I’m a Senior: Am I A Good Candidate For Physical Therapy?

When most people think about effective treatment for arthritis, Parkinson’s, or even cancer, they think of surgery and prescription medications. But what if physical therapy is the answer?

In the last few years, physical therapy has come to be known as vital to the treatment and rehabilitation of anyone who is either ill or injured. And especially for older adults and seniors, physical therapy works both as a tool to recover from an injury and prevent several physical ailments.

If you are living the golden years of your life, physical therapy can improve your health in many ways.

 

Importance of Physical Therapy for Seniors

 

It Prevents Fall Injuries

 

One of the biggest hazards faced by the elderly is fall-based injuries. The fall itself can lead to severe physical damage and pain, but it can also result in a variety of other health issues. As reported by the National Council on Aging, one senior is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds. In fact, 1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ falls every year.

Physical therapy can dramatically reduce these numbers because it improves the flexibility of aging muscles and joints. Whether you are a relatively healthy older adult or you suffer from an ailment, physical therapy should be a crucial part of your routine as it can protect you against falls.

 

It Helps Manage Cancer Treatment

 

It may come as a huge surprise to some but physical therapy has shown incredible promise in aiding the seniors with their cancer treatment. Since the treatment of cancer comes with many negative – and painful – side effects, physical therapy can assist you by decreasing pain and improved flexibility.

Physical therapy treatments like massage, compression therapies, and motion-based exercises can significantly improve the quality of life for cancer patients.

 

It Helps With Incontinence

 

Many elderly people experience urinary incontinence and thankfully, physical therapy can provide lasting relief in this area as well. With the help of pelvic floor exercises, you can strengthen your sphincter muscles and pubic bone muscles to maintain control over them.

 

It Improves Cognition

 

If your elderly loved one is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, they can experience improved cognitive functioning with the help of a qualified physical therapist. Several studies have proven that increased levels of physical exercise result in reduced risk of dementia, so it’s a sterling preventative measure as well.

For aging adults whose cognitive abilities have already declined, a physical therapy routine can help them be more aware of their physical environment and risks for danger, reducing the risk of self-injury.

 

It Reduces Pain

 

Seniors suffering from chronic pain as a result of osteoarthritis or other issues can find lasting relief with the help of regular physical therapy treatments. Since most aging adults are not good candidates for surgery-based solutions or pain-relieving drugs. Physical therapy can be their most important tool in combating pain.

 

It Improves Overall Physical Well-Being

 

Since falls and subsequent injuries can pose a severe threat to the elderly, it’s important for them to maintain proper strength, balance, and dexterity. The benefits of maintaining a good, healthy posture are often overlooked in seniors, but it can prevent a lot of health problems.

 

Manage Pain and Maximize Wellness at Merge Physical Medicine

 

Just because you are aging, it doesn’t mean you have to lose your mobility and functionality! A reliable and proven physical therapist should be an essential member of your health care team so they can help you maintain your balance and agility.

Ready to get on the path to reduced pain and improved quality of life? Reach out to Merge Physical Medicine to schedule a consultation by completing our contact form at the bottom of our homepage, or call 214-974-4049.

What Are Trigger Points and Why Do They Matter?

It’s been long known among the medical community that among the most common causes of pain are trigger points, also known as myofascitis or myofascial pain syndrome. Unfortunately, it’s also the most ignored health issue that doesn’t get much attention.

Even though physicians and expert chiropractors are aware of trigger points, in theory, very few of them know how to identify, locate, and treat them.

 

Trigger Points and How They Impact You

 

A trigger point is a very sensitive spot in your muscle that continuously sends pain signals to your brain via the nervous system. If you don’t seek immediate medical attention, it can eventually turn into a chronic pain issue.

Trigger points generally imitate tense muscle fibers or tiny hard knots. When pressed, they will feel painful. In most patients suffering from chronic lower back pain, trigger points are usually the culprit.

Some people have a tendency to ignore the painful spots on their bodies; they think the pain will go away on its own. But in the case of trigger points, the pain will only increase and get worse if left untreated. It may also lead to fatigue, food allergies, and other health issues if you don’t get it checked out.

Also, the ill-effects of trigger points are not limited to pain. It can result in too much tension, causing your muscles to shorten. If one or more of your muscles are experiencing trigger points, you won’t be able to stretch those muscles to full length, and your range of motion will be reduced.

Moreover, it will also make your muscles weak. When a muscle has a trigger point, it faces resistance and thus, gets weaker with time. However, proper treatment and physical therapy routine can restore strength to the affected muscles.

 

Why You Should Seek Trigger Point Treatment

 

what are trigger points

Other adverse effects of untreated trigger points include numbness and loss of coordination/balance in muscles. But these are all temporary issues that can be remedied with physical therapy. If you or your loved one is experiencing muscle weakness, shortness, or limited range of motion, it’s advised to consult with a skilled physical therapist or chiropractor right away.

Failure to treat and eliminate trigger points can lead to:

  • Chronic pain
  • Further injury
  • Loss of muscle function and strength
  • Disability

If the person suffering from trigger points is an older adult, it is critical for them to seek medical care and physical therapy for seniors, otherwise, it can cause permanent disability.

 

Trigger Point Symptoms

 

Here are some of the most common signs that trigger points might be present in your muscles:

  • Diminished range of motion from muscle shortening
  • Weakness in muscles (with/without atrophy)
  • Involuntary trembling of muscle fibers
  • Poor balance and/or coordination
  • Excessive sweating in a certain spot, such as palms, face, underarms, etc.

These symptoms may go unnoticed within the general population but if you are an athlete, it will be much more pronounced. Trigger points are known to render athletes unable to perform optimally and in some cases, are debilitating. Thankfully, physical therapy for athletes can help restore muscle strength and help achieve maximum performance.

 

Maximize Performance and Minimize Pain With Merge Physical Medicine

 

Merge Physical Medicine is the home of tried-and-true physical therapy treatments. Our friendly in-house staff provides a warm, welcoming environment, and is eager to help you get on the road to enjoying a better quality of life.

Experience the Merge Physical Medicine difference today by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 214-974-4049 to schedule a consultation.