Common Reasons Seniors Should Attend Physical Therapy

As you age, you’ll start to experience changes in your functions that you haven’t had before. Some of these include loss in your flexibility, strength, and balance. They can cause you to suffer from falls and lead to a more serious injury; that’s where physical therapy can help.

Physical therapy can improve your mobility so you don’t have to let your age hold you back from doing the things you love. That’s why we compiled a list of some of the common reasons seniors go to physical therapy, and how it helps you keep feeling your best.

Arthritis

The most common type of arthritis in seniors is osteoarthritis, the breakdown of cartilage around the joints. This results in the bones rubbing against each other and causing pain. Since there is no cure, physical therapy is the best long-term solution, compared to short-term solutions like medicine.

Physical therapists use exercise to give patients more strength and mobility. By regaining the strength, you lost in your joints due to arthritis, you’ll experience less pain.

They also use manual therapy that mobilize your joints and soft-tissue, which also reduce the pain caused by arthritis.

Chronic Pain

Seniors are more vulnerable to chronic pain because they experience greater joint and muscle wear and tear. Not only are you more likely to experience this type of pain, but if you’re not very active this pain can worsen. That’s why physical therapy is some of the best ‘medicine.’

Physical therapy combats inflammation, stiffness, and soreness when exercising, while helping your body heal itself. Your muscle strength, endurance, joint stability, and muscle/joint stability increase with physical therapy, too. By boosting these attributes, you’re helping reduce your pain and allowing yourself to move without being limited by chronic pain.

After Surgery

Similarly, to chronic pain, because of muscle wear and tear, surgeries like hip or knee replacements are more popular for seniors. Because of the extent of these surgeries, physical therapy is highly recommended and useful.

It allows you to restore normal movement to your joints by building strength, easing pain and swelling, and increasing circulation to avoid blood clots.

Stroke

For those who have suffered from a stroke, physical therapy is an option to help you recover and regain function in affected muscles and nerves.

Physical therapists use movement therapy where you’re forced to use your weaker arm/hand to keep those muscles stimulated. This allows you to relearn everyday skills while training your healthy brain cells to control areas that have been affected.

Alzheimer’s

Physical therapists use a variety of techniques to help the different side effects of Alzheimer’s.

Exercise is used to improve memory while delaying the progression of more memory problems. Some exercises like walking on even and uneven surfaces improve muscle tone, mobility, and blood flow. Other exercises like standing on one leg can improve balance and movement.

Another technique is “Mirroring,” where the patient uses the therapist as a ‘mirror’ by copying their movements and helping you remember certain types of movements.

Although there is no cure, physical therapy is a useful tool to help slow down the progression of this disease.

At Access Physical Therapy & Wellness, we’ll treat you like family and give you the tools and opportunities to take your life back.