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How Physical Therapy Helps With Healthy Aging

walkingYou’re never too young to make a plan for aging well. As part of Healthy Aging Month in September, all people age 45 or older are encouraged to find new ways to improve their mental, physical, and social health.

Physical therapists are a key member of your health team when it comes to aging well and improving your quality of life. They offer a variety of programs to reduce pain, improve physical abilities, and help you maintain independence. To age well, you may choose to participate in physical therapy programs such as:

Fitness and Nutrition Programs

All adults can benefit from personalized fitness and nutrition programs. These programs can improve your heart health, musculoskeletal health, and more in both the short and long term. The programs can also help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight through a combination of exercise and healthy eating.

Maintaining a healthy weight as you age is important. Every year, your risk for problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes increases. But with a healthy diet, you can reduce your risk.

Too much weight can also stress out your joints, leading to arthritis or even a need for joint replacements. Reducing your weight can relieve pain in the joints and improve your ability to move.

Finally, excess weight has been associated with a higher risk for certain cancers. Maintaining a healthy weight may help you reduce the likelihood of developing cancer as you grow older.

Specialty Senior Programs

Many physical therapists offer specialized geriatric rehabilitation that focuses on common problems people face as they age. The overall goal of the program is to improve your body’s overall function while addressing specific issues you face. These issues may include:

  • Pelvic floor issues such as urinary or fecal incontinence
  • Falls prevention
  • Osteoporosis
  • Joint pain
  • Balance problems

These programs are designed for seniors over age 65 and offer safe, effective methods of improving muscle control.

Care for Acute Problems

arthritisPhysical therapists have developed specialized programs for certain conditions. These programs help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life as you age. Examples of condition-specific programs include:

These conditions can make it more difficult to age well. By participating in physical therapy, you may not be able to reverse the condition, but you can improve your ability to move, reduce pain, and feel better.

At Bon Secours, we are dedicated to helping all people enjoy a longer life and a higher quality life. Learn how our physical therapists can help you age well by contacting us today.