Geriatric physical therapy

Geriatric physical therapy

Geriatric physical therapy covers a wide area of problems concerning the elderly. There are many conditions that affect people as they grow older and include but are not limited to the following: arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hip and joint replacement, balance disorders incontinence, etc. Geriatric physical therapists specialize in providing therapy for such conditions and ailments. Physiotherapists play a key role in enabling older people to use a number of the body’s systems fully to enhance mobility and independence. Physiotherapists can make a difference by helping older people to be comfortable and pain free. 


1) Joint Pain

Joints connect bones within your body, bear weight and provide support during movements. Usually, joint pain is caused by injuries, inflammation of the lining of the joint, hemarthrosis, arthritis, STDs and gout. If the joint pain is left untreated for a longer time, it can restrict mobility and lead to weakness or instability to perform normal activities.

Geriatric physiotherapy is the best treatment to help reduce joint pain and improve the stability of the joints.

2) Generalized Weakness

Generalized weakness is one of the most common issues that almost every individual faces posts a certain age. One of the attributes to this is degenerative changes that come with age resulting in poor muscle tone, stiff joints etc. This is further worsened with the presence of other chronic conditions such as neurological issues, endocrine problems and musculoskeletal issues.

Some of the common causes of generalized weakness are flu, thyroid disease, anemia, and depression, lack of sleep, undiagnosed diabetes, congestive heart failure and medication side effects. Geriatric physiotherapy helps in bringing back physical strength and stability, thereby improving patients’ quality of life.

3) Postural Instability

Postural instability is a condition of inability to maintain an upright position. In other words, it is the imbalance and loss of righting reflexes that are required to maintain an upright position. Geriatric physiotherapy such as balance exercises can improve postural instability and help patients resume back to their normal state.

4) Balance Impairment

Balance impairment in the elderly is the loss of normal functioning of muscles and bones. It is most commonly caused due to arthritis and orthostatic hypotension. Other factors causing balance impairment include numbness in feet and legs, eye problems, blood circulation problems and intake of multiple medicines. Geriatric physiotherapy treatment includes balance exercises to help improve the functions of muscles & bones.

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