4 Tips for Doing Physical Therapy as a Senior
Whether you're recovering from an injury or trying to regain your old range of motion, physical therapy is an important part of many senior lifestyles. Follow these tips to make sure that you're getting the most out of whatever therapy routine you decide to follow.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist
One of the most important ways to make sure that you stick to a physical therapy program is to choose a specialist that makes you feel comfortable. Look for a talented and professional team that knows how to treat your specific condition. Don't be afraid to ask for a tour or to try out a few paid sample sessions before you sign a long-term contract.
Attend All of Your Appointments
Physical therapy sessions are typically scheduled for two or three times a week. Although it can be tempting to skip the occasional appointment, this is an incredibly bad habit to get into. Do your best to make every single appointment, and understand that you probably can't afford to skip more than one meeting every month. Many physical therapists will be willing to reschedule for you if something comes up that forces you to miss your regularly scheduled session.
Do Your Home Exercises
No one likes to do homework, especially when they've been out of school for decades. However, the at-home exercises that your physical therapist prescribes for you are absolutely essential for your health and recovery. Pick a time of day to do your workout, and treat these moments with the same amount of respect as your scheduled appointments. If you're worried about your ability to keep up with your daily routine, ask a family member to work out alongside you. You might be surprised at how much easier it is to complete daily tasks when you have someone in your household to hold you accountable.
Celebrate Every Success
Physical therapy isn't always easy, and slow improvements can be difficult to notice. Try tracking your workouts and making note of how your capabilities increase over time.
Every time you hit a minor milestone, such as doubling your reps or achieving a new range of motion, find some way to celebrate yourself. Whether it's going out to lunch with your favorite family member or simply acknowledging your achievement, these minor moments of celebration will help keep you motivated as you complete your recovery journey.
Physical therapy isn't about reaching a set goal; it's about slowly improving your body's capabilities over time. No matter how small your steps may seem, it's important to keep progressing at a forward pace. Before you know it, you'll regain a serious amount of mobility and will be able to live a lifestyle that you thought was lost forever.