Let the world know that physical therapy matters!
National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) is hosted by APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) each October to recognize how Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants transform lives.
This October, the APTA’s “Move Forward” campaign is focusing on healthy aging. Specifically, the APTA has published Physical Therapy Tips to Help People Age Well to demonstrate the many ways that PTs and PTS can help individuals overcome pain, gain and maintain movement, and preserve their independence:
- You don’t have to live with chronic pain. Physical therapy with exercise, mobility and pain management techniques can ease pain both while moving and at rest, improving quality of life.
- You can get stronger as you age. Research shows that improvement in strength and physical function are possible after the age of 60. A physical therapist can combine an exercise program and progressive resistance straining to help you improve strength.
- You may not need surgery or drugs for low back pain. Scientific evidence reveals that physical therapy can be more effective and less risky than prescription medication use or surgery.
- You can use exercise as a “wonder drug”! Exercise can help lower the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, memory problems and can help you prevent falls. A physical therapist can develop an appropriate exercise program, tailored to fit your specific needs.
In addition to their tips on aging well, the APTA published Healthy Tips for Each Decade in celebration of National Physical Therapy Month:
- Be active at least 30 minutes per day.
- Eat well and get an adequate amount of sleep.
- Begin saving for retirement.
- Test your physical limits (participate in group bike rides, running races, obstacle courses, etc.)
- Stand up at least once per hour.
- Diversify your exercise routine – rotate aerobic exercise activities, strength training and flexibility.
- If you have aches and pains, seek the help of a physical therapist before succumbing to long-term pain medication use or surgery.
- Take calcium and vitamin D.
- Perform weight-bearing activities or resistance exercise for 30-60 minutes at least 3 times per week.
- Be active every day.
- Get a second opinion for health issues.
60’s and beyond
- Seek a physical therapist for a balance assessment and balance/flexibility program.
- Preserve mental health with physical activity.
- Maintain intensity in muscle strength (seek the help of a PT if needed).
- Strive for 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
- Be social! Take walks, play games and enjoy other activities with friends.
To learn more about National Physical Therapy Month and the APTA’s initiatives, click here.