As people age, the body deteriorates progressively. Everyday tasks become more and more difficult. Basic functioning, strength, flexibility, and mobility seem as though they’ve been thrown to the wayside. However, this doesn’t mean a senior’s body can’t be helped. There are many physical therapy programs at different facilities available for those who struggle with their body functioning well. These programs have many benefits to them.
At Shepherd Senior Living in Crystal Lake, Illinois, our assisted living facilities provide state-of-the-art care and amenities such as physical therapy for seniors to help them stay strong and prevent disability from occurring.
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, is a type of treatment that uses physical movements and exercises to help improve mobility, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent future injury or disability. Physical therapists use a variety of techniques such as massage, stretching, strength training, joint mobilization, and manipulation to assist the patient in recovering from an illness or injury.
Physical therapists can also guide nutrition and lifestyle changes to help the patient achieve optimal health and physical performance. Physical therapy is an important part of recovery for those with chronic conditions, sports injuries, post-operative rehabilitation, and many other medical issues. It can also be used to prevent future problems by helping individuals maintain their current level of function and health.
Physical therapy can help people of all ages, from children to seniors, to improve their physical condition and mobility. By providing education on exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes, physical therapists can help people achieve their goals for a healthier life. With the right guidance, physical therapy can make a big difference in someone’s recovery and quality of life.
Are There Different Types of Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a form of healthcare that focuses on restoring movement and function to the body. It can help with a wide range of conditions, from sports injuries to chronic pain. There are several different types of physical therapy, each with its unique approach to helping patients reach their goals. Some of these include the following:
- Manual therapy
- Exercise therapy
- Postural re-education therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Lymphedema therapy
What is Manual Therapy?
Manual Therapy is a type of physical therapy that focuses on the hands-on manipulation of the body’s soft tissues. It may involve stretching, deep tissue massage, joint mobilization, and other techniques to increase flexibility and range of motion. Manual therapy is often used in patients who have suffered an injury or have a musculoskeletal disorder such as arthritis.
What is Exercise Therapy?
Exercise Therapy is a type of physical therapy that focuses on strengthening the muscles and improving flexibility through exercise. It may involve using machines, weights, resistance bands, or other equipment to help patients reach their goals. Exercise therapy can help patients improve mobility and reduce pain.
What is Postural Re-education Therapy?
Postural Re-education is a type of physical therapy that focuses on teaching proper posture and body mechanics. This type of therapy includes exercises to improve balance and posture, as well as teaching the patient how to stand and sit correctly. Postural re-education can help patients prevent pain or injury caused by poor posture.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is a type of physical therapy that focuses on helping people with disabilities perform everyday activities. Occupational therapists help their patients rehabilitate by teaching them how to use adaptive equipment, such as wheelchairs or canes, and helping them build strength. Occupational therapy can also involve simulations of everyday activities to help improve coordination and flexibility.
What is Lymphedema Therapy?
Lymphedema therapy is a type of physical therapy designed to reduce swelling in the arms, legs, and other affected areas. Therapists use massage and exercise to get rid of excess fluid buildup in the tissues. They may also recommend compression garments and lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise to help reduce swelling.
Why is Physical Therapy Necessary?
Physical therapy can be an invaluable tool for seniors. It helps to restore mobility, reduce pain and improve the overall quality of life. Physical therapy is especially important for seniors who have been affected by chronic conditions such as arthritis, stroke, or Parkinson’s disease. Physical therapists work with the individual to create a personalized exercise plan that will help strengthen muscles, improve balance, and increase flexibility.
Physical therapy can also help seniors manage or prevent falls. Falls can be especially dangerous for seniors because they are more prone to serious injury due to age-related declines in bone density, strength, and balance. Physical therapists work with the individual to develop exercises that target those areas of vulnerability, helping the senior to stay safer and more independent.
Physical therapists also work with seniors to improve mobility, which can be severely limited in the elderly due to arthritis, stroke, or other age-related conditions. A physical therapist will develop a program of exercises, stretches, and activities that focus on range of motion and muscle strength. Improving mobility through physical therapy can reduce the risk of falls and help seniors stay more active and engaged in life.
