Paediatric Physical Therapy: A simple brief on it
Pediatric physiotherapy is beneficial in managing perinatal conditions diagnosed in childhood and the transition age of adulthood. Physiotherapy for children improves physical functioning and improves quality of life.1,2 The long-term effects are considerable, including the reduction of disability and the necessity to undergo surgery, or any other expensive, invasive procedures, resulting in less burden on the future treatment of health-related services.
Pediatric physiotherapy treatments treat many chronic and acute conditions in various environments ranging from acute care hospitals to schools and communities. Pediatric physiotherapists identify and treat developmental, neurological or orthopedic disorders, as well as cardiorespiratory ailments in children as young as 18 years old, with a primary concentration on improving the function of children and gaining independence. The practice of physiotherapy has a positive, substantial impact on the function of the pulmonary system as well as motor control, the strength of muscles, and physical endurance in children suffering from chronic illnesses such as cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, and Idiopathic juvenile arthritis.
How does a paediatric physical therapy program work?
Pediatric physiotherapists assist children in reaching their full physical potential. They are experts in the development, movement, and health conditions likely to impact the baby and growing child. They also provide treatment for infants up to teenagers. Treatments may include massaging soft tissue and stretching, mobilization, and specific exercises for therapeutic purposes and posture-related education. Because children are not tiny adults, these therapists guide children to use their bodies at their highest capabilities by engaging in play, appropriate instruction, and fun. The physiotherapist must work within the framework of the child’s family and can collaborate with children in various scenarios, including family, preschool, and leisure and education activities.
Due to the unique requirements of the child and the family members, the professional physiotherapist could collaborