Physical Therapy for Seniors

For seniors, who are recovering from injury or illness, or for those who are suffering from chronic pain, physical therapy can be extremely beneficial in relieving pain and restoring function, motion, flexibility and coordination.

Physical therapy for seniors aims to make daily life easier and to enable them to remain as independent as possible. Physical therapy for seniors is usually a combination of stretching exercises, walking, massage, hydrotherapy among others.

Physical therapy can be especially valuable for seniors suffering from –

• Osteoarthritis
• Chronic pain
• Diabetes
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Alzheimer’s Disease
• Stroke
• Vertigo
• Incontinence
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Cerebral Palsy
• Those recovering from injuries such as a broken bone

Physical Therapists use a variety of treatment techniques to restore and increase motion and function and reduce pain.

The first task is to relieve pain and swelling, if any. Then, the physical therapist will utilize various techniques to increase flexibility, strength and balance with the help of exercise such as stretching and walking.

Physical therapists may combine a variety of therapies, such as exercises, massage, hot and cold treatments and even electrical stimulation.
Types of Physical Therapy

• Manual Therapy is performed to relax the patient, alleviate pain, and improve flexibility. It includes:
o Massaging the muscles and soft tissues to help the patient relax, to improve circulation and to reduce pain.
o Mobilization (slow movements to twist, pull and pull joints and bones into place) to loosen tight joint tissues and increase flexibility.
o Manipulation (fast, forceful movements) to relieve pain and re-align joints and bones.

• Cold Therapy can relieve pain, swelling and inflammation for people suffering from conditions, such as arthritis. Treatment involves RICE or Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

• Heat Therapy can relax muscles and improve blood circulation in order to loosen stiff joints in osteoarthritis or other conditions that cause loss of motion.

• Hydrotherapy uses water to aid soft tissue healing, increase blood flow, and relax the entire body.

• Electrical stimulation uses electrical current. For example, electrical stimulation can mask pain signals to prevent the sensation of pain.

• Ultrasound waves are used to prevent muscle spasms and relax the muscles before and after exercise.

• Patient Education: Physical Therapists educate patients and teach them to perform daily tasks, prevent re-injury, perform exercises at home, and make their homes a safer place.
Physical Therapy can treat Specific Conditions

Physical therapy can be used to help patients with specific diseases and medical conditions—

• Physical therapy can help relieve pain and symptoms in people suffering from arthritis with the use of aquatic exercises, hot packs, electrical stimulation and other techniques.

• In stroke patients, physical therapists use constraint-induced movement therapy, motor imagery and mental practice to restore motion and function.

• Parkinson’s disease patients are helped to perform exercises that improve flexibility and prevent the robotic movements produced by the disease.

• Incontinence patients can learn to strengthen muscles to better control the bladder.

• Physical therapists help Alzheimer’s patients improve memory and delay the onset of more serious memory problems.

• In Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which causes breathing difficulties, therapists help patients with exercise training to improve shortness of breath and increase aerobic capacity.

If you are looking for the physical therapy home care services or infusion therapy providers in San Antonio, call Home Nursing and Therapy Services at 210.822.8807 Today.