Orthopedic physiotherapy for seniors. How to get back in shape quickly?

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With mature age comes health problems. These often limit the activities of older people, making rehabilitation necessary. Physiotherapy exercises can also be done at home.

Physical activity is good at any age. However, it is particularly important for older people, as unstimulated joints and muscles can shrink and cause pain. Even small rehabilitation exercises, done with a specialist and on your own, can improve your quality of life and eliminate the risk of injury and hospitalisation. Learn all about physiotherapy – in a nutshell – from this article

How does physiotherapy work?

Physiotherapy aims to eliminate discomfort (such as muscle spasms) and pain. Rehabilitation activities include treatments with light-emitting or current-emitting devices, as well as gentle exercises and massages. In addition to physiotherapy done with the help of a specialist, seniors can also exercise at home – they are given a list of exercises they can safely do at home.

Nowadays, there is a lot of information on physiotherapy for specific ailments, such as joint pain and traumatic limb injuries, as well as tutorials on YouTube. If you have a senior who doesn’t like to move, show them what exercises they should be doing – and even do them with them!

Let’s start at the beginning

A referral for physiotherapy is made by your primary care physician. This is the doctor you should go to, not only to be able to undergo rehabilitation on the National Health Fund (NFZ), but also to carry out basic tests that will help to determine the condition of your senior. These include morphology, ECG or sugar measurement

It is also worth remembering that the range of exercises in rehabilitation is set individually, taking into account the specific pain of the elderly person, their anatomical conditions or physical condition. The more hours of rehabilitation a doctor recommends, the greater the chance that some of them will have to be paid for out of pocket, as the range of services offered by the National Health Fund is limited.

How to exercise at home?

It is worth remembering that physiotherapy is not only massages and exercises under supervision of a specialist. Some exercises can be easily done at home, such as chest stretching or ankle exercises

However, any physical activity helps to reduce the risk of further injuries, so it’s worth encouraging seniors to take regular walks – even to a nearby park or to buy some bread at the store. As little as 15 minutes of walking outdoors at a leisurely pace can contribute to improving overall fitness.

How to encourage seniors to exercise?

Often seniors refuse to go to rehabilitation or are not motivated enough to exercise on their own at home

Have a frank discussion with your senior about the tangible benefits of physiotherapy – better shape, less pain, no hospital visits, etc. – and also try to support her in her daily sporting challenges. Go out for a walk with her, show her new and more interesting exercises – just get involved! Sports should be fun, and nothing is more fun than shared moments with your family.

Main photo: Christian Bowen/unsplash.com

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