Physical Therapy Aides in Healthy Aging

golfBy Andrew Peterson

October is National Physical Therapy Month! The focus this October is on healthy aging, and we at BaySport support healthy aging through all of the different phases of life. Here are a couple of common health issues that we can help with in the different phases of life:

Teenage/Adolescent: Sports Injuries
These days, more and more youth are being introduced to sports at a young age. As a result of high level training and play, many young athletes are suffering from injuries such as torn ACLs, chronic ankle sprains, pitcher’s elbow, and a vast number of overuse injuries¹. In many cases, re-injury can be a major concern as well². In response to injury, a physical therapist can work with the athlete in order to increase stability, strength, range of motion, and decide when it is safe to return to a sport by using standardized outcome measures backed by research.

Middle Age: Posture/Workplace Ergonomics
Work is where the vast majority of us spend most of our day, and the majority of workers in the Silicon Valley spend their time sitting at a desk. The posture that we adapt while sitting for 8-12 hours per day can have a significant impact on the way that our body reacts to stresses, increasing loads on the spinal column³ and causing an adaptive shortening or weakening of various muscles throughout the body. Physical therapists are experts on posture, and can provide you with a number of tips for workplace ergonomics and help to correct any adaptive changes that can potentially lead (or have already led) to chronic pain4 through exercises, education, and manual therapy.

Elderly: Osteoarthritis
As we age, our joints are constantly changing. Changes in bones and joint cartilage can lead to pain, which in turn leads to decreased activity levels. This then stiffens the joint further, causing more pain – a terrible cycle to get caught up in. Along with medications prescribed by your doctor, a physical therapist can help you break out of this pain—inactivity cycle and begin experiencing healthy movement, even decreasing chance of requiring a joint replacement5.

For more information on physical therapy and its benefits, or if you are curious whether physical therapy is right for you, feel free to call or visit a BaySport physical therapy clinic or head over to This site is also a great resource for tips and tricks to help you in your daily life (see Health & Prevention, Tips & Tools).

1: McNeff, B., & Altamiranda, A. (2013, June 27). Safe Return to Sports Following ACL Reconstruction Surgery in the Young Athlete.
2: Geier, D. (2013, July 15). Reinjury More Likely Among Athletes After ACL Surgery.
3: Nachemson, A. (1981). Disc Pressure Measurements. Spine, 93-97.
4: Nejati, P., Loflan, S., Moezy, A., & Nejati, M. (2014). The study of correlation between forward head posture and neck pain in Iranian office workers. Int J Occup Med Environ Health, 28(2), 295-303.
5: Deyle, G. et al. (2001). Effectiveness of manual physical therapy and exercise in osteoarthritis of the knee. A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med, 132(3), 173-81.

About The Author:
My name is Andrew Peterson, and I’m a 3rd year physical therapy student from Dallas, Texas, currently working at the BaySport clinic in Los Gatos. I love hiking and all sorts of outdoor activities, and my passion in life is seeing people get better.

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