balance issues in elderly

5 techniques PTs use to treat balance issues in elderly patients

Balance issues put you at a high risk of falling, which leaves you susceptible to injury. Fortunately, physical therapy can teach you to manage your condition so you can live a safer life.

Below, we’ll discuss some of the techniques that physical therapists use to treat balance issues in elderly patients.

First, what do we mean when we say “balance disorders”?

We often think of balance disorders as vestibular issues like vertigo or post-concussion symptoms.

However, when we talk about treating balance disorders, we’re talking about all the various issues that affect a person’s stability: arthritis, stroke symptoms, etc.

Even simple age-related muscle degeneration can affect your ability to maintain balance, so physical therapy treatment could be useful for you.

Physical therapy techniques for treating balance disorders in elderly patients

Here are a few methods your physical therapist may use if you’re an elderly person in treatment for a balance-related issue:

  1. Strength training Even if you aren’t as strong as you were in your younger years, some light strength training could help you fortify your lower body muscles to give you more support.
  2. Flexibility training Having the widest possible range of motion helps you to maintain stability as you move about your day.
  3. Movement coaching Through movement assessments and training, your physical therapist will identify any patterns in your movement habits that increase your risk of falling over.
  4. Manual therapy Trained specialists use their bare hands to manipulate your joints and soft tissue, targeting  any tension that could be affecting your posture or range of motion.
  5. Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization — IASTM is a specialized type of manual therapy in which a specialist uses contoured tools to relieve tension and stimulate blood flow in injured or painful areas.

What about surgery or medication?

It’s up to you whether you want to seek surgery or medication for your condition — and some conditions or injuries may require them — but we at SOL Physical Therapy believe that physical therapy offers a valuable alternative to those avenues.

Furthermore, if you must seek surgery, physical therapy can help you prepare for it and rehabilitate afterward to get you back on your feet faster. Our balance training program for seniors incorporates a range of techniques, including Active Release Techniques and our Functional Rehabilitation program.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.

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