The quality of life of the elderly is one of the most important factors to take into account to ensure their well-being. As we will comment in the following sections, physiotherapy is one of the disciplines recommended to implement the measures of a more effective prevention to maintain an optimal health.
Secrets to a healthy aging
Studies carried out by the Tomás Pascual Institute in 2008 confirm that not being and eating an unhealthy diet can lead to subtract up to a decade of life. Apart from poor diet, it is essential to take into account other factors such as:
Poor postural education.
Bad habits (smoking or habitual consumption of alcoholic drinks).
The direct consequence of all this, is to increase the possibilities of suffering from diabetes, changes in cardiovascular health; it can magnify the pain if you suffer from osteoarthritis or arthritis and as well as a loss of independence and autonomy that could alter the mental health of the person.
We consider that physical exercise also helps to socialize with people of the same age group. And it is without a doubt, highly recommended to keep in touch with other people with whom you share hobbies and activities. Keeping your mind busy pushes depression and anxiety away.
How does the body change over the years?
From the age of 65, it is common to experience the following changes, due to time:
- The alteration of body structure, cell functions and the connective tissues.
- A reduction in active metabolic mass.
- The drop in the level of oxygen in the blood.
- Increased chances of suffering from osteoporosis and fractures.
- Alterations in the functioning of the digestive and urinary system.
- Changes in bone marrow and red blood cell levels.
- An increase in the fat mass that surrounds the more important viscera
- Impaired sensory capacity.
- Reduced muscle flexibility and balance.
- The lack of adaptability of the immune system.
Biologically natural situations that are good to know, to be able to prevent its harmful effects, acquiring good habits and carrying out moderate and constant physical exercise.
What is the most recommended physical exercise?
If we ask anyone if they exercise, 70% of people will say yes, but we must bear in mind that walking a few 15 minutes a day is not enough.
It is necessary to dedicate to the sport about 30 minutes for at least three days a week and with appropriate resistance. Studies conducted by Ashford in 1993 confirm that those who do so find greater motivation and well-being. Four types of exercises can be performed:
- Resistance. They help improve cardiovascular health and circulation in a general way.
- Strengthening. They effectively fight the loss of muscle tissue.
- Flexibility. Stretching is part of this group, essential for keeping muscles in perfect condition and to adapt your body to the daily effort.
- Coordination and balance. They are recommended to prevent fallsand to make moving easier..
And how can physiotherapy contribute?
From physiotherapy we can perform a highly effective action and proactively to counteract and to stop motor and functional problems derived from natural aging. We can analyze what happens and make a work proposal to improve your physical condition during our first meeting.
Our goal is to achieve balance and achieve regain harmony in the movements that are necessary to enjoy everyday life again. These are the steps we follow:
The anamnesis that we propose consists of knowing what the patient thinks of their physical problems and which are the ones that most affect their loss of quality of life. No one better than the persons experiencing the symptoms to tell us what they want to correct.
Assessment and diagnosis
One of our physiotherapists is in charge of conducting this evaluation following the next steps in the analysis process:
• Observation. The professional will check certain points on the body of the anterior, posterior and lateral area to test its morphology and mobility.
- Assessment of physical capacity. This test assesses flexibility, strength, aerobic function, reaction capacity and balance.
- Analysis of the medical evidence that the patient can provide.
Nutrition status. It is verified which the anthropometric index is, which the physical and psychological state of the patient are and questions about the type of food are made. The opinion of the patient in this section is essential for us.
Improving the joint ability in the patients, increasing their strength and flexibility, regaining balance and coordination are our main objectives in this phase, as well as how to make your well being help you have an active life with the people around yourself. We will reduce stress and pain levels through postural re-education.
We want the person who comes to our clinic to stop taking many of the pain killer medications.
We have sufficient training and experience to perform successful diagnoses that allow us to act from the root of the problem, using the most effective technologies and advanced manual physiotherapy techniques for successful recovery from pain, injury and diseases of the spine.
We treat all kinds of problems: sciatica, herniated discs, stiff spine, neck pain, nerve impingement, muscle contractures, osteoarthritis …
And once the pain is gone and movement and function are re-established , it will be time to increase the work with a training program. Because we believe that it is important for the patient to take an active role in your recovery. A good training program adapted to the patient’s personal conditions and capabilities will keep pain away, and so the patients will stay active and they will have a good performance in life.
During the whole process, the patients will never feel like being in a gym or that they must achieve a specific goal. The good physiotherapist always takes into account the initial evaluation to go on tailoring the corresponding workouts so that they can do them in a right way.
Thus, older people can find in physiotherapy a perfect alternative to reduce pain, regain your will to live, improve their state of health, and above all, to change their way of seeing life.
We consider that it is essential to take this option into consideration if you want to face such an important life stage with the necessary optimism.