Myth Monday: Physical Therapy is only for the elderly
Myth: Physical therapy is just for old people.
Oftentimes, people associate physical therapy with elderly patients because of the popular treatment of knee or hip replacement surgeries. Although there may be multiple benefits that elderly individuals can gain from physical therapy, many athletes undergo physical therapy in order to prevent or treat sports injuries. In some cases, physical therapy is even recommended to women after giving birth! Physical therapy appeals to
any kind of audience, regardless of age.
There are 6 major branches of physical therapy that each specialize in a unique and personalized approach in treatment.
Pediatric physical therapy focuses on children while aiding in growth, building skeletal/muscular strength and range of movement. Pediatric physical therapy proves to be very important, since development during
childhood proves to be crucial and can have an impact on the rest of the child’s adult life.
Geriatric physical therapy helps with old age since bad postural and gait habits can be formed over time. With old age, muscle strength can weaken and not compensate as much for unhealthy habits that otherwise would go unnoticed. Geriatric physical therapy focuses on helping train the muscles and using them in a safer and more efficient way
that will prevent more injuries in the future.
Vestibular therapy focuses on balance problems that are caused by issues originated within the inner ear that can negatively impact balance, creating dizziness and vertigo in patients. Vestibular rehabilitation teaches patients how to create stronger and steadier muscles for better balance as a result.
Neurological physical therapy addresses problems from spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and conditions such as Parkinson’s or Cerebral Palsy. Some neurological problems may not be able to heal completely, but physical therapy helps these issues become more manageable through different types of therapeutic exercises.
Orthopedic physical therapy focuses on addressing problems from injuries, most commonly sports injuries, but also for surgery recovery. Whether it’s from a recent or old injury or surgery, orthopedic physical therapy aids in recovering muscle strength
through targeted and precise exercises.
Cardiovascular physical therapy focuses on issues that patients may have with the heart or circulation. Issues such as heart attacks or pulmonary fibrosis may be reasons why cardiovascular physical therapy is needed for patients. The exercises provided by cardiovascular physical therapy helps increase endurance and strengthen key muscles
for a healthier heart.