Seniors can benefit from physiotherapy to maintain their independence, whether they are dealing with a chronic condition or just wish to get healthier and more mobile. Physiotherapy aims to promote mobility, decrease discomfort, assist in recovery, and improve functionality in order to improve strength and balance. This type of medical treatment can be quite beneficial for older individuals.
Maintaining the optimum level of fitness is harder as we age because we lose flexibility, strength, and frequently our balance. If these abilities are lost, it might result in a fall and significant injuries. These functions can be improved with physical treatment.
An increased risk of fractures can result from osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease marked by a loss of bone mass and density. It frequently contributes to several falls. Exercise on a regular basis and physiotherapy assist manage this condition’s symptoms.
Physiotherapy exercises and strength training can also aid with arthritis symptom relief. Physiotherapy can help people with arthritis since it offers activities to maintain the strength and usage of the joints. Physiotherapy also offers therapeutic ways to ease pain by altering both one’s physical habits and activities.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at different ways in which physiotherapy can help older adults.
What is Physiotherapy?
An injury, disability, or other health problem that results in aberrant physical function is assessed for and treated by skilled experts in physiotherapy. Working with older clients is a crucial and significant task for physiotherapists. They are involved in the management of inpatient care, the prevention of illness and impairment, the treatment of existing illnesses, and community follow-up. They can assist someone trying to resolve the problems that are having the biggest negative effects on their life in order to enhance their quality of life and maintain their independence.
Elderly patients who suffer from a variety of illnesses might benefit from the vast range of abilities that physiotherapists possess. Physiotherapists that specialise in elderly care provide evaluation, long-term management, and therapy for elderly patients in their homes, hospitals, and care facilities.
Elderly persons have unique demands, and they frequently present with many medical conditions at once, making it more difficult to diagnose and treat them.
How Physiotherapy Can Help Seniors
Improved Quality of Life and Longevity of Health
By boosting cardiac output and lowering blood pressure, physiotherapy can assist the elderly in enhancing cardiovascular circulation. In turn, this lessens the risk of congestive heart failure and protects them from acquiring cardiovascular disorders. Another concerning issue for the ageing population is diabetes. Stretching often and engaging in physical activity can help lower the chance of getting diabetes by improving the body’s capacity to make and utilise insulin. For people who already have the illness, it also aids in blood sugar regulation.
Your body changes as you get older. You begin to lose more bone and muscle mass, and you may find it difficult to do previously simple actions like rising up from a chair or climbing stairs. You can start to lose your sense of balance and have increased exhaustion, weakness, and achy muscles. Physiotherapy can help with balance by strengthening the body and posture, training the proprioceptive system, and identifying and treating specific inner ear conditions. While it is simple to spot a balance issue once it has begun, it is certainly preferable to find a problem before it leads to a fall. To find out what could be causing one’s balance problems and receive advice for the best course of therapy, one should make an appointment with a doctor or therapist in advance.
Any age can experience the hazard of slips and falls, but seniors are at a higher risk. Through physiotherapy, senior citizens may develop the strength and stability they need to enjoy life on their terms without worrying about slipping or falling.
Increased Capacity for Work and Hobbies
Independence is a crucial aspect of a senior’s life. To maintain one’s dignity, happiness, and quality of life as a senior, one must remain independent. The key to maintaining an entirely autonomous existence at home may be physiotherapy. They will be able to remain less reliant on wheelchairs with the help of effective physiotherapy. The longer people lead physically active lives, the higher their chances are of living healthy, independent lives.
Going outside to get food shopping, going upstairs and downstairs to do the laundry, going to work, engaging in hobbies, and cleaning the house all involve physical mobility that gets harder as we get older. By assuring a strong core and developing muscular strength, physiotherapy may frequently boost seniors’ capacity to do these activities or preserve their existing ability to do so.
Weight Loss and Maintenance
Physiotherapy is another viable choice for elders battling obesity since it may aid in regaining flexibility, boosting strength, improving cardiovascular health, lowering discomfort associated with excessive weight gain, and preventing injuries. Additionally, it might help you regain flexibility and keep your balance and bodily functions. Physiotherapy may be beneficial in losing weight, battling extra weight, and staying on track with your fitness objectives when combined with a rigorous diet and exercise routine.
Physiotherapy also aids in maintaining your physical fitness by avoiding the issues associated with excessive weight gain. Additionally, unbalanced weight places additional strain on the bones and joints, limiting their ability to operate. This might worsen your health and lead to other issues. Limited flexibility, unbalanced endurance levels, feeling heavy or out of breath, exhaustion, reduced strength, and physical discomfort are some of the symptoms that physiotherapy may treat.
Improved Mental Wellness
Maintaining one’s mental health is just as crucial for seniors as maintaining one’s physical health, especially if they are experiencing physical discomfort, getting used to retirement, or changing their lifestyle. By producing endorphins, physiotherapy stretches and exercises help reduce anxiety and despair. According to research, maintaining physical function also enhances psychological and social wellbeing, which in turn promotes general health.
Recovery from Procedures and Surgery
Surgery is occasionally unavoidable. Physiotherapy helps people recover from surgery and can also help people get stronger before surgery. Any exercise protects and improves circulation and cardiovascular function. Physiotherapy after surgery will aid patients in regaining their strength and mobility compared to when they do not receive it.
Improved Pain Management
Professional physiotherapy for elders can lessen and alleviate a wide variety of discomfort. Numerous forms of pain, including neck and back pain, are frequently brought on by poor circulation, stiffness, and inadequate physical activity. Physiotherapy might be the ideal option for elders to resume physical exercise and boost circulation since it is safe and regulated. As a result, there is frequently less pain, more comfort, and more vitality.
The fact that each person may react to treatment differently since they have unique bodies, movement patterns, and habits is a significant consideration when it comes to physiotherapy and pain alleviation. Based on a patient’s habits and movement patterns, physiotherapists can design and prescribe a variety of therapy programs.
A Potential Alternative to Pharmaceutical Treatment Options and Surgical Procedures
A great non-invasive and drug-free therapeutic alternative is physiotherapy. Increasing your strength and flexibility will help you manage a variety of conditions and avoid accidents (and thus prevent the invasive treatments they may require). As individuals age, surgical alternatives become riskier, therefore avoiding the operating room should be a primary aim for any senior.
Another thing to think about is the possibility of drug interactions between painkillers and other chronic disease treatments, especially those available over-the-counter. Any health and fitness plan should take this into account in order to prevent the need for further medication.
Improved Symptoms of Existing Health Conditions
People often experience a number of health concerns as they get older. Numerous of these age-related health issues can be helped by physiotherapy, which has numerous other advantages. The exercises one performs in physiotherapy, such as applying heat and cold, stretching, and utilising aquatic treatments, can benefit people with arthritis, osteoporosis, incontinence, and other ailments. Sessions can be tailored by a physiotherapist to each patient’s unique health circumstances and goals.
Physical activity has been demonstrated to provide several advantages for older adults, including improved balance, higher strength, enhanced employment capability, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol, weight reduction, and improved cognition. If done routinely, exercise also elevates mood and combats illnesses like sadness and anxiety. Seniors can benefit greatly from stretching and strengthening exercises to maintain their physical health and independence for as long as feasible.
If you’re considering physiotherapy and are based in the Preston area, then Physiotherapy by Cure Clinics would be happy to provide you with an initial consultation so that we can assess your current circumstances, desired outcomes and put an action plan in place to help you reach them.