While people are living longer because of medical advances in the treatment of terminal and chronic diseases, your bones, muscles, tendons, and joints still deteriorate as you age. Unfortunately, a weakened musculoskeletal system can lead to falls and a lack of physical activity, which can increase your risk of developing additional health issues.
This deterioration was once thought to be an inevitable part of aging. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Physical rehabilitation can help restore or increase strength, range of motion, flexibility, coordination, and endurance.
At Bryn Medical, we put together this list of the top five ways physical rehabilitation can help redefine aging:
Pain is often caused by muscle weakness, inactivity, and injury. Through targeted physical rehabilitation exercises, you can increase your strength, flexibility, and range in motion. Stronger muscles can help relieve pressure on your joints and help support your spine, which in turn helps reduce pain. With less pain, you can remain active and move more.
Increases physical activity
The US Department of Health & Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two sessions of muscle-strengthening exercises a week. Getting enough physical exercise can reduce your risk of developing a host of health issues such as:
• Heart disease
If you’re weak or injured or experiencing pain, it’s unlikely you’ll get the recommended amount of physical activity you need to maximize your health. Physical rehabilitation can not only ensure that you’re strong enough for exercise; it also counts toward your weekly exercise.
Reduces arthritis symptoms
Arthritis, an umbrella term for joint diseases, is a common health issue affecting about 54 million Americans. Common arthritis symptoms include:
• Decreased range of motion
Physical rehabilitation can help relieve these issues so arthritis doesn’t affect your daily activities or quality of life.
Promotes quicker recovery from surgery
Physical rehabilitation before surgery can help you go into the operation stronger, helping you recover more quickly. Post-surgery physical rehabilitation prevents blood clots, improves joint mobility, and increases muscle strength and flexibility.
Physical rehabilitation after surgery can also help you reduce pain and accelerate healing so you can get back to your normal routine at home and work.
Fall rates in the United States have increased by 30% over the last decade. Falls by older adults can lead to injuries that can be especially problematic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent, one out of five falls causes a serious injury, such as broken bones or a head injury.
Physical rehabilitation improves your balance and reduces your risk of falling. A physical therapist also helps you with exercises to improve coordination and can recommend assistive devices to help with safer walking.