Physiotherapy for Elderly: How Does the Process Work?

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Elderly people are likely to suffer from a range of health conditions which a professional physiotherapist can help with.

But most people are unaware of how the process works for the elderly and how physiotherapy can be accessed for the elderly.

Let us understand the process and the way it allows the elderly in recovering from the health condition in an effective and healthy manner.

How does a Physiotherapist help?

Physiotherapists, who are trained in handling the elderly patients, mainly focus on improving the body movements of the patient. They plan and design the physiotherapy exercises which are targeted at building their core strength and enhancing their mobility. Elderly patients have specific needs and numerous medical conditions which need to be treated with precise attention.

An experienced physiotherapist assesses the patient’s conditions and treats one condition at a time which ensures that the results are always satisfactory.

Any of the body functions that have been hampered due to an injury or disease, can be effectively restored in the elderly with the help of physiotherapy. Elderly patients who need extended care at home under the guidance of an expert can rely on the physiotherapy services for a lasting healing and better quality of life.

Physiotherapy can help with following health conditions in the elderly

As stated above, a Physiotherapist can help the elderly patients with a range of medical conditions. Some of the commonly treated ones include:

Fractures: Doctors often recommend rehabilitation to elderly patients in case of broken bones. The most common causes of broken bones are a fractured hip or wrist. And the best way for an effective rehabilitation is physiotherapy where the exercises are focused on improving the bone strength and restoring the lost mobility.

Musculoskeletal problems: Physiotherapy process can effectively help the patients overcome the discomfort and pain which they usually experience because of the various musculoskeletal problems. These problems include lower back pain, knee pain, neck pain, hip pain and pain that occur in other muscles, joints, and ligaments.

Osteoporosis: With growing age, the elderly often suffer from weakened bones which restrict their movement and mobility. However, with the help of physiotherapy, their back muscles can be strengthened and with the help of different exercises, they can also be encouraged to do weight-bearing and aerobic exercises which will further improve in their bone density.

Dementia and frailty: If the patient is suffering from dementia and frailty, different exercise forms in physiotherapy can help in promoting mental activity, the mobility of joints, muscle strength and body balance. A physiotherapist also helps the family members in knowing the right way of safely moving the frail elderly people in the house. This way, everyone is prepared to look after the elderly patient in the right manner.

Osteoarthritis and various other arthritic conditions: Arthritis is a common problem faced by the elderly, of which osteoarthritis is the most commonly occurring problem wherein the joint pain restricts the patient’s mobility. Various exercises in physiotherapy can help with the painful joints and help the elderly in maintaining the joint movement as well as the strength. Moreover, the physiotherapist even assists the family members of the elderly patient in dealing with pain management, setting up activity schedule, and the right way of using the walking aids.

Parkinson’s disease: Physiotherapy even helps in improving the arm function, walking posture and balance through various exercise forms, in patients who are suffering from Parkinson’s. The exercises allow the elderly patients in making movements that are safer, easier, and more controlled.

Falls: Elderly patients are extremely prone to falls. If there is an elderly patient in your house, who has suffered a fall, physiotherapy can help in improving their muscle strength as well as body balance. The process not only treats the current condition but also helps in preventing future falls in the elderly.

Stroke: Physiotherapist who specializes in treating the neurological disorders can help the elderly patients who suffer from conditions like muscle spasms, paralysis, postural control loss as well as the various functional difficulties which they suffer from following a stroke attack.

Apart from the above-mentioned conditions, a physiotherapist can even help the elderly patients with various other problems such as lung problem, heart problem or the case of incontinence.

Kinds of Physiotherapists You Can Seek Help From 

While physiotherapy can help in treating and managing the various health conditions in the elderly patients, there are some key areas where the physiotherapist holds specialization. Approaching the right physiotherapist for a precise condition will prove more fruitful and effective.hysiotherapists based on their specialization can be classified as:

Musculoskeletal physiotherapists: They specialize in helping the patients who happen to be suffering from problems related to their joints, muscles, and ligaments of body’s moving parts. The treatment majorly includes tissue manipulation, mobilization techniques, soft tissue treatments, exercise, and electrotherapy.

Neurological physiotherapists: They hold specialization in treating the health conditions that majorly affect the nervous system of the elderly. These conditions include stroke, Parkinson’s disease, head injuries and multiple sclerosis.

Other physiotherapists usually specialize in caring for the elderly people who need palliative care; as in the case of cancer, the health of elderly women, rehabilitation post heart and lung diseases, osteoporosis, and prevention of falls.

Physiotherapists can help the elderly patients with a range of conditions and guide them for overcoming the pain and discomfort as also helping them improve their quality of life.