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4 Types Of Physical Therapy: How They Benefit Seniors
Posted By: Becky Davis - 4/13/2018 12:00:00 AM

If you are a senior recovering from surgery, injury, or illness, it is likely that you will need to participate in a specialized rehabilitation program. Rehabilitation is essential for improving quality of life, reducing your pain, and restoring functionality. Your rehab program will be molded to fit your needs and abilities and will include speech, occupational, and physical therapy.

Physical rehabilitation is designed to return your mobility and alleviate your pain. Professional therapists know how to work with older adults so that exercise is done in an effective and safe manner. The following are the main types of physical therapy for seniors and how they can benefit you.

Neurological physical therapy

This kind of physical therapy works a little differently than the others because it focuses on the brain and the body. A neurological therapist helps patients with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, ALS, and brain injuries. They help you to adapt to muscle loss impairment and visual, mobility, and balance issues so that you are more comfortable completing daily living activities. These professionals also focus on brain health and functionality to provide overall healing.

Geriatric physical therapy

Geriatric physical therapy focuses on the needs of aging adults. The conditions that geriatric physical therapists focus on include balance disorders, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, and joint replacement. This type of therapy helps reduce pain, restore mobility, and increase your fitness levels. Therapists can help with everything from movement issues to problems speaking or swallowing.

Orthopedic physical therapy

Injuries to the musculoskeletal system are treated with orthopedic physical therapy. Seniors who have orthopedic surgeries are also referred to this type of post-surgical rehab when it is appropriate after healing. The goal of this type of physical therapy is to restore the function of the ligaments, bones, muscles, joints, and tendons. Common reasons for seeing orthopedic rehabilitation therapists are knee and shoulder injuries or surgeries, and torn muscles and other tissues.

Cardiopulmonary physical therapy

If you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or any other pulmonary or cardiac condition, this kind of physical therapy helps with your functional independence and endurance. Other conditions that require cardiopulmonary rehabilitation include heart attacks and pulmonary fibrosis. Cardiac rehab therapists will work closely with other healthcare professionals to develop a therapy plan that will improve lung your function.

The benefits of physical therapy

As an important part of healing, physical rehabilitation improves many things like your strength, mobility, and flexibility. Seniors in particular benefit from this kind of treatment because it helps them reduce the risk of falls and increases quality of life. If you have a chronic condition, a therapist helps reduce your pain and may decrease your need for prescription medication. One top reason why doctors and health professionals prescribe rehab therapy to seniors is to help them be independent for as long as possible.

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