Physiotherapy is a very important allied medical profession that provides a host of benefits for many individuals. While many often associate the work of physical therapists in the management of pain as well as mobility problems often found in athletes as well as highly active individuals, only a few can really appreciate their value when it comes to helping senior members of society.
The elderly population is at increased risk of developing a host of health problems that are often attributed to the effects of aging. More often than not, their sense of perception gets noticeably lower, their perceptual abilities are diminished, and their skeletal muscle movements are severely impaired. With these changes in the human body, they become more prone to injuries sustained from accidental falls. They may thus be subjected to fractures, sprains, dislocations, and other musculoskeletal problems more often than younger individuals do. It is in any of these cases where the professional expertise of a fully licensed physical therapist can be deemed invaluable.
Physical therapy clinics have sprouted all over the world providing a host of remedies for many problems associated with mobility. The physical therapists that work in the best physical therapy clinics all over the world, like the best physio clinic in Prahran area or anywhere in key cities all over Australia, are more than competent to handle the many problems of the elderly. How?
Optimize Reduced Muscle Strength
Physical therapists understand what is essentially going on inside the body of the elderly individual. They know that there is nothing that can really be done in order to bring back the tone of the muscles once you have already reached a certain age. However, this is not a cause of concern because physical therapists are equipped with the knowledge and the skills necessary to help senior citizens make full use of their remaining muscle strength. By carefully examining the current state of the elderly muscle, appropriate physical exercises can be adequately planned to help optimize what remains of the muscle strength.
In a stepwise manner, elderly people are taught on how to gradually take full control of their remaining muscles in order for them to function optimally – not necessarily like the way they used to when they were a lot younger – but just enough to allow them to perform their activities of daily living in a safe way.
Improve Overall Range of Motion
As people grow old, the different tissues in joints can undergo significant changes that make joint movements rather limited, if not difficult. When joints have a very limited range of motion, mobility is also hampered. This creates a variety of problems related to the performance of mundane tasks such as combing the hair, cleaning oneself, or even preparing and cooking food. Many of the elderly population simply cannot move their joints as efficiently as they once did.
Physical therapy professionals can design both passive and active range of motion exercises in order to bring back the full range of joint motion. In situations where the individual may be subjected to pain, this is first addressed in order to ensure adequate compliance to the exercise regimen. Once the pain has been managed, the elderly person is then assisted into performing the range of motion exercises until he can do them on his own.
Reduce Pain Sensations
Physical therapists have been largely known be especially helpful in the management of pain primarily originating from musculoskeletal problems as well as neuromuscular disorders. And since majority of the elderly population complain about pain in movement, physical therapists can utilize a variety of non-pharmacologic pain management techniques which can include, but not entirely limited to, massage, hot and cold compresses, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, spinal manipulation, and myofascial trigger point dry needling.
Physical therapists can also teach the elderly on how to perform these same techniques so that they will be more empowered to manage their different pain experiences.
Reduce the Risk of Falls
By teaching the elderly on how to make full use of their strength as well as how to maintain proper posture and mobility, physical therapists can guide the elderly into averting accidental falls. Utilization of whatever remains of their strength will require a very systematic approach to teaching the elderly on how best to navigate through the different parts of his home as well as his neighborhood.
Enhance Quality of Life
Overall, physical therapists help improve the quality of lives of the elderly people. By teaching them how to make full use of their remaining faculties, they may still be able to enjoy some of life’s greatest joys
with minimal pain and optimum movement. Quality of life is something that is often the recurring
theme of any efforts of improving the lives of the elderly. Helping them move at the optimum level will somehow lead to a more favorable quality of life.
Physical therapists are just one of the professionals who dedicate their lives to taking care of people. They are part of a multidisciplinary team whose sole objective is to care for others. As the elderly have done their part in society, it is thus the younger generations’ turn to take care of them.