Physical Fitness Helps Seniors as They Age
The image of a senior used to be one of a rocking chair and a covered porch. Today, seniors are more likely to spend their golden years playing sports, volunteering for local charities, traveling or starting a second career.
Activity is important, says orthopedic surgeon Robert Follweiler, D.O. "Seniors need to continue weight-bearing exercises as they age," Dr. Follweiler says. "Sunlight exposure, calcium and vitamin D help maintain bone density. It is also important to have regular DEXA scans at two-year intervals to monitor bone density."
Maintaining bone strength helps with balance and stability, which can prevent falls. "As people age, they tend to have more medical problems," Dr. Follweiler says. "It is important to manage them appropriately and closely monitor medications, such as blood pressure pills and heart medications. This helps to avoid interactions and potential side effects."
Many seniors live with arthritic/degenerative joint disease. Physicians can manage most of the symptoms with physical therapy, over-the-counter antiinflammatories and cortisone shots. In some cases, surgery is the best option. More serious injuries, including fractures of major joints, may require surgical intervention.
"Younger people can help prevent the need for orthopedic services as they age by listening to their bodies, taking care when participating in high-impact joint activities and maintaining a low BMI (body mass index)," Dr. Follweiler says. "They should also maintain good nutrition, strength and flexibility." Aches and pains that do not subside need treatment by a medical professional.
"Early treatment can prevent these problems from perpetuating and becoming chronic or becoming worse," Dr. Follweiler says. "An orthopedic physician can intervene and make a difference in the quality of people's lives."
"Younger people can help prevent the need for orthopedic services as they age by listening to their bodies, taking care when participating in high-impact joint activities and maintaining a low BMI (body mass index)," Dr. Follweiler says.
Seniors and Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery
Robert Follweiler, D.O.
Institute for Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
8350 Riverwalk Park Blvd., Suite 1
Fort Myers, FL 33919