Recognizing & Managing Chronic Pain in Older Adults

Chronic pain is bothersome. Older adults are affected by it more than others. Lasting for a few months to several years, this type of pain interferes with daily functioning. Because of the constant pain, or its relapses, chronic pain can lead to anxiety and depression. Those affected have trouble with their social life. They may have trouble taking care of themselves and their family members.

What is the difference between normal pain and chronic pain?

Normal pain is the pain experienced for reasons such as a cut or abrasion. This type of pain, even if acute, will not last long. In contrast, chronic pain is continuous. Sufferers only experience brief pauses in pain. The pain continues even after the person has recovered from an injury or illness. In many cases, chronic pain arises in a person for no particular reason, such as an injury or illness.

How to recognize chronic pain?

The site of chronic pain could be at many locations in the body. Some people might have chronic pain in multiple areas of their bodies. Joint pain because of arthritis, neck pain, back pain, migraines, scar tissue pain, fibromyalgia, and neurogenic pain are types of chronic pain.

The causes of chronic pain may not always be obvious. An issue such as arthritis can cause ongoing pain. Injuries sustained during childhood could suddenly bring about chronic pain during adulthood. So, there could be reasons, and for some, the reasons could be unclear. It could also be that a recent illness or injury could have changed the person’s tolerance to pain, making them experience a sensation of chronic pain.

Some people experience chronic pain as a result of psychological issues. This type of pain is psychosomatic or psychogenic. The psychological issues could be a result of trauma, depression, and anxiety. Psychosomatic pain is tied to this mental state. Depression produces lower endorphins into the bloodstream, and the person could have more negative emotions than positive ones.

Chronic pain usually feels like aching, throbbing, stinging, burning, squeezing, stiffness, etc. If the pain goes away and does not return, then the pain is not chronic. If it returns with more intensity and doesn’t subside even with medication, the pain can be considered chronic. A medical health practitioner can identify chronic pain based on these factors:

  • The recurrence of the pain
  • The factors that increase or decrease the pain
  • The stress and anxiety levels of the person
  • Any history of illnesses or surgeries of the person
  • Use of medication
  • The intensity of the pain

How can in-home care services help patients with chronic pain manage themselves?

Persons affected with chronic pain must seek in-home nurses, health care services, physios, patient attendants, and in-home care specialists. Unmanaged chronic pain can aggravate it and hamper any chances of full and fast recovery.

  • In-home nurses can help patients manage their pain by providing medication in a timely manner. The medication could include muscle relaxers, antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, topical products, and sedatives to induce sleep.
  • In-home physios can help patients with chronic pain slowly but surely recover with safe exercises. These are low-intensity exercises designed to stimulate blood flow. Exercise also reduces stress and produces more mood-alleviating hormones.
  • In-home dieticians can prepare food charts. The foods will be nutritious and balanced. A diet such as this can significantly expedite recovery. Dieticians can identify foods that aggravate chronic pain conditions.


Care24 is a trusted in-home healthcare services organization. Use in-home health and holistic health practitioners from Care24 to experience progress, health improvements, and a better chance at getting back to normal daily life. Visit for more details.