How physiotherapy can help older people
As we age, so our ability to move freely can easily diminish.This can be caused by health problems, or by specific injury.Physiotherapy can help alleviate pain, improve mobility and even restore fitness in older people.
“Physiotherapy can make day-to-day activities easier. For example, it could help you if you have difficulties walking, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of bed. It can also help you if you have had a fall or are recovering from an operation,”
explains London-based physiotherapist, Sammy Margo.
What specific ailments can physiotherapy help in the elderly?
- Back and/or neck pain
- Sports’ injuries
- Heart disease
- Breathing problems, caused by asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
- Diabetes-related problems
- Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
- Problems affecting the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
“Physiotherapy can help anyone who is starting to see the effects of life’s wear and tear on their bodies. It can also treat or prevent physical problems that might be brewing as a result of years of poor posture or sitting badly,” observes Sammy Margo.
Where would you take your ageing parent to see a physiotherapist?
You may meet a physiotherapist in a number of different healthcare settings or many Physio practices will arrange home visits:
- Outpatient clinic
- Stroke care unit
- Neurological unit
- Intensive care unit
- Cardiac ward
- Private clinic
- Home visit
What will happen when my ageing parent sees the physiotherapist?
At the first session, the physiotherapist will talk to them about their problem and what caused it
The physiotherapist will do a physical examination to assess your elderly relative’s flexibility, strength and range of movement
Then they will devise a plan of care tailored to them as an individual
Physiotherapy is very hands-on and may include:
- Heat or cold treatments
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical stimulation)
- Hydrotherapy (water treatment)
- Home exercises to restore flexibility, build strength and improve co-ordination and balance, as well as recommending an exercise regime to help prevent future problems
- Advice on aids to make moving easier such as canes and walking aids
Sammy Margo – Principal Physio
Sammy established her clinic more than 15 years ago. She qualified in London as a physiotherapist, and subsequently did a Master’s in Physiotherapy at University College and The Middlesex Hospital. She is also qualified Aerobics and Pilates instructor, and incorporates this ‘balanced body’ approach into her physiotherapy treatments.
Sammy spent time working in The NHS as well as in the professional sporting arena including time at Finchley, Barnet and Wingate football clubs. At Barnet FC, Sammy became English football’s first female chartered physiotherapist. Other team sport involvement included the England basketball team and the England athletics team.
Sammy is actively involved in the media as a spokesperson CSP and appears frequently on radio and television as well as in newspapers and magazines. She also maintains her clinical input.
Sammy has written ‘The Good Sleep Guide’ www.sammymargo.com