Elderly people may have many reasons for needing physical therapy. Perhaps they have had a recent fall or injury, or maybe they are maintaining a long-term illness. Even just maintaining overall fitness as you age can be a great motivator for doing physical therapy for the elderly.
Whether they are recovering from surgery, or treating a chronic illness, elderly people can greatly benefit from physical therapy. Physical therapy can involve exercises, heat treatment, massage, and more.
Physical therapy also seeks to treat injury and illness with these methods rather than drugs and surgery. If medications and surgery are still needed, physical therapy can be an additional part of an elderly person’s recovery or treatment routine. Here are the benefits of physical therapy for the elderly:
Decreasing the Risk of Injuries and Falls
As people age, they may lose muscle tone and flexibility, which can lead to injuries and falls. Falls themselves can lead to injuries like broken bones and head injuries. And unfortunately, once an elderly person has experienced one fall, it is much more likely they will fall again.
Physical therapy after a fall or injury or as part of a regular treatment routine can help elderly people improve stability and balance, as well as improve the strength of their posture. These things can help to reduce the risk of injuries and reduce falls, which can also help to prevent injuries. Physical therapy can go a long way in helping to decrease fall and injury risk for elderly people.
Treating Chronic Pain
As people age, they may also develop conditions that can cause chronic pain. Some of these conditions include arthritis and osteoporosis. Physical therapy as a treatment for these conditions that cause chronic pain, or as part of a regular treatment plan, helps to preserve strength in the joints as well as use of the joints.
This can help with pain management, as well as with possible future symptoms. Physical therapists can also teach elderly people therapeutic methods to help reduce the discomfort of chronic pain. An added benefit of physical therapy in this regard is that these pain management techniques can also reduce the need for prescription medications and surgery in some cases.
Another major benefit of physical therapy for the elderly, especially after an injury or to help treat chronic pain, is to help them stay physically fit, maintain their daily lifestyle, and maintain their weight. This allows them to live as independently as possible and possibly return to their normal routine after an injury, or maintain their daily living routine with illness or other conditions.
Physical therapy encourages mobility and activity, which can improve overall health. In this regard, physical therapy can help elderly people improve or maintain their overall fitness, which can help them accomplish daily tasks as independently as possible, in their own unique situation.
Overall, physical therapy has many benefits for elderly people, including reducing risks of injury or fall, treating chronic pain, and regaining independence.