Physical Therapy & Aging Well
Staying active becomes more important as we age. Keeping the body and core strong and flexible can increase agility, endurance, and strength in senior citizens. It can also enhance cognitive function, increase appetite, and improve mood. Physical therapy is an excellent solution for seniors who can’t perform strenuous exercise. Is physical therapy the secret to anti-aging? Contact us and see how regular meetings with your physical therapist in Saratoga, Ballston Spa, Queensbury NY region can help you achieve more and feel healthier, no matter your age!
3 Anti-Aging Benefits of Physical Therapy:
1. Strengthening and Conditioning
Our bodies go through a lot of musculoskeletal changes as we age. Our connective tissue, bones, muscles, discs, and cartilage all become weaker as a natural consequence of aging. Over time, these changes lead to differences in performance and function. This goes beyond athletic performance to encompass our activities of daily living. As we age, we become more vulnerable to joint stiffness, increased risk of fracture, decreased muscle mass and endurance, and joint compression. When not controlled, these symptoms can develop into debilitating conditions like osteoporosis, arthritis, posture deviation, and more. (Learn more about PT for osteoporosis here.)
Simple weight-bearing exercises are one of the best ways to minimize all these risks through strengthening and conditioning. Working with a physical therapist can help delay the onset of these conditions and reduce pain or symptoms when they’re already present.
2. Pain Relief
One of the most common reasons that people come for physical therapy is for pain. There are many reasons that seniors experience pain, maybe for chronic pain, or one of the reasons listed above. Physical therapy can help relieve pain through strengthening and conditioning, but it also works well for other patients. For example, physical therapy has been shown to reduce some of the pain associated with cancer, as strategic exercise can help control the swelling or inflammatory reactions in the body that can result from chemotherapy or surgery.
3. Maintaining Independence
Many older individuals report to physical therapy after a fall. When we become more unsteady, it’s natural to worry about our independence. We want to maintain our current independent lifestyle for as long as possible, and physical therapy can help with that. Another benefit of physical therapy is controlling incontinence, another less pleasant consequence of aging. Did you know there were exercises for that? With the right exercise prescription, you can help improve balance, continence, and overall strength, which will allow you to be independent as long as possible.
Physical therapy is for more than just the injured. In fact, it can be a great preventive approach to aging. Working with a physical therapist regularly can help you age more gracefully by slowing the weakening of your musculoskeletal systems. Physical therapists are trained in a wide variety of techniques that allow you to maintain your independence and strength. Talk to us about how we can help you discover how physical therapy can help with anti-aging from Saratoga Springs to Ballston Spa, Queensbury and Glens Falls NY.