Many older adults feel some aches and pains in various parts of their bodies as they age. Though pain is common, it isn’t inevitable with aging. If your elderly parent is complaining of pain, they should see a doctor to find out what is causing it. One thing that may be causing joint pain is bursitis. It can affect any joint in the body, but it is most common in the shoulder, knee, heel, and the big toe joint.

Causes and Risk Factors for Bursitis

Bursitis occurs when the sacs of fluid, called bursae, in joints that serve as cushions become inflamed. It usually happens because of a repetitive motion or because of pressure on the joint, which may happen because of staying in a certain position for a while. For example, someone who kneels a lot, perhaps in the garden or the workshop, may get bursitis in their knees. Some other things that can cause bursitis are:

  • An injury to the joint.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Gout.
  • Infection.

Certain people are at higher risk for developing bursitis based on certain factors. Some of those risk factors are:

  • Getting Older: As people age, their chances of getting bursitis go up.
  • Some Occupations and Hobbies: Occupations and hobbies that require repeating a certain motion over and over or that place pressure on the bursae increase the risk. Some hobbies that might lead to bursitis are gardening, painting, and playing a musical instrument.
  • Medical Conditions: Having other medical conditions, like an inflammatory form of arthritis or diabetes, increases the risk. In addition, being overweight can also make getting bursitis in the hips or knees more likely.

Symptoms of Bursitis

Some of the symptoms of bursitis include:

  • Pain and stiffness in the affected joint.
  • Pain that is worse when the joint is used or when the senior puts pressure on it.
  • Redness at the joint.
  • Swelling.

How Elder Care Can Help with Bursitis

In addition to receiving medical treatment for bursitis, there are things that can be done at home to relieve some of your parent’s pain. Elder care providers can assist with pain management at home in several ways. An elder care provider can prepare an ice pack to help bring swelling down. An elder care provider can also allow the senior to rest, which gives the joint time to heal. While your parent rests, the elder care provider can take care of things around their house, like cooking meals and keeping the house tidy.


If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Falmouth, ME, please contact the caring staff at CareTree Healthcare today. Call today! 207-899-0774.