Aging Gracefully, And Safely, With A Little Help From Physical Therapy

As people age, they can develop aches, pains, and issues that they may have never experienced before. This could be due to diet, sedentary lifestyle, or the organic changes that decrease flexibility over time. There are some simple ways to combat this problem, and the first plan of attack should involve a visit to a physical therapist.

Some ways that physical therapy can help you as you age include the following:

Reduce the need for medications and drugs.

Most drugs and medications have side-effects, and some of these can impair or impede you as you get older. If you have aches and pains that you are prescribed drugs for, physical therapy may lessen the need for these by increasing range of motion. Improving flexibility through physical therapy may eradicate chronic pain and eliminate the need for prescription medication.

Decrease fall risk.

Nothing sets a senior back like a nasty fall; physical therapy has shown that it can be effective in improving balance and reducing risks of falls in many individuals. It is estimated that one third of the population over the age of 65 experience a fall, which can hinder independence and cause long-term issues in these seniors.

Fight off age-related frailty.

The reason that many people become frail in old age is because they don't get exercise, particularly the strength training that will help build up and maintain muscle mass. A physical therapist will help to assess any obstacles that you face physically and that could prevent you from exercising; these experts may also be able to suggest resistance training routines that will build muscles and keep you fit and strong in later years.

Decrease your risk for diabetes.

Diabetes is a very real risk for seniors, especially those that live sedentary lifestyles due to injury, chronic pain, or mobility issues. Physical therapy can get you up and moving, reducing the risks of diabetes and the many associated complications that this disease presents. Physical therapists may be able to recommend suitable exercise regimens and activities that will help strengthen your core muscles while also increasing your balance and overall strength.

There are some practical ways to improve health and well-being as you get older, and physical therapy plays a vital part in maintaining holistic wellness over your lifespan. Talk with a therapist about group activities, individual interventions and exercises that can help maintain range of motion, flexibility, and that may reduce chronic pain issues as you age.