What is geriatric physical therapy?
Geriatric physical therapy is a type of physical therapy specifically designed for older adults. It is focused on helping seniors maintain their mobility, strength, and independence as they age.
Geriatric physical therapy may include a range of techniques and exercises to improve balance, flexibility, and strength. It may also involve the use of assistive devices, such as canes or walkers, to help seniors move safely and independently. Therapy may also include working on functional activities such as bed mobility, wheelchair mobility, or exercises to improve activities that are performed around the house or apartment.
Geriatric physical therapists work with seniors to develop individualized treatment plans based on their specific needs and goals. They may also provide education and training to help seniors and their caregivers understand how to manage their health and prevent falls or other injuries.
What conditions are common in geriatric patients?
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is caused by the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions the joints. It is a common condition that typically affects the joints in the hands, knees, hips, and spine.
Osteoarthritis is often referred to as a "wear and tear" form of arthritis because it is more common in people who have been physically active and those who are older. It can also be caused by a joint injury or infection.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis may include:
1. Pain and stiffness in the joints, especially after periods of inactivity
2. Swelling in the joints
3. A crunching or grinding sensation when moving the joint
4. Decreased range of motion in the affected joint
Treatment for osteoarthritis may include medications to reduce pain and inflammation, physical therapy to improve mobility and strength, and lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and exercising regularly. In some cases, surgery may be needed to repair or replace the affected joint.
Impaired balance can be a common issue for older adults and can lead to falls and other injuries. Physical therapy can be an effective treatment for improving balance and reducing the risk of falls.
A physical therapist will first assess the underlying cause of the decreased balance, which may be due to factors such as muscle weakness, poor posture, or vision problems. They will then develop a treatment plan to address these issues and improve balance.
Treatment may include exercises to improve strength and flexibility, particularly in the legs and core, as well as balance training exercises such as standing on one foot or walking in a straight line. The therapist may also use assistive devices such as a walker or cane to help improve balance and stability.
What geriatric treatments are offered?
At Back in Action Therapy, we can offer countless treatment options for geriatric therapy in Las Cruces and Alamogordo. Some of the treatment options include:
Exercise: The therapist may use a variety of exercises to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. These may include stretches, strength training exercises, and balance training exercises.
Assistive Devices: The therapist may recommend the use of assistive devices such as walkers, canes, or handrails to help improve mobility and stability.
Education and Training: The therapist may provide education and training to seniors and their caregivers on how to manage their health and prevent falls and other injuries.
Modalities: The therapist may use modalities such as heat, cold, or electrical stimulation to help reduce pain and improve mobility.
Manual Therapy: The therapist may use techniques such as massage or joint mobilization to help improve mobility and reduce pain.
If you are a senior in Las Cruces or Alamogordo in need of geriatric therapy, don’t hesitate to call one of our Back in Action clinics to schedule your appointment! We have extremely skilled physical therapists that can help with any of your therapy needs.