The senior segment accounts for approximately 16 percent of the total population in Burnaby BC (home to our physiotherapy clinic), which is nearly proportionately identical to that of Greater Vancouver as a whole. Of course, the senior population of today is quite a bit different from that of generations ago. You’re more active, taking full advantage of retirement in a locale that affords you with a wide variety of recreational opportunities. That being said, there is no denying that advanced age can take its toll on your muscles, joints, ligaments, tissues and everything in between. But by no means does this mean you need to take a back seat to those who were born in the back half of (or after) the baby boomer generation. Instead, you can tap into physiotherapy as a means to live life to the fullest, and leave those young bucks and does eating your dust. Let’s find out how.
Four Ways Physiotherapy Can Help Seniors Take Full Advantage of Life in Greater Vancouver BC
1. Physio Can Reduce the Risk of Falls
Have you had it with the “fallen and can’t can’t get up” infomercials and subsequent jokes? Sure, the risk of falling increases with advanced age, but that doesn’t mean you have to give in and contribute to those statistics. Physiotherapy can be applied to directly minimize the potential for such an unfortunate event that can sideline your plans for local activity and travel alike. A physiotherapist can work with you to improve your Gait (manner of walking), vestibular function, and core fitness (and thus balance). View more about how we reduce your overall risk of falling.
2. Can Effectively Restore Muscle and Strength
As soon as we hit 30 we’re bombarded by stats that tell us we begin to lose muscle mass by the year. It supposedly gets worse above 50. And after 65? Doom and gloom pundits will have you think that you may as well resign to sitting in your recliner because muscle loss and atrophy is irreversible. WRONG. Muscle loss is reversible, at any age.
Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass that comes with advanced age, does result in a lower basal metabolic rate, reduced activity levels, decreased bone density, and weakness. But studies show that sarcopenia can be reversed with weight training and a solid fitness plan, especially one that is guided by a physiotherapist that is experienced in working with seniors. Don’t let another day pass when it comes to retaining and rebuilding your all-important muscle mass.
3. May Assist in Prevention and Recovery of Pneumonia and Other Ailments
Pneumonia is a major cause of mortality among the senior population. A “typical” senior exhibits a greater risk for pneumonia because of a cumulative decline across multiple physiologic systems, weakened immune systems, preexisting conditions, and even via the use of pain medications which can cause users to take shallower breaths and thus contribute to the gathering of mucus in the lungs. Physiotherapy can serve as a preventative measure by staving off the decline in physiologic systems and improving overall physical health, which in turn can strengthen immune function and reduce the need for pain medications and antibiotics. But there’s more.
A recent study has shown that when early physiotherapy is applied to elderly patients that have been admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with pneumonia, there was a notable improvement in recovery over those in the study group who received physiotherapy treatment later on.
The above is certainly not exclusive to pneumonia, but it’s worth noting that if physiotherapy can help abate the risk of one of the most life threatening conditions for seniors, imagine what it can do to strengthen your physical health and immunity across the board.
4. Can Become a Part of Your Normal Health and Wellness Regime
Like the rest of the population, many seniors make the mistake of thinking that physiotherapy is a reactive form of treatment. You may not have considered a visit to a physical therapist when you’re feeling strong and healthy, and instead wait until there’s an injury, ailment, acute or chronic pain. This is a mistake, especially for those of advanced age where prevention is extremely important. By incorporating physiotherapy into your monthly health and wellness regime, you will learn proper body movements that will assist both in your fitness and day to day activities and help keep you free injury. It can effectively reduce your reliance upon prescription drugs (for pain), and can even solve conditions that you did not know were connected to physical therapy (i.e. headaches). Learn more about why everyone (especially seniors) should make physiotherapy a part of their normal health plan.
Regain and/or maintain your health, wellness, and independence while enjoying the bounty of activities found all over the Greater Vancouver area. Contact Absolute PhysioCare at 604.558.2273 to schedule an appointment at our conveniently located clinic in Burnaby, found within a quick and accessible jaunt from the Lougheed Skytrain Station. We look forward to meeting you!