Had surgery? Physio can help.
Injured yourself? Physio can help.
In pretty good shape overall? Physio still helps.
Physiotherapy for seniors isn’t only for fixing new injuries or recovering after surgery. Regular physiotherapy can help you stay in good shape, manage long-term health issues or prevent other issues from emerging.
Here are 8 benefits of regular physiotherapy for seniors.
1. Preventing falls
Falls are common among older Australians – in fact, falls are the leading cause of injury in this age group.
Falls not only cause physical injury, they also dent confidence and increase dependence. Fear of falling again makes many people curtail their activities to stay safe, which, paradoxically, increases the risk of falling.
The risk of falling increases as you get older for many different reasons, including poor eyesight, medications, underlying conditions or hazards around the home. Some of the biggest risks, though, are impaired balance and reduced muscle strength. And that’s where regular physiotherapy helps.
You don’t have to be ancient and doddery to benefit from falls prevention. Anyone over 60 stands to gain from physiotherapy to improve balance and strength.
2. Easing COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) is very common among older people and can have a severe impact on quality of life.
Physiotherapy is one of the main treatments for COPD. It can help you to improve your breathing, clear your airways and improve your sleep. Physiotherapy can also help manage the knock-on effects of COPD, including back pain, restricted rib or arm movement, poor posture and urinary incontinence.
One of the less pleasant aspects of ageing is its impact on your ability to keep your pants dry. As you get older, your bladder loses elasticity, your sphincter muscles may weaken and caffeine, alcohol and medications can irritate your bladder and make you need the loo more often.
That means you might be getting up a lot at night to go to the loo or curtailing your daytime activities so you’re never too far from a toilet.
Regular physiotherapy can help to improve your continence by strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.
4. Move it or lose it
It really is ‘move it or lose it’ when it comes to staying in shape as you get older.
Regular exercise helps maintain your mobility, flexibility and strength. And regular physiotherapy helps you to do regular exercise.
If you’re nervous about exercising, you feel safer doing it under the careful direction of a physio. Your physiotherapist understands how your body works and is skilled in assessing your particular areas of strength and weakness, meaning they can give you tailored exercises to improve your conditioning.
5. Protecting your heart health
Moderate intensity exercise helps to reduce high blood pressure, which in turn protects your heart.
Physiotherapists can assess your exercise capacity and show you how to exercise at an appropriate level. We can also advise you on other lifestyle changes to improve your heart health.
6. Managing obesity
Seniors are not immune from the obesity epidemic affecting most Western nations. As you get older, your diet may worsen, your activity levels may decline and your waistline may expand. Carrying that extra weight puts pressure on your heart and joints and increases the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes.
Your physiotherapist can help with obesity by assessing your activity levels, developing a tailored activity plan to get you moving more and increasing your motivation to live a healthy, active life.
7. Easing pain
By the time you reach retirement age, your body has experienced a fair bit of wear and tear, which can result in ongoing pain in some areas.
Back or neck pain can be due to tight or weak muscles or to limited blood flow. Regular physiotherapy can help improve your flexibility, strength, mobility and blood flow, which all help to ease pain.
8. Improving joint mobility
Arthritis is very common among older people, resulting in stiff, swollen, painful joints.
Your physiotherapist may prescribe exercises to help you keep using your joints to prevent further stiffness, strengthen your muscles to better support your joints, and reduce your pain over time.
What do all those 8 benefits have in common? They all help you maintain your independence as you get older. Staying in strong physical shape enables you to keep driving, keep engaging in activities you enjoy and keep living safely in your own home.
Book an appointment with our physiotherapists now.
All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion.