Physical Therapy: Your Secret Weapon for Healthy Aging

Everyone knows that staying active is vital for good health at any age. As we get older, our need to stay active becomes even more important. But just when they need it most, many men and women find pain getting in the way.

Sometimes we find that our shoulders are a little stiffer than they used to be. Maybe your lower back lets you know that lugging those bags of potting soil around wasn’t such a great idea. Many of us suffer mobility issues as we age, but that doesn’t mean we just have to live with them.

There are a lot of medications, ointments, and braces that promise to cure those aches, but they’re all temporary fixes. If you want to regain your mobility and vitality, the experts at Midtown East Physical Therapy can lead the way.

Physical therapy and longevity

Millions of Americans over 65 struggle with the simple task of walking. Many of us want to live to old age, but more than just getting there, we want to maintain a high standard of living. We want to be independent and free to do the things we love and enjoy.

But as we age, basic activities that used to be normal, like walking, running, and climbing, often become challenging. Many people are afraid to grow old, not because of the age, but because of what life will look like once they’re there.

So how can you ensure healthy aging? For many, the answer is physical therapy.

You may know that physical therapy is often used to treat mechanical injuries. For example, athletes often go through therapy regimens after surgery to their knees, joints, muscles, and bones. The therapy helps them recover as much as possible from the injury to ensure mobility and promote strength.

What you may not know is that physical therapy has a broader application. Physical therapy helps with a variety of mobility issues; it can help train your body to move correctly, easing issues like arthritis; and it can help prevent injury.

Physical therapy is also a prominent solution for a range of pain issues.

Foot pain

Your foot may seem like such a little thing, but it’s literally the foundation on which the rest of the body stands. When your foot hurts, it affects every other part of your body. Foot pain can be the result of many different conditions, such as plantar fasciitis or tears in the ligaments or tendons of the ankle.

It becomes very easy to limp or to change your gait in an effort to help the sore foot. But before long, this compensation leads to pain in your knee, hip, and back. Even after the foot heals, the habitual limp may remain.

Physical therapy can help you become aware of these changes, as well as help you strengthen your legs and stretch those healed tendons so that you can achieve a natural, pain-free gait again.

Knee pain

Knees are among the most common areas where people experience pain. Many former athletes have used and abused those joints to the point where they are easily damaged. Osteoarthritis and joint swelling only add to the pain.

For some, a knee brace may help for a day or two, but in the long run, strengthening the muscles in the leg and glutes with physical therapy will support your knees better than any piece of elastic. Your physical therapist can help you put that spring back in your step.

Back pain

Back pain affects every part of your life, and it can be brought on by a number of conditions. Osteoarthritis, bone spurs, and other spine issues can develop from years of sitting behind a desk or walking the floor.

Physical therapy teaches you exercises that will strengthen your core muscles: abdomen, sides, and buttocks. This gives your back better support, taking pressure off sensitive nerves and reducing pain.

Benefits of physical therapy on aging

Aging doesn’t have to hurt. You can keep your body healthy and active as you age if you check in regularly with your physical therapist. Our doctors at Midtown East Physical Therapy are here to help you weed out and address problems in your gait, movement, and activities before they become painful.

Call our New York office or book an appointment online to find out how physical therapy can benefit you.

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