The COVID-19 pandemic has caused short-term and long-term major dysfunctions.

In the respiratory system that require the application of special techniques.

In these cases, respiratory physiotherapy is an ally that improves the function of the muscles to breathe.

We will show below what it is about and what its benefits are.

What is respiratory physiotherapy?

It is a specialty within physiotherapy aimed at prevention, treatment and stabilization of respiratory disorders such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, respiratory insuffiency, bronchitis, or tuberculosis.

Its application improves, among other things, ventilation in the lung area, dyspnea, gasses exchange, muscle function, and tolerance to exercise.

Respiratory physiotherapy is made up of a set of procedures that allow to diagnose different conditions to then perform therapeutic techniques that release the airways.

They also promote respiratory relaxation and readjust effort in each patient.

These procedures can be done at home, a clinic or hospital, even when the patient is intubated, but they should always be done by a  professional physiotherapist.


Its benefits

At present, we can say that respiratory physiotherapy improves dyspnea significantly, exercise capacity, and quality of life related to health. 

As the main objective is to eliminate secretions (accumulated mucus), obstructions that make breathing difficult, are avoided to decrease the possibility of lung infections.

Among its benefits we have:

1. It reduces dyspnea (feeling short of breath) immediately as well as respiratory distress.

2. It keeps the airways open and free of secretions, in addition to avoid the accumulation of mucus in the lungs.

3. It improves lung expansion and elasticity, preventing injuries.

4. It helps control coughing.

5. It increases the strength of the respiratory muscles.

6. It recovers the ideal breathing and the model of correct breathing is learnt. 

7. It reduces the time of hospital stay.

8. It improves gasses exchange and it facilitates oxygen to reach all the cells of the body.

9. It prevents postural defects.

10. It improves the quality of life of the person by providing a better night rest. Also, it reduces the disease process, it decreases the need for medications and it teaches the patient to keep calm. 

As we can see, physiotherapy improves the supply of oxygen to the whole body, by releasing it from the secretions produced in the respiratory airways.


Next, we will name other benefits considering some specific areas where it can be used.

In paediatrics

Respiratory physiotherapy can be applied to babies and children as long as it is required. Even more, when infants are susceptible to diseases such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia.

The therapy improves the gasses exchange and breathing. Its use in babies is essential, since their respiratory system is still developing and it may present oxygenation problems.

In outpatient therapies

It provides relief in chronic diseases such as asthma and cardiac insuffiency. Depending on the particular requirements of the patient, it can be carried out once or twice a week until the user’s condition is restored.

In hospitals

We perform it when the patient is hospitalized and sometimes immobilized. 

In these cases, we recommend respiratory and motor physiotherapy during the stay. A daily session improves or prevents the development of some respiratory disease and it strengthens lung function.


In home therapies

It is indicated for patients who has been discharged and are in their recovery phase.

It can improve the health of the patient in cardiac events (heart attack), respiratory disorders or transplants.

We will do it once or twice a week. In this process, the patient should perform daily kinesiotherapy exercises that are indicated.

The healthcare professional can be supported by equipments that do more fluid secretion and facilitate its removal, such as nebulizers and flutter (small pipe-shaped device with a steel ball inside).


Respiratory physiotherapy in COVID-19 times

Severe COVID-19 patients can spend a lot of time in intensive care, being immobile and connected to breathing apparatus. Infection, inflammation and lack of movement lead to significant loss of mass muscle, including the respiratory muscles.

Pneumonia is one of the main diseases caused by a virus. This condition causes lung function to be decreased in a great way.

 In recovery, the lung tissue is severely affected, with scars and thickenings that make it difficult for oxygen to reach the capillaries and, therefore, they affect breathing.

The alteration caused by pulmonary fibrosis is gradual and irreversible, but if caught early and treated, it can be delayed or stopped.



In addition to respiratory sequelae, as a result of prolonged immobility, muscle atrophy develops with reduced strength and joint mobility in extremities and trunk.

Respiratory physiotherapy includes, in these cases, physical exercises and tips on managing symptoms and sequelae to improve quality life of the patient.

Physiotherapy exercises. Treatment and prevention

There are different techniques with which we will help the patients in their recovery and maintenance of health. Among these, we can find:

1. Postural drainage. It is the most popular technique for removing secretions. The goal is to get the mucus to drain into the larger bronchi and trachea by effect of gravity and to be expelled with coughing. It is important that the patient knows how to cough and breathe deeply.

2. Expansion exercises. It involves expanding the thorax with big hold inspirations, retention and slow expiration.

3. Diaphragmatic breathing. It refers to periods of slow breathing with the relaxation of the accessory muscles, together with the  diaphragmatic breathing.

4. Chest percussion. They are continuous tapping with the hollow of our hand.

5. Chest vibration. Hands are placed on the rib cage and it produces a vibration with the breathing. They combine the compression and postural drainage. It serves to dislodge secretions attached to the bronchial walls.

6. Chest compression. It is done with a hug that compresses the rib cage, where pressure is applied to the lower and lateral portions of thorax and sternum.

7. Intended coughing. Coughing can be triggered by gently pressing on the trachea when inspiration ends. It allows mucus (that has been removed) to be expelled or it can be swallowed. 

Although physical therapy is not a substitute for medical treatment, it complements and improves its effectiveness.

It helps to accelerate the recovery of the patients so that they can breathe freely.



Most people don’t see a doctor until they feel pain and discomfort in their body. They do not know that we can avoid the suffering and deterioration of the organism with specific prevention actions.

The salutogenic model focuses on this.

Salutogenic model and prevention

The salutogenic model is based on studies by Aaron Antonovsky in the surviving women of the concentration camps.

