Physiotherapy helps older adults

How Can Physiotherapy Extend Active Years for Older Adults?

Getting older doesn’t mean slowing down! Geriatric physiotherapy is all about helping seniors stay active, healthy, and independent. Whether it involves recuperating from an injury, managing chronic pain, or simply maintaining mobility, geriatric physiotherapy in Edmonton persists in addressing these needs.

How Physiotherapy Can Help Older Adults:

As we grow older, maintaining an active and independent lifestyle becomes increasingly important, yet often more challenging. Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in helping older adults stay active, healthy, and self-reliant. Let’s look at how physiotherapy can extend active years for older adults, enhancing their quality of life in the process.

1. Improving Mobility and Flexibility

With age, joints can become stiff, and muscles may lose their elasticity, making movement more difficult and increasing the risk of falls. Our physiotherapists design personalized exercise programs to improve joint mobility and muscle flexibility. These exercises often include gentle stretching, range of motion exercises, and specific strengthening routines tailored to individual needs.

Hamstring Stretch:

To do this stretch, sit on the edge of a chair and stretch one leg directly in front of you. Hinge forward from your hips, aiming to touch your toes, and keep your back nice and straight. Hold that position for 20-30 seconds, then switch legs and do the same thing on the other side. This stretch really targets your hamstrings and lower back, boosting your flexibility and mobility, which makes bending and reaching so much easier!

2. Strengthening Muscles

Prioritizing the preservation of muscle mass and strength becomes more critical. Muscle deterioration, known as sarcopenia, naturally occurs with age, leading to weakness and a higher risk of injuries. Fortunately, physiotherapy offers effective strength training exercises to counteract these changes, helping older adults stay strong, balanced, and independent.

Resistance Band Exercises:

Bicep Curls: Begin by assuming a seated or standing position with your feet spaced shoulder-width apart. Hold a resistance band with both hands, anchoring it by stepping on the band. Keep your elbows close to your body as you curl your hands towards your shoulders, then slowly lower them back down. Strive to complete three sets of 10-15 repetitions. This exercise effectively targets and strengthens the biceps, enhancing your capacity to lift and carry objects with ease.

3. Enhancing Balance and Coordination

Falls represent a considerable worry for older adults, often leading to fractures, hospitalizations, and a decrease in quality of life. Enhancing balance and coordination is crucial in preventing these incidents, and our physiotherapy clinic offers targeted exercises for older people designed to improve these vital skills.

Basic Balance Board Stand:

Position yourself on a balance board with your feet shoulder-width apart. Strive to maintain the board level without its edges touching the ground, and hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute. This exercise provides a multitude of benefits, including enhancing overall balance, strengthening stabilizing muscles, and improving proprioception—the body’s sense of its position in space.

4. Pain Management

Chronic pain from conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and other degenerative diseases can significantly impact the quality of life for older adults. Efficient pain management is essential not only for reducing discomfort but also for maintaining an active lifestyle. At 50plus Physio, we offer a range of manual therapy techniques and modalities that can help alleviate pain and improve overall well-being.

Soft Tissue Massage:

Our therapists employ hands-on techniques like kneading, compression, and manipulation to target muscles and soft tissues. This approach encompasses various methods such as myofascial release, trigger point therapy and massage in deep tissue. The benefits include decreased muscle tension, enhanced circulation, breakdown of scar tissue, and pain relief. Soft tissue massage is especially effective for addressing muscle-related pain and tightness, offering a holistic approach to improving overall well-being and physical comfort.

5. Posture Improvement

Maintaining correct posture is vital for overall health and mobility, especially as we age. Poor posture can lead to a huge range of musculoskeletal issues, like back pain, neck pain, and decreased mobility. Our clinic offers effective postural training to help older adults improve their posture, reduce pain, and enhance their quality of life. 

Core Strengthening Exercises: 

Pelvic Tilts: To perform pelvic tilts, assume a supine position with your knees bent and feet resting flat on the floor. Engage your abdominal muscles, tilt your pelvis upward slightly, and flatten your lower back against the floor. Hold briefly, then release. Aim for 10-15 repetitions. This older people’s workout strengthens lower abdominal muscles, providing support to the lower back and enhancing posture.

6. Managing Chronic Conditions

Chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses are common among older adults and can significantly impact their physical activity levels and overall health. Physiotherapy plays a vast role in managing these conditions through tailored exercise programs that aim to improve cardiovascular health, enhance lung function, and maintain general well-being. 

Low-Impact Aerobics:

Low-impact aerobics involves engaging in activities for older people, such as walking, cycling, or water aerobics at a moderate pace, adjusted to individual fitness levels. These exercises strengthen the heart muscle, enhance circulation, and aid in managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Empowering Healthy Aging:

Geriatric physiotherapy in Edmonton serves as a pivotal tool in extending the active years for older adults. Through personalized treatment plans tailored to older people’s needs and goals, physiotherapy addresses age-related challenges, promotes mobility, and extends the overall quality of life. By focusing on strength, balance, flexibility, and pain management, 50plus Physio empowers older adults to maintain independence, involvement in daily activities, and participate in the activities they enjoy. With its multifaceted approach and dedication to optimizing function and well-being, geriatric physiotherapy in Edmonton plays a huge role in promoting healthy aging and facilitating an active lifestyle for older adults.

Ready to prioritize your mobility and independence? Schedule a consultation with our geriatric physiotherapy team today and embark on your journey towards a healthier, more active lifestyle!

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