How do Senior Citizens Benefit from Physical Therapy?
As people age, they often begin to experience physical limitations that make it difficult to perform everyday tasks. Many older adults also suffer from chronic conditions that can lead to pain and physical disability. In addition, the aging process itself can cause changes in the musculoskeletal system, making it harder to stay active and independent. Physical therapy can help address these problems by improving strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Therapeutic exercises and techniques can also help reduce pain and improve balance, coordination, and mobility. In addition, physical therapy can help boost the immune system, which is important for older adults who are more susceptible to illness.
Exercise and physical therapy promote psychological well-being. Studies show that individuals with regular exercise habits report less pain, fatigue, and depression. And, they tend to feel happier and experience fewer negative emotions. Ultimately, physical therapy can help older adults maintain their independence and quality of life.
1. Physical Therapy as a Preventative Measure Against Aging Pains
Physical therapy is often thought of as something you do only after an injury or surgery. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Physical therapists are trained to treat various issues, including pain management, sports injuries, arthritis, and even osteoporosis. Many physical therapists work with patients who haven’t experienced any symptoms yet. They can help prevent future problems before they start. And because most physical therapy treatments involve gentle exercise, there’s no reason why anyone shouldn’t benefit from regular sessions, especially senior adults.
Seniors are the most likely to suffer from Osteoporosis (Brittle bones). Physical Therapy can certainly help those who already have it. However, it can also be a benefit to those who have not gotten it by increasing bone health and minimizing bone loss. The same can be said of Osteoarthritis (joint degeneration). These bone and joint pains are frequent complaints of senior citizens. Having regular physical therapy not only treats the pain but can build up strength against damage starting or worsening.
2. Better Recovery from Falls
According to the CDC, thousands of senior-aged people die every year from fall-related injuries. Even those that do not die often have physical injuries that can linger for the rest of their life if not treated properly. Physical therapy for seniors is a key resource recommended by many doctors for both treating the aftermath of a fall and preventing them in the first place.
In the short term, physical therapy can help to manage pain, increase mobility and range of motion, reduce swelling, and improve overall function. This can be vital for seniors who have recently suffered a fall or other injury. In the long term, physical therapy can help to prevent falls by improving muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. This can help seniors to stay active and independent for longer, and enjoy a better quality of life.
3. Treating symptoms of Chronic Pain
Although chronic health issues can affect people of any age, seniors are especially susceptible to conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, diabetes, stroke, and COPD. Other common problems include arthritis, incontinence, and osteoporosis.
Sage Journals conducted a study that demonstrated the advantages of physical therapy for treating symptoms of many chronic diseases. For example, physical therapy can help improve the mobility of seniors with Parkinson’s disease and can help reduce the risk of falls among seniors with dementia. Incontinence can be a very embarrassing problem, but physical therapy can help. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This can help you regain control over your bladder and bowel muscles.
Source: Sage Journals
Arthritis is a common problem among seniors, but physical therapy can help ease the pain. Physical therapists can teach you exercises to improve your range of motion and help reduce inflammation. Osteoporosis is another common senior health issue, and physical therapy can help here as well. A physical therapist can develop a program of exercises that will help improve your bone density and reduce your risk of fractures.
If you are a senior adult struggling with any of these health issues, physical therapy may be able to help. Reducing the pain that comes from a chronic illness will improve both your physical and mental health.
Geriatric physical therapy is an important part of maintaining independence and health as we age. The benefits of geriatric physical therapy are vast and can prevent aging pains, help us recover from a fall, and even treat chronic pain. Many seniors are looking for an independent or assisted living community that offers on-site physical therapy. If that’s you, reach out to We Care Senior Solutions today. Our team of experts will work with you to find the perfect home that offers physical therapy services.