It’s easy for residents of Mt. Vernon and elsewhere to want to begin physical therapy, but there sometimes can be worries about what will happen when it’s all over.
The team at Above and Beyond Home Health Care will always be happy to describe the physical therapy process with patients, especially those seeking relief from pain and those who are interested in improving their mobility and balance.
The home health care agency offers the services of a group of skilled physical therapists and physical therapy assistants who visit patients through Eastern Iowa to help them feel better and look for ways to make improvements to their flexibility and strength. Everyone can benefit from this type of therapy, not just those with specific trauma from an accident, surgery or health conditions. Seniors especially can receive a wide array of benefits to their physical and mental health, according to WebMD.
Physical therapy can also have additional benefits of helping seniors remain independent in their own home: by providing improved strength, flexibility, and other benefits, they often are able to reduce their risk of falling while reducing damage.
While falls have the potential to hurt anyone of any age, they can be especially devastating to seniors and may lead to a need to relocate temporarily or permanently to an assisted living center or other communities for more advanced care.
Physical therapists often begin a set of sessions by assessing a patient’s current abilities and figuring out an effective treatment plan so he or she can achieve a certain level of mobility and flexibility. A complete restoration may not always be possible with certain injuries or conditions but improvements can usually be found. There also may be restrictions on how many sessions are available, such as some insurance plans only authorize a certain number per health condition.
It’s natural for people to be concerned about what happens after the treatment ends. Will they be new and improved forever? Will they automatically return to the previous state of pain the minute treatment ends? The answer actually depends on a variety of factors.
It’s up to you
Physical therapists often encourage patients to perform their own stretches and other exercises between visits. This way, they can continue to stimulate their muscles, help their joints and provide more value to their overall health rather than working these muscles only on the day that the therapist comes for a session. Of course, someone doesn’t have to perform any of these supplemental exercises if they don’t enjoy any of them. But they will also likely see less value and not feel as good physically or mentally if they wait until the next official physical therapy session to perform these tasks.
Create healthy habits
Even more useful than the in-between exercises is continuing them after the scheduled sessions conclude. A physical therapist will likely offer a suggested fitness regimen to help people continue their progress, especially to strengthen areas that were weaker or were focused upon in the physical therapy. Once it becomes part of a daily or at least regular routine, it can be easier to look forward to. The Parkinson Foundation suggests writing down “physical therapy” or “exercise” on your daily calendar or appointment schedule, even if the official therapist isn’t scheduled to visit. This way it will make sure you take time regularly for these activities – and the benefits from them.
If a patient, their loved ones, or any caregivers feel like great progress is being made or more work is needed due to certain conditions, they can contact a primary care provider, plus an insurance provider to discuss if more sessions could be authorized. A provider’s office staff may be able to guide you through the process. Or if this request is officially denied, you may want to learn if additional sessions could be arranged out of pocket.
Seek related activities
Look for low-impact activities in your community that are able to stimulate and strengthen similar muscle groups that physical therapy does, or boost your overall health. For instance, tai chi or yoga classes can offer a blend of minimal movement combined with mental boosts. Water exercise classes can also offer similar activities without placing too much stress on your body. Doing these in group situations may also make it more enjoyable – it may start to become a fun social activity, and help create a community that can make it easier to show up
Focus on reducing fall risk
Even if someone is unable to or unwilling to perform all the exercises recommended by a physical therapist, they can at least consider putting their energy into their balance or the muscles that affect their mobility. The American College of Healthcare said weakened muscle groups in the thighs and legs can increase the possibility of falling. So looking for ways to condition and strengthen these muscles can be a priority.
Above and Beyond Home Health Care will be willing to share details about the services available to patients from its physical therapy team.