Did you know? October is National Physical Therapy month. As we age it’s important to remember to prioritize our health. One way to do that is by taking care of ourselves when we are in pain.
Are you wondering how you can accomplish that in order to maintain your health? There’s one answer: physical therapy.
According to Web MD, physical therapy is a non-drug, no-surgery treatment that works for arthritis, cancer pain, Parkinson’s and incontinence and improves your strength and endurance.
General aging can cause many seniors to be in a lot of pain whether they have arthritis, recently fell, have been in an accident, sick, or simply just tired. To help you understand what physical therapy can do for you or a loved one, we’ll walk through four physical therapy types according to seniorliving.org:
- Manual Therapy
Manual therapy is done by the therapist with their hands. The goal is to reduce any pain and relax the patient. This process includes massaging muscles to improve circulation and reduce pain. It also includes slow movements to stretch arms or legs—twisting and pulling joints or bones and making sure they are put into place.
- Electrical Stimulation
This type of physical therapy is when electrical currents are going through the body in hopes to contract the muscles that may not be working as they should. Electrical stimulation is used when someone is experiencing pain, spasms or muscular weakness.
- Heat Therapy
Heat is used when the need is to relax muscles and increase blood circulation. Heat therapy is a great way to loosen stiff joints caused my immobility. Another use of this therapy is to loosen the muscles before further physical activity takes place.
- Cold Therapy
Cold therapy is a great type of physical therapy for those with arthritis. Cold temperatures are used to reduce pain and inflammation. This type of therapy often follows the process, also known as RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), physical therapy can restore or increase strength, range of motion, flexibility, coordination, and endurance – as well as reduce pain. Another role is to help the patient to do everyday tasks. If you or a loved one feels they are in pain, physical therapy may be the solution.