long and limber, and can help when you’re feeling sore, too. If your muscles are hurting, try RICE therapy and over-the-counter pain medicine. See your doctor if you’re in a lot of pain.
5 Ways to Protect Your Joints as You Age
As you age, your tendons naturally shorten and result in leg muscle cramps. These cramps are more likely to occur at night (in fact, 75% of reported leg cramps occur during this time) while you’re trying to sleep and can make it quite challenging to rest.
The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint — to break down.
During the night, there is a drop in the stress hormone cortisol which has an anti-inflammatory response. There is less inflammation, less healing, so the damage to bone due to the above conditions accelerates in the night, with pain as the side-effect.
Bone pain usually feels deeper, sharper, and more intense than muscle pain. Muscle pain also feels more generalized throughout the body and tends to ease within a day or two, while bone pain is more focused and lasts longer. Bone pain is also less common than joint or muscle pain, and should always be taken seriously.
Pain can have a negative impact on an older person’s quality of life, contributing to: impaired mobility or immobility and associated muscle wastage. depression and anxiety. social isolation.
Here are five of them.
For most seniors, the safest over-the-counter painkiller is acetaminophen (like Tylenol). However, older adults must NOT take more than 3000 mg of acetaminophen in one day. In high doses, acetaminophen can cause serious or fatal liver damage.