They, despite having suffered extreme conditions of stress and suffering, were able to recover and improve.

The sociologist detected that there are two basic components to achieve this recovery: resources and a sense of coherence.

How does the salutogenic model influence the maintenance of health?

The means of recovery are linked to the terms or characteristics that people possess or that can be found in the environment; they can be knowledge, money, clothes, food, intelligence, etc.

We should identify them and then make use of them from the better way.

Appropriate and focused use of these resources helps create a sense of coherence of the individual, that is, the orientation he/she has towards life, a feeling of confidence in believing that everything will improve and go well.


Some researchers define it as a strategy to face the stress, to solve problems or overcome tragic events.

This would explain the health and well-being that some people achieve, and that allows them to achieve a higher quality of life.

Positive thinking, positive health

We must emphasize that health is related with psychosocial and physical factors, which can promote the well-being of people and pain reduction.

Among the healthy factors are the following:

  • Personal satisfaction
  • Altruistic actions
  • Recognition of self-control
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Autonomy
  • Valuable interpersonal relationships

Positive thoughts lead to healthy emotions (self-esteem, security, pride, love, fulfillment, etc.) and, in the end, they build the pillars of positive health.

Prevention and health

The salutogenic model proposes to provide people with knowledge and tools that allow them to take advantage of their own resources, enhance their quality of life and create healthy habits.

One of these primary tools is prevention.


It is an advantageous instrument to promote health.

It focuses on communities and individuals to make them aware of the importance of their positive actions in anticipating a pathological case.

‘Better safe than sorry’ popular wisdom says and, in the case of health, it is totally true.

Each person, through the use of available resources, can avoid conditions that lead to physical or mental illness.

What are the risk conditions?

They are the conditions that we must monitor every day or with the recommended frequency.

We can adopt the following prevention actions and habits:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Doing exercise
  • Getting medical tests to detect hypertension, obesity, glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride or parasite levels.
  • Giving up habits like smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Developing a sense of coherence aimed at well-being.

According to the information provided by World  Health Organization, chronic diseases include a 63% of annual deaths in all the world.

These diseases develop slowly and gradually, but their treatment and correction are possible with early detection.

These diseases include the following:

  • Cardiovascular diseases such as metabolic syndrome, heart attack acute myocardial or stroke.
  • Chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma.
  • Diabetes.
  • Oncological diseases such as cancer.

Why should we wait for an extreme case or a severe pain?

We can detect most diseases with properly diagnoses. It is easier to prevent and has less associated costs.

Types of prevention

There are three levels of prevention depending on when it is detects the state of the disease.

Primary prevention

It aims to prevent the onset of the disease by controlling the risk factors , so it is carried out in healthy individuals.


Some examples are vaccination campaigns, feeding campaigns, physical exercise or the reduction of domestic accidents.

Secondary prevention

It is focused on stopping or slowing down the process of a disease that has already begun.

The actions it includes are early detection, diagnosis and the treatment.

In this phase, the treatments are more efficient.

The campaigns to detect the cancer are an example of secondary prevention

Tertiary prevention

In this case, the person is already sick and prevention is carried out in order to delay or reduce the sequelae and complications of affectation.

It is intended to improve people’s quality of life.

Some examples are the therapy with children with Down syndrome or post-infarction rehabilitation.

Physiotherapy as a key element of prevention

The common thing is that we visit the physiotherapy clinic when we suffer an injury or we feel severe pain, but in rare situations, we consider it as a useful prevention tool.

Of course, physiotherapy is really important in the treatment of injured patients, but it also has a preventive competence, it is a sanitary branch.

  • It serves to prevent injuries.
  • It spreads postural corrections and it stimulates fitness with exercises that prevent musculoskeletal injuries.
  • It promotes the reeducation of the body against repetitive movements.
  • It stimulates the learning and practice of rehabilitation movements to increase muscle tone and posture.
  • It teaches people how to do usual activities to avoid injury.

Physiotherapy in seniors

Nowadays, most people want to grow old healthy. For this, geriatric physiotherapy has a lot to offer.

It is dedicated to working with patients over 65 years of age in prevention of injuries or in the improvement of pathologies related to age such as loss of joint function, balance, or muscle mass.


The ailments that can occur with age have a solution.

Sometimes a personalized exercise program is enough and it is supervised by the physiotherapist.

They will help us maintain our autonomy and independence with physical and psychological benefits.

The premises of the salutogenic model have a highly potential beneficial for health and to reduce pain;

It is introduced gradually, and it includes prevention methods as well such as physiotherapy that will make us have a better state of health throughout our life.


All the actions that the human body performs can be done differently with different postures.
Ergonomics and postural hygiene are focused on performing them safely to reduce the load on the spine and associated muscles.

What is posture and postural hygiene?

Posture is the position that each person adopts when performing their activities, when walking, sitting, standing or sleeping. On the other hand, postural hygiene is a group of alignments to maintain the correct position movement of the body in motion or immobility, in order to avoid injuries and to protect mainly the spine.

Proper posture maintains symmetrical body alignment around the head-spine-pelvis axis with the total weight distributed equitably.
Bad posture does not respect this alignment.

Factors affecting posture

Not only movements done incorrectly or repetitively affect posture, there are factors that may go unnoticed and that noticeably alter.

  • Genetic and anatomical factors, like the particularities of birth.
  • Mood, tension and stress.
  • The objects that are occupied and loaded daily: bed, sofa, bags, work chair, etc …
  • Sport or training.
  • Overweight.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Bad nutrition.
  • Physological state of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Excessive muscle requirement.

higiene postural

Dangers of incorrect postures

 Performing efforts and maintaining daily postures correctly reduces the risk of back pain and possible damage to health. On the other hand, not maintaining proper postural hygiene can produce functional and physical disorders that directly affect the quality of life of the person.

Spinal affections

1. Hyperlordosis: It appears as a very marked curvature of the spine in the lower back, as if forming a “C” in the lumbar region.

2. Hyperkyphosis: It is the increase in the anterior curvature of the spine vertebral and dorsal.

3. Scoliosis: Structural malformation of the spine that looks like a “C” or “S” shaped curve due to lateral deviation. It alters the spinal flexion and vertebral rotation.

4. Rectifications: They consist of the reduction of normal curvature of the spine, that is, when it is straighter than normal. It can occur at the lumbar, cervical or dorsal level.

Impairments in daily life

1. There is a risk of having more injuries to different parts of the body when overloading some body areas and leaving others unprotected.

2. With a curved spine the abdominal muscles are weakened and they may have a bulging belly.

higiene postural

3. Lumbar pain in the back from being hunched over a lot time, standing or carrying very heavy objects, as more pressure is done on the back and neck.

4. Pains in the center of the back when sitting or standing for a while excessive because of our work routines, for example. Chronic neck and shoulder pain generated by an overload on the last cervical vertebrae by maintaining a fixed position in an incorrect way  (typing on the computer or washing dishes).

Also, it usually occurs when there are contractures generated by stress.

5. Tingling and numbness of arms and legs (paresthesia).

6. Impaired appearance, as an incorrect body posture projects an image with more age and weight, while the proper posture provides slenderness and elegance.

7. Muscles and bones can be misaligned, affecting the joints and movement.

8. The spinal column wears down and becomes more fragile.

9. Flexibility and stretching of the muscles is decreased.

9. More falls and injuries can result from impaired balance.

10. Respiration and digestion are difficult due to “trapping” the area of ​​the abdomen with a hunched posture.

higiene postural

Benefits of being aware of the need for a correct body posture.

  • It improves breathing and circulation. When people are keep hunched over, the lung capacity decreases, as straightening the oxygen flow increases up to 30%.
  • It provides energy. Breathing better favours energy expenditure, it reduces the risk of feeling depressed and limits chronic fatigue.
  • It prevents muscle aches, injuries and spinal disorders.
  • It distributes correctly the body mass, it avoids lumbago, cervicalgias, and other muscular pains.
  • It reduces stress. Sitting upright increases resistance to work and avoid negative emotions. Some studies have published that the level of fear also decreases with a good position.
  • It provides a feeling of well-being. By improving breathing and eliminating muscle pain creates a feeling of harmony and comfort.
  • It increases self-esteem. You have more confidence in yourself, it generates the feeling of power and encourages positive thoughts.

Prevention and recommendations

To have a proper posture it is necessary:

  • Being aware of it during everyday activities.
  • Staying active with gentle exercises like yoga, walking, or practice swimming.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight to avoid increasing load on the dorsal spine and pelvis.
  • Wearing comfortable low-heeled shoes, high heels alter the balance, increase pressure on the muscles and can cause falls.
  • Ensuring that working areas have the height proper sitting position, as well as finding the correct postures in our daily habits.
  • Performing physical therapy with health experts to eliminate pain and avoid further injury.

Examples of postural hygiene

When sleeping

The best position is on your back or slightly on your side. The knee must be bent a little and the hips and shoulders must be slightly rotated as prevention. The pillow should help the head and neck stay straight with the column. To prevent the hip from dropping, it can be placed a pad between the knees.

When sitting

Considering the height and back of the chair, the movements required and the tools needed. The feet should rest on the floor and the knees should stay at hip height. The endorsement must present the lumbar curvature with a soft material. You must get up and walk or move every 50 minutes. The necessary objects must be found at the arm distance.

Ironing and cooking

The most important thing is the ergonomics of our equipment and kitchen: the counter and ironing board should be at the level of your navel and the use of a small bench to rest and alternate feet is highly recommended. Taking care of postural hygiene and ergonomics in all daily activities will promote a healthy, and energetic way of life and without pain.


Experiencing continued pain of any kind generates in people a negative impact on their daily activities and prevents them from enjoying the life in a full and satisfactory way. Identifying the consequences is a step towards recovery.

Pain is an unpleasant physical sensation, related to damage in body tissues and that limits people’s ability or capacity to carry out your daily activities. It can be sharp (short duration) or chronic (long-term, generally more than six months).

Types of pain

There are different ways to classify it. Sometimes they overlap and they are regularly interrelated. The following classification is one of the best known:

– Nociceptive: caused by a condition in the body and it acts as a protective sign. Some examples are: joint pain, low back pain, sports injuries.

Inflammatory: caused by damage to the soft tissues of the muscular and skeletal structure. It is usually local and perceived as mild or intense. It presents more frequently in the hips, shoulders, hands or lower back.

– Neuropathic: related to nerve injuries. It can be described such as tingling or stinging sensations. Sometimes the main cause is not detected.

 Most significantly, it can alter people’s lifestyles and it can affect family and work activities and independence.

Chronic pain

When you have an acute illness, it is possible to know that you have an injury or a problem that, when taken care of, it is solved quickly. When the pain is chronic, the situation changes. It can last for months or even years. The origin can be an infection or injury or have a keep going cause.

Sometimes an apparent cause is not shown, the person suffers from osteoarticular pain, headaches, low back pain, neuropathic or cancer pain.

Many older adults suffer from chronic conditions. These are presented more frequently in women than in men and, in general, they have psychological consequences.


People with chronic pain often develop psychological and interpersonal conditions economic problems, and their quality of life is seriously diminished.

Psychological problems

They appear gradually and they make people to stop performing their habitual activities and this leads to people becoming socially isolated.

– People often feel tired or suffer from insomnia.

– They lose appetite or taste for food and lose weight.

– Sexual desire decreases, there is apathy and even losing the ability to feel pleasure and enjoy things appears.

Anxiety, depressive disorders, disappointment and feelings of despair are presented.

– Low self-esteem.

– In very prolonged cases, irritability, sadness, mood changes.

– The perception of uselessness and / or guilt is strengthened.

– Demotivation appears and many future plans collapse or remain unfinished.

– Intrusive thoughts develop, which make the person believe that is under the control of their own pain and makes them unable to do work or enjoy activities.

– In severe cases there are thoughts of death and suicide.

In addition to physical harm and suffering, people with chronic pain see their interpersonal life affected, by not meeting the expectations of their beloved ones.

Their quality of life worsens considerably with lack of physical activity, independence and lack of entertainment. Economic problems become serious with possible sick leave, medical costs or disability.

Aspects that are affected

Chronic affectations produce great psychological and emotional reactions which can increase the patient suffering in various aspects:

Physiological: it affects the functionality of the own biological structure of the human being.

Mental: it causes negative thoughts and vicious circles.

Emotional: it directly affects the self-esteem and image of the person that suffers.

Behavioural: it modifies activity patterns and alters daily tasks

Social: it is generated by the voluntary isolation that the person is infringing himself/herself.

On many occasions, the very conception of life is modified and it establishes a new one in which pain is an integral and daily part of the personal world of the sick person.

Prevention and treatment

Most prevention cases focus on inflammatory pain, with measures in the hygiene of the posture, in balanced diet and healthy, in blood tests to identify vitamin levels, hormones and chemicals, bone densitometry or spinal exams. The required tests are found in the “Pain Check up” that health professionals use with their patients.

On the other hand, psychological treatments have shown good results to improve the chronic condition suffered by many patients:

Relaxation. Considering that people with chronic pain feel strong tension and anxiety, relaxation techniques decrease adrenergic activity and generate feelings of peace and acceptance. The most used techniques are: massage, emotional release technique, progressive muscle relaxation, tai chi, breathing techniques, yoga or neurostructural physiotherapy.

Biofeedback. Also known as biofeedback, it is used to restore the body’s self-regulation.

Commitment and acceptance therapy. It consists of accepting suffering and it establishes a strategy that avoids confrontation, in addition to commit to basic goals for growth and improvement.

Hypnosis. To work on the thoughts, emotions and behaviours of afflicted people, this technique promotes their change as a key factor.

Mindfulness. This therapy is based, fundamentally, on focusing on the present moment without judging, predisposing or interpreting, but on accepting reality as it is. Some studies report that patients undergoing this treatment have a higher quality of life and live with fewer negative emotions.

Emotional writing. It is believed that, when writing the situations and experiences, these are organized to make sense of future experiences and facilitate social relationships.

Physiotherapy. The treatments that physical therapy can offer are focused on going to the root of the problem, acting effectively and holistically , to eliminate or mitigate pain. There are many treatments and manual techniques, as well as medical equipment, which has proven to be a key tool in the treatment of chronic pain.

  Working with attention. Attention is selective, limited, and controllable, which means that it “chooses” which stimuli it attends, because they cannot be all of them, and it is possible to “focus” its priorities.

If attention is focused on pain, the painful experience intensifies and causes more suffering and discomfort (magnifying glass effect) so it is important to “distract” it with activities of intense interest.

If you want to improve the quality of life and reduce chronic pain and its effects, there are professionals who can integrate different techniques and therapies, healthy habits and promotion of self-care to achieve surprising and lasting results.


Older people experience, to a greater or lesser extent, mobility difficulties associated with the rigors of age.

These complications are also noticeable inside their homes. Not in vain, it is the space in which they spend the most hours throughout the day. Within the framework of active aging that we wish for all our older people, it is essential to condition their homes so that accidents related to their growing health mobility problems can be avoided. 

Next, we will review how we have to approach the adaptation of their homes to make it really effective.

The keys to a home adapted to the elderly

First of all, we must bear in mind that, when adapting a housing for reduced mobility, we should not wait for the accident to occur. At these ages, its consequences can become even irreversible.

Therefore, the home adaptation process must be progressive. Apart from avoiding the misfortunes mentioned above, it will be necessary for the elderly person to get used to the novelties that are being implemented, from a psychological point of view.

It is important that they don’t feel traumatized by including too many changes in a short space of time, since they could overwhelm them. And besides, an elevator, a stair lift or a ramp cannot be installed overnight.

Likewise, we have to appreciate that we not only prepare a house adapted to the day-to-day life of its main resident. This one also has to have the appropriate accessories for caregivers.

These caregivers can be family or friends, but also professionals, so we have to bear in mind their needs as well to achieve the maximum benefits of active aging.

Aging in Place Design Checklist: How to Design Safe and Accessible Homes

Although each room requires its adaptation processes, depending on of its different uses and characteristics, there are some guidelines that we must bear in mind     when we want to make the house safer for the old person.

The first thing to remember is that we always have to get information about the legal nature of the works we want to undertake.

There are some of them, such as the placement of certain technical aids, which do not involve great difficulties or annoyances. For example, placing a handhold or unfolding a non-slip mat will not require any special procedure, beyond its installation.

However, any action that affects the facilities shared with the neighbourhood will involve agreements within the framework of decision of the neighbourhood community. In this respect, it should be remembered that the new Universal Accessibility Law favours the elimination of architectural barriers.

