Understanding the Basics of Physical Therapy for Seniors
A physical therapist is a licensed medical professional that uses primarily natural, drug-free ways to treat a variety of medical conditions, including issues with physical functioning, strengthening important muscles of the body, pain relief and more.
One of the biggest advantages of choosing physical therapy over the more traditional ways of treatment like a surgery or even drugs is that you don’t have to deal with nasty side effects while in many cases, also being able to recover much faster.
The National Institutes of Health has reported that physical therapists are also required to be well-trained in physiology and anatomy, among other things.
A Deeper Look at the Advantages Physical Therapy Offers
A physical therapy can be an umbrella solution for a wide range of physical problems, and it works exceptionally well for aging patients, who may not be able to cope with the side effects conventional treatment options can cause.
As for some of the more serious health conditions physical therapy is used for, they include recovering faster from strokes, making the limbs regain their mobility that may have been lost due to a stroke, as well as even teach patients how they can still function well even if a part of their body hasn’t been responding the way it should.
The Centers of Disease Control also recommends seeking the help of physical therapy instead of resorting to pain killers.
Similarly, in some cases, even a surgery can be avoided through effective physical therapy. The conditions for which this could work include:
- Rotator cuff tear
- Degenerative disk disease that typically affects the spine or neck
- Treating knee affected by Osteoarthritis
- Spinal stenosis – a condition that affects about 200,000 people in the US alone
- Meniscal tears
Dealing with Common Ailments
As we mentioned above, physical therapy can be very difficult when it comes to treating common ailments, especially in older people.
Let us take a look at some of the most common ailments physical therapy is popularly used as a primary treatment.
Some of the ways in which physical therapy can help senior patients with arthritis is through helping them regain coordination of their body, improve strength and make them achieve a better level of balance again.
A physical therapist would typically help them get these results through specific exercises, with the other, less common way also being electrical stimulation.
Osteoporosis is a health condition in which the patient becomes very vulnerable to sudden falls. So a physical therapist’s job here would be to prevent that from happening, which they try to do by helping improve their balance, strengthen their muscles and achieve a better posture.
Physical therapy can also help with regaining control. A physical therapist would focus on the right muscles and work on strengthening them.
A Final Word
If you have read through this article from the start, you now know how physical therapy can help you with the health conditions or ailments you may be dealing with. You may just want to make sure you go with the right physical therapist to get the best results.