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4 Types of Physical Therapy and Health Promotion Programs for Seniors

When seniors are recovering from an illness, injury or surgery, taking part in a senior rehabilitation program is vital to restoring functionality, reducing pain and improving quality of life. Rehabilitation for seniors often includes a mix of physical, occupational and speech therapies all designed with the individual’s specific needs and abilities in mind.

Why is Physical Therapy for Seniors Important for a Successful Recovery?

Physical therapy is a particularly important component in a successful recovery because it improves an individual’s strength, flexibility, and mobility. Physical therapy for seniors is beneficial for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Reducing the risk of a fall. One of the most common reasons a senior needs physical therapy is to recover from a fall. Falls are the leading case of accidents among seniors and often result in bone fractures and other injuries. A physical therapist can teach seniors techniques to prevent a fall.

  • Lowering risk of injury. Physical therapy helps seniors learn how to maintain their stability as it relates to gravity when they’re mobile. This awareness helps reduce the risk of injuries and re-injury.

  • Decreasing pain from chronic conditions. Physical therapy can help alleviate discomfort from conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis and offset any future symptoms.

  • Lessening the need for prescription drugs. Seniors often require prescription medication to help manage their chronic pain. However, a physical therapy regimen could help reduce the need for medications and could be a more cost-effective form of treatment.

  • Maintaining an independent lifestyle. The quicker seniors can recover from an illness or injury and manage their pain allows them to lead an active, independent lifestyle for a longer period of time.

Common Types of Physical Therapy for Seniors

Physical therapists are trained in a variety of different types of therapy that help people return to their normal lifestyles as quickly as possible. The main types of physical therapy for seniors include:

Geriatric physical therapy

Geriatric physical therapy places a special emphasis on the needs of aging adults. It helps treat conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, joint replacement and balance disorders. Specialized programs are designed to help restore mobility, increase fitness levels and reduce overall pain.

Orthopedic physical therapy

An orthopedic physical therapist helps treat injuries of the musculoskeletal system, as well as help individuals recover from orthopedic surgeries. The goal is to restore function to the muscles, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments.

Cardiopulmonary physical therapy

When individuals have had a heart attack or have other cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis, cardiopulmonary physical therapy can help increase endurance and functional independence.

Neurological physical therapy

Neurological physical therapy focuses on the brain and the body, making it slightly different from other types of physical therapy. When individuals have neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, Parkinson’s disease or have suffered a brain injury, a neurological physical therapist focuses on teaching them to adapt to visual, mobility, balance, and muscle loss impairments to more easily complete activities of daily living.

For post operation rehabilitation, consider The Summit Rehab at Mitchell Hollingsworth. By combining highly trained and compassionate therapists with the latest technologies, our therapy programs are structured to fit your needs. Goals are set and guided by therapists who are committed to excellence, integrity, quality, and customer service. Our treatments are designed to increase mobility by reducing inflammation and pain. In coordination with your physician, the best, most personalized care for you is always our highest priority.

  • Effective, scientifically proven pain management interventions

  • The utilization of new technologies that are effective and make therapy fun

  • Physician-approved interventions for post-operative orthopedic and other procedures

  • We encourage family and caregiver participation after inpatient rehab




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