Physical therapy can help seniors improve mobility, reduce muscle and joint pain, and increase strength and balance. It can also help prevent falls and frequent injuries in older adults.
Elders can use physical techniques to manage tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease, maintain balance for people with multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s, relieve symptoms of arthritis, and improve mobility after a stroke.
Whether your loved one has arthritis, chronic back pain, or other health conditions, physical therapy for elderly can help relieve the pain. It can also minimize the need for medication by improving the body’s ability to manage pain without drugs.
For example, a PT plan might include stretching and strengthening exercises to increase flexibility and improve balance. These exercises can help reduce the risk of falls, a leading cause of injury among seniors.
Physical therapists can also teach seniors how to use assistive devices like walkers or crutches to help them stay mobile and enjoy their hobbies. They can also learn to recognize signs of pain, ask for help, and report it. These signs might include a change in the severity of pain, an inability to complete daily tasks, or a lack of energy. They can also keep a pain diary to identify if and when their pain levels are elevated or decreased.
In addition to treating chronic and acute injuries, physical therapy is known for decreasing pain. This is particularly true for conditions that impact the musculoskeletal system, such as spinal cord injury, arthritis, and stroke.
Mobility is essential for elderly wellness because it allows you to engage in activities that satisfy your social and physical needs. Walking around and moving your body helps reduce the risk of falling, improves balance, and enhances overall function.
Unlike many other healthcare professionals, PTs spend much one-on-one time with their clients. This creates the potential for a solid client-therapist connection that can help you build trust and feel at ease during your appointments. This positive relationship can also help you stay engaged with your rehabilitation goals between sessions. Exercises that target mobility, coordination, and muscle strength are a big part of your PT plan, but they can only be effective if you regularly perform them at home.
Aging can bring on aches and pains like arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic headaches, and lower back problems. Physical therapy is a non-invasive, drug-free way to alleviate discomfort without unwanted side effects. PT can help seniors feel better with techniques like cold and hot therapy, manual techniques, and exercises that can improve mobility and increase range of motion.
PT can also be an effective preventative measure. Seniors who regularly undergo PT can avoid many health issues, including stroke, Alzheimer’s and dementia, Parkinson’s disease, incontinence, and diabetes.
Elderly adults have a higher risk of falling, which can lead to critical injuries like broken bones and head trauma. A senior therapist can design a balanced program to strengthen key muscles and reduce falls. The CDC reports that about 3 million older adults are rushed to the emergency room annually for fall-related injuries. This number can be reduced with a regular PT program.
Reduced Risk Of Infection
Older adults are at a greater risk for infections. Age-related factors can predispose them to diseases like influenza, bacterial pneumonia, and shingles. Many also experience comorbid conditions, such as diabetes or renal insufficiency, that contribute to a decline in immune function.
Physical therapy, or physiotherapy, includes treatments based on physical stimuli like heat, cold, electrical currents, and ultrasound. PT aims to relieve pain, improve movement, and strengthen weak muscles. The goal is to give patients the tools they need to continue the treatment at home.
If you have a pain or joint problem, ask your doctor about a referral to a physical therapist. A PT can help you avoid surgery and prescription drugs, manage your symptoms, prevent future problems, and improve overall wellness. You’ll also learn more about how your body works so you can avoid injuries in the future. Following your therapist’s instructions can speed up recovery and help you reach your personal goals.