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What is Geriatric Physical Therapy and Why Is It Necessary?

As we age, our bodies tend to behave differently as part of the aging process. Our activity levels go on rampage as we start to experience new aches and pains. For many older adults, this is simply a natural part of aging, however, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of getting older.

What is Geriatric Physical Therapy?

Our bodies go through a variety of structural and physical changes due to effects of advancing age. We may experience losing muscle mass, decrease in bone density, loss of muscle power, strength, and overall stability along with unwarranted chronic pains. All of these changes coming together can make it difficult for us to stay active and independent. This is where geriatric physical therapy can play a vital role. Geriatric physical therapy can help older adults stay active and independent, despite the changes that come with age. This type of physical therapy is extremely helpful in relieving pain, improving the overall mobility and function of the person, and preventing or delaying the need for critical long-term care measures. For older adults, physical therapy can be a vital part of staying healthy and independent. If you’re experiencing pain or changes in mobility, you should talk to a professional geriatric physical therapist about whether geriatric physical therapy could be right for you.

How a Geriatric Physical Therapist Can Help You Regain Strength, Mobility, Flexibility, Balance, and Endurance?

Geriatric physical therapy is specifically designed for older adults to help them improve their overall strength, balance, and mobility, and also to reduce the risk of falls. There are many different types of physical therapy exercises that can be truly beneficial for seniors. Depending on the focus area, different exercises may be recommended.

Different Types of Geriatric Physical Therapy Exercises Depending on Focus Areas!

  • Stretching Exercises Focusing on Lower Back, Hips, and Hamstrings: These stretching exercises are especially designed to relieve tightness of muscles and joint stiffness that can adversely affect the overall movement of the body. The targeted muscles include hamstrings, lower back muscles, and hip muscles. Such exercises can be used to improve mobility and correct any misalignment of joints by simply re-activating the muscles involved.

  • Cardio-Exercises to Improve Heart Health and Endurance: Cardiovascular exercises are extremely helpful in improving the overall heart health and lung functioning especially in older patients who are at risk for heart diseases. Running on a treadmill and cycling on a stationary bike will not only improve the overall endurance of the patient, but also help in improving the blood circulation throughout the body.

  • Exercises to Improve Lower Body Strength: These exercises are aimed to improve the lower body strength and range of motion by specifically exercising the thigh (quads) and glute (buttocks) muscle groups. Patients with walking difficulties, inability to do sit-to-stand can benefit with such exercises to include leg raises, bridging exercises, step-ups, and stretching to tolerance.

  • Exercises to Improve Stability and Balance: Such exercises largely focus on how the patient remains stable while walking, standing, and changing positions. These exercises include static exercises on uneven and flat surfaces, tandem walking, heel-to-toe touch exercises, and managing shifting of one's own body weight while doing a particular movement. These exercises can really help the patients by improving their overall balance and coordination and decrease any fall risks in older people.

Learn Geriatric Physical Therapy Basics Directly from Experts at 1Health!

If you too are looking to seek benefits of geriatric physical therapy exercises, you need an expert practitioner at 1Health. The physical therapy team here is greatly experienced in imparting highly typical and supervised geriatric physical therapy exercises to perfectly ease your activities which you are really missing due to any physical constraints.



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