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The Benefits of Physical Therapy For Elderly Patients

Elderly Assistance Services

Elderly patients living in assisted living homes or other retirement communities need daily exercise just as much, if not more, than their younger counterparts. When an elderly individual is injured, however, the recovery process can take much longer than it would in a younger individual.

To help your loved one recover from an injury or illness, physical therapy has become an essential first step. While a young person might be able to shake off a sprained ankle with a couple weeks of rest, an elderly patient often needs physical therapy to ensure the injury heals properly.

Here are just some of the innumerable benefits physical therapy can offer elderly patients following an injury or chronic illness.

The Benefits of Physical Therapy

There are many types of physical therapy to support the recovery of your older loved one. However, most of these therapies benefit the body in a number of common ways. Here are just some of the benefits your loved one might receive when they engage in physical therapy:

  • Pain relief or reduction
  • A decrease in swelling and inflammation
  • The healing of soft tissues
  • Increased levels of flexibility and a reduction in stiffness
  • Relaxation and lower levels of stress
  • Increased blood flow
  • Realignment of joints and bones that have been injured

Common Types of Physical Therapy

There are a number of physical therapy options you might consider for your loved one. Whether they need prolonged physical therapy to help ease the pain of a chronic illness or short-term therapy for a minor injury, there are a few different types of therapy to choose from. These include:

  • Manual therapy: This is most commonly seen as a form of massage that works to relax tight muscles and promote relaxation throughout the body. Manual therapy can also improve blood circulation, relieve both chronic and temporary pain, and promote flexibility in the patient. This is a type of therapy that can benefit just about anyone, young or old.
  • Heat therapy: Another common type of therapy is the application of heat to affected areas of the body. This warmth works to improve circulation, ease stiffened joints, and loosen muscles before or after exercise.
  • Cold therapy: Cold therapy is a great option for those struggling with swelling and inflammation, such as those with arthritis or similar painful bodily conditions. You might see cold therapy through ice packs, cryogenic freezing, and ice baths.
  • Electrical stimulation therapy: This type of therapy utilizes an electronic pulse that delivers a current to the affected area of the body. This typically affects your nerves by confusing the pain signals delivered to your brain, thereby making your condition easier to deal with.

There are countless therapies that can be used for a variety of issues in elderly patients. If you have more questions about a specific type of therapy for the elderly person in your life, don’t hesitate to contact a physical therapist Rockville, MD offers today. If your loved one is suffering from arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, an injury, or other medical conditions, think about talking to your doctor about the benefits of physical therapy for your loved one.  


Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Pain Arthritis Relief Center for their insight into physical therapy and benefits for elderly patients.