Health care providers in Media, PA, often prescribe physical therapy for individuals recovering from injury or surgery because it can reduce pain, restore function, and help a patient achieve improved range of motion. Read on to learn more on how physical therapy for seniors can lessen the risk of injury and improve their overall health.

Healthy senior couple jogging and has increased mobility which is one of the benefits of physical therapy for seniors.

What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is specialized care that uses exercise, movement, massage, assistive devices, and other methods to help individuals regain function and strength after injury or illness. Physical therapy benefits anyone and can help address certain health conditions older patients are likely to face.

What Is a Physical Therapist?

A physical therapist is a licensed health care expert who specializes in helping individuals at risk for developing mobility issues by using exercises and other therapies. First, a physical therapist will review a patient’s health history and evaluate their abilities, including balance, movement, posture, and similar issues. Next, the physical therapist develops a treatment plan that may include exercise, massage, cold or heat therapy, strength training, and education on how to use devices like canes or walkers.

Why Is Physical Therapy Important for Seniors?

As they age, some individuals develop mobility problems and health conditions that can increase their risk of injury, including arthritis and osteoporosis. While there are medical treatments for these conditions, individuals with them can be at higher risk for injuries leading to disability. Different physical challenges require different rehabilitation approaches. Participating in physical therapy can help strengthen muscles and joints and increase bone mass, which helps improve function, mobility, and overall health.

Riddle Village Values Physical Therapy

At Riddle Village, we understand that to get the best benefits of physical therapy and rehabilitation for seniors, it’s essential to follow through with therapy recommendations. Some older adults are reluctant to try physical therapy, but after they do, they typically recognize and appreciate the benefits of physical therapy for seniors.

Elder female adult lifting dumbbells during her physical therapy session.

Six Benefits of Physical Therapy for Seniors

Helps Reduce the Risk of Fall-Related Injuries

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce, exercise and physical therapy can help adults aged 65 and older who live at home reduce their risk of falls. Any intervention that can prevent older adults from falling is a win, because about 33% of adults 65 and older fall once a year. An older adult who falls can incur severe injuries, including fractures and broken bones. Falls can also be fatal. Physical therapy improves mobility by strengthening muscles and joints and also improving balance, which helps prevent falls.

Helps Older Adults Maintain Independence

Being independent around the house requires the ability to move freely to take care of tasks like cleaning, cooking, and laundry. Older adults who participate in physical therapy may have the strength to lift items like laundry baskets, stand when preparing meals, and push a vacuum cleaner. The confidence that comes with stability and strength means older adults can live independently longer.

Helps the Body Heal After Joint Replacement

As people age, it’s not unusual to have a hip or knee replacement. Physical therapy can speed up recovery time and restore function. For example, after a knee replacement, the physical therapist may engage the patient in a series of exercises that improve the ability to bend the knee. Physical therapy can help with pain and healing, making it easier for the patient to overcome physical challenges and return to walking comfortably.

Can Help Control Symptoms of Chronic Conditions

For older adults who experience a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis, physical therapy can help them regain mobility and have more control over movement.


A stroke can take away an individual’s ability to perform simple tasks like walking, grasping, standing, and sitting. For individuals recovering from stroke, physical therapy can help them relearn these skills and move toward performing everyday tasks independently.

Parkinson’s Disease

Balance exercises like gait training can help older adults with Parkinson’s disease develop better balance. Stretching can help with flexibility and alleviate the stiffness some people with Parkinson’s experience. For those with muscle weakness, it helps strengthen muscles affected by the condition.

Multiple Sclerosis

For older adults with multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system that impacts coordination, physical therapy can help ease symptoms. A physical therapist can teach an individual with multiple sclerosis how to work around issues like chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic pain to get the most from exercise. The therapist may also prescribe a physical therapy exercise regimen the person can perform between appointments.

Group of happy and healthy elder adults.

Promotes an Active Lifestyle

Walking and weight-bearing physical therapy exercises help older adults improve muscle strength, avoid serious injury and maintain a healthy weight. Physical activity experts recommend adults get around 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. However, it can be difficult for those with arthritis and weak muscles to remain active.

When older adults can be active safely and with minimal pain, it can help them sleep better, reduce blood pressure, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Recognizing the benefits of physical therapy for seniors is the first step in helping them maintain an active lifestyle and perform everyday tasks.

Promotes Mental Health

As individuals age, they can be at increased risk for depression and mental health issues, as older adults tend to become isolated when they have limited mobility. Conditions like fibromyalgia, pelvic floor dysfunction, chronic headaches, and nerve pain contribute to decreased mobility and can lead to anxiety and hopelessness. In an effort to manage pain, seniors may increase their use of painkillers, which can lead to addiction. Physical therapy offers benefits such as helping older adults feel strong enough to perform daily tasks. It can promote independence, build self-confidence, and reduce negative thinking and self-pity.

Riddle Village Offers Rehabilitation, Including Physical Therapy

Older adults and their families should consider physical therapy for better health. It can mean the difference between a sedentary existence of worrying about the future and a life of activity and independence. Riddle Village, the best Pennsylvania senior living community, offers independent living, personal care, skilled nursing care, and rehabilitation. Learn more about what we offer or schedule a visit by calling 610-891-3700.