It’s easy to think about physical therapy as something that’s needed only by certain people to help with the healing of a specific injury or a health condition, but Anamosa residents may be excited to know that just about everyone can benefit from it.
Among the services available to patients through Above and Beyond Home Health Care is physical therapy, where a team of skilled and personable physical therapists and physical therapy assistants work with patients in improving strength or regaining lost strength and function, and at the same time reducing the amount of pain they’re experiencing.
A healthcare provider can recommend physical therapy for any age or health condition, whether it’s to treat something new, something ongoing or even pain from the past that may come and go.
In some cases, physical therapy may be useful in a different part of the body than the original injury, such as a leg or hip injury that may cause someone to walk differently and put additional weight and strain on the opposite leg.
Physical therapists can start the treatment process by simply diagnosing what is taking place in a patient’s body and determining what methods and tools may be best to create improvement, especially something long-lasting.
They can then put a treatment plan together for the patient, which can include regular sessions with a therapist along with a variety of activities/exercises he or she can perform by themselves to supplement the regular sessions.
Seniors especially can benefit from physical therapy. As people age, they might lose muscle tone in their bodies. They also may do more damage in an injury and take longer to recover from a major illness or complex surgery. Even previous injuries may begin hurting again.
Physical therapy can help relax and rebuild muscles and also relax the patient so they don’t feel as much pain and perhaps help them sleep better. This can further benefit the healing process.
WebMD said there are plenty of conditions where seniors can benefit from physical therapy, everything from urinary incontinence to diabetes to general pain. It can even help with conditions with mental health components as well as physical components, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a stroke.
One area where physical therapy can especially provide ua seful benefit to seniors is in helping their mobility.
This can include:
- Helping soothe chronic muscle pain, along with inflammation and swelling in the legs or hips.
- Helping someone regain coordination, balance and walk better if an illness, injury or related condition has negatively impacted the abilities to perform all of these.
- Helping improve confidence to move around by oneself in the home, either by improving their muscles or using assistive technology such as a cane or walker. (This can be closely related to occupational therapy, which helps people regain or re-learn specific skills that help boost or preserve their independence.)
- Helping improve flexibility, strength and coordination through various exercises and stretches.
- Helping improve other injuries that could be impacting current mobility efforts, such as broken limbs.
- Providing an alternative to surgery or strong pain medications.
A physical therapist can use various techniques and tools to help build flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination.
Physical therapists also can work closely with health care providers, occupational therapists and massage therapists. This way, everyone communicates and is able to focus on that individual’s overall health needs and is able to share information about progress or concerns.
Physical therapy also can go beyond helping someone feeling good and reducing pain. By improving mobility, it can make it easier for someone to continue exercising; remain in their home; and reduce the possibility of falls.
A fall at any age can cause pain, but can be especially devastating to a senior. Not only may it take a long to heal, but it might require them to temporarily or permanently relocate to an assisted living center or a rehabilitation center.
A physical therapist can provide techniques like stretching, lifting weights, and walking.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, all of these areas can help improve someone’s quality of life, something that’s especially important as we age and have a growing number of health needs.
Plus, because physical therapy can help people feel better and more confident in their mobility, it is able to reduce the risk of health conditions due to inactivity. The longer someone remains inactive physically, the greater pthe ossibility of conditions like stroke or heart disease.
How home health care can help
Above and Beyond Home Health Care will be happy to discuss physical therapy options with patients, their families, their caregivers or even their provider.
They can create a schedule of when to come to a patient’s home and what therapeutic tools can work best, everything from heat pads to cooling device, even light or electrical therapy.