Many conditions affect people as they get older, including but not limited to: arthritis, balance difficulties, joint replacements, mobility issues and osteoporosis. The Well Balanced Centre Physiotherapist can address many common issues encountered by older people by:
· Improving mobility both inside and outside the home.
· Retraining balance and walking.
· Promoting independence.
· Restoring confidence and reducing the chance of falling.
· Improving quality of life.
· Assisting in carrying out day-to-day tasks.
· Providing exercises to help build strength.
Physiotherapists play a vital role in helping older people live pain-free and comfortably.
Conditions helped by Physiotherapy
Many conditions can be managed using physiotherapy treatments. Here are some of the benefits of physiotherapy for older people:
Reducing Joint Pain
Joints link the bones in your body, carry weight, and provide support while you move. Injuries, inflammation of the joint lining, arthritis and gout are common causes of joint discomfort. If joint discomfort is left untreated for an extended period, it can limit movement and cause weakness or instability making it difficult for an individual to perform daily tasks. The Well Balanced Centre Physiotherapist can provide a specific gentle exercise regime to help keep your joints moving as pain free as possible whilst also advising on the use of ice, heat and medication to supplement exercise.
Promoting strength and physical activity
Degenerative changes that occur with age such as loss of bone density, loss of muscle tone and inflexible joints, contribute to the older population getting weaker. Physical activity and exercise not only helps maintain strength but promotes general good health, energy and independence.
Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving – from walking or gardening to higher level sports.
As people get older they should aim to carry out at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week. This should involve doing something every day, preferable in bouts of 10minutes of activity or more.
Daily activities like shopping cooking or housework do not count towards this 150 minutes as the effort for these activities is not deemed high enough to raise your heart rate. They are still important however as they break up the time spend sitting in one position during the day.
In addition to your 150 minutes, it is also important to try and carry out some activities that work your muscles.
The inability to maintain an upright stance is known as postural instability. The Well Balanced Centre Physiotherapist can teach balance exercises to assist patients recovering from postural instability and help them feel more steady on their feet.
Reduced muscle tone and bone function can cause balance impairments in the older population. Balance problems can also be caused by reduced sensation in the feet and legs, eye problems, blood circulation disorders, and some medications. Balance exercises are a key part of the exercise programme delivered by the Well Balanced Centre Physiotherapist to help enhance function.
Any accident can lead to major health risks for an older person. It can result in significant injuries like hip fractures which can limit mobility and function and result in an extended stay in hospital. Falling is a significant problem among older people. It is estimated that one-third of all individuals over the age of 65 falls each year, making falls the main cause of injury in the older population. Every year, older people suffer injuries that result in hip fractures and hospitalisations. Most people who suffer a hip fracture spend at least one week in the hospital, and unfortunately, some never return to their previous level of function. Physiotherapy can help older people build up their strength and confidence again resulting in improved independence and function.
Benefits of The Well Balanced Centre Physiotherapy service
Physiotherapy for older people has been shown to improve mobility and balance, build strength, increase confidence in physical abilities, and enhance quality of life. Physiotherapy will not always be able to return patients to their previous states of health, but the most important objective is to set goals that are specific for each patient. The Well Balanced Centre Physiotherapist aims to have a positive impact on a person's ability to enjoy physical activities and so achieve the best quality of life they can.