In this sense, if the elderly person who suffers from mobility problems is also disabled, he/she will have a better chance of obtaining benefits in the field of universal accessibility.

The different Public Administrations grant this aid for combating obstacles in the surroundings of the community of owners and in common areas where the elderly with disabilities live.

But we have to value other maxims to guarantee safety of the spaces that our elders inhabit. For example, there are plenty various items that can cause slipping, such as certain rugs.

The adaptation of the rooms, on the other hand, not only has to do with difficulties in walking through them. The technical aids have been designed according to the limitations that affect the rest of the senses.

Without going any further, regarding the eyes, the use of the TV remote control with a larger and a more simple keyboards will be provided. Also, the electrical switches will be seen in the darkness through phosphorescent colours.

Sufficient lighting, both natural and artificial, becomes consequently, an indispensable requirement when it comes to ensuring safe steps between rooms. They have been revealed as especially useful for securing the motion sensors, which turn on the lights when certain limits are crossed.

The furniture must be chosen based on ergonomic criteria and comfort. It is worthwhile, along these lines, to remove superfluous elements, since they can lead to tripping and it costs more to clean a house with an overdone decoration.

But we must a not forget that we cannot turn a home into an aseptic space. So it is still important that the older person keeps photos and memories that make their day more bearable.

 Preparing rooms with health as a priority

Finally, we are going to explain how each of the main rooms of the home can be designed for an old age person, considering health as a priority.

The bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most risky rooms. In fact, up to 46% of the domestic accidents of our elders happen while carrying out essential hygiene.

The basic premise in the bathroom is to avoid falls. Therefore, surfaces that are conducive to slipping (such as some floors and mats) will be replaced by other non-slip ones, such as some firm rough.

Besides, we can install hand holders on the walls and even a chair to facilitate cleaning inside the shower. The different accessories have to be in easily accessible places.

The bedroom

It is very important that it is on the ground floor or the first floor. The nightstand has to be very close to the bed and to the same level. Electric or articulated beds have proven to be very interesting to promote rest, hygienic work and activities such as reading, eating, or watching television.

The kitchen

Apart from facilitating the preparation of the menus, it is key to avoid injuries for burns. For this reason, we recommend induction cookers. There must be detectors for both the high temperatures of surfaces as for gas leaks.

Comfort has to be made effective by sliding doors (also in cabinets and storage devices).

The living room

Comfort must be the distinguishing mark of the sofa and the cordless phone must always be close.

Pieces of furniture that do not have a defined use should be avoided and it is good to provide a good natural incoming light and illumination, which ensures a warm but well lit environment.

Ultimately, elderly people will enjoy a comfortable and safe old age if we adapt the home to their mobility conditions and their age related characteristics.



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.
Sedentary lifestyle.
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:

Data collect

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.

Intervention phase

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.


One of the effects of the aging process that occurs in the elderly is pain in the joints, which can appear even before the third age. The causes are not always osteoarthritis or arthritis; They can be very diverse and therefore, they require personalized treatment. Fortunately, there are treatments to regain mobility and mitigate pain, thus improving their health and well-being.

What is joint pain?

Joint pain usually occurs in the knees, wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles, feet and other points where two bones meet. Often, it is also accompanied by stiffness, inflammation or heat in the affected area.

It is important that we treat these pains as we are aging, as they prevent us enjoy the activities that we like or do simple movements like holding something with our hands. In addition, pain, whether mild or strong, significantly reduce our quality of life. For example, it can be difficult for us to sleep and rest.

Why does pain in the joints appear?

Joints are the joints between nearby bones and they  provide mobility and elasticity to the body. They are lined with cartilage, an elastic and firm tissue that cushions and allows friction between the bones, thus “softening” the load they bear.

Let’s have a look at the most common causes of joint pain:

Rheumatoid arthritis: It is an autoimmune disease in which the own immune system attacks the tissues of the joints because it mistakes them for germs. It produces pain and stiffness.

Lupus: It is also an autoimmune disease, in which the body erroneously attacks healthy tissues and it also causes, apart from the joint pain, other symptoms such as tiredness, hair loss, depression or forgetfulness

– Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa, the part that serves as a cushion between

muscles, tendons and bones; and that is usually due to the repeated use of this joint. It is common in some professions or sports, but also in older people.

– Gout: It occurs when uric acid accumulates in the blood and it inflames the joints, most often in the big toe, the knee or ankle.

Tendinitis: It is the inflammation of the tendons, more frequent in the athletes or certain professions, since it is due to the abuse of some tendons in particular.

– Chondromalacia patella: It consists in the softening and the breakdown of the cartilage in the lower part of the kneecap, that is, the knee. It is due to the physical  wear of this joint, so it is quite common in the elderly.

Osteoarthritis: It is produced by the aging and physical wear of a joint. It maybe hereditary or due to the physical wear of the joints,  especially when obese or using continuously a few joints in particular.

– Osteomyelitis: It consists of a bacterial infection in the bones.

Osteoarthritis: It is a chronic rheumatic disease that affects the articulated cartilage. It can be located in the hips, cervical, lumbar, hand or knee. It is characterised by causing pain and stiffness, which often makes it difficult to everyday movements such as closing the hand, walking or climbing stairs.

Synovial sarcoma: It is a tumour that it is formed from the soft tissues of large joints, often due to hereditary factors. It can be detected at any age.

Aseptic necrosis: It consists of a loss of blood flow temporary or permanent in a bone that, if it occurs near a joint, it also leads to its collapse.

