Geriatric Physical Therapy is one of our specialties here at On the Mend Physical Therapy where we work with you to strengthen and improve mobility in your muscles, joints, and bones to ultimately help you do life better!
As we age, not only do our muscles, joints, and bones become weaker—thus making us more prone to pain and injury—but also our ability to recover from such injuries becomes impaired. And all of this leads to a reduced quality of life and negatively impacts our independence.
Luckily, a physical therapist who specializes in geriatrics can help seniors regain strength and mobility following illness or injury as well as prevent falls and other episodes that may compromise a person’s ability to live independently. In addition to standard physical therapy interventions like massage, stretching, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound, therapy care for seniors may include aquatic exercise, which helps take some of the stress and pressure off of a patient’s joints. This can be especially effective for patients suffering from arthritis. Some senior patients may benefit from the use of an assistive device (e.g., canes or walkers), and a physical therapist can help with that as well.
Osteoporosis also becomes a concern as patients get older, but PTs can slow the development of this condition through the use of supervised weight-bearing exercises that promote better posture and stabilize and strengthen the body’s muscles and joints. These types of exercises also enhance balance and coordination, keeping patients stable as they go about their daily activities—whether that’s walking to the mailbox, playing with the grandchildren, or attending a silver sneakers class.
As physical therapists like to say, “Movement is medicine.” This is especially true as our bodies age. In fact, physical therapy can actually reduce the need for pain medication and even help patients avoid surgery.