Many times, the reason that elderly people decline in health is because of their inability to move. Any elderly person that is affected by disease or broken bones often experience a lack of mobility, and pain often sets in when certain bones and muscle groups need to be stimulated but can’t be, further reducing mobility and thus creating more pain. This is a top concern for many seniors as an immobile body, or a body with limited mobility, due to pain causes many other types of health issues, including a weakened immune system, potential for sepsis and other life-threatening diseases, and much more. The good news is that, even if pain and lack of mobility are of primary concern in many elderly people, the effects can be reversed and health, in many ways, can be restored. See what we, as free home healthcare providers for EEOICPA and RECA beneficiaries, recommend for managing movement pain in the elderly.
In general, our muscular-skeletal system engages different parts of our body for different tasks that we need to perform. You not only walk with your legs, for instance. You walk with legs that have muscles which attach to the back which are connected to your diagram which controls your rib cage, and so on. As we get older, our bodies make compensation for certain muscles that we should be activating but aren’t, often restricting movement in some instances. A lack of movement then leads to more atrophy, and a vicious cycle begins where muscles start pulling on bones which grid together and cause pain. Bone breaks also account for a lack of mobility which can lead to muscle atrophy as well. Regardless the cause, the idea behind most physical therapy approaches is that if you improve certain muscle groups, you can help your body appropriately make adjustments that will relieve pain. Seeing a physical therapist in old age can help you know what types of exercises are appropriate and can help strengthen certain muscle and skeletal groups that help restore function and reduce pain. Once in this cycle, people are more apt to move and exercise more, leading to more health and more function. Physical therapy can, therefore, indirectly result in overall health and wellness.
In the medical community, exercise is by far considered the best way to manage pain. Besides physical therapy, there are other non-conventional means and exercises that an elderly person can also employ to restore function. One of the most popular in today’s society is yoga, which, like physical therapy, focuses on activating muscle groups and improving strength through the whole body. Like yoga, many elderly people take up tai chi, which focuses on stretching and balance. Each non-conventional exercise should be considered by a healthcare professional before a senior tries them, especially if movement is severely limited, but doing these forms of exercise can have very positive, lasting effects if employed, reducing pain and helping seniors move.
Considering the Best Way to Remove Pain in Your Life
Restoring movement and reducing pain may come at a cost, but they certainly help improve an elderly person’s quality of life. Paying the price now for less suffering in the future is always a better option, so consider what you can do to reduce pain in your life and ask your healthcare professional what type of exercise regime is right for you.