Some people wrongly believe that physiotherapy is only really necessary when recovering from surgery or a major injury. In fact, physiotherapy is useful for treating all kinds of physical and mental conditions, and for the prevention of future problems. As such, physiotherapy is particularly beneficial for older people, who are more likely to have ongoing medical conditions and who are generally more susceptible to damage or deterioration.
While exercise is only a single aspect of physiotherapy (along with massage, hot and cold treatments, etc.), it is definitely a key one. For the purposes of this blog entry, we will focus on the specific benefits of a physiotherapy exercise program in the older years. These positives can be broadly grouped into five categories, as follows.
1. Preventing loss of physical ability
Regularly performing a set of exercises personally tailored to you by your physiotherapist can prevent not just loss of movement and flexibility, but also loss of balance and the diminishing of your physical strength. These scientifically formulated exercises have worked for countless people in the past, and they will work for you, too.
2. Restoring physical ability that has been lost
Just as a physiotherapy exercise program can halt or at least slow physical deterioration (point 1.), so too can it help older people – or anyone else, for that matter – regain the movement, flexibility, balance and strength they have lost either as the result of an injury or merely as a consequence of a lifestyle that is not as healthy as it could be.
3. Reducing pain and discomfort!
This point is pretty self-explanatory. All physiotherapy is aimed at minimising pain in both the short and long term. A physiotherapy exercise program is no different in this respect. Furthermore, it will have been designed in such a way as to not put you at any risk from exercising – which cannot be said of, say, a generic routine taken from a book.
4. Creating a healthier lifestyle
It’s amazing what a set of specially targeted exercises can do, but by instilling a healthy routine in an older person’s life as well as removing impediments to/giving additional options for other physical activity (via points 1.-3.), such a program really does lead to a healthier lifestyle.
5. Increasing mental wellbeing
An older person who is more physically capable and dealing with less pain on an ongoing basis will inevitably be happier, more confident, less worried about their deterioration or potential risk of injury, and more independent. Again, all of this can come from sticking to the physiotherapy exercise program assigned by your trusted physio.
Time to get with the program?
At Glenhaven Physiotherapy, we have an expert team with many decades of industry experience. If you’d like to speak to us about an exercise program – whether for a person in their older years or someone else – we’d be happy to assess the individual’s situation and work with them to create a program that will provide maximum benefit going forward. Our contact details are here.