Aging Gracefully: Physical Therapy for Seniors

senior man on physical therapy session

As we age, it becomes increasingly more challenging to be physically active. This leads to reduced mobility and a higher risk of falls and injuries. Thankfully, physical therapy for seniors with a licensed physical therapist can provide many significant benefits for older adults.

Customized programs created by licensed therapists can help seniors focus on improving their balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, and overall mobility. Using these targeted exercises, seniors can help reduce the pain and stiffness that commonly happens with age.

If you or a loved one is experiencing mobility or physical health issues, exploring the benefits of physical therapy could offer a step towards independence and overall well-being. Let’s look at ways that physical therapy can help seniors.

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Seniors

While it may seem a part of life, mobility issues shouldn’t simply be accepted as something to live with in old age. By seeking out physical therapy, you will get a personalized approach to help preserve and enhance mobility. A physical therapist will help address any specific concerns or goals for seniors to regain their strength, flexibility, and balance. 

The benefits of physical therapy for seniors extend beyond mobility. Seniors who take advantage of physical therapy can also experience more endurance, reduce chronic pain, and help increase their independence when doing daily activities. 

We’ve gathered some of the best benefits physical therapy can offer seniors to improve their quality of life.

Increased Mobility to Allow Independence

Physical therapy can improve seniors’ overall physical function, allowing them to be more independent in their daily lives. Physical therapy can help seniors improve their mobility and flexibility through specific exercises and stretches and reduce pain and stiffness. This can make things like getting ready for the day, running errands, or getting groceries easier, allowing seniors to feel a sense of independence without fearing falls or injuries.

Manage Chronic Pain and Other Conditions

Arthritis and back pain are some of the most common kinds of chronic pain that seniors struggle with. A skilled physical therapist can help reduce these aches and pains with instructed exercises, stretches, and other safe and effective techniques to help with pain and allow patients to become less reliant on medications.

Doctors commonly prescribe medications to help alleviate discomfort, but medications sometimes have unwanted side effects. Physical therapy is a natural way to relieve pain, using methods like ice and heat, water therapy, or electrical stimulation.

Chronic pain and health conditions can begin at any age, but seniors, in particular, are much more vulnerable to certain conditions. Seniors can benefit from physical therapy treatments for conditions such as:

  • Neurological Conditions — Conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, or multiple sclerosis can be helped with physical therapy by helping with functional independence, mobility training, and activities, and managing symptoms like muscle weakness or balance issues,
  • Diabetes — Physical therapy will promote regular exercise, which may help with blood sugar levels and prevent any further complications,
  • Fibromyalgia — Gentle exercises, manual therapy, and relaxation techniques can help alleviate pain and stiffness,

Reduced Risk of Falls or Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults aged 65 or older. One in four seniors are reported to experience a fall every year. While falls are more common among seniors, they do not need to be viewed as a normal part of aging.

Strengthening muscles to improve balance can help reduce the risk of falls. Muscle strains and tears are usually common in older folks due to loss of muscle strength and flexibility, so with the help of physical therapy, certain exercises and methods can help strengthen muscles and prevent injuries by building flexibility and coordination. 

Better Overall Health

Aside from just improving mobility and reducing pain, regular exercise can vastly help improve physical and mental health. Physical therapy can help improve cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart and improving circulation to avoid health problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Consistent exercise can also help reduce the likelihood of developing conditions like diabetes. Exercise overall may help with a more positive outlook and impact mental health, avoiding anxiety or depression. 

Additionally, when seniors are less mobile or completely immobile, they are at a much higher risk of catching pneumonia or developing ulcers due to their lack of movement. When regular physical therapy for seniors is utilized, older adults are able to build strength, accelerate their healing process, quickly return to an active lifestyle, and reduce the risks associated with being unable to move. 

Tailored Physical Therapy for Seniors in Fort Collins 

By seeking physical therapy, seniors can effectively maintain their overall health and quality of life. As we mentioned, physical therapy is not only about recovering from injuries; it helps improve mobility, strength, and balance to avoid any future issues. Seniors can receive targeted exercises and techniques based on their individual needs, whether they’re recovering from surgery, dealing with chronic pain, or improving their cardiovascular health. 

At UpSlope Physical Therapy & Performance, we want to help you get back to your everyday activities and create a personalized program attuned to your individual needs. We support you and will develop a treatment plan that considers your individual abilities and future goals. We’re here to help seniors return to their daily activities, manage pains, heal injuries, and improve their overall quality of life.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today and help yourself or a loved one create better physical function, independence, and overall quality of life.

author avatar
Brady Hoffmann
As an active individual, staying healthy and injury-free is important to you. You make time for your workouts and training because it helps you focus, spend time with yourself, and work toward your goals.

Brady Hoffmann DPT, ATC

Owner and Founder of UpSlope PT

We Help Athletes and Active Adults Quickly Recover From Pain Or Injury So They Can Stay Active And Get Back To What They Love To Do.