Recovering from injuries and illnesses is never easy and older adults face particular challenges and barriers. As we age, our bodies are less able to easily bounce back from injury, especially if there are underlying medical conditions. Though it is instinctive to rest and take it easy, remaining sedentary for too long can harm the healing process. Physiotherapists have specialized knowledge about which exercises can best help with mobility and pain management for seniors. Read on to discover how physical therapy improves health outcomes.
Types Of Physical Therapy For Seniors
Physical therapy is designed to increase mobility following an illness, injury, or chronic health condition, and the particulars will look different for each participant. Older adults must be careful not to overexert themselves or exacerbate co-existing conditions. The following methods are often used by physiotherapists to aid clients on the road to success:
- Neurological Physical Therapy: Conditions that affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s or ALS, have a large impact on independence. Physiotherapy reteaches the important basic skills patients need to complete activities of daily living. These exercises are designed to build the core strength needed to improve balance and coordination.
- Orthopedic Physical Therapy: Orthopedic injuries directly affect mobility as they weaken the musculoskeletal system. Core exercises that pay special attention to the back, shoulders, and spine are the key to increasing muscle and bone strength as well as improving flexibility in the surrounding tendons and ligaments.
- Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy: Following a heart attack, exercise options may be limited but that doesn’t mean there are no appropriate activities that patients can engage in. Though it is important to start with small goals such as sitting up for longer periods and managing daily tasks, aerobic exercise such as walking and swimming can be beneficial to recovery. Running and swimming are also good choices if the patient is up to the challenge.
- Geriatric Physical Therapy: Whether or not a patient is recovering from a recent illness or injury, age has bearing on the human body. Arthritis, osteoporosis, and joint disorders can weaken the body and make balance and endurance more difficult. Physical therapy is easily adjusted to the experiences, strengths, weaknesses, and interests of each patient, allowing for both improvement and enjoyment of exercises.
Benefits Of Physical Therapy For Seniors
Though physical therapy services are usually prescribed for seniors following an incidence of illness and injury, most older adults can benefit from receiving this type of care. For those who are living with chronic health conditions, physical therapy provides pain management alternatives to prescription drugs. Medication is necessary for many conditions, but limiting the number of pills that are taken reduces the risk of adverse drug interactions and side effects as well as dependence. Physical therapy can empower patients to take their health into their own hands, increasing their independence and confidence levels. Being able to do more for themselves helps older adults adopt a positive life outlook that boosts their immune system and protects them from other illnesses. A qualified physiotherapist can teach techniques to both avoid and cope with common occurrences of old age, such as slips and falls. Knowing how to avoid such injuries is the best way to keep individuals healthy, happy, and in control. The ability to stay active also allows for an active and thriving social life.
Contact Princeton Health Care Center today to learn more about our activities and services that enhance and improve the lives of older adults in West Virginia.