Just like the lottery, you don’t have great odds of winning the “New Year’s Resolution” game, but you do have better odds of winning if you do play. Statistic after statistic shows that it’s downright difficult to keep a resolution made in January through the entire year, and many are broken by February.
And that’s OK, says the team at Accredited Home Care, which includes a variety of trained physical therapists. At least you’re more motivated than those who don’t set these personal goals or wonder why they should bother.
Remember, one of the good things about resolutions is that you can always go back to them even if you break your streak.
Organizations that perform surveys and keep track of consumer trends say that the bulk of our resolutions is all about improving ourselves, which could be anything from stopping smoking to eating better to exercising more.
Fitness is a big part of life improvements, and all sorts of resolutions are made. Depending on who’s making the resolution and their physical condition and life journey, the goal can be anything from “I need to get off the couch more often” to “I want to take part in a competitive run.”
Of course, any physical endeavor has better chances of succeeding if your body is able to handle it.
This is why meeting with a physical therapist can be a smart first step.
This type of therapy involves a physical therapist working with clients to improve movement and reduce their pain.
Clients may be dealing with trauma that could impact their physical performance. Perhaps a fall, auto accident, or another injury may have affected how they walk or move. It doesn’t have to be recent either – in some cases, an injury several years ago may lead to other muscles compensating and people adapting, even it works muscles in different ways.
Or someone could lose some mobility or experience other physical problems due to a medical situation such as a stroke. Physical therapy is often recommended for rehabilitation or treatment of certain chronic conditions and illnesses.
How physical therapists help
Physical therapists have received training in how the body is supposed to move optimally, including the interplay between bones and muscles; the brain and nerves; the skin; and the cardiopulmonary system, which includes the lungs and heart.
Knowing how it all works when it’s supposed to, physical therapists can figure out what parts aren’t working as well and come up with exercises and activities to improve overall performance.
This can include retraining limbs that no longer work like they’re supposed to or working on improving motion for someone who can only move their arms or legs a certain amount due to scar tissue, inflammation, or other restrictions.
Physical therapy mostly has an emphasis on general movement, rather than improving the ability to perform specific tasks. If someone wants to learn or re-learn certain activities, they would benefit from occupational therapy, which is also offered by Accredited Home Care.
Occupational therapy focuses on certain tasks, such as getting in and out of bed, changing clothes, and basic grooming.
Physical therapy works to reduce pain and help the body function as it’s supposed to.
It can benefit any age or medical condition. Teens may need it if they have growing pains or injuries from sports or activities. Older people may benefit from help with aging bodies or bodies that are hurt from other activities.
Physical therapy goals
Even seniors can benefit from physical therapy as a way to reduce pain and improve their overall health. A physical therapist can work with them to build up strength in the muscles of their arms and legs. They can also work on improving their flexibility. All of these can benefit seniors: maybe they aren’t going to resolve to run a race or anything terribly strenuous, but with stronger legs and better balance, they can set a goal to go on more walks and maybe a little further or longer.
A resolution to do more healthy activities like stretching or yoga can start with more flexibility and better balance. The same is true for a wish to reduce the risk of falling, which could be dangerous especially for seniors.
A bad fall could lead to death or serious injury. For a senior who enjoys living by themselves, a bad fall could lead to having to relocate to a rehabilitation facility or an assisted living community.
Plus, anything that can lower pain levels can lead to other good things in life, including better sleep, better peace of mind, and better quality of life overall.
A physical therapist can help assess where a client’s needs are and what areas to focus on first. He or she can also estimate how many sessions are needed, and possibly assign “homework” or exercises that can be done on days when the therapist doesn’t visit.