What Are The Most Common Physical Therapy Exercises For Seniors
Physical activity is necessary at all ages, though it becomes crucial in significance as we grow older. Seniors over the age of 65 are especially vulnerable as our muscles and joints begin to lose strength over time. When this happens, seniors may start experiencing difficulties completing daily tasks independently. Some of these tasks include things such as using stairs, standing, and even walking. As a result, physical therapy becomes an extremely valuable resource.
Brooksville Health Care Center is a care facility for seniors in Brooksville, FL. The nursing care we provide for our residents is supportive, compassionate, and enriching. Our goal for all residents is to help them achieve and maintain the highest level of function possible. Some of our services include speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and stroke recovery. In addition, we offer specialized care programs for the short and long term.
What is Senior Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy for seniors is oftentimes considered after a fall or other injuries, but this isn’t always the cause of all mobility issues. An increased sedentary lifestyle can also lead to muscle atrophy and chronic pain. At Brooksville Health Care Center, located in Brooksville, Florida, our physical therapy services are designed to help our patients achieve the highest level of independence through intensive rehabilitation and therapies. Our services focus on regaining strength and mobility through programs adapted to each individual client. We also assist our seniors with pain management and adjusting to life with a disability.
Reasons for Physical Therapy in Seniors
Historically, physical therapy for seniors was seen as a reaction to a preexisting condition, but physical therapists have much to offer to the older adult community beyond common injuries. Physical therapists provide education and resources on preventive strategies to prevent injuries altogether. The goal of physical therapy for seniors is to make daily tasks and activities easier and to help seniors retain independent for as long as possible.
Some of the many reasons a senior may need to consider physical therapy include the following:
- Recovering from injuries such as a broken hip
- Chronic Pain
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cerebral Palsy
- And many other conditions
What To Expect
At Brooksville Health Care Center in Brooksville, FL, our physical therapists help seniors improve their strength and mobility through intensive rehabilitation and therapy options. This allows our patients to regain confidence in completing day-to-day activities. The goal of our physical therapy department is focused on helping seniors maintain as much independence as possible with the greatest outcomes.
For seniors, physical therapy usually consists of exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance. In addition, these exercises target activities and movements aimed at preventing deconditioning. Exercises typically include:
- Lower body stretches. Aimed at hip flexors, hamstrings, and lower back, these types of stretches are significant for joint alignment and mobility health. In addition, lower body stretches are effective for helping seniors with proper muscle activation.
- Lower body strengthening exercises. Exercises targeting the muscles in the thighs and buttocks (glutes and quads) are crucial for seniors to maintain strength. These exercises could include squats, step-ups, bridges, and leg lifts.
- Balancing exercises. Injuries related to falls are common among seniors aged 65 and up. Physical therapists are there to help seniors maintain their stability when standing, walking, and changing directions. These exercises can include weight-shifting exercises, heel-to-toe walking, and weight-shifting exercises.
- Endurance training. Physical therapists will assist seniors with cardiovascular equipment such as treadmills and stationary bikes. These exercises are essential for improving circulation and maintaining heart and lung health.
Physical therapy for seniors often includes bodyweight exercises aimed at improving mobility. However, only light weights or bands are typically implemented when equipment is used to provide light resistance without overloading the joints.
Why is Physical Therapy Important for Recovery in Seniors?
As we age, recovering from an injury or illness can become increasingly more difficult. However, physical therapy is essential for successful recovery because it improves an individual’s strength, flexibility, and mobility. Some of the many benefits of physical therapy for seniors include:
- Lowering dependence on prescription pain medications. Chronic pain is often treated with prescription drugs, but some medications come with unwanted side effects, like drowsiness. Fortunately, with the help of physical therapy, the need for these types of medications can be reduced significantly.
- Maintaining independence in day-to-day life. Continuing to stay active is crucial for seniors who prefer an independent lifestyle. The quicker our bodies can recover and manage pain, the faster we can return to our daily activities.
- Lessening pain symptoms from chronic conditions. Physical therapy for seniors is especially helpful in alleviating pain and/or discomfort from chronic conditions like arthritis and reducing future symptoms.
- Lowering the risk of falls and other injuries. Physical therapists are adept at teaching seniors techniques to maintain stability, reducing the risk of falls and other repeat injuries.
- Preventing deconditioning. The reversal of previous conditioning is called deconditioning. When recovering, it is often advised to avoid strenuous activity for proper healing, but this lack of exercise can sometimes lead to muscle deconditioning.
The physical therapists at Brooksville Health Care Center are committed to providing updated physical therapy techniques and practices for seniors in a safe environment. In addition, our team will coordinate with your health Care providers to properly create a program that is best suited for your recovery needs.
You don’t have to wait to consult a physical therapist until you are in pain. Physical therapy can make a significant impact on the daily lives of seniors. Geriatric physical therapy helps older adults improve strength and flexibility for the muscles they need and use daily. Choosing to attend physical therapy can help older adults remain independent and additionally prevent many other conditions that may occur from low activity.
The physical therapist team at Brooksville Health Care Center, located in Brooksville, FL, is here for you. Our physical therapy programs are designed for quick recovery through quality care. Our primary focus is to help seniors feel confident, safe, and independent, and we are proud to care for residents.
Contact us today for more information regarding physical therapy for seniors.
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