Something we often hear from people later in life, is that that they think it’s too late to start physiotherapy. Let us tell you – it is NEVER too late! People often feel that there is no way that they could improve their strength, mobility, balance, or function due to their age. Let’s change your mind!
Is it too late to improve my strength?
The good news is that it’s never too late to improve your strength. There is always some improvement that can be made, even if it’s a small improvement. That small improvement in strength can turn into a big difference in a person’s function. And that functional improvement can turn into improvements in quality of life. And that’s the real aim.
However strengthening, or as we call it, resistance training, has several other benefits. These include boosting mood, helping with sleep, and improving several medical conditions. The evidence is clear on this, and this is why there is a such a focus on resistance training, particularly for the older population. We now know that from the age of 30, we start losing our muscle strength. The only way to combat this is to participate in some form of resistance training. If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry, resistance training can include using your own body weight. It’s relative to each person depending on where they are up to.
Will it be very difficult or painful when I start physiotherapy?
More good news is that you don’t have to work to your maximum capacity. You definitely don’t want to be working into pain. It’s a common misconception, that old phrase ‘no pain no gain’ is simply not true. Our job, when you start physiotherapy, is to ensure that all of your exercises are pain free. We can modify or change any exercise as needed.
In terms of difficulty, it is good to push yourself a little, but this is guided by how you feel. Anything that is too difficult can be modified or changed to suit you and your current abilities. That being said, over time you are very likely to improve. Subsequently, the exercises would increase in line with your abilities. The most important thing is that you feel happy, safe and can enjoy your Physio time.
How can I improve my balance?
Another common myth is that balance can not be improved. We find it is rare to not be able to improve balance, at least to some degree. We do this by challenging your balance, but without making it too challenging. And we do this where you are very safe, for example in front of your chair, or standing at your kitchen counter. Often your hands may be lightly touching the counter, or your hands hovering just above, so you feel safe. And we are always right there with you.
When you improve your balance, you often improve your confidence in your mobility and function. That’s a great feeling, that also leads to improving your independence!
Physiotherapy can help you with a huge variety of activities in and outside of your home. If you can show us or explain the activity to us, then we are able to work towards achieving that goal together. Whether it’s improving your strength, increasing your flexibility, balance or coordinated movement, we’re here for you. So give it a go and, start physiotherapy!