The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Older Adults

Published on 14/05/2024 by admin

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Last modified 14/05/2024

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Say you’re a nurse who has completed your requisite msn fnp programs online. You’ll have the medical insight to be aware of the many benefits of physical therapy for older adults. 

Some of those benefits? Preventing falls – which become increasingly prevalent as we get older. Reducing the risk of injury and managing bone and muscle soreness are added advantages. But arguably the best reason? The social independence the elderly can maintain when they remain physically mobile. 

Stay with us as we elaborate.

Pain Management: The Advantages of Physical Therapy For Aging Bodies

Feeling sore? Back pain, muscle soreness, and joint stiffness are all common parts of aging. But there’s a way you can minimize those aches and pains and get yourself feeling ship shape again. How? See a physical therapist.

A physical therapist can help older adults with pain management by treating chronic pain at the source. What does this mean? In essence, learning to move our bodies in healthy ways with the guidance of a physical therapist can help release long-pent-up tension, and also, ease the stress we have been holding in various parts of our body – often, for many years. 

Staying Upright: Physical Therapy to Help Prevent Falls

As we age, falling over becomes more frequent. In the US, an older adult aged 65 years or above falls over every second of every day. Due to the frequency and severity of these events, falls are considered a public health concern for elderly Americans. 

But why is falling so serious as we get older? To be frank, for seniors, it’s not a question of simply tripping over and being able to hop right back up, like younger people can. In the case of aging adults, falls can be fatal. At the very least, if an older adult falls over they are at risk of seriously injuring themselves – fracturing bones, or experiencing a concussion or other head injuries. Worse? Frequent falls can also significantly decrease an older adult’s confidence in their ability to move independently. 

But despite the overwhelming statistics, falling does not need to be a normal part of aging. Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) insist that many falls can be prevented – especially if we take the right preventative measures. Engaging in physical therapy is one of them.

Reducing the Risk of Injury: Ways Physical Therapy Can Assist

Falling isn’t the only way senior citizens can injure themselves. Most commonly, the inevitable loss of muscle strength and flexibility that occurs as we age can also cause painful strains, muscle tears, and broken ligaments. 

Physical therapy can help seniors rebuild their muscle strength, improve their balance, and increase their overall mobility – which can result in fewer injuries overall. How? Performing regular exercise – particularly strength and weight training – under the guidance of a trained physical therapist can teach older adults how to move their aging bodies without hurting themselves. 

Promoting Independence: How Physical Therapy Can Keep Older Adults Mobile

Engaging in regular physical activity with the support of a physical therapist can help keep senior citizens on their feet. By improving their balance, stability, and levels of mobility, older adults can regain their confidence in their ability to be physically active. The best part? This can be empowering for many older adults who are still young at heart. 

The truth? Our bodies will, of course, naturally decline in terms of our ability to do all the things we used to do when we were younger. That hike up the local mountain? It may be out of our reach as we get older. Running may also be out of the question. But our ability to stay independent and mobile for as long as possible? This can be supported by engaging the assistance of a physical therapist. 


Physical therapy can provide multiple benefits to older adults. 

Not least, in terms of managing pain, decreasing muscle and bone stiffness and soreness, and even, reducing the risk of injury.

By building up our strength, improving our balance, and increasing our mobility through the help of physical therapy – we can even prevent potentially fatal falls.

But arguably the best part? By helping us stay on our feet, physical therapy can help us retain our independence as we age.