Deconditioning Awareness

Deconditioning Awareness

Physiotherapists refer to ‘deconditioning’ as a state of the body following an episode of inactivity such as a hospital admission. For example, after a period of inactivity, symptoms such as muscle weakness, fatigue and lower levels of activity are common and result in the body being in a deconditioned state. Deconditioning in older people can even begin within hours of lying on a trolley or bed in A&E. According to the British Geriatrics Society (2017):

“up to 65% of older patients experience decline in function during hospitalisation. Many of these patients could prematurely end up in a care home because of ‘deconditioning’ and the loss of functional abilities in hospital”.

It is so important that all hospital staff encourage patients to keep moving as much as possible whilst they are in hospital. However, it is not always possible to be as active as one would like in hospital so many people are discharged home in a ‘deconditioned’ state, perhaps even with a care package in place.

This is where a Physiotherapy Programme is essential to enable patients to get back to their original pre-hospital state. This can even mean starting with basic bed strengthening exercises and progressing to getting out of bed and then to standing and walking. How quickly a patient can get back to ‘normal’ depends on many factors but it is possible. The muscles need to build up their strength again and also the cardiovascular system needs to be challenged in order to get fitness levels up. Physiotherapy programmes are tailored to each individual so if you need advice after a hospital admission, we are here to help you. We at Silver Physio specialise in home-based rehabiliation, which makes it easier once a patient returns home post hospital admission; one less thing for the patient and relatives to worry about.


A physiotherapist works with patients post hospiatl admissions or period of sickness to assess their individual physical difficulties and help improve movement and other function. Silver Physio have therapists that are highly experienced in managing this. Get in touch with us at Silver Physio on 020 3637 8988 or at for information on how we may be able to help you.