Tips to avoid joint pain as you age

Sometimes these diseases are irreversible, that is, once they appear we can no longer remove them completely. Fortunately, they are rarely life-threatening and we can always prevent or treat symptoms to make them seem almost non existent. These healthy tips and habits can help us a lot when joint problems appear at a certain age.

Get up and sit or lie down carefully, avoiding the weight slam onto the joints.

Move the joints frequently through physical activity that does not load the joints (such as walking or cycling) to promote circulation and keep the muscles of the joints active.

Avoid spending too much time sitting or in the same position and do a few stretches.

Wear suitable footwear to cushion your footprint correctly and to ensure stability when walking. (See post:

Do not carry a lot of weight, as it overloads the limbs.

Avoid obesity and being overweight for the same reason that it has to be avoided to carry too much weight.

– The doctor can prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If the case is very severe, opioids indicated for reducing pain may be prescribed. Hyaluronic acid may also help to reduce loss of cartilage.

– There are also physiotherapy exercises that help reduce pain, prevent the loss of muscle mass and help facilitate movement of the affected joint. Further more, through specialized treatments, physiotherapists focus on treating the problem that causes pain and not only in alleviating the symptoms.

Healthy habits, diet and supplements to prevent joint pain

Those elderly people who begin to have the first symptoms of these pains or the diseases mentioned, or those who are at risk for genetic reasons or because of the work or physical activity they have done throughout their life, can do the following:

– Follow the tips mentioned above for healthy habits, such as avoiding loading weight, stretching when you spend a lot of time in the same posture, etc.

– Have a healthy diet, with the necessary intake of calcium and vitamin D, which maintain healthy bones, cartilage and muscles and prevent osteoporosis, especially in women.

– As a preventive measure, we  recommend  you to  introduce a supplementation of collagen and magnesium that will help the proper functioning of your muscles and joints.

As well as the combination of collagen, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate, a powerful formula that will bring important benefits.

By acting as a lubricant for cartilage and ligaments:

It will help them regain elasticity, reducing pain and improving joint mobility. As  well as in the prevention of sports injuries,  such as strains and tendinitis.

This information and tips are very important to help elderly people to enjoy this age as in any other stage of their lives. Any time is a good time to feel happy and healthy!

Ask us if you have any further questions, we will be happy to solve them.


Elderly people have the experience of a long life. There are some keys to in order to have a healthy birthday. The stage that begins with retirement defines the beginning of a new period that offers objectives, projects and dreams. In this article we are going to share some personal care recommendations to enhance wellness.

How to age with health and wellness

Many older people transmit the happiness they feel at this stage to those that are around them. We are going to list some of the factors to take into account to promote this integral well-being through active aging.

1. The importance of exercising social skills

Companionship brings the joy of meeting with the loved ones. And it prevents one of the main causes of suffering in the elderly people: loneliness. Social skills strengthen the bonds that the older ones establishes with other people around them. By facts of life, they have already said goodbye to family and friends. These absences leave a huge gap. But in this scenario, new friendships can be born too.

This social encounter may have an intergenerational factor. This happens when the person not only receives the affection of other friends of the same age, but also a very special bond with their grandchildren is established, for example. It is essential to respect the decisions of the elderly people and to avoid overprotection or infantilization.

From an affective point of view, it is positive that they have some ties that are truly meaningful. Superficial relationships don’t provide the degree of intimacy that encourages honest communication. This support constitutes a source of resilience in overcoming fears and difficulties.

2. Continue learning

After so many years of life, we know that elderly people have a great wisdom, but also they have the ability to keep learning. Some of them even go to college to study a degree. Many others, in a clear example of adaptation to change, have learned to use new technologies.

Reading is also a hobby that fuels curiosity and reflection on human issues. The learning spaces, in turn,  offer fantastic social networking environments.

Therefore, it is essential to overcome the ageism that gives rise to negative stereotypes about aging.

3. Create a new routine and a life project

The end of professional life marks a significant turning point. Although the elderly people have more free time, they also have to decide what they want to do now. And this is a personal search process that gives rise to a new way of planning days. Many decide to volunteer, to travel, to go to the movies, or to develop a creative hobby.

Why is it so important to create a new routine as we age?

Because it is convenient to turn the page of the previous time and to close this chapter with gratitude. It is essential to keep the mind active. Searching activities that serve to train and nurture our cognitive abilities, such as memory, attention, reasoning, etc .

This creation of a new routine involves making decisions that help concretize the  life project in a conscious way. After so many years of occupations and responsibilities, enjoyment is an ingredient that should be enhanced at this stage.

4. Physical activity

The exercise should always be adapted to the situation and needs of each individual. Walking is a frequent activity. This practice, in addition, promotes the  contact with nature. This experience not only enhances the physical well-being, but also the soul.

For example, through these walks, the elderly people can practice their skills by greeting other neighbours who walk around the place, enjoy the daylight and break the routine of being at home. Physical activity reinforces autonomy. And this is a substantial ingredient in the quality of life.

5. Follow-up in healthcare

Beyond age, each person’s circumstances are different in old age. Therefore, the visit to the doctor and attention to the indications given by the specialist are essential questions. It is a professional who also listens and accompanies.

This health care is comprehensive, since the elderly cannot only have a physical ailment, but also an emotional suffering. No desired loneliness or mourning the death of the partner are experiences that affect at the emotional level.

6. Healthy habits in seniors

Other aspects that we must consider in the context of this new routine are those   habits related to well-being. In this sense, maintaining a healthy diet is essential in this period, as well as establishing rest schedules.

