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What is Geriatric Physical Therapy?

Publish Date: Fri, November 03, 2017 - 10:51:00


by Rachel Ehlert, PT, GCS

Physical therapy patients are generally treated by our geriatric team when they are 65 years or older. Most often, we treat geriatric patients for arthritic conditions of the lower back, knees and shoulder, post-surgery healing or general weakness and poor balance, and we base each treatment program on the patient’s individual goals, taking into account their individual needs or limitations.

These patients may be dealing with more than one medical condition or taking a number of medications that might impact their therapy outcomes, and, because many are dealing with issues of body function, they may have additional anxiety. Due to these factors and their age, there’s a common myth that physical therapy can’t be as rigorous or that the approach has to change for these patients. That’s not the case! Research tells us that older adults can tolerate treatment as well as anyone else. We work toward their goals in the same ways we would for any other patient.

The most important part of staying healthy for this age group is maintaining a level of activity. Many people in this demographic (and in others) are doing a lot of sitting. Even getting up and moving for five minutes is beneficial—you need to start somewhere! Especially in the winter months, find some outlet to stay active. Conditions like arthritis often flare up as a result of decreased activity and put geriatric patients at higher risk of pain, stiffness and injury.

Rock Valley Physical Therapy is well-equipped to get our geriatric patients moving and feeling more comfortable. Whether it’s being able to play on the floor with their grandkids or continue their daily swimming habit, we’re here to help our patients reach their goals!

What's your fitness age? Take the Quiz NOW:


Rachel Ehlert is located at our Silvis, IL office.  To make an appointment with Rachel, please contact our office at 309-796-3450. 

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