Physical Therapy for Seniors

What is the importance of Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is also known as “Physiotherapy”. It forms part of the healthcare profession. This form of therapy is provided by specialized individuals known as physical therapists or physiotherapists who aid in promoting, maintaining, or restoring a person’s health employing general physical examination, arriving at a diagnosis. Physical therapist for elderly plays an important role in educating a patient, providing intervention through physical means, rehabilitation services, prevention of disease, and promotion of health.

 

What is the practice scope of Physical Therapists?

Physical therapists use a variable number of techniques to provide standard care to their patients. These techniques or methods include various forms of exercises, providing training in various functional movements that may incorporate the use of numerous equipment, for example, canes, crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers. Also, they perform special movement exercises of all joints, muscles, and other soft tissues for improving overall mobility and decreasing pain.

 

These therapists act by incorporating results of various laboratories along with imaging techniques such as X-ray, Computed Tomography scan (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) reports, Electrodiagnostic tests such as electromyograms, or testing of nerve conduction velocity.

 

Physiotherapeutic management most commonly involves prescribing or assisting with specific forms of exercises, manual therapies, manipulations, use of mechanical aids or devices like traction, along with numerous electro-physical modalities which may include use of heat, cold, electrical impulses, waves of sound, radiation therapy, various adjunctive devices, prosthetic appliances, orthopedic appliances among various other interventional techniques. Additionally, physiotherapists help in preventing the loss of mobility by means of a variety of fitness as well as wellness-oriented tools for achieving healthier and active lifestyles. They provide health care services to patients for developing, maintaining, and restoring the maximum range of movements and functionality throughout one’s life, especially when associated with the aging process, any form of injury, or due to environmental reasons.

 

What medical conditions require Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy for Senior
 

There are a variety of medical health conditions requiring physical therapy such as:

  1. Reduction or eliminating pain: Making use of a variety of therapeutic forms of exercises and a variety of manual therapy techniques, for example, mobilization of joints and associated soft tissues by using treatment modalities like ultrasound, taping or electrical stimulation may help in relieving pain as well as restoration of muscular and joint functioning for reduction of pain. Thus, Physical therapy might help in eliminating pain.

  2. Avoidance of any surgeries: If there is relief from pain after physical therapy following an injury, surgery might not be required. Although in cases where surgery must be performed, pre-surgical physical therapy helps in faster recovery.

  3. Improvement in mobility: If any individual has problems while standing up, during walking, or any type of movement, physical therapy is of immense benefit. The use of exercises that involve stretching and/or strengthening helps in restoring one’s ability of movement as per customization of any individual’s treatment planning.

  4. Recovery from stroke: It is very common for an individual to lose a certain degree of functioning and movements following stroke. Physical therapy strengthens parts of the body that have lost their strength, helps in improving gait with balance, and also helps in performing daily chores such as going to the toilet, taking bath, and getting dressed up.

  5. Recovery from or prevention of any sports-related injury: Physical therapists have a deep understanding of ways in which different sporting activities might cause an increase in the risk of certain special types of traumatic injuries like stress-induced fractures in long-distance athletes. These individuals help in designing appropriate modes of recovery and conducting various programs of exercising ensuring a safe return to the sports.

  6. Improving one’s balance and prevention of falls: If a person is suffering from neuronal deficits that might increase his or her’s risk of falling and getting injured, help from a physical therapist might aid in improving coordination by bringing positive changes in vestibular apparatus. Physical therapists perform specific exercises or maneuvers that assist in the restoration of proper functioning of the vestibule and reducing as well as eliminating symptoms related to dizziness and vertigo.

  7. Managing diabetes and other vascular diseases: Performing routine exercises may help in effective control of blood sugar levels that form an important part of the diabetes management program. In addition, individuals with diabetes often suffer from burning sensations in the feet and legs. The physical therapists provide appropriate education to these patients regarding appropriate foot care for the prevention of any further complications in the future.