7. Adapting the home to your needs at this stage

We do not only have to promote well-being from the points of view previously described, but we must also analyze the space in which we live. Many people take the opportunity to carry out reforms in their home when they retire in order to implement the corresponding improvements.

In this way, they adapt the bathroom and other rooms to their current needs. Changing the bathtub for a shower, dispensing with the use of carpets or rearranging the storage space so that everything is within our scope, are some of the most frequent modifications. Thanks to  this type of works, we can continue to enjoy life at our home.


When we get older, an active lifestyle is more important than ever. Sport not only improves cardiovascular health and as well as bones and muscles, but also our physical and mental well-being. These factors undoubtedly increase our quality of life.

Going out, walking, moving, setting new goals … It is an excellent occasion to enjoy the company of our loved ones and discover beautiful places in our environment. That is why at Nordicfysio we are focused on physical activity to improve the lives of our elders. And we know the importance of being free pain to fully enjoy it.

Walking without pain, feeling safe, is possible when all details are taking into consideration, such as choosing the most suitable footwear.

How is the ideal footwear for elderly people

In fact, we should all have a footwear with some minimum characteristics, such as flexibility and ergonomics, to promote a correct posture.

In the case of the elderly, they must also comply these premises:

– To respect and promote the biomechanical function of the foot.

– To protect from external agents.

– To promote thermal comfort (avoid excess sweat, cold, humidity, etc.).

– To provide stability to reduce the risk of falls.

– Not to be made of plastic or synthetic materials, as they do not help to perspiration  and can cause chafing.

– Although they are comfortable, it is not recommended to wear sports shoes all time. It is better to use them only when doing sports, as they usually build up too much heat.

– Wide fit shoes are preferable, those that adapt to the foot and those with non-slip soles. In this sense, they must offer the maximum stability (if they are too wide, they can promote appearance of bunions and hammer toes).

– Do not always wear the same shoes, alternate them in order to let the shoes breathe and thus not to accumulate traces of sweat.

– Preferably wear shoes with velcro, laces or buckles. In this way, it can be adjusted effectively and easily to the foot.

– Make sure that the shoes have a good cushioning to avoid discomfort on the soles of the feet. The best for this are the soles of made of rubber.

– If insoles have to be used, take them with you when you put the new shoes on , as they have to adapt to the shape of the shoe.

– If this is the case, look for shoes that adapt to foot pathologies such as bunions or other deformities.

The perfect footwear for painless walking

The KYBUN footwear brand, created and manufactured in Switzerland, finally offers us some shoes with which it is possible to feel as if we were walking barefoot.  As medical partners of the brand, we understand well the autonomy and comfort that elders need and how important it is to keep on moving to enjoy in everyday life.


Its wide variety of shoes provide the following benefits:

– Possibility of relieving back pain.

– Muscles relaxation.

Posture and stability improving.

– Strengthening of stabilizer muscles.

– Increased of well-being when walking.

– Prevention to any risk of falling.

How are Kybun shoes like.

To achieve all these goals, Kybun has taken into account the needs mentioned above creating a shoe that:

It evenly distributes pressure: In conventional footwear, the pressure is concentrated over the heel and frontal fascicles (the part under the fingers), which, over time, creates calluses, points of pressure and tensions. With an uniform pressure distribution, it provides relief and protection.

– It has heel cushioning : the air chamber softens the footsteps.

– It is elastic and soft: Karl Müller discovered in Korea the properties of elastic soil in rice fields and how easy, soft and pleasant is walking on them. Kybun has managed to recreate a similar material with a multi-component polyurethane that makes the soles of these shoes very elastic and they have a high damping force and it is possible to walk on them without pain.

While traditional soles only feel soft on the outside (because the inner layers are stiff) these shoes  provide an entirely smooth footstep. This, in addition, stimulates an exercise of coordination and body position.

Foot Microclimate: The soles have an alveolar structure that, when stepping, pump a fifth part of the air into the foot space. Thus, a comfortable footstep independent of the weight of the person, creates a pleasant microclimate in the shoe.

It activates the receptors of the foot that are health stimulators. This is achieved with its flexible and elastic sole, which has a trampoline effect that allows the foot to perceive every nuance of the ground.

– They have a polyurethane sole with millions of integrated air bubbles.This provides optimal cushioning.

Many  people are already enjoying their shoes and  they offer us their

testimony on the Kybun portal.

Explaining how footwear has helped them gain confidence and improve their balance, as well as their knee and back pain have improved.

KYBUN shoes for every occasion

Its models include shoes for women and men as well as summer & winter designs, high shoes,  sandals …


Different models.  With a touch of elegance, like the Caslano , or very sporty, like the Surrsee for men. Versatile, like the Kyburnpark for women, in a beautiful white colour and very fresh, like the Sion White, or the beautiful Vernier Indigo.

To dress in an elegant way 

Of course, comfort has not been sacrificed. Your most elegant shoes still have an air chamber and ensure a perfect adaptation, since they are fastened with laces or velcro. Available models for women: the Basel Onyx, glossy finish, the Waltz Black, seamless and a wide variety of semi-open footwear.

High boots

For men, like the Matterhorn, and for women, like the Montana Anthracite. Many of them have lining at the ankles. They are perfect for cold days. They also have nice trekking boots, like the Rigi 19 Aqua.

Semi open

To keep your feet fresh without sacrificing style, they have several models: the Interlaken (for men) and ballerinas for women, such as Locano or the Luzerns.


On the warmer days, there is no reason to give up their exclusive cushioning soles and elastic and soft shoes. Their sandals stand out. Like the Uri for men or Dognae for women (also available in leopard print). For greater support, they have strap-back sandals, such as the Tessin for women or the Jura for men.

