Physical Therapy Does Not Have To Be Stigmatized
Author: http://www.MedAme.com
Physical Therapy Does Not Have To Be Stigmatized

All too often, people who need physical therapy avoid it because they feel uncomfortable. It angers them that they cannot do what they used to do before their accident or injury or surgery, and since that is the case they retreat from life and just assume that they are stuck with their new mobility level. Physical therapy, however, does not have to have such a stigma about it. It is a necessary part of life for a lot of people and those people should not be ashamed of working hard to return to the lives that they led before.

For an elderly person physical therapy can be especially difficult, and the same is true for people who are handicapped. These groups may never have - or return to, in the case of an elderly individual - the same mobility level that is seen in most of the population. Even though this is a reality that a lot of people face, that does not mean that they have to waste away and not enjoy everything that they are able to do. Physical therapy aids like hand and arm exercisers, pedal exercisers, and equipment to help a person stretch and strengthen his or her limbs can be of tremendous assistance to someone who wants to improve mobility.

For those who are having trouble walking because of weakness due to old age or a debilitating condition, pedal exercisers can help them strengthen their legs without the dangers of walking around unsupervised. These work like a bicycle, but they can be used anywhere. They are small and portable, and the patient can easily sit on the couch or a comfortable chair, place the pedal exerciser on the floor, and use it while watching TV or visiting with others in the comfort of his or her own home. This makes the pedal exerciser very beneficial to someone who is trying to build up leg strength and become safer and more mobile in the future.

Other people who need physical therapy might be able to get around just fine but have problems with the strength in one or both hands or arms. This can come from an injury, a handicap, or a medical problem such as a stroke. Hand and arm exercisers are a safe and easy option for these people to regain both strength and mobility. Having items to squeeze builds hand strength, and using very light weights can help to return muscle tone and strength to arms that might otherwise not as easily recover. Having enough hand and arm strength is important, especially for elderly or handicapped people who might have balance problems and need to steady themselves to keep from falling.

A fall could be very serious, and this is certainly true if the person lives alone. If no one is around to help an elderly person or someone with a handicap might lay on the floor for a long time waiting for rescue. If the fall injured that person, it could even become life-threatening. There is certainly nothing wrong with using physical therapy aids to regain strength and mobility in an effort to avoid such dangers. Adult children who have elderly parents and caregivers of the handicapped can encourage this kind of physical therapy work by being tactful, open, and honest about the benefits that can be attained.

Another good way to use physical therapy aids to improve mobility and strength is through the use of stretching. As we age, we often do not move around as much, because our bodies do not always like to do everything they used to do. Disabled people can have the same problems - they are often not as mobile as others, so they do not make any extra effort to keep up the mobility and strength that they do have. The use of strengthening and stretching equipment such as bands can help make physical therapy exercise more enjoyable and convince people to work harder at making themselves as strong, healthy, and mobile as their bodies will allow.

An important consideration when choosing physical therapy aids for exercise is what the person is already capable of doing and their general level of health. Following a doctor's recommendations is very important to ensuring that a person starting out on a physical therapy program is not further injured by trying to do too much too quickly. Open and honest conversation with the doctor and with the patient is the way to avoid most problems that could arise, and will allow an elderly or disabled person to enjoy better freedom of movement through rewarding and beneficial exercise.
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