The aim of physical therapy for seniors is to help them hold on to as much independence as they could. Whether it’s to help improve their general health, mobility, balance, and strength or to manage a long-term health issue, physical therapy for seniors offers many benefits.
One of the most common reasons why seniors seek regular physical therapy is to prevent falls or falling accidents. As we get older, we lose our balance, strength, and flexibility. The loss of these physical functions could lead to falling accidents. These falls could then lead to severe injuries.
Types of Physical Therapy for Seniors
Physical therapists are highly trained in many different types of treatment. This helps their patients recover their physical functions as quickly as possible. For senior patients, the types of physical therapy are:
Geriatric Physical Therapy
This type of physical therapy focuses on the physical needs of aging and older adults.
Geriatric physical therapists treat conditions common in seniors such as osteoporosis, joint replacement issues, balance disorders, arthritis, and more.
There are specialized treatment programs developed to regain mobility and improve the fitness levels of senior patients.
Most importantly, the treatment programs are designed to alleviate the overall pain and discomfort they have to deal with.
Orthopedic Physical Therapy
This type of physical therapy puts a particular emphasis on treating conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic physical therapists are also trained to help patients heal from orthopedic surgeries
The goal of this type of physical therapy is to regain the function of the muscles, joints, ligaments, bones, and tendons.
Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy
This type of physical therapy treats patients with pulmonary or cardiovascular conditions. Whether it’s a heart attack, pulmonary fibrosis, or any other cardiovascular or pulmonary disease, some physical therapists specialize in this area.
They can help improve the endurance of senior patients, as well as regain their functional independence, balance, and mobility.
Neurological Physical Therapy
This type of physical therapy treats the body and the brain. It’s a highly specialized area of physical therapy. These neurological issues include ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or brain injury.
When senior patients receive neurological physical therapy, their healthcare provider works to improve their mobility, balance, concentration, muscle loss, and visual capabilities. These treatment programs will help senior patients live a more comfortable life while still having that semblance of normalcy.
Physical therapists specializing in this area help their patients adapt to their new normal. Their efforts allow the patients to adapt to their disabilities, so they can still be self-sufficient and independent – which can then help boost their morale.
Studies have proven that neurological physical therapy treatment has shown great strides in treating patients with multiple sclerosis and brain injuries, including stroke.
Also, women who had to get a mastectomy can take advantage of physical therapy. Regular treatment can help them improve their strength and reduce inflammation.
As always, before any treatment program can begin, a thorough and comprehensive assessment must be done to senior patients. This step allows their therapist to develop a personalized treatment program that will meet their needs and help them achieve their health goals.
Benefits of Physical Therapy for Seniors
Physical therapy is a vital component in the healing and recovery of patients – especially seniors. Some of the benefits of this healthcare approach include:
Minimizes falling accidents.
Falling is the leading cause of injuries and accidents among our senior loved ones. This often leads to bone fractures, sprains, and other injuries. A physical therapist can teach senior patients proper techniques to retain balance and strength to avoid falling.
Reducing risks of injuries.
A physical therapist can develop a treatment program that can help senior patients keep and develop their stability, relating to gravity when they’re up and about. This can help significantly lessen risks of injuries.
Alleviating pain from other chronic conditions.
Chronic conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis often bring pain and discomfort to patients. Physical therapy can help alleviate these symptoms.
Helping patients not to rely on medications and other prescription drugs.
Physical therapy includes manual techniques and treatment that help reduce pain and discomfort.
Helping patients maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
The sooner our senior loved ones recover from their injuries or other health conditions, the quicker they can lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
I have been a family dentist in Phoenix, Arizona for over two decades. Arizona is my home, and I would never want to leave here for the world. I'm happily married to the dazzling Karen with two bustling boys.
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