Physiotherapy for Older Adults
Karen Hodgson discusses physiotherapy for older adults with Senior Physiotherapist, Bhanu Ramaswamy.
We are living in an increasingly ageing population. Not only do people need to stay fit to cope with the changes to the body brought on by the ageing process, but also to ensure they are strong enough to recover from illness or injury. Physiotherapy is fundamental in promoting recovery and the ability to move.
Conditions treated by physiotherapy include:
- Falls and balance difficulties
- Following surgery i.e. hip and knee replacements, spinal or shoulder surgery
There are other changes associated with the process of ageing that can be addressed before they become problematic. For example:
- Weakness of muscle/ joint stiffness
- Reduced bone density
- Decreasing levels of mobility
- Deconditioning – decreased fitness from doing less physical activity
- Loss of confidence and fear to go outside the home
Physiotherapy is of course unable to stop the ageing process, but it can help to reduce the impact on the body. The physiotherapist will make a full assessment of the person’s ability and they will identify the key factors causing problems for that individual. Physiotherapy will be aimed at and improving strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and fitness. They will also assess mobility both in terms of walking, ease of getting onto and off the bed, chair and floor, as well as specific aspects of functional ability a person identifies.
Physiotherapists will also provide advice and education on the benefits of exercise and help to devise individual programmes. All treatment is patient centred with a strong emphasis on problem solving with realistic, achievable solutions.
Treatment is available for 1: 1 clinic session, for Home Visits and joint exercise sessions of groups up to 3 people with the same clinical condition e.g. post-operative rehabilitation from knee or hip replacement, or post spinal or shoulder fracture. Physiotherapy can also be provided for people who are living in sheltered accommodation, residential or nursing homes.
If you require any further information or would like to discuss problems or issues please do not hesitate to contact the clinic on 0114 2671223.
Newly Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease?
Karen Hodgson discusses physiotherapy for newly diagnosed people with Parkinsons with Senior Physiotherapist, Bhanu Ramaswamy.
When you have been newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s there are many questions and thoughts flying around your head. Thinking about physiotherapy may not be one of them, however you may well have been experiencing symptoms for a few years before diagnosis (Schrag et al, 2014) and some of the ones related to decreasing movement can be addressed by physiotherapy (Keus et al, 2014).
For example, the European Physiotherapy Guideline (Keus et al, 2014), the recommended guidance for physiotherapists to use in the UK, note that many people with Parkinson’s develop secondary problems e.g. decreased endurance and fitness, due to a less active lifestyle when not sure of the sort of activity that would be best for them. This also leads to changes in the way muscles and joints work effectively, affecting posture and the ability to move easily. Physiotherapy can help with all these issues, educating an individual to monitor their Parkinson’s themselves, and teaching a person to manage or minimise the secondary issues.
In addition to traditional physiotherapy, there is more recent evidence demonstrating the benefits of physical activity for people in the early stages of Parkinson’s in maintaining function for a longer period of time (McConaghy 2014, Combs et al, 2011). The treatment for people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the clinic is headed up by Bhanu Ramaswamy, a senior physiotherapist, and co-ordinator for exercise and physical activity provision across Sheffield for the charity, Parkinson’s UK. She has gained additional qualifications in exercise prescription for people with medical conditions to better assess fitness and exercise needs.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Bhanu at the clinic 0114 2671223.
“If you are looking for a neurological physiotherapist who can systematically investigate, identify and pinpoint the root cause and location of your particular problem and then get to grips with it (literally) I strongly recommend you to make an appointment with Bhanu Ramaswamy who is a highly experienced specialised physiotherapist.”
Combs S et al (2011). Boxing training for patients with Parkinson’s disease: A Case series. Physical Therapy; 91; 132 – 142
Keus SHJ, Munneke M, Graziano M et al (2014). European Physiotherapy Guideline for Parkinson’s Disease. KNGF/ ParkinsonNet, the Netherlands
McConaghy M (2014). The new Parkinson’s treatment: Exercise is medicine. New South Wales, Publish-Me
Schrag A, Horsfall L, Walters K et al (2014). Prediagnostic presentations of Parkinson’s disease in primary care: a case-control study. The Lancet Neurology; 14 (1): 57 – 64