Prosthetic physical therapy is a specialized form of therapy that deals with rehabilitating patients who have lost a limb and recently had it replaced with a prosthetic. It aims to help patients adjust to their new prostheses, regain their range of motion, and improve their overall quality of life.
For many seniors, it can be challenging to adjust to prosthetics. They may need the assistance of a physical therapist to learn how to most effectively use their new prosthetic to maintain a high quality of life.
Prosthetic physical therapy is a field that can be intimidating for patients. However, it is essential for those suffering from limb loss or trauma to understand their options after surgery and the expected timeline for recovery. This article details the procedure of prosthetic physical therapy so that you know what to expect from your journey toward healing.
Ways Prosthetic Physical Therapy Can Help Seniors
The needs of seniors are unique because their bodies change over time. It’s important to understand how these changes affect seniors’ bodies so that they have access to the best care possible. Here are some ways that prosthetic physical therapy can benefit seniors:
Adjust to Living with the Loss of a Limb
It can take time to adjust when an older adult loses a limb. They may have difficulty walking, moving, and carrying things. This is especially true if they have lost their dominant arm or leg. The loss of balance could also be a problem and balance between their remaining limbs.
Physical Therapy Albany NY can help seniors overcome these challenges by assisting them in regaining control over their bodies and movement skills. They will learn how to use their remaining limbs more efficiently to compensate for the loss of function in one or both limbs.
The physical therapist will also teach them to walk again without relying on other people or crutches. They will also show them how to sit down without falling over and getting up again without help.
Acclimate to a New Prosthetic that’s Replacing an Old One
When you wear a prosthesis for years, it becomes a part of who you are. When you start using a new device, it takes some time to become accustomed to it, and it may even feel foreign at first.
Prosthetists understand this and will work with patients during their initial adjustment period by helping them get used to the new device and learn how best to use it effectively. This includes training on how best to put on and take off your artificial leg and performing exercises that will help increase strength in your residual limb.
Regain Enough Strength to Use their Prosthetic Effectively
One of the most critical factors in determining how well a prosthetic will work is how strong the muscles are on that side of the body. If you have had a stroke or another condition that has weakened your muscles, it might take some time before they are strong enough to use a prosthetic effectively.
Return to a Quality of Life Similar to that Before the Prosthetic Was Needed
Prosthetic physical therapy can help seniors return to a quality of life they enjoyed before needing a prosthetic. But what does this mean? Here are some examples:
- Seniors with amputations will be able to walk more efficiently and comfortably and perform daily tasks such as getting dressed and preparing meals.
- Seniors with arthritis can move and bend their joints more easily, making everyday tasks easier and less painful. This helps them maintain their independence longer in their homes instead of moving into assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
- Seniors who have suffered a stroke or other neurological disorders can regain lost motor skills through exercise routines designed by their physical therapists. This helps them improve their balance and mobility, which is essential for safe living at home alone or with minimal assistance from caregivers or family members.
Maintain a More Healthy and Active Lifestyle
If you have a prosthetic, it’s essential to keep up with your regular exercise routine as much as possible. However, exercising with a prosthetic is different than doing so without one. You’ll need to learn how to balance yourself with your new limb to avoid injuring yourself or others around you.
Prosthetic physical therapists are trained professionals who can help seniors learn how to use their prosthetics properly during exercise routines. They will also be able to show them how to prevent injuries during exercise so they can continue doing what they love for years to come!
The Prosthetic Physical Therapy Process
If you’ve recently had a limb amputated, it’s important to understand the prosthetic physical therapy process. There is no single timeline for prosthetic physical therapy, and a doctor usually prescribes it following the procedure or operation that resulted in the prosthetic. After an assessment by a physical therapist, the estimated treatment timeline will be determined.
The prosthetic physical therapy process begins with assessment and training. During this stage, your physical therapist will evaluate your goals and abilities. Then they’ll develop an individualized care plan tailored to your specific needs.
From there, your therapist will develop a treatment plan that may include exercises, stretching, and electrical stimulation. Additionally, they will provide education and support to help you learn how to use their new prosthesis. Over time, through repetitive activities, you will be expected to improve your use of their prosthetics and feel more comfortable with them in your day-to-day life.
Get Prosthetic Physical Therapy for Seniors in the NY Capital Region
Do you have a senior loved one who needs physical therapy after a leg or arm amputation? Based in the New York Capital Region, Shaker Place is the perfect place for your loved ones to recover from their surgery and learn how to use their prosthesis. We offer short-term and long-term rehab in a state of the art facility, with attentive and friendly staff that will help your family member recover quickly.
We offer customized physical and occupational therapy programs based on the individual needs of each resident. We aim to help you or your family member get back on their feet as quickly as possible. To learn more about our services or schedule a tour today!