How Physical Therapy Can Help You Stay Independent

How Physical Therapy Can Help You Stay Independent

November 14, 2022

Movement is medicine, I’m sure you’ve heard that before. And as we age, movement becomes so much more crucial than ever. The moment we start to lose our strength, mobility, and energy is the moment we begin to lose our independence. The longer that we can stay out of a wheelchair or walk without assistance, the longer we will have a high quality of life. Have you recently felt concerned about your independence, and are constantly relying on friends and family to help you move around and do simple tasks? 

The most effective and natural way to prolong your independence is engaging in a physical therapy plan, and increasing the overall physical activity in your life. Our team of experts at Universus Physical Therapy and Wellness, a boutique clinic offering physical therapy in Huntington, can help you address and combat these issues you’re facing. 

Tips for Staying Independent as an Aging Adult

As we get older, no one wants to be dependent on others to get through their day. It is so important that we maintain our strength and energy levels to ensure that we can remain independent for as long as possible. Here are some tips from our team to help you remain strong and active as an aging adult: 

  1. Stay Physically Fit

    Keeping fit is arguably the most important factor for adults to maintain independence throughout their lives. This should consist of physical activity on a regular basis, both structured and unstructured. A structured exercise program should involve strength, cardiovascular, and mobility training using resistance about 4-5 days per week for at least 30 minutes at a moderate intensity. Unstructured physical activity should consist of household chores, yard work, running errands, or walking the dog. Adults should try to get in at least 60 minutes of unstructured movement daily.

  2. Maintain Balance and Flexibility

    Remaining balanced and flexible is key throughout our lives as these play into our overall mobility. Additionally, the better our balance and flexibility, the less likely we will experience fall injuries which often end us up in wheelchairs or walkers. Our clinic offering physical therapy in Huntington often prescribes customized exercise programs to improve balance and flexibility in order to prevent dangerously, sometimes life-threatening, fall injuries.

  1. Engage Your Brain

    Staying healthy mentally is just as important as physical health. To help keep your brain engaged, play games and puzzles, and read books and informative articles. It’s also important to stay in touch with loved ones, and get out and engage in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Maintaining your coordination also plays into this factor, as doing this will keep your mind-body connection strong. Our physical therapists will include coordination-related exercises in a session for older adults who need little help keeping their wits sharp! 

What are the Benefits of Seeing a Physical Therapist?

Physical Therapy has an abundance of benefits. Taking a completely drug-free approach, physical therapists are movement specialists who will fully evaluate your body, as well as your injury and medical history. They will assess any and all areas of pain or discomfort, and determine an appropriate course of action.

Our team of experienced, dedicated therapists, will sit down and have a thorough discussion with you regarding any concerns or issues you may have. It is our goal to find the root cause of an issue in your body so we can look at the big picture, not just one part of it.

What Can I Expect During a Normal PT Session?

During a regular session with our doctors of physical therapy, you can expect 45 minutes of one-on-care. This will include time to simply talk about any questions or concerns you may have. Our therapists will have the opportunity to educate you about the work they will provide and its benefits for you. Then, depending on your specific case, your therapists may engage in manual therapy to address any specific pain points or tender areas through manipulation of the musculoskeletal system. 

Next, you will spend time performing specific exercises that are programmed for your body and specific issue. These exercises will help improve your strength, mobility, flexibility, balance, coordination, and endurance and help decrease pain. All of these factors are key for a healthy, independent adult.

Should I Consider Starting a Physical Therapy Program?

If you are someone who loves your independence and is concerned you are losing the ability to engage in everyday activities without assistance, physical therapy may be best for you. A physical therapy plan of care consists of a completely drug-free, safe alternative to invasive surgeries. Your doctor may simply just say that this is a part of aging, however, you can take action to slow and even reverse the signs of aging. Our therapists are experts in the field of human movement. They can prescribe customized exercise programs that work best for your body and situation. 

When you walk out of our clinic, you leave stronger and more independent than when you entered.  If you are interested in trying physical therapy in Huntington, contact us today to get a FREE consultation (a.k.a. Discovery Visit). you can do this by simply visiting our website or giving us a call at (631) 533-2888. We look forward to working with you! 

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