The importance of physical therapy for seniors can’t be understated. Seniors who suffer from chronic pain or who are recovering from illness or injury can experience enormous benefits from customized physical therapy, which can help restore or enhance flexibility, balance, coordination, and strength. While Physical Therapy is often prescribed for the elderly who have had an injury due to a fall, it can also be used as a general way to improve overall physical and mental health.
Types of Physical Therapy for Seniors
There are several different types of physical therapy that may be employed to best meet the health goals of the individual. These types of physical therapy include cold therapy, which can be used to treat swelling and inflammation with short stints of ice massage and compression. Alternatively, heat therapy is used to improve blood circulation or to loosen stiff joints by applying heat packs to specific areas of the body. Hydrotherapy utilizes water to promote relaxation, tissue healing, and increasing blood flow. One of the most common types of physical therapy for seniors is manual therapy, which involves a combination of massage and mobilization exercises to improve circulation, loosen tight muscle tissue and increase flexibility. Other common types of physical therapy include cardiopulmonary therapy, orthopedic therapy, and neurological therapy, among others.
Reasons Why Physical Therapy is Needed
The primary goal of physical therapy for seniors is to restore and improve overall functionality, reduce pain, and increase mobility for better strength and balance. As people grow older, flexibility, strength, and balance tend to wane.
Additionally, physical therapy for seniors can be used to treat a variety of ailments including:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cerebral Palsy
- Chronic Pain
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Alzheimer Disease
- Pulmonary Fibrosis
- Many other conditions
Importance of Post-Hospitalization Physical Therapy
Perhaps the most crucial time for physical therapy for seniors is after being in the hospital following a fall or illness. An individualized physical therapy plan can help prevent re-hospitalizations, as well as, decrease the chance of infections or ulcers. Furthermore, a physical therapy program can help decrease blood pressure and increase oxygen saturation levels, which can help lower the chances of blood clots, heart attacks, and stroke. Physical therapy for seniors can also help decrease pain levels and reduce reliance on medication for pain treatment.
Physical Therapy for Seniors
Working with a physical therapist helps seniors not only enhance their physical well-being, but to also learn how to prevent re-injury, proper exercise techniques, how to maintain a safe home, and ultimately, how to retain their independence. Additionally, physical therapy for seniors can help make daily activities and tasks easier.
Jefferson Park at Dandridge not only offers a wide variety of individualized physical therapy plans for its residents but also provides outpatient physical therapy as well. Call our therapy department directly at 865-397-3711 or our main line at 865-397-3163, or visit our website to learn more about our physical therapy services.