What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is defined as “the treatment of disease, injury or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment and exercises rather than by drugs or surgery”. After a person has been impaired in some way, whether from the result of an injury or illness or from chronic pain that comes along with aging, physical therapists will design an individualized treatment plan to make daily tasks easier and improve your quality of life. The main goal of physical therapy is to help reduce pain, increase mobility and restore your overall functionality and independence.
The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Seniors
For seniors, physical therapy most often treats issues that are part of the aging process, like pain and balance issues or poor muscle strength and endurance. Whether seniors are managing a long-term illness or just want to improve their general health and mobility, physical therapy will allow them to retain their independence as much as possible.
Some of the main benefits of physical therapy for seniors include:
- Getting back to or maintaining an active lifestyle. The more active seniors are, the better their overall health. Physical therapy allows seniors to stay as active as possible, which reduces the risk for problems like obesity.
- Improving balance, which reduces the risk of falls. A fall is the leading cause of accidents among seniors and often results in a bone fracture, or even a life-threatening injury. Physical therapy helps prevent future falls and injuries by teaching seniors balance techniques and how to maintain their stability in relation to gravity.
- Treating pain without surgery or prescription drugs. Physical therapy has been proven to be a more cost-effective way to treat chronic lower back pain, and is as effective as surgery for issues like spinal stenosis.
- Alleviate discomfort from arthritis symptoms. Physical therapy utilizes techniques and activity modifications to help ease some of the pain seniors have from arthritis. Plus, it can help offset future symptoms by using exercises that preserve the strength and use of the joints.
Physical Therapy through ASC’s Moving Forward Rehabilitation Program
At American Senior Communities, our Moving Forward program offers rehabilitation to seniors through physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech/language therapy. Individualized programs are designed for each senior to help reduce the risk of future injury and get them back to living as independently as possible.