Physical therapy is known to restore mobility or increase the fitness level of the person. The treatment targets the physical movement and motions of the person. Geriatric physical therapy is no different except it specializes in older people or those in the process of aging.
The most common conditions that geriatric physical therapy treat are osteoporosis, cancer, hip replacement, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, joint replacement and many more. As a person gets older, their muscles, joints and bones grow weaker which is why physical therapy is used for strengthening. Geriatric physical therapy also focuses on restoring mobility, reducing pain and increasing the fitness level of the old people.
Usually, the elderly people cannot move around as they used to. Because it is very difficult for them, they just stop trying. When they do, their bodies grow weaker and they feel less confident about themselves. Geriatric physical therapy aims to improve strength and balance as well as boost the confidence of the old people. If they feel good about themselves and feel healthier, they will have a happier disposition in life even at their old age.
When the person is older and has problems with balance and coordination, that person is highly prone to accidents and falls. These accidents can lead to hip fractures, which can greatly deteriorate the health of the individual. With the lack of motion and movement, the body grows weak until he or she cannot find the strength to move alone. Their independence is slowly slipping away and geriatric physical therapy prevents this from happening.
What are the different forms of geriatric physical therapy? One form is exercise. This physical activity will help maintain the person’s muscle strength, flexibility, coordination, balance and endurance. As we all know, exercise is a physical activity that strengthens both the mind and the body. Even though elderly people have limited movements already, exercising can still maximize their range of motions. Exercises like stretching, weight lifting, aquatic therapy and walking are the most common in geriatric physical therapy.
There is also what they call manual therapy. This therapy improves the blood circulation in the body. If there is healthy circulation, the body will become healthier and stronger. This is also the therapy used to reduce pain. Manual therapy includes some manipulation of muscles and joints as well as massage. Geriatric physical therapists are experts in the field and they know how to make the best treatment programs possible. They also know how to work with older people, as they are more fragile and sensitive.