Exploring the Benefits of Physical Therapy for Aging Adults
For the aging adult, physical therapy can help with recovery from injuries or illness, chronic pain, and possibly restore mobility, strength and balance.
Whether you are considering physical therapy for an aging loved one, or you are looking to help yourself, understanding the benefits of regular physical therapy is vital. An excellent physical therapist tailors their program to seniors specifically, including using a combination of walking, massage, electrical stimulation, and stretching. After all, therapy for an aging adult is nowhere near what it would be for a young athlete or middle-aged adult.
Key Benefits of Physical Therapy for Seniors
Physical therapy can help address ailments common with age, including injuries, diabetes, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, stroke, vertigo, and osteoarthritis.
Important reasons to consider adding physical therapy as a way to keep healthy include:
- Reducing Falls – One of the most significant risks for seniors is falling. When a senior adult has a fall, they are at higher risk for fractures, especially hip fractures. Recovering from a hip fracture is difficult, and this type of injury kills tens of thousands of seniors annually, according to AARP. Physical therapy uses extension exercises, which help improve strength, balance, and flexibility, which reduces the risk of falls.
- Alleviating Pain without Surgical Intervention or Medications – As you age, chronic pain becomes almost an everyday occurrence. While sometimes surgery or medications are the only way to relieve that pain, the first step should be physical therapy. Physical therapy is an effective way to treat chronic pain and can reduce unnecessary elective surgeries.
- Preventing Infections – Seniors who live a sedentary lifestyle are at higher risk for skin infections, like bed sores or ulcers. A physical therapist can help improve mobility, which reduces the risk for these infections.
Physical therapy comes in many forms for aging adults. They include hot and cold therapy for injuries, manual therapy to help relax muscles, reduce pain, and improve flexibility, and using electrical stimulation to move pain signals away and reduce chronic pain.
Finding the Right Partner for Physical Therapy is Key
While physical therapy is essential, you want the right team of therapists to help you, or an aging loved one enjoy the benefits. The team at Medical Rehabilitation Centers of Pennsylvania is here to help relieve pain, improve balance, and hopefully improve your quality of life.
We have specialists who are trained in physical therapy for seniors, and we know the unique treatments and care required for aging adults. Meet with us for an initial consultation appointment so that we can come up with a customized care plan based on your unique needs.
Learn more about physical therapy treatments for seniors available in Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Area by contacting an MRCP clinic at one of our convenient locations. You can also contact us online.