5 facts to know about Senior Physical Therapy

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Written by Dr. Ray Pulido – Doctor of Physical Therapy at Pines of Sarasota

I’m worried about losing my balance and falling. Can physical therapy help with this?

Yes!  A physical therapist can help you improve your balance and strength so you can feel better about walking.  Going on vacation to Europe and worried about going up and down stairs or walking on cobblestones?  Nervous about walking to your car in the evening after the theater, feeling you may lose your balance?  A geriatric physical therapist can help.

I have Parkinson’s or have had a stroke and I haven’t been moving well. Can physical therapy help?

A person who has a neurological condition can greatly benefit from working with a physical therapist intermittently for a “tune up” to improve your confidence with walking and safely getting up from the car seat and stepping up and down curbs.  A physical therapist can help you live an active and independent life even in the presence of a long-term medical condition.

I have low back pain, neck pain, or shoulder pain. Can physical therapy help me?

Physical therapy is one of the most studied, scientifically proven, & trusted treatments in the medical community for the treatment of muscle and joint pain.  That’s why many physical therapists have a doctoral-level education, and why a physician’s prescription is required to start PT care.  It is also an excellent alternative to surgery and opioids, and exercise has excellent side effects of improved strength, improved mood, & supports a healthy lifestyle!

I feel dizzy!  I feel dizzy when I roll over in bed, or I feel dizzy when I first stand up.  Can physical therapy help?

I recommend you talk to a neurologist or primary care physician to determine the cause of the dizziness.  If your dizziness can be helped by PT according, to your medical doctor, look for a physical therapist that specializes in Vestibular Rehabilitation, like those at Pines of Sarasota. These therapists can help people who are dizzy. The Pines also has excellent balance equipment which other physical therapy clinics do not own.

Does physical therapy hurt? I don’t consider myself an exerciser, is it for me?

It depends.  Recovery after a knee/shoulder/hip replacement includes moving the joint back to normal, and healing tissues can feel sore. People with knee arthritis and hip arthritis can also feel sore with exercise.  Fortunately, physical therapists are experts in helping people exercise even in the presence of pain. We can modify exercises in order to get the maximum results with minimal pain.  I wouldn’t say I enjoy flossing my teeth or eating my vegetables, but I gladly do so, because I know it is good for me.  So, if some exercise will allow you to move better, feel better, have less pain, be more independent, and prevent falls, then I say go for it!

Is PT expensive?

PT is covered by Medicare and other health insurance plans.

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