Finally, physical therapists work with seniors to reduce chronic pain, which is a common problem among the elderly. They do this through a combination of strengthening exercises and stretching techniques that can help alleviate tension and stiffness while improving strength and flexibility.
How Else Can Physical Therapy Help Seniors?
Physical therapy can also support seniors living with conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and Parkinson’s Disease. In addition to helping manage pain, physical therapy can also help seniors stay independent by assisting them with activities of daily living such as getting dressed and taking a shower. Physical therapists can even help with the coordination of medical equipment for those who need it.
Benefits of Physical Therapy for Seniors
Physical therapy can be beneficial for many different types of injuries and illnesses. The primary goal of physical therapy is to restore movement and function that has been impaired due to injury, illness, or disability. Some of the specific benefits of physical therapy include:
- Pain relief – Physical therapists help patients by assessing pain levels, developing treatment plans to reduce pain, and using therapeutic exercises and stretches to improve mobility and relieve pain.
- Improved mobility – Physical therapy can help improve range of motion, strength, coordination, balance, and agility. Through physical therapy treatments and home exercise programs, patients can gain back the ability to move their bodies more comfortably.
- Improved posture – Through manual therapy, corrective exercises, and stretching, physical therapy can help correct poor posture caused by bad habits or medical conditions. Physical therapists can teach patients how to adjust their body positions to reduce pain and improve overall comfort.
- Injury prevention – Physical therapists are experts at injury prevention and rehabilitation. They can teach patients how to use proper form during physical activities to reduce the risk of injury, as well as provide treatment for existing injuries.
- Improved mobility – Mobility problems can be caused by age, disease, or illness. Physical therapists specialize in developing individualized care plans that help improve a patient’s ability to move around and complete daily activities.
- Home exercise programs – Physical therapists create custom exercises for their patients that can be done at home. Such exercises help to build strength, flexibility, and endurance to improve overall function.
- Evaluation and diagnosis – Physical therapists are qualified to evaluate a patient’s condition and diagnose any potential problems. They can then create treatment plans that address the underlying cause of the patient’s condition.
- Education – Physical therapists also provide education to their patients about how to prevent further injuries or issues in the future. They teach their patients about proper posture, body mechanics, and other techniques for avoiding injury.
Common Physical Therapy Exercises for Seniors
Physical therapy exercises are an important part of staying healthy and maintaining physical function for seniors. A regular exercise program can help improve flexibility, balance, coordination, strength, and overall health. Examples of common physical therapy exercises for seniors include:
- Range-of-Motion Exercises: Range-of-motion (ROM) exercises are designed to help maintain or improve flexibility and joint motion. Examples include arm circles, shoulder shrugs, wrist flexion/extension stretches, and ankle rotations.
- Strengthening Exercises: Strength training is important for seniors as it helps build muscle strength and endurance. Examples of strengthening exercises can include sit-to-stand exercises (using a chair or wall), mini-squats, heel raises, and push-ups.
- Balance Exercises: With age comes an increased risk of falls due to weakened balance, making balance exercises particularly important for seniors. Examples include standing on one foot, walking heel-to-toe in a straight line, and tai chi.
- Flexibility Exercises: As we age, our muscles become more stiff and tight which can lead to pain and restricted movement. Examples of flexibility exercises include yoga stretches, side bends, and trunk rotations.
- Aerobic Exercise: Regular aerobic exercise helps improve cardiovascular health and increases energy levels. Examples of aerobic exercise include walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling.
Physical Therapy On-Site at our Senior Living Communities
At Shepherd Senior Living, we have the resources available to assist elderly individuals who struggle with physical ailments. It’s not easy dealing with a poor range of motion, imbalance, or lack of physical strength. At Shepherd Senior Living, we have physical therapy on-site and professional staff to help assist with any needs necessary.
Get Back to Health and Life with Rehab to Home at Shepherd Premier Senior Living
Getting back to some sort of normal physical condition is imperative when struggling with it in old age. If you or a loved one are interested in finding out more, you can contact us here.