For seniors, physical therapy is an invaluable resource to improve strength, balance, mobility, and, most of all, quality of life. As we age, it is natural to lose a small portion of our strength – however, it is not normal to lose our ability to carry groceries, pick items up off the floor, climb stairs or walk without losing our balance. These challenges, which are all too common in seniors, are often the consequence of inactivity or injury rather than simply age. Slowed gait speed, difficulty rising from a chair, and losing one’s balance are all directly associated with an increased risk of disability in years to come. However, the good news is that the majority of these issues can be addressed through physical therapy. They, therefore, are not signs of soon-to-be disability but rather early warning signs that should be addressed.
LBP is the most frequently reported musculoskeletal problem and the third most reported symptom of any kind in people over 75 (Bressler, 1999). Yet only 30% or so of older adults seek care.
You do not need to live with pain.
Through a thorough evaluation, your physical therapist can help you understand what may be contributing to your back pain, and most importantly, what we can do together to help you live your life to the fullest without pain and disability. As noted in a 2016 Systematic Review from the journal Scientifica, as part of a comprehensive physical therapy plan of care, “Strengthening exercise is a beneficial treatment for older people with LBP in reducing pain intensity, disability, and improved functional performances.” If you’re having low back pain and live in the Baltimore area, contact ChapmanPT, and we’ll make sure you not only receive the care you need but a comprehensive program customized towards your specific goals.
One of the most common reasons seniors need physical therapy is to recover from a fall (Asccare.com). Falls are also the leading case of accidents among seniors. Fall prevention, therefore, is a crucial component of care whenever an individual is noticing that their balance is deteriorating or they have fallen in the last year. Balance is trainable, it can improve, and it doesn’t have to limit your ability to do the things you love.
Evidence shows that strength training (an integral component of a course of physical therapy) significantly improves your risk of falling (Sumaiyah 2015.) If you’re unsure whether your balance is appropriate for your age or not, our physical therapists can bring you through many safe, evidence-based tests and measures to help you understand your risk of falling. Most importantly, we can make sure we work together to optimize your strength, balance, and quality of life through a comprehensive plan of care focused on your goals.
Osteoarthritis is a common condition in seniors that can lead to painful joints and subsequent inactivity, increased fall risk, and decreased life quality. Thankfully, osteoarthritis can be well managed through multidisciplinary care and a course of physical therapy. In fact, even just 6 weeks of physical therapy has been shown to significantly decrease patient’s self-reported level of disability, alongside improvements in stiffness, range of motion, and pain (Wang, 2016) (Hoeksma, 2004), with those benefits being maintained up to 52 weeks after initial care.
Physical Therapy is important for Seniors and the Elderly because it can:
We offer the best physical therapy in the comfort of your own home! Not only will you enjoy your physical therapy more, but our in-home physical therapy in Baltimore for seniors will help you learn how to use your own furniture to get up from falls, and use that same furniture to do the physical therapy exercises that are needed for practice and stretching!
If you’re experiencing pain and stiffness inhibiting you from doing the things you love to do. Contact Chapman Physical Therapy and schedule your evaluation. Don’t live with pain and disability. Stay strong, stay young and stay well.