Our bodies are meant to move, yet ailments of aging such as arthritis can make even simple exercise painful. The worse thing to do is remain inactive all day, which aggravates the condition. The solution: physical therapy.
“Physical therapists are highly educated and licensed healthcare professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility, in many cases without surgery or the side effects of prescription medications,” explains the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
Physical therapy offers seniors three key benefits:
1. Fall prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state, “More than one-third of adults age 65 and above fall each year in the United States. Falls are the leading cause of deaths due to injuries, and the most common cause of non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma in the aging population.”
A physical therapist can perform a balance assessment to determine which muscles need strengthening, and suggest strategies to reduce an individual’s fall risk, APTA explains.
2. Improved mobility. Physical therapists – the movement experts – can offer tools to help people perform everyday activities with less pain, such as bending down to retrieve something from the floor. Proper exercise and pain management techniques can reduce chronic pain for an improved quality of life.
3. Revitalized health. Resistance training and other appropriate exercises can help seniors grow physically stronger, improve heart health, boost memory, and even avoid bladder leakage problems.
WebMD adds, “Physical therapy is A-quality therapy for many conditions affecting older people, from Alzheimer’s to urinary incontinence. It’s a non-drug treatment that works for arthritis, cancer pain, and Parkinson’s, plus improves your strength and endurance.”