We’ve all heard the phrases about aging gracefully, but aging well is a growing concern for many seniors.
Faced with bodily disorders as well as cognitive decline, many individuals that are 55+ years of age are taking strides to maintain independence and live their lives as healthy as they possibly can.
The AARP reports that 89% of the aging population of patients want to remain in their home. It’s important for individuals to maintain their independence even though they may require some form of temporary assistance. Physical therapy can help individuals age in place, where they are most comfortable and productive. Physical therapy can help to stave off gait or balance issues and correct dysfunctions, alleviate pain and increase range of motion.
October is National Physical Therapy Month Physical therapy is the leading way to relieve pain and discomfort at its core for many individuals. Therapeutic manual stretching and exercising provide real results in controlling pain for countless patients. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) also launched new guidelines recently, recommending the use of physical therapy for chronic pain.
Types of Treatment Available with Physical Therapy
• Assessment and Evaluation Programs
• Difficulty Walking
• Fall Prevention and Balance Retraining
• Fitness and Wellness Programs
• Functional Training
• Gait Training and Balance Programs
• Manual and Massage Therapy
• Neurological and Neurodegenerative Retraining
• Vestibular Rehabilitation
Unfortunately, back pain affects up to 80% of individuals at some point in their lives. Studies show that for those who suffer from back pain, the symptoms often come in persistent, continuous episodes. This is why being proactive about physical therapy treatments and techniques can help to alleviate or lessen these intervals of pain.
For patients suffering from back pain, the first step to recovery is to receive a proper diagnosis so the cause of the symptoms can be determined. Physical therapists are trained to administer flexibility and strengthening tactics along with body mechanics and awareness techniques to get your body moving and creating a much less painful range-of-motion. With ongoing therapy, most people see remarkable outcomes and lasting results.
Vestibular Balance Issues
At some point in their lives, at least 50 percent of the U.S. population will develop a balance issue. Many of these circumstances happen to the aging population, between the ages of 50 to 75, and most of these are related to vestibular issues.
Patients suffering from vestibular related disorders often experience vertigo, dizziness, nausea, migraines, gait issues (walking), and imbalance. In addition, many patients complain of mood changes and cognitive impairment. Usually, these symptoms stem from issues in the inner ear. More than 69 million Americans have experienced some form of vestibular issues in their lifetime, and that number is on the rise.
Tiny crystals in the inner ear that slough off and get lodged in the fluid of the ear canals cause BPPV. It can be effectively treated with a simple manual therapy that moves the crystals through the ear, improving and in many cases alleviating vertigo and the sensations of dizziness.
Physical therapists understand the importance of balance and walking for a self-sufficient lifestyle, and the ability to maintain daily activities. Whether those activities are at work, play, exercise or just simply getting around. There are numerous programs and therapies to help treat multiple balance issues.
Parkinson’s – LSVT Big and Loud
As of yet, there is still no cure for Parkinson’s disease. The treatments available are medications, which help to alleviate symptoms, and a high emphasis is placed on a healthy diet along with exercise and mobility training. Because Parkinson’s patients are often struggling with small shuffling movements, rigid muscles and tremors, the individually tailored exercise classes are highly effective for retraining the brain into making bigger movements, while incorporating stabilizing balance methods. LSVT Loud trains Parkinson’s patients to use their voice at a more normal level, and LSVT Big teaches the individual to use their small and large motor skills with more control.
Innovative Therapies Group understands that patient education is critical to alleviate further injury and to promote the most efficacious healing. Coupled with family participation, self-help management to promote and maintain independent function, mobility and communication is critical.
Physical therapy is used to help with numerous indications and conditions like retraining the body to improve gait and balance and also after hip, knee or shoulder replacement and so much more. There is no better way to alleviate pain, increase range-of-motion and live a more mobile higher quality of life than through physical therapy.