The Importance of Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy for Seniors

While physical therapy is most often associated with injury recovery, it’s can be a vital treatment for anyone looking to restore and improve mobility and functionality—particularly seniors. Flexibility, strength, and balance tend to decline with age, which can negatively impact independence. Many seniors benefit from physical therapy even without an accompanying injury or illness. Read on for more information on how physical therapy can improve the quality of life for your loved one: 

Improved mobility

Physical therapy is exercise-based, and it provides customized stretching and strengthening exercises to help with difficulties walking, moving, and even standing. Physical therapists can also help patients with assistive devices and assess for orthotic prescriptions if needed.

Improved balance

Fall-related injuries are especially dangerous to older bodies that can’t “bounce back” as well as they used to. Physical therapists provide exercises that safely challenge a patient’s balance to simulate real-life situations, and improve coordination to help prevent falls.

Pain relief

Physical therapy techniques such as joint and soft tissue mobilization can help relieve pain, and treatments such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and taping can restore muscle and joint function to reduce pain.

Stroke recovery

Most stroke survivors lose some degree of bodily function and movement, and physical therapy helps strengthen weakened parts as well as improve walking ability and balance. Improved mobility also leads to improved independence. Some patients are able to resume their functioning in daily activities such as bathing and dressing. 

Diabetes management

Exercise can help control blood sugar as part of an overall diabetes management plan. For diabetes patients with reduced sensation in their feet and legs, physical therapists can educate on proper foot care to help prevent future problems.

 Arthritis alleviation

The strength training involved with physical therapy helps alleviate the symptoms of arthritis and improves the use of joints. Additionally, the physical therapist can educate patients on therapeutic methods to relieve discomfort through specialized techniques and activity modifications.

Cardiac rehabilitation

After a heart attack, physical therapy is often recommended if a patient has difficulties in their daily functioning. Physical strengthening, conditioning, and breathing exercises are often used to help improve recovery.

Improved surgery recovery

Improving strength and mobility with physical therapy treatments before a scheduled surgery can help patients recover faster afterward, including less pain and less time until full mobility is achieved. 

Positive motivation

Whatever the reason a patient requires physical therapy, treatments will only be effective with a positive mindset. Physical therapists are trained to motivate patients and ensure positivity throughout treatment. 

We can help

At Bella Vista Health Center, we offer an individual patient-centered approach that provides an environment of healing and wellbeing for the highest quality care. Our evidence-based, outcome-driven services and therapy programs are designed to relieve pain, restore function, and enhance health. If you’re looking for a skilled nursing facility with an effective physical therapy program, give us a call today.