Physiotherapy is an allied healthcare service that uses physical therapy to address problems of the muscles, joints, or nerves. Intervention may be aimed at limitations of activity, impairments, restrictions, injury, and disability and treatment may involve a vast array of techniques that include manual therapy, neurological physiotherapy, acupuncture, sports physiotherapy, and exercise therapy. The goals include the prevention and treatment of impairments and injuries, as well as the promotion of health, fitness, and well-being.
Why Physiotherapy is important for older adults?
People of all ages and health conditions can benefit from Physiotherapy. For older adults, Physiotherapy can help provide increased mobility for independent living. Ageing brings with it biological changes that can make living on your own and doing tasks of everyday living a challenge.
Physiotherapy can help older adults in a lot of ways:
- Reducing age-related pain and inflammation
- Managing or preventing chronic health conditions such as back pain or arthritis
- Enhancing flexibility and mobility
- Addressing muscle weakness, and reducing joint pain and stiffness, among many other benefits.
On a global scale, people are now living longer lives. In 2020, the population of people over the age of 60 years old has outnumbered the number of children below five years old. The trend is a continuing one with the world’s population of older adults 60 years old and above projected to double from 12% to 22% to 2.1 billion for the period covering 2015 to 2050. This shift in the proportion of population distribution toward older ages is known as population ageing, a good reason to make healthy ageing a priority.
Ageing is a natural biological process that results from the accumulation of molecular and cellular damage over a period of time, which can lead to diminished physical and mental capacity. Older age can be characterised by health conditions such as loss of hearing, impairment of vision, osteoarthritis and back pain, and chronic diseases such as diabetes, depression, and dementia. Complex health states may also emerge such as proneness to falls, frailty, and urinary incontinence, among many others.
What are the benefits of Physiotherapy for Older Adults?
The World Health Organisation defines active ageing as the process of optimising the many benefits for health, participation, and security for the enhancement of people’s quality of life as they age. Active ageing is not just about adding years to your life but adding a better quality of life to your years.
There are many facets involved in maintaining good health as you age, and these are areas where Physiotherapy can be of great benefit:
- Improve mobility and promote independent living: loss of muscle and bone mass can accompany the ageing process. Physiotherapy can help through exercise therapy that builds muscle strength, prevents bone density loss, and enhances your joints’ range of motion. Increased mobility and flexibility can make a big difference in performing a variety of actions ranging from participating in sports to doing household tasks with ease.
- Reduce or manage pain: Being able to function with minimal or no pain can be such a relief in performing day-to-day tasks such as bathing, cooking, or house cleaning. Physiotherapy can help decrease pain and inflammation caused by injuries or chronic health conditions such as arthritis through the use of techniques and modalities ranging from compression to heat therapy, and electrical muscle stimulation to massage.
- Help rehabilitate injuries: therapy can focus on strengthening the injured area and prevent further injuries through techniques such as resistance exercises and water-based aquatic therapy that can improve strength, flexibility, and proprioception (otherwise known as awareness of body movement and position).
- Support recovery after surgery or illness: building strength and improving mobility after a stroke, surgery, or illness can also help you recover sooner through the promotion of tissue healing, reduction of pain and inflammation, and restoration of normal movement patterns.
- Help prevent falls: the use of exercises and other techniques in your Physiotherapy treatment can be geared toward developing strength, better balance, improved gait, and greater coordination to help in falls prevention.
- Manage health conditions such as diabetes, lung, or heart disease: Your physiotherapist can develop treatment programs to help you manage your blood sugar levels, overcome pulmonary issues, and enhance heart function.
- Individualise treatment: your Physiotherapist will carefully assess your individual conditions and needs, then customise a treatment that addresses those specific conditions. This individualised approach helps ensure the best outcomes and optimal results.
Explore how Physiotherapy can help your functional mobility
While Physiotherapists usually work with older adults for rehabilitation following an injury such as a hip fracture resulting from a fall, our health experts at Healthstin Clinic in Elizabeth can also be instrumental in promoting healthy ageing through the leveraging of their expertise in movement and exercise prescription to support the older adult population in being physically active.
The integration of physical activity and exercise in the lives of older adults can help prevent or manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and dementia that can have a tremendous impact on your quality of life and functional ability.
Maybe, you’re asking “Are there quality physiotherapy services available near me?” You’ll be glad to know that our highly experienced Physiotherapists at Healthstin in Elizabeth and in our other locations are just a phone call away.
Whether you are living with a disability or chronic condition, recovering from an illness or injury, or just want to stay active, our well-trained team is always ready to support you in working toward achieving your health goals. Call 1300 090 931 today to explore the many ways we can help you achieve better mobility and improved functional ability at any age.