Sarah Benbow, Executive Director of Communications | Sep 7, 2022
As we age, the chances of us developing mobility issues increases. In fact, according to a study by Frontiers in Physiology, limitations in mobility were reported in about 35% of people aged 70 and in the majority of people aged 85 and over.
While widely experienced by many aging seniors, mobility issues don’t have to dictate a person’s life. A physical therapist can help aging adults maintain and even improve mobility through an individualized treatment plan.
When working with a physical therapist, seniors will experience many of the following benefits.
1. Reduced Risk of Injury
According to the CDC, about 3 million older adults are treated in the emergency room annually for injuries after a fall. While falling is more prevalent among older adults, fall-related injuries do not have to be a normal part of aging. Physical therapy helps seniors reduce their personal risk by strengthening muscles to improve balance.
Of course, falling isn’t the only risk for older adults. Muscle strains and tears are common in seniors due to loss of muscle strength and flexibility. Through physical therapy, seniors can engage muscles through exercise to strengthen and maintain muscle and flexibility to prevent injury.
2. Reduced Dependence on Medication
Due to conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, aging adults often experience muscle and body pain. While doctors can prescribe medication to help alleviate discomfort, medications often come with unwanted side effects.
Regular physical therapy can help naturally alleviate pain. Through therapeutic methods commonly used by physical therapists, such as ice and heat, water therapy, and electrical stimulation, seniors can reduce discomfort, minimize the need for pain medication, and experience a higher quality of life.
3. Managed Symptoms From Chronic Conditions
While chronic health conditions can begin at any age, seniors are especially vulnerable to conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and strokes. Physical therapy helps manage symptoms of these and other conditions, including the following:
4. Reduced Risk of Illness and Infection
When seniors are immobile, they run a much higher risk of developing pneumonia or ulcers due to lack of movement. This is especially true just after hospitalization. With regular physical therapy, seniors can build up their strength, accelerate healing, and return to an active lifestyle more quickly, thereby reducing this risk.
With physical therapy, a senior can improve their mobility and gain the strength they need to complete daily tasks on their own. This all contributes to giving seniors a higher quality of life and independence in daily activities.
Find physical therapy in the Twin Cities
At Walker Methodist, we know that physical wellness is the key to overall health and happiness. That’s why we created our Method Rehab program to assist our residents in getting the personalized help they need to keep them strong, improve their balance, and boost their energy.