How Physical Therapy Can Help Seniors
Physical therapy is of enormous benefit to senior citizens. As we age, our bodies tend to become slower, less mobile, and less flexible.
These changes can impact the quality of life and place seniors at risk for falls and other injuries. However, aging adults can learn to thrive within their evolving physical circumstances. Inspiring recovery from injury is achievable at any age.
With physical therapy, older adults move their bodies in helpful ways. In a safe setting, improvements occur in the areas of strength, range of motion, and flexibility.
Why Is Physical Therapy So Helpful for Seniors?
Sometimes, the aging process or specific injuries lead to daily pain, discomfort, and physical limitations. Physical therapy helps individuals deal with and reverse some of these challenges.
Physical therapy is a helpful process for all age groups but can be especially transformative for older adults. Here are some of the key benefits that senior citizens may gain from physical therapy.
Chronic Pain Management
Chronic pain conditions are more prevalent among older adults. Pain can be debilitating, impacting all aspects of life.
Chronic pain arises from various causes, such as musculoskeletal conditions, nerve damage, or illness. Many of these ailments can be addressed through physical therapy. Patient-specific exercises, as well as passive techniques such as massage, can bring pain relief.
Unlike other pain treatments, physical therapy does not merely provide symptomatic relief. Rather, the causes of physical discomfort are addressed to provide long-term alleviation of pain.
Improved Motor Function Control
Conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis may affect a person’s ability to control their motor functions and maintain balance. Coping with these difficulties is not easy. However, during any stage of dealing with a chronic health condition, progress is always possible.
Physical therapy programs can address a patient’s specific motor function challenges to help them regain a greater level of physical control and safety.
Decreased Injury Risk
Falls are one of the scariest and most serious health risks for seniors. What starts as a momentary loss of balance can result in major complications.
Physical therapy sessions may include a variety of activities that reduce the risk of falls and similar mishaps.
Depending on a patient’s needs, physical therapy activities may include weight training, balance exercises, dysfunctional movement corrections, and more. During these activities, seniors build strength and improve mobility.
Improvements achieved from physical therapy exercises create more stable and resilient bodies. Thus, seniors in physical therapy reduce the risks of falls and other sudden injuries.
Healthy Recovery From Injury, Illness, or Surgery
During a senior’s recovery from an injury, prolonged illness, or surgery, a doctor may prescribe physical therapy as part of the rehabilitation process. Doing so promotes a successful recovery by helping a patient to regain strength, mobility, and coordinated movement.
The physical therapist can help address specific muscle groups or movements that were compromised by injury. For some individuals, physical therapy may be prescribed to reduce the need for ongoing use of prescription pain medications.
Inpatient and Outpatient Options
Not all physical therapy needs to occur on-site. Physical therapists often create an inpatient/outpatient exercise plan. This includes routines you can perform at home between appointments.
During physical therapy, patients learn specific exercises that address their condition. Furthermore, an improved sense of body awareness is often achieved. These benefits continue to serve patients even after their course of physical therapy appointments has ended.
Physical therapy helps seniors to regain strength and improves control over their body’s movements. Through these developments, a senior can experience greater independence and improved quality of life.
Physical Therapy for Graceful Aging
At Shaker Place Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, we bring the benefits of physical therapy to our residents every day. In our state-of-the-art facility, we provide long-term skilled nursing care as well as short-term rehabilitative therapy.
Our physical therapy team utilizes both traditional and new methods. All treatment is tailored to the needs of the individual. Our skilled therapists have received advanced training in geriatric exercise, balance and fall prevention, and many more related specialized areas.
Contact Shaker Place Rehabilitation and Nursing Center today to learn more about our physical therapy services.