As you grow old, your muscles and joints tend to lose their strength and stability over time. This change can negatively impact your independence in performing certain daily tasks and movements like standing, changing positions, walking, and climbing stairs.
Thankfully, there is a therapy that can help the elderly regain their physical independence and improve their movements after aging and injuries like falls– called physical therapy.
Let’s talk about what physical therapy for seniors is, what physical therapy treatments for the elderly include, and where you can go for physical therapy across the US.
What is Physical Therapy for Seniors?
Physical therapy for the elderly is a form of physical therapy specifically geared toward the elderly and their unique challenges and physical issues.
As per the American Senior Communities, physical therapy for the elderly can be of four types: geriatric physical therapy, orthopedic physical therapy, cardiopulmonary physical therapy, and neurological physical therapy.
Typically, physical therapy treatments for the elderly differ from those for adults or pediatrics. Physical therapists do screening to know if the elderly need therapy before developing a physical therapy treatment plan for the elderly.
They also consider that the elderly experience a decrease in muscle strength, coordination, and reaction timing; become less active over time; and can’t tolerate prolonged physical activity.
Physical therapy treatments for the elderly can help patients:
- Stay active
- Recover from issues, such as falls, joint replacement surgeries, and stroke-related disabilities
- Prevent deconditioning
- Prevent muscle atrophy
- Decrease risk for reinjury
- Maintain independence
Physical Therapy Treatments
Physical therapy treatments for the elderly may include:
As the name suggests, manual therapy is performed by the hands of physical therapists. The therapy aims to reduce pain, increase joint flexibility, and relax patients. Manual therapy may include massage, manipulation, and mobilization.
Also known as aquatic therapy, hydrotherapy uses the physical properties of water, such as viscosity and buoyancy, to achieve physical therapy goals.
Exercise therapy consists of various exercises to improve strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance to aid activities and movement. Typically, physical therapy exercises for the elderly include lower body stretches, lower body strengthening exercises, balance exercises, and endurance training.
This uses electric current to produce the desired effect in the body, i.e., pain relief, muscle relaxation, etc. Electric stimulation therapy can also be used in conjunction with cold laser therapy for better healing.
In addition to these, a physical therapist may also use dry needling, heat and cold therapy, ultrasound therapy, etc., depending on the elderly’s needs and goals.
Physical Therapy in Saint Augustine, FL, and Across the US
If you are looking for highly-quality skilled services for seniors, look no further than H2 Health. We offer physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy. Our physical therapy providers will create a personalized treatment plan for you so that you reach your goals faster. We also accept Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance.