As we age, adapting certain habits and practices is crucial in keeping our bodies as healthy and as safe as possible. When it comes to mature adults, especially those over the age of 60, physical therapy is one of the best ways to get the proper exercise that can help heal and prevent injury from daily activities, which we are more prone to experience over time. Participating in physical therapy could help you or someone you love have increased mobility, avoid unnecessary injuries, and have better strength and overall health.
The Fall Risk
As we get older, our bones and muscle mass are not the only things that begin to change. Seniors are prone to additional side effects of aging like loss of balance, joint stiffness, a diminished vision, hearing loss, and bone diseases like Arthritis and Osteoporosis. This combination of physical side effects puts mature adults at a high risk for falling. In fact, according to the CDC, over one third of adults over the age 65 experience at least one fall a year, and these falls often result in moderate to very severe injuries.
The Benefit of Physical Therapy
While many people wait until physical therapy is prescribed after a serious fall, surgery, or injury occurs in order to help heal and alleviate pain, participating in physical therapy as a preventative measure to these cases is one of the best things you can do! The exercises taught during physical therapy will give each patient a basis for how to properly take care of their changing bodies while giving them the ability to maintain as much strength and muscle mass as possible. The aches and pains that come along with age can be severely reduced by consistent physical therapy, which can greatly improve the quality of life for any senior.
Not only does participating in physical therapy, either preventive or prescribed, help you decrease your chances of suffering a fall and help you heal after an injury or hospitalization, but there are a wide range of other benefits too! Because of the chronic pain that can be brought on by various conditions like osteoporosis, many seniors are prescribed an over abundance of medications. With one benefit of physical therapy being reduced pain and symptoms from these conditions, this also allows many people to reduce their medication load, reducing the cost as well as simplifying everyday life.
There is not a one size fits all approach to physical therapy because every individual has a specific set of needs in order to reach their most optimal health. Your physical therapist will work closely with you to cater every stretch and exercise to you and your needs. And while the thought of addressing your need or the need of someone you love for physical therapy can seem daunting, the opportunity for every person to lead a healthy, happy, and independent lifestyle for as long as possible is priceless.