Barbara Fradkin – Hometown News

Is physical therapy really helpful?

Everyone is familiar with the need for physical therapy after a sports injury or some types of surgery. But physical therapy sessions prescribed by your doctor can also impact your ability to age well. The goal of physical therapy is to help restore and improve functionality, reduce pain, and increase mobility for endurance, stamina, and balance.

Balance is extremely important as we age. Falls in older adults can have negative life-changing effects –or even be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four seniors fall each year in the United States! That’s thirty million falls each year, and about 30,000 deaths. The three million seniors treated annually for a fall could benefit from physical therapy.

The American Physical Therapy Association is shouting from the rooftops that physical therapy is a safe, effective alternative route to medication such as opioids for treatment of chronic pain conditions. It plays a role in preventative care, rehabilitation and treatment for people with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries. Orthopedic issues (hips, knees, shoulders, back) also benefit from physical therapy. Some chronic conditions that can benefit include neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, vestibular dysfunction (vertigo), and traumatic brain injuries. All programs are individualized for each person.

Physical therapists that work with Parkinson’s patients undergo training PWR (Parkinson Wellness Recovery) certification. This program is specifically designed to use exercise for symptom management, targeting four skills that impact everyday mobility (tall posture, weight shifting, trunk mobility and stepping).

Physical therapists are a wonder. Nicole Knights PT, DPT from Aquatic Health and Rehabilitation in Viera explains what motivates her. “Every day I get to help people with all kinds of diagnoses achieve their goals and get results that change their lives.”

For more information on what physical therapy can do for you, call me in Viera at 321-751-6771. Or schedule a free 30-minute consultation. Being pain free is worth it.


One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director of One Senior Place, Viera.