Physical therapists help people move. They partner with patients so that they can return to activity or achieve increased activity. Improving one’s ability to move leads to increased independence, safety, and quality of life.
Whether the goal is to walk down the driveway to check the mail, safely ambulate in one’s home, improve independence with ADLs, or return to recreational fitness activities, physical therapists are trained to help their patients return to their daily activities with increased mobility and decreased pain.
Our method of achieving these goals may change depending on the patient population, however, the goal remains the same.
Most people often think about fall prevention as the most common theme physical therapists work on with the aging population. However, the truth is that we can do so much more to help impact their quality of life.
To some extent, we must think about the phrase “age is just a number.”
Think about the 86 year old woman who competes in triathlons (having already completed 45 and counting)(2). Would it be beneficial for this patient if she was advised to stop? I think not. One could argue that her activity level keeps her healthy and able to participate in something that many of us could only imagine participating in.
Being able to move better, with less pain and fatigue, gives patients the opportunity to do things they want to, rather than simply letting life pass them by. Our physical therapists use their resourcefulness and training to provide this care by using a variety of concepts, approaches, treatment methods, and resources.
Does overall health improve because of movement? Does movement prevent overall health from declining at a rapid pace? The answer to both of those questions is yes.
One cannot expect to move better if he, or she, does not move at all. Movement impacts health no matter the age. As physical therapists, we can work with each patient on increasing their mobility, and by doing so, we can help decrease pain and prevent overall health from rapidly declining.
No one should be prevented from living life because of a lack of mobility. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with decreased mobility (pain with movement, stiffness or soreness) call us to set up a free 30 minute pain consultation. You will have the chance to meet with our therapists and ask questions about your symptoms and the treatment programs we offer.
Don’t wait another day to get back to life. Call us at (616) 785-8535.
– Marti Alderink, DPT
Citations courtesy of: 1. http://www.wcpt.org/wptday-take-part 2. http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/fitness/meet-the-iron-nun-86-year-old-triathlon-running-sister-madonna-buder-stars-in-new-nike-ad/ar-BBvMMVI