Physical therapy, movement ease pain and improve mobility
National Physical Therapy Month occurs each October. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) uses the month to celebrate the impact of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.
Living with pain and limited mobility are two challenges that often feel like barriers to enjoying life. While individuals generally think of physical therapy to get stronger after a hospitalization or in a rehabilitation setting, it can be part of a complete wellness plan. Physical therapy can improve mobility, manage pain and other chronic conditions, help recover from injury, and prevent future injury and chronic disease.
APTA offers several tools and tips about managing pain. Click to explore these tools:
- Benefits of physical therapy
- Regular physical activity guidelines
- Pain profile to help you talk to your health care provider about how pain is affecting your life.
- Managing pain: questions to ask your health care provider.
- When to choose physical therapy for pain management
“Sometimes pain and mobility limit a person’s experience even in his or her own home,” says Sarah Barger, Administrator at Jennings at Brecksville. “That can cause someone to use a very limited part of the home, creating feelings of being isolated and trapped. We sometimes suggest a physical therapy evaluation for a person who might benefit from it, because we’ve seen several individuals improve their mobility and endurance which truly improves daily life.”
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) offers the following tips to remain active and independent as you age:
- Stay fit. Whether you participate in regular exercise or just want to stay fit for daily activities, exercise is proven to help improve balance, strengthen bones, and prevent heart and brain conditions. Strength training and aerobic exercise can help you maintain and strengthen critical muscle groups.
- Stay balanced. Maintaining balance and avoiding falls are important for maintaining a quality of life. A physical therapist can plan activities and exercises to improve your balance with the goal of preventing falls.
- Assessing the area. A physical therapist can make recommendations that make your home and other environments safer. They suggest eliminating dangerous barriers; for example remove throw rugs and clutter or modify entry thresholds with ramps.
Stay engaged. Successful aging is not only impacted by your environment, but also how you interact with the environment. To ensure active and successful aging, continue to engage with friends, family, and the