Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You as You Age

Source: Geriatric Physical Therapy: Benefits, Tips for Older Adults (verywellhealth.com)

Our physical mobility is important at any stage in our lives, but it seems as we age that can become more difficult. As muscles and joints lose strength and dexterity over time, it’s important to prevent or slow the process so that we can continue to perform daily tasks and simple movements such as walking, standing, or going up and down stairs.

Rehab and physical therapy can take many of these unique issues to a place that is more manageable. It can increase muscle strength, coordination, balance, reaction timing, and other physical activities that tend to lessen as we age.

Especially in older adults, rehab therapy helps those regain strength and improves control over their body’s movements. Through this therapy, an individual can acquire greater independence and improved quality of life.

How Rehab Therapy Can Help

Rehab therapy in older adults can help with building upon our strength and stamina in things such as:   

  • Keeping active
  • Reversal of previous conditioning
  •  Preventing the decline of muscle
  • Helping with balance and preventing potential injury  
  • Maintaining overall independence

There are a variety of exercises that physical therapists might use to improve strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance. These exercises can include:

  • Lower back stretches, especially in the hamstrings and hip flexors. This helps encourage continued mobility and joint alignment which can often prevent tight or strained muscles from forming
  • Endurance training to keep your cardiovascular system in check. This is to keep your heart and lungs strong, improve circulation, and open your airways. Exercise includes movements like running treadmills and using stationary bikes
  • Strengthening exercises that help to maintain your glutes and quads such as sit-to-stands, squats, step-ups, leg lifts, and bridges
  • Specific balance exercises such as standing, walking, and changing directions. This includes exercises on flat or raised surfaces and weight-shifting exercises like marching and walking in a perpendicular line from heel to toe

Rehab Physical Therapy is Useful in Treating a Variety of Issues Including

  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Balance and fall risk prevention
  • Join and ligament sprains
  • Neurological issues (such as stroke)
  • Orthopedic conditions
  • Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-surgical intervention (Such as after a knee or hit replacement, or rotator cuff repair)
  • Vestibular rehabilitation
  • Vertigo

Individuals in need of physical rehab will have a specifically tailored program to help manage their plan of care. Between their therapist and their needs, their regimen can help prevent injury and restore movement and function. While treatment plans and diagnostic programs vary by location, the purpose is to help those return to and maintain the highest level of independence that they can.

Don’t Wait, You Can Prevent Many Conditions from Occurring

A good physical therapist will not ask what ails you and give you some suggestions, they will work with you over time to reach your true potential – sometimes changing your program based on your needs and changes to your physical capabilities as you progress.

You will gradually build up strength without overloading your body. The important thing to remember is to remain consistent to fully reap the benefits. Without this, you may have a more difficult time maintaining mobility or recovery. Your physical therapist will work with you to increase your strength and help you move without pain.

As you age, your body naturally changes. It’s easier to lose muscle and bone mass and are more likely to lose strength and mobility. If you can prevent these issues from forming, you’re less likely to lose the ability to do the things that have kept you active and moving. You don’t have to wait until you’re in pain to start before you make a change.

 Physical Activity Tips

Physical activity is especially important for older adults over 65. As we age, it becomes easier to remain sedentary. This can increase many issues that can lead to overall weakness, poor balance, muscle atrophy, or chronic pain.

It’s important to do some type of physical activity every day which is why rehab therapy can be so beneficial. Things as simple as walking around your home, cooking, and cleaning can make a huge difference in your daily life. Physical exercise along with rehab therapy can restore and prevent potential health conditions so that you can continue to go for a brisk walk, hike, swim, bike ride, dance, play sports, and other recreational activities.

To avoid injury, it’s best to start without doing highly strenuous activity. Your physical therapist will help to determine which activities won’t put stress on your muscles and use only body weight or use light resistance to encourage proper joint movement.

The Rundown on Rehab Therapy

Spending time moving your body in the right ways with a licensed physical therapist can help you stay connected to the things you love, such as gardening, painting, and spending time with friends and family. By maintaining your independence, it can provide a multitude of benefits that increase your sense of happiness, sense of purpose, and less depression. All this can help you live longer, while keeping you engaged throughout the day. When you feel good about yourself and can enjoy the things you like to do, many other aspects of your life can become more enjoyable too. This is why physical rehab can make such a difference – it gives you a reason to get up and remain active in life.

To learn more about wellness offerings through GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center, visit https://bit.ly/GreenFields-IPRehab, or call (716) 684-3000 today.

About The GreenFields Continuing Care Community

If you’re looking for a physical therapist,  GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center can help.

At GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center, treatment programs are designed specifically for each individual and provided in a state-of-the-art facility which includes a full-sized pool. Services available include skilled nursing, respite care, and subacute and outpatient rehabilitation such as physicaloccupational, and speech and language therapy.

The GreenFields Continuing Care Community provides for the physical, social, and spiritual needs of residents in a Christian environment. In addition to skilled nursingsubacute rehabilitation, and outpatient therapy at GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center, The GreenFields offers a variety of living arrangements and support levels based on individual needs. This includes independent living apartments in GreenField Manor; assisted living apartments in GreenField Court; and memory care and enhanced assisted living in GreenField Terrace.

The GreenFields resident



5959 Broadway
Lancaster, NY 14086

The Niagara Lutheran Health System does not discriminate in the admittance of residents or the hiring of employees relative to age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, sexual preference gender, gender identity, blindness, handicap, sponsor, marital status, or religion.

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