The Team at Tandem Strength & Balance Will Help Improve Your Aging Loved One’s Mobility Limitations.
Range of Motion (ROM) is simply the term used to describe the movement available within a joint, or the range through which a joint can move. When we’re young, we give little thought to range of motion as our bodies contain sufficient muscle mass, muscle strength, flexibility and joint lubrication. Our younger bodies are capable of participating in sports and readily meet the daily physical challenges required of us. But as we become less active, we experience muscle loss.
In fact, without intervention, most aging adults will lose 40 percent or more of their muscle mass. One of the contributing factors to muscle loss is the fact that many older adults stop participating in many everyday activities because it simply becomes more difficult to do so. This lack of activity produces a wasting effect on the muscles and decreases the available range of motion. The combination of muscle loss and decreased range of motion can lead to pain and mobility issues for older adults.
An older adult may unconsciously begin to adapt to their muscle loss by: adjusting their posture, bending forward in response to a loss of core and upper body muscle strength, avoiding the steps and looking for the elevator, walking shorter distances and becoming an observer versus a participant. The cumulative effect of these changes has an impact on balance, coordination and the ability to move and walk. When older adults fear falling, they want to move less. And, the less a person moves their joints, the more likely they are to lose range of motion and stability.
But there is an answer–even for seniors who are recovering from injuries, or those restricted to a wheelchair; strength-resistance exercises can aid aging adults to maintain their independence and enhance quality of life.
Get Strong. Stay Strong.
Research has demonstrated for years that strength-resistance training enables an independent lifestyle, increases coordination and flexibility, improves function with daily activities, maintains functional range of motion and helps to reduce joint stiffness. Like saving for a rainy day, strength-resistance training can pay huge dividends towards living a life in which you can participate in activities with family and friends versus staying home, waiting for them to return.
Following are a few highlights of what strength-resistance training accomplishes:
- Joint Stabilization: Leg-muscle strengthening ensures joints, such as the knees and ankles, are supported during walking and running activities.
- Flexibility: Leg conditioning ensures joint flexibility to achieve full ROM, aiding in minimizing symptoms of arthritis 
- Balance: Leg-muscle strengthening supports good balance and ROM needed to counter gravitational pull ; preventing falls, which can be life altering. 
When strength-resistance exercise is done on a regular basis, it builds muscle strength, muscle mass and preserves independence and vitality with age. In addition, strength-resistance training also has the ability to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and the signs and symptoms of numerous chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes, while also improving sleep and reducing depression.
Strength-resistance training is important in living a healthy lifestyle. It helps improve the body’s essential functions in addition to a person’s emotional state.
Private-Pay Physical Therapy Service
Tandem Strength & Balance, a team of physical therapists, specializes in helping elderly adults living in the Minneapolis/St. Paul 7-county metro area to enjoy active, engaged lifestyles regardless of age or diagnosis. Our custom Range of Motion programs enable independence, which increases self-worth and overall quality of life. If you’re interested in a free in-home consultation to identify why you are struggling and what steps can be taken to make life better, contact Tandem Strength & Balance online or by phone. Our objective goes beyond returning individuals to their previous level of function; we help them realize a level of function they didn’t dream possible.
- 5 Benefits of Strength Training. American Cancer Society. (2019, October 23). https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/five-benefits-of-strength-training.html.
- Chiacchiero, M. A., Dresely, B., Silva, U., DeLosReyes, R., & Vorik, B. (1970, January 1). [PDF] The Relationship Between Range of Movement, Flexibility, and Balance in the Elderly: Semantic Scholar. undefined.
- Important Facts and Costs of Older Adult Falls
Everyone starts to lose strength within 3-5 days after strength training has stopped. So many older adults can not afford to lose any strength because they are just getting by.
DID YOU KNOW?
As physical therapists, we continue to challenge all of our clients in a way that caregivers and families can’t. We address the root cause of their mobility issues and help older adults build strength so they can enjoy their independence and keep living costs lower.