Types of Chronic Pain Common in the Elderly

Do you notice that your elderly loved one has difficulty getting up and down from their rocking chair? Does it seem to take them longer to get across the kitchen than it used to? If you are noticing things like this, your elderly loved one could be suffering from chronic pain.

There are many things that can cause chronic pain in the elderly. Learning about these types of pain can help you to find the best solutions for your elderly loved one’s pain.

Nociceptive Pain

Senior Home Care Spokane Valley, WA: Chronic Pain and Seniors

The most common type of chronic pain in the elderly is nociceptive pain. This type of pain occurs when the body believes there are dangerous or damaging stimuli. The nociceptors, or pain receptors, are sensitive. When they detect pain, they send messages to the nervous system which then sends messages to the brain. Once a person’s brain detects those messages, the person becomes aware of the pain. Most elderly people who have nociceptive pain describe it as a throbbing or aching pain.

If your elderly loved one tells you or their senior home care provider that they have this type of pain, they could have arthritis, headaches, or fibromyalgia.

Neuropathic Pain

Your elderly loved one could have neuropathic pain, as well. This pain is caused by neuron damage in a person’s body. If your elderly loved one has nerves that aren’t functioning correctly, they can send messages to the brain and central nervous system. With neuropathic pain, people usually describe it as a shooting pain.

If your elderly loved one has told you or their home care providers that they have this type of pain, it could be related to sciatica, post-mastectomy pain, diabetic neuropathy, or phantom limb pain.

Somatic Pain

Another type of chronic pain that your elderly loved one might have is called somatic pain. Most of the time, people refer to this as skin or tissue pain. Sometimes, it is felt as muscle pain, too. The reason for this is because those are the nerves that are affected by this type of pain.

If your elderly loved one has this type of pain, they may state they have muscle spasms, feel they have bugs on their skin, or feel that they pulled a muscle.


These are some of the types of chronic pain that are common in the elderly. If your elderly loved one tells you they have any type of chronic pain, you should have them see a doctor. Once they are given a diagnosis, they can hopefully get treatment to reduce their pain. If needed, you can have senior home care providers take your loved one to the doctor.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Home Care in Spokane Valley, WA please contact the caring staff at Angel Senior Care today at (509) 326-4357.