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20 - Don’t Give In and Live with Pain

First, Give Physical Therapy a Try

from Part II - Caring For Your Body

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 June 2023

Elizabeth Eckstrom
Affiliation:
Oregon Health and Science University
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Summary

Older people often come into their evaluation discouraged by a poor prognosis from a physician or imaging that reveals more wear and tear on their bodies than they feel they can overcome. There is a tendency to discount the likelihood that progress can be made in older patients. But that is generally not the case! There are strategies for pain management and home exercises to work on strength, flexibility or mobility that allows them to transition from feeling like a victim, betrayed by their body, to a person empowered to halt these unwanted changes. X-rays and MRI’s that show degenerative changes don’t account for pain that is caused by inflexibility and strength deficits or poor movement patterns. These are things which can be addressed and corrected with physical therapy. Correcting a patient’s biomechanics can take the burden off arthritic joints and facilitate pain free movement. Physical therapy can facilitate meaningful gains by addressing musculoskeletal impairments. It can correct biomechanical faults , lead to decreased pain, and allow for safe return to many desired hobbies and improve quality of life.

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Chapter
Information
The Gift of Aging
Growing Older with Purpose, Planning and Positivity
, pp. 130 - 132
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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