February 26, 2013

Performance Physical Therapy

By Tina Howell
CEO, Performance Physical Therapy

Part 1: The Power of Aging

At Performance Physical Therapy, therapists want to take care of patients beyond therapy. Older adults face issues such as independence, mobility, continence, obesity and falling. According to the administration on aging, the older population (persons 65 years and older) numbered 39.6 million in 2009, which is 12.9 percent of the U.S. population. By 2030, this number is expected to grow to 72.1 million – more than 19 percent of the population. As we age, the body loses muscle mass and strength, which affects balance and coordination, ultimately increasing the risk of falls. On average, by the age of 80, one-half of the skeletal muscle mass has been lost. (1) Every third American over age 65 falls each year, and falling is the number-one cause of injury related death for this population. (2) Falls, especially while negotiating stairs, are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. Yet, with guidance from skilled Physical Therapist(s), significant improvements in balance can occur in as little as two weeks provided the correct program is designed for the patient.

Older adults are not sick, they are weak, and weakness is a big factor for adults, since 29 percent of men and women over the age of 60 cannot lift 10 pounds. (3) Physical Therapist(s) at Performance Physical Therapy, are some of the highest skilled/credentialed therapists in the nation and are well-equipped to address these issues with a comprehensive system that provides not only physical therapy, but also
wellness and strengthening programs.

According to research, incontinence affects 45 percent of all women, and women are willing to pay as much as $118 per month for a cure, while they spend an average $61 per month for incontinence management. (2) Performance Physical Therapy has implemented programs to strengthen the lower pelvic muscle to prevent and cure incontinence. Performance Physical Therapy is the PT clinic of choice in the Quad-City Area, by Uro-gynecologists (Doctors specializing in leaking urine issues) from the University of Iowa.

Finding wellness programs designed to include upper, middle and lower body strength workouts and balance training with coordination will help you achieve multiple benefits, including decreasing risk for falls.

For more information, contact Performance Physical Therapy at (563) 332-0585 or visit us at www.pptqc.com.

Part 2: The Power of Eccentrics for the Aging

In Part 1, The Power of Aging, I discussed that by the age of 80, one-half of the skeletal muscle mass has been lost (sacropenia). This loss of strength, balance and coordination will result in one-third of the 60 plus age group experiencing falls and associated injuries from this trauma. So, what can you do? The answer is simple; eccentric strength training.

Eccentric strength training is very well suited to the exercise-intolerant elderly; a growing percent of the population with illness and age-related cardiac and respiratory impairments. Some benefits gained from applying eccentric training as a treatment and prevention tool for the aging baby boomers include positive outcomes for those suffering from osteopenia (bone loss), sacropenia (muscle loss), and muscle tendon injuries. Osteopenia is a precursor to osteoporosis, and if pharmaceuticals are used in conjunction with strength training, progression of the illness can be stopped and even reversed. The elderly are prone to muscle tendon injuries that may occur from trying to break a fall.

Using the best methods and technologies available, skilled Physical Therapists are the key to delivering the benefits of eccentric strengthening for all levels and abilities. Often plyo-metrics and resistance exercises, with emphasis placed on increased duration of eccentric contraction compared to concentric contractions (4:1), are implemented. Therapists at Performance Physical Therapy are increasingly leveraging safe, proven methods to provide optimal eccentric strengthening to older clients, achieving impressive clinical outcomes.

For more information on eccentric strengthening and developing a personalized program, contact Performance Physical Therapy at 563-332-0585 or view our web site at www.pptqc.com.