BENEFITS OF PHYSIOTHERAPY IN OLDER ADULTS
In our last post we discussed some of the benefits of physiotherapy in older adult population, so this post will explain specifically the importance of a tailored and guided exercise program for the elderly. Physiotherapy focuses on prevention and recovery from injuries, increasing mobility and restoration.
Older adults may suffer from a range of physical issues due to years of wear and tear, such as:
4.Muscle stiffness and pain
7.Lack of mobility.
Many people think that loss of mobility, difficulty walking, balance problems and joint pain are natural with age. That’s somewhat true, but it’s important to know that although these issues are related to aging, most can be prevented, treated, or managed by physiotherapy as part of a comprehensive wellness program that’s geared towards improving quality of life.
Exercise has been proven to benefit older people if properly prescribed and individualized. Tailoring a program for each individual is important in the elderly because they may be dealing with a range of other medical problems and are also at higher risk for injury. Exercise is so important because it reduces risks associated with;
- Cardiovascular disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Falls and fall related injuries
IMPORTANCE OF PHYSIOTHERAPY FOR THE ELDERLY
The goal of physiotherapy for the elderly is to make daily activities easier and to promote independence. All of these can not be achieved if they remain in pain or discomfort, if they lack confidence or if they have weak muscles. The most important concerns a physiotherapist will address are;
- Reducing the risk of a fall. One of the most common reasons an elderly person will seek physiotherapy is to recover from or prevent a fall. Falls are the leading case of accidents among this population and tend to lead to very serious health complications, including a significantly higher mortality rate in the year following the fall.
- Reducing pain from chronic conditions. Physiotherapy helps to alleviate discomfort from conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, long standing back pain, etc. through the use of exercises and other modalities.
- Regaining and maintaining independence: A well tailored exercise program is applied towards specific functional goals and helps maximize strength without overloading the muscles, which allows them to lead an active, independent lifestyle for a longer period of time.
Most older individuals know that exercise is good for their health, but often they do not have the motivation or encouragement to do exercise. They also may be fearful of injury or shying away from exercise due to pain. At PCA your physiotherapist will guide and individualize your program to meet your needs and achieve your goals.