Seniors are more active and want to remain active and vital for years into their retirement and physiotherapy is a great way to help achieve and maintain these healthy lifestyle goals. Physiotherapists have training and experience in conditions such as; arthritis, osteoporosis, fall prevention as well as specialized physiotherapy treatments for dizziness and balance disorders, vestibular rehabilitation, and pelvic floor. Seniors undergoing hip and/or knee replacement surgery can also benefit from pre and post-operative physiotherapy. Pain from injury or a chronic condition can be assessed and a treatment plan will be put in place to improve movement and function. Physiotherapy doesn’t just treat the symptoms but the underlying causes of the pain.
Let’s review the top 10 benefits of physiotherapy for older adults:
Physiotherapy treatments can help reduce pain in conditions such as; frozen shoulder, sprain and strains and the aches and pains of everyday life by increasing blood flow, flexibility, strength and mobility.
2. Non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical treatments
Arthritis is a a very common chronic condition seen in older adults. Physiotherapy is a safe and effective option to help with the symptoms associated with arthritis by improving muscle strength, increasing range of motion, and reducing pain and inflammation without medication. These treatments include hands on and exercise therapy as well as education and self- management.
3. Pre & Post Operation
Are you a candidate for knee or hip replacement? You can benefit from a pre-operative physiotherapy program which can increase strength prior to operation and the education portion will teach you how to manage pain, swelling and improve mobility. This can minimize the anxiety normally associated with surgery. After the operation, the main goal is to control pain and minimize the effect of immobility and hospitalization by assisting you to start walking as soon as possible and improve your overall endurance and strength. The ultimate goal is to assist you to return to your activities of normal life safely.
4. Exercise therapy
Specifically designed for your individual needs and goals - an exercise program prescribed and conducted by a physiotherapist will help you to improve joint range of motion, posture and balance as well as reduce the risk of an exercise-related injury.
5. Fall prevention
The most common reasons for falls are lower extremity muscle weakness, postural muscle weakness, vision problems, neuropathies; and falls related to medication and dizziness. Once the cause of the fall is identified, a program will be design to address the cause and prevent falls and fractures.
6. Dizziness and Balance rehabilitation
Dizziness, vertigo. unsteadiness and visual issues can be caused by problems in the vestibular system; a result from inner ear issues and infections, head trauma, brain-related diseases, medications and others. Vestibular rehabilitation treatments may include maneuvers to correct vertigo, techniques to help reduce or eliminate symptoms and improve focus while moving, balance training, hands-on treatments, diet, lifestyle and at-home exercises.
7. Alleviate depression
Exercise has well established mental health benefits. For older adults who may be dealing with physical pain, adjusting to retirement, or changes in their lifestyle, maintaining mental health is just as important as physical health. Exercise can alleviate anxiety and depression by releasing endorphins.
8. Urinary incontinence treatment
A pelvic health physiotherapist offers one on one treatment to promote pelvic health and will assist to manage common conditions such as incontinence for women & men. Targeted strengthening and stretching techniques, bladder and pelvic floor training and lifestyle or habit changes can often successfully treat incontinence.
9. In-Home care
After accidents, surgeries, stroke or serious injuries, you may benefit from a few sessions of physiotherapy at home or you may need some modifications made to your home to make staying at home safer and easier.
All of these benefits add up to one vital component of seniors’ lives: independence. Maintaining independence is key to quality of life, dignity, and happiness. Physiotherapy can be the difference between living on your own, and requiring in-house care, or even having to live in a retirement home.
It is never too late to get started on the path to good health. If you are curious about learning more about how physiotherapy can help you - don’t hesitate to contact us for a complimentary health consultation.