How Does Physical Therapy Benefit Seniors?

One of the most common reasons for physical therapy among seniors is due to injury sustained during a fall. As we age, we tend to lose flexibility, strength, and balance.  The loss of these functions may lead to a fall that could cause serious injury. For most seniors, maintaining their desired level of fitness becomes increasingly challenging. Physical therapy can not only improve these functions, but can also help seniors retain their independence when managing a long-term illness or injury.

Strength training and exercise provided in physical therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis and osteoporosis. Seniors with these conditions benefit from physical therapy because it provides exercises to help preserve the strength and use of the joints. Additionally, physical therapy teaches seniors therapeutic methods to relieve discomfort through both physical techniques and activity modifications.

While physical therapy is prescribed in most cases following a hospital stay, it is important not to skimp on post-hospitalization therapy, which can cause serious repercussions.

Consequences of Seniors Skipping Physical Therapy

  • Falls: Seniors are often weak and more prone to falling after a hospital stay. Failure to have physical therapy can potentially increase the chance of re-hospitalization.
  • Infection: Skipping physical therapy increases the risk for pneumonia and ulcers. This is due to lack of movement that could have been improved with physical therapy.
  • Reduced Strength and Endurance: Physical therapy influences a senior’s strength and endurance levels. Lack of physical therapy can potentially increase blood pressure and heart rate, as well as decrease oxygen saturation levels, which can lead to a stroke, blood clot, or heart attack.
  • Increased Pain: Without physical therapy, joints tend to get stiff as a result of decreased mobility, which can increase pain or discomfort.

Physical therapy has numerous health benefits that renew seniors with a sense of confidence and independence.  Physical therapy not only reduces pain, but also helps reduce the risk of injury, helping seniors maintain a higher quality of life.

If you have more questions about physical therapy for seniors, contact a Manhattan sports medicine doctor. We’re committed to helping our clients achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles! Call or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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