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Immobility Syndrome Symptoms and Treatments

Staying idle while healing from a surgery, procedure, or illness can lead to further health problems such as immobility syndrome.

Immobility syndrome causes your muscles to weaken and contract, making it harder to get moving again.

Older people are especially prone to the dangers of immobility. 70 percent of older adults' function declines after a hospital stay.

Immobility Syndrome Symptoms and Risks

Symptoms and risk for further health problems include:

  • Loss of muscle mass, strength, and range of motion in joints.
  • Increased pain.
  • Balance issues.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Bowel and urinary issues.
  • Decreased heart health.
  • Higher risk of DVT.
  • A drop in blood pressure when you stand up after sitting or lying down.
  • Memory problems.
  • Increased worry and depression.
  • Disrupted sleep-wake cycle.
Immobility Syndrome | UPMC Center for Rehab Services

Physical Therapy for Immobility Syndrome

While keeping your functional goals in mind, your physical therapist (PT) will assess your:

  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Mobility
  • Endurance

Your CRS PT will tailor exercise programs to reduce pain and fatigue, helping you return to a more active lifestyle.

Our PTs are experts in advanced orthopaedic care for joint replacements and bone, joint, muscle, tendon, and ligament disorders.

They can also help you address immobility syndrome symptoms such as:

  • Balance
  • Dizziness
  • Bowel and urinary issues

Balance and dizziness

Balance, dizziness, and walking problems are common after a hospital stay or illness.

Our therapists can help you regain your confidence and ability to move around your home and community safely.

» Learn more about outpatient balance rehab at CRS.

Bowel and urinary issues

Some people may suffer incontinence or bowel irregularity from scar tissue, muscle spasm, or weakness.

Our PTs can help reduce these symptoms with exercises, gentle myofascial techniques, and education.

Occupational Therapy (OT) for Immobility Syndrome

Many times, it’s challenging to manage routine daily tasks.

Our occupational therapists at the UPMC Centers for Rehab Services can help you. 

OT addresses challenges that hamper you from doing vital everyday activities and managing your work, family, and home life.

Our therapists will assess any problems with your:

  • Strength
  • Coordination
  • Endurance

We'll tailor a treatment plan to meet your needs with the goal of getting your life back.

» Learn more about occupational therapy at the Centers for Rehab Services.

Speech Therapy for Immobility Syndrome

Speech therapy isn't just about speaking. It’s about the connection between cognition and speech.

After an illness or other health event — including some common treatments — CRS speech therapists will check your symptoms.

Symptoms might include:

  • Memory lapses.
  • Problems concentrating and multitasking.
  • A sense of disarray.
  • Slower thought processing.
  • Trouble recalling common words.

A speech therapy assessment and treatment plan will pinpoint problem areas and help you regain skills currently impeding your daily routine.

» Learn more about speech therapy at CRS.

Contact the UPMC Centers for Rehab Services

To make an appointment or learn more about our services, call 1-888-723-4CRS (4277) or email us.

Learn More About Immobility Syndrome