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The Importance of Physical Therapy for Seniors

Posted On : November 5, 2018 In : Physical Therapy

physical therapy san antonio

As you grow old, you can experience more pain and are vulnerable to more injuries. Physical therapy can help relieve pain and restore physical functions such as flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Some of the physical therapy treatments that can be used are stretching, walking, massage, hydrotherapy, and electrical stimulation. These are less impactful and do not require hard physical activity. The goal of physical therapy for seniors is to help them make daily tasks and activities easier. That also includes making them independent.

Physical Therapists:

They diagnose and treat everyone from newborns to seniors who have medical problems. Their goal is to develop a plan with their patient using a variety of treatment methods to increase a person’s movement, reduce pain, and restore all functions of the body. These treatments involve exercise and different movements.

Types of Physical Therapy:

  • Manual therapy: this is performed by the hands of the therapist to relax the patient, reduce pain, and provide more flexibility. This involves massaging the body’s soft tissues to improve circulation and relieve pain. Mobilization is the use of slow movements to twist and pull joints and bones into place. Manipulation uses fast, forceful movements to relieve pain and re-align bones and joints.
  • Cold therapy: this is used relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation. The treatment involves ice packs, ice massage, and compression.
  • Heat therapy: this loosen the muscles and improves blood circulation which is great for loosening stiff joints.
  • Hydrotherapy: this is a type of water therapy that can heal soft tissues, improve blood flow, and relax the entire body.
  • Electrical stimulation: using an electrical current to help with pain. It contracts muscles to relieve pain and loosen any tight joints or muscles.
  • Ultrasound: this uses high-pitched sound waves to reduce muscle spasms and relax the muscles.

Specific conditions found in seniors:

Physical therapy can be used to help patients with a variety of diseases and medical conditions. Most people over 65 have a variety of medical conditions such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s, etc. As well as treating these medical conditions, physical therapy can also help offset future symptoms with a variety of treatments such as aquatic exercises, hot packs, and electrical stimulation.

  • Stroke patients: constraint-induced movement therapy is used. That is where you are forced to use your weaker body part. Mental practice involves rehearsing the movements without doing it. This can help stimulate the part of your brain that controls movement to help improve functionality.
  • Arthritis patients: specific treatments used by physical therapists can help reduce pain and offset any future pain that may come.
  • Parkinson’s patients: to help treat this disease, patients are told to preform exercises that improve trunk flexibility to avoid any robotic movements that the disease produces.
  • Incontinence patients: they are taught how to find the right muscles and use them correctly. An example of a treatment that physical therapists could use is exercising the pelvic muscle to strengthen it and control the bladder.
  • Alzheimer’s patients: using exercise can help improve memory. They also use a technique called “mirroring” where the physical therapist serves as a mirror to show the patient how to move.

Physical therapy for seniors can help their health in every way and prevent future health care issues. These are non-invasive treatments that go with what you can handle. If you are a senior and recovering from an illness or injury visit Gonzaba Medical Group in San Antonio. Our staff in our physical medicine and rehabilitation program are committed to providing patients with safe and effective treatments. Our staff will develop a patient plan that is individually designed just for you! The physical therapists offer home exercise programs, ergonomics education, back safety and lifting education, functional capacity evaluations, and work conditioning programs. Learn more by visiting our website. We have multiple locations and make sure to check if the location you choose has our physical therapy pr