KYBUN shoes at the Nordicfysio clinic

Due to its exquisite manufacturing process and satisfaction guarantee, it is possible to buy Kybun footwear in our physiotherapy clinic.

These shoes are 100% Swiss made and meet demanding quality standards.

Nordicfysio is a medical partner of the Kybun brand and thanks to our experience we can give you personal advice in the acquisition of footwear that will exceed your expectations.

Contact us if you need some more information.



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been confined at home for more than one month and although it is well known that staying active is necessary, notwithstanding  your possibilities and/or the size of your house, it is possible that  the fact of not being able to go out has discouraged you and you feel reluctant to perform physical routines, which can certainly be repetitive or boring.

As experts in physiotherapy, we encourage you to step out this stage, to have determination and to decide to do some exercises in order to increase your strength muscle and to obtain benefits.

Physiotherapy uses different techniques such as the application of heat, electromagnetic impulses and even the use of topical medications. However, a key element is the work in physical movements that generate strength in the different muscles, in order to re-educate them to be more functional for the benefit of your health and wellbeing.

Why is it so important to increase your muscle strength and to do exercise regularly? 

Muscle strength is the amount of tension your muscle supports when lifting  a certain weight while it is contracting. It has an essential role in physiotherapy and it consists precisely in strengthening areas that, by habit or lack of use, are weak.


Injury prevention

When you have enough muscle strength, you can cope with unexpected moments of intense use of your muscles without the risk of suffering an injury.


evitar lesiones

For example, if at any time you have to make an effort or hold something very heavy, to prevent it from falling.

Avoid the risk of chronic non-communicable diseases

Being active daily will take you away from sedentary lifestyle or lack of physical activity, in order to avoid one of the strongest risk factors in diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular events, kidney failure, cancer and chronic respiratory conditions.


Reducing accidents

When you have strong muscles you are less likely to lose balance, your reflexes are more agile and your full body has more flexibility. This will help you decrease the chance of accidents or unexpected falls.


Locomotor system functionality

Your locomotor system is the one that keeps you standing and walking,  it allows you move around and be really autonomous. While we are in good condition, generally we don’t appreciate it, but keeping it properly active and healthy for a long time will mean a true quality of life in the years to come.


How to get stronger while at home?

We suggest you to have physical activity even during this COVID-19 situation.

But before this, let us give you some suggestions to do it properly.


Do it gradually and with caution

If you have never done it or if you haven’t exercised in a long time, go little by little and stop if you feel any discomfort. Talk to your doctor if you consider it necessary, as in the case of some very strong palpitation heart or if you feel you cannot breathe comfortably.


Do warm up exercises before an activity

Make some slow, wide movements to increase gradually your body temperature. This way you will adapt your blood vessels as well as your lungs for a more intense activity.


Have a proper diet

Our body is a complete system and so that it can work correctly, eating properly is a must. If you want to increase your muscle mass, your body needs protein to build it up and, of course, a balanced diet is essential.


Hydrate yourself

Up to 80% of the human adult body is water. Our blood and even our muscles are

mainly water. Therefore, I invite you to constantly monitor your consumption of this vital liquid to stay in the best healthy conditions.


Gradually increase the weight of your sports equipment

The weight that your muscles are going to support should be gradually increased little by little.  Begin with its own weight. Later, you can add more, depending on what you can hold.




Do some stretching exercise when you finish

Stretching helps you relax your muscles and also promote elasticity and flexibility, a condition that will give you greater agility in all aspects of your life.


5 exercises to work muscle strength at home

We start with some initial basic exercises, in order to build strong muscles. Two exercises to strengthen shoulders and arms,  two exercises for legs and the last one for the abdomen.


Exercise 1

Lifting exercises. Sitting in a chair, with your feet hip width-apart and your shoulders, lean your back forward slightly. Lift your arms up to your head and go back to the starting position. Do 10/12 repetitions. Breath calmly while you are doing this exercise and take a break if you consider it so.

 Exercise 2

Opening. Stand up with your legs neatly side by side, both of them hip width-apart, flex both slightly and lean your back forward, positioning it at a 45-degree angle. Then,  hold your arms out in front of your body and spread them apart like big wings and go back to the starting position. Do 10/12 repetitions. Breath calmly while you are doing this exercise and take a break if you consider it so.

Exercise 3

Leg raises. Stand up and hold yourself onto  the back of a  chair,  so as not to lose the sense of balance. Raise one leg backwards, without bending your knee and without pointing your toes. The leg that remains on the floor may be slightly flexed while doing 10 to 12 repetitions with each leg. Always without forcing youself and without exceeding your limits.

Exercise 4

Rushes. Stand up and hold yourself onto  the back of a  chair,  so as not to lose the sense of balance, take one big step back  with a straight back and a contracted abdomen, lower your torso by flexing both knees and bring  your hind knee as close to the ground as possible. Repeat 10/12 times with each leg.

Exercise 5

The bike. Lie on your back on a firm surface, lift one knee up to a 90 degree angle. place your hands behind your head (nape). Keep your elbows open at both sides. Raise your torso and bring the opposite elbow close to the flexed knee. In quick succession exchange shoulders and arms.  Do 10/15 repetitions for each side.

We please ask you to listen to your body and to take a rest or to decrease the number of repetitions if necessary.


These are just some of the exercises you can do at home during the remaining days of confinement. The most important thing is to have determination and a positive attitude. Do not expect to have great results immediately, however moving our joints and oxygenating our blood with exercise, will help us feel better inside and out.


Please, do not hesitate to contact us for any further questions or doubts you may have.  We will offer you a solution precisely tailored to your needs at Nordicfysio.