  8. Managing issues related to the aging process: As aging occurs, people might develop conditions like osteoarthritis or osteoporosis or may even require the replacement of joint(s). Physical therapists provide help to patients in recovering from recent surgeries involving the replacement of joints and managing various arthritic as well as osteoporotic problems in a conservative manner.

  9. Management of heart and/or lung diseases: As patients undergo rehabilitation following cardiac surgeries, physical therapy helps in resuming one’s old daily routine. For problems related to the lungs, physical therapy improves the quality of life by strengthening, various conditioning as well as exercises for breathing. Physical therapy assists in the clearance of fluids from one’s lungs.

  10. Managing the health of women: Women suffer from specific types of concerns related to health like pregnancy as well as postpartum conditions. Physical therapists offer specific management for the health issues related to women.

  11. Miscellaneous: Physical therapists provide specialized therapy for conditions like Incontinence of the bowel, breast malignancies, constipation, fibromyalgia, lymph-edema, pelvic pain, and urinary incontinence

 

Benefits of Physical Therapy

Physical therapists help people belonging to all age groups with different medical or systemic illnesses, diseases, or injuries that can limit their ability for movement and functioning. A customized physical therapy schedule might help individuals in returning to their previous level of bodily functioning which in turn causes encouragement regarding different activities along with different changes in lifestyle which help in preventing further injuries. Also, improvement in overall general health and well-being is seen. Doctors, who examine a patient initially, quite frequently refer them to a physical therapist at the first sign of any health problem as the use of physical therapy is a conservative method for managing these problems.

 

Importance of Physical Therapy Treatment

Physical therapy forms an essential part of the primary health care management system. It is considered an important part of medical health care and also, an adjunct to it in a variety of situations. These specialized senior physical therapist also have the license to prescribe medications to their patients. Hence, physical therapy helps in reducing the morbidity of patients to a large extent.

 

Types of Physical Therapy

  1. Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Physical Therapy Clinic: These therapists help in recovering from surgeries, joint(s) replacement, or sports trauma.

  2. Neurological Physical Therapy: This variety of physical therapy focuses on helping the patients to recover from various neurological conditions that include Alzheimer’s’ disease, stroke.

  3. Occupational Physical Therapy: This type of physical therapy is associated with physical work associated with activities.

  4. Geriatric Physical Therapy: In Geriatric physical therapy, issues associated with mobilization, limb, and joint movements and various musculoskeletal disorders among elder patients are dealt with. Other health conditions may include osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

  5. Pediatric Physical Therapy: Physical therapy in the pediatric age group aims to diagnose and treat various situations that may include a) Genetic disabilities b) Congenital defects c) Severe trauma d) Head injuries and e) Disability of limbs.

  6. Rehabilitative Physical Therapy: Rehabilitative physical therapy focuses upon the recovery of patients following surgeries. The onset of therapy begins while the patient is admitted to the hospital till he or she is discharged or while recovering at home. This therapy is stopped when a patient has regained complete mobility of the affected region which stops as soon as a patient is capable of tending to self with no help.

  7. Hand Physical Therapy: This physical therapy is focused on the entire upper extremity in individuals who have injuries or suffer from arthritis. These therapists make use of the simple form of exercises involving the hand for regaining a complete full range of movements.

 

Where do the Physical Therapists Work?

Physical therapists work professionally in different types of settings that include hospital set-ups, outpatient clinical settings, houses, nursing homes, schools, sports, and various fitness-related fields.

Physical Therapy Home Care Programs

In-home surroundings, physical therapy for senior citizens is specifically designed for deriving similar benefits of physical therapy. With home-based therapy, the physical therapist visits the home and guides the patient by performing several important exercises that aid in speeding up one’s recovery and orient them towards leading a normal lifestyle and living. Though in-home therapy lacks some of the equipment of a clinic, it tends to provide faster recovery because your sessions are carried out in the privacy of your own home.

Centric Healthcare Physical Therapy Services We Can Offer

Various physical therapy services that are offered by our service experts include regaining mobility from bed, training regarding bodily transfer that is from chair or toilet seat, gait improvement (balance disorders), managing pain, training regarding maintaining one’s balance, and activities for supporting daily life.