Physical Therapy Can Help Weekend Warriors Get Back Into Action
Mon, 07/12/2010 - 1:37pm | Tom Zeiser
There are 78 million baby boomers in America, and many of them are as active as ever. While boomers may feel they can do the same physical activities they did at a younger age, their bodies may now have a different idea. That means that baby boomers are often susceptible to strains, pains and sports injuries.
Whether you have tennis elbow, rotator cuff tendonitis, or another common sports injury, physical therapy can help you get back into action. Here’s how:
• For acute injuries, physical therapists can reduce inflammation with the use of iontophoresis, electrical stimulation or cold packs. Once the acute inflammation subsides, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, hot packs or general warm-up can be used to stimulate blood flow to the injured area.
• After reducing the pain and inflammation associated with a sports injury, a physical therapist can help you regain strength to get you back to your activities. The exercises performed in the therapy gym can often be continued at home.
• Physical therapists can assess your mechanics to ensure that you’re using the proper form when you run, walk or swing a golf club. They can also prescribe an effective stretching regimen to perform before and after exercise. A little prevention can keep you in the game and out of the therapy gym.
• Over time, the arches of the feet can begin to flatten, leading to extremity overuse injuries. A physical therapist can let you know if an orthotic is in order.
• Most active boomers are adamant about their exercise, which means they often try to work through injuries. That’s a bad idea and can lead to bigger problems down the road. Physical therapists can provide vital education on how to properly rest or to change your exercise routine to avoid repetitive use injuries.
With proper treatment and education, baby boomers you can lead a very active and fun lifestyle long into adulthood. If you have a sports injury, contact a physical therapist so you can get back to the activities you love as soon as possible.