female physical therapist guiding her older female patient through exercises

Generalized Weakness

Overall, body weakness can make everyday tasks difficult, but physical therapy has a variety of techniques that can help restore strength.

Physical therapy for generalized weakness

Generalized body weakness can result in loss of strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. It can also result in an inability to perform everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning, or self-care.

Causes of generalized weakness

There is an increased risk of general weakness and deconditioning in people ages 80+. They may limit their physical activity due to chronic pain, fatigue, medication-related side effects, recent hospitalization, lack of understanding of the importance of physical activity, and disease. 

While more common in the elderly, generalized weakness can also occur in younger people after trauma, disease, and prolonged bed rest or due to chronic pain.

older woman with white hair using resistance bands during physical therapy sesssion

Generalized weakness symptoms

Patients suffering from general weakness may experience the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty doing daily tasks
  • Weak muscles, especially after activity
  • Loss of balance
older woman with a blue shirt on lighting small weights during physical therapy appointment

How we treat generalized weakness

A physical therapist will complete a comprehensive evaluation and create a customized program to address your needs. Treatment for generalized weakness may include:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Strengthening
  • Flexibility exercises
  • Modalities to reduce pain
  • Endurance exercises
  • Balance exercises
  • Education for safe physical activity and pacing activities to gradually increase endurance
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Blood flow restriction

General weakness resources

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What to expect

Your first physical therapy appointment is about creating a personalized treatment plan based on your health history, diagnosis, and goals. Here’s what you can expect at your first physical therapy appointment:

Your first appointment will last about an hour. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

If applicable, bring your physician referral or prescription, insurance card, paperwork, ID, and co-payment.

At your appointment, we’ll do an initial evaluation and discuss your care plan.

*Services are not available at every location. Visit our Locations page for more details.

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