Geriatric Physical TherapyRichmond, TX
Geriatric physical therapy addresses various concerns specific to elderly patients. Bodies become more vulnerable as they age, requiring different forms of specialized care. Your physical abilities and needs change over time, especially in response to injury. For many older patients, geriatric physical therapy can help restore mobility while reducing pain and inflammation.
Geriatric physical therapy is available at Polygon Physical Therapy Center in Richmond and the surrounding area. Our dedicated staff is proud to serve patients of all ages. Call us today at 832-547-2282 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services.
Understanding Geriatric Physical Therapy
Physical therapists are licensed healthcare professionals who improve their patients’ quality of life by promoting mobility and pain management. They may be involved in preventative care, rehabilitation, and maintenance care for those with chronic conditions. Sometimes known as physiotherapists, physical therapists can help restore functionality to the cardiopulmonary, integumentary, neurological, and musculoskeletal systems. Though each physical therapy program is unique, all aim to improve movement, strength, and function while preventing the onset or aggravation of disability.
Patients of any age may benefit from the assistance of a physical therapist. It is essential, however, for individuals to find a physiotherapist that understands their unique needs. Geriatric physical therapists are proficient in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating mobility issues specific to elderly patients. A good geriatric physical therapist understands that aging is not just a physical process, but also an emotional and mental one. As such, they know how to approach individuals from a place of heightened patience, sympathy, and respect.
The Importance of Geriatric Physical Therapy
Bones, joints, and muscles all become weaker over time. Age also impedes the body's ability to recover. As a result, older patients tend to be more prone to pain and injury. They are also more likely to develop serious complications. All these factors may reduce a patient's sense of independence and dampen their overall quality of life. Geriatric physical therapists can help empower elderly patients by restoring or improving their strength and mobility. They may also help prevent future issues, such as falls.
Over half of all U.S. adults aged 65 and over suffer from at least one common age-related condition. Many with an age-related condition do not always receive the proper treatment until the condition is in the advanced stages. Elderly patients should take their health seriously — even minor injuries may lead to severe issues.
Additionally, aging patients typically face more extended periods of recovery. Patients may attempt to treat their symptoms on their own with store-bought pain relief medication. This type of product cannot address the root causes of the condition. Along with that, overexertion can further aggravate their injuries, and staying sedentary can impede recovery. A good geriatric physical therapist can put patients on the right path to recovery by addressing these factors and more.
Conditions Treated by Geriatric Physical Therapy
Geriatric physical therapy can help elderly patients with virtually any condition that negatively affects their mobility. This is true even for issues that do not seem to be directly related to movement. Some of the most common conditions that affect aging patients involve:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory Disease
It is important to remember that the above list is not exhaustive. In any case, geriatric physical therapy aims to improve patients' flexibility, mobility, and strength. By doing so, geriatric physical therapists may decrease the patient's need for prescription drugs, risk of falls, and risk of injury. They may also assist in maintaining an independent lifestyle and procuring any necessary assistive devices.
Types of Geriatric Physical Therapy
No two geriatric physical therapy programs are the same, as each plan must be customized for each patient's personal needs. Typically speaking, geriatric physical therapy involves three main components: education, exercise, and manual therapy. Patient education is crucial as it empowers individuals to become more active participants in their own care. Physical therapy is most effective when patients and therapists work collaboratively to set realistic goals they can work towards at a slow, steady pace.
Older patients need to keep the body moving, as staying sedentary can raise the risk of blood clots, pressure ulcers, confusion, and atrophy of the muscles. Practicing exercises at home as directed can help reduce pain and inflammation. Manual therapy, such as massage and chiropractic services, is also popular among geriatric patients. This hands-on approach uses direct pressure to decrease pain, restore mobility, and stimulate circulation. We also offer other treatment modalities for our geriatric patients, including neurological physical therapy, aquatic therapy, sciatica pain treatment, and more.
Call Us Today
When it comes to maintaining your health, no injury is too small to overlook. We at Polygon Physical Therapy Center may be able to help. Call us today at 832-547-2282 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How common are fall injuries?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over one in four older adults suffer falls every year. However, less than half report such incidences to their doctor. Falling once doubles the risk for a future fall.
What causes osteoporosis?
Old bone is continually being replaced with new bone. Younger bodies produce new bone faster than they break down old bone, thus increasing bone mass. However, this process slows down after the early 20s. Most people reach their peak bone mass by the time they reach 30. From then on, bone mass is lost at a quicker rate than it is created. Those with less bone mass are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
What are the risk factors for arthritis?
Aside from age, there are many different risk factors for arthritis. These involve family history, obesity, previous joint injury, and the patient's sex. Women are more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more likely to suffer from gout.
How can geriatric physical therapy help with diabetes?
Diabetes is associated with physical symptoms such as balance problems, loss of endurance, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and weakness. Geriatric physical therapy can help increase balance, coordination, flexibility, mobility, strength, and walking ability. It can also reduce blood glucose levels and pain levels. All these factors promote healing and assist in activities of daily living (ADL).
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