14 Feb The Benefits of Assisted Stretch Therapy for Seniors
As we age, our bodies can become less flexible and more prone to injury. This can make everyday activities increasingly complicated, such as reaching for items or bending down.
Assisted stretch therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy that aims to help seniors improve their flexibility and range of motion. This type of therapy involves a therapist using their hands to help guide the senior through various stretches, providing support and stability that can benefit those with limited mobility.
This article will explore the practical benefits of assisted stretch therapy for elders, including reduced pain, improved mobility, and increased independence.
1. Reduced Pain and Arthritic Symptoms
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is an inevitable consequence of aging and cannot be prevented. The gradual degeneration and eventual loss of cartilage between joints causes it.
When the facet joints (the joints between two vertebrae) are affected by osteoarthritis, pain can be felt in the lower back or neck. Although moving these joints can be painful and difficult, regular stretching can help older people increase their muscular flexibility and range of motion. Before stretching, it is recommended to warm up stiff muscles with a heat pack.
Apply an ice pack to the afflicted joints after exercise to minimize swelling. If you cannot perform the stretches independently, assisted stretching with another person can be advantageous.
2. Improves Bad Posture
The adage “sit up straight” should be a lifelong practice. However, many have spent years of their careers hunched over a desk. In conjunction with a decrease in body fluids, this practice causes diminished elasticity and flexibility, resulting in tightening the tendons and ligaments in the chest and shoulders.
This combination will lead to poor posture and lower back and shoulder pain. With frequent stretching, it is easy to increase flexibility. Stretching facilitates the release of tendons, ligaments, and muscles, allowing for greater mobility. Combining senior strength training with a stretching routine or assisted stretching may assist in balancing out weaker muscles and correcting poor posture.
3. Increases Circulation and Energy Levels
A dynamic stretching routine will increase blood circulation. This low-intensity style of stretching uses regulated movements to gradually improve your heart rate, blood flow, and body temperature.
Not only can this stretching increase your range of motion, but it also works as an ideal warm-up for any workout. Lunges, jumping jacks, shoulder circles, and arm swings are dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches and lengthening muscles boost circulation and nutrient flow, increasing the body’s energy level.
4. Reduces the Chance of Falling
As we age, our chances of falling and suffering an avoidable injury increase. Stretching and regular physical activity can avoid a substantial amount. As the phrase goes, motion is lotion, and if you don’t utilize it, you will lose it (mobility). Motor control and balance are also crucial in avoiding age-related damage, and we can also help with that!
5. Extra Benefits
Stretching and aided stretching therapy can improve one’s overall health. They can help with stress relief, muscle stiffness, and sleep improvement. Another benefit often ignored is that stretching treatment is an excellent chiropractor alternative. Stretching, as a natural self-therapeutic activity, should be a fundamental component of one’s daily routine.
Assisted stretch therapy for elders demonstrates clear, practical benefits. Increasing flexibility and range of motion can improve mobility and balance, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.
It can also help reduce joint aches and pains, helping to enhance the quality of life at any age. When administered by a qualified therapist, assisted stretch therapy is an easy and comfortable way for elderly individuals to maintain or improve their mobility and physical well-being.
If you need a corrective exercise specialist for your loved one, Medical Fitness and Wellness Group is here for you! Our team of nationally certified rehabilitation specialists provides customized programs to help your loved one get safe, effective, and sustainable treatment for their condition. Contact us now!