Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

I saw a physical therapist for an exercise program to help with my shoulder. She asked if I could lift a gallon of milk overhead. Heavens, I'm 72-years old. I stopped buying milk by the gallon years ago. Don't they teach therapists how to work with older adults these days?

Answer:

These days there's a wide range of abilities and disabilities from age 20 to 100+. It's no longer possible to predict what to expect by the decade.

Seniors are joining in the exercise craze lifting weights and running marathons. Folks are staying out in the work force longer, too. It's not unusual to find an older adult who does physically demanding manual labor.

Most likely the answer you gave to the question helped the therapist get an idea of your daily activity level and functional abilities. Establishing a baseline of activity is important in order to know what goals to set and how to get there.

Robert H. Brophy, MD, et al. Measurement of Shoulder Activity Level. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. October 2005. Vol. 439. Pp. 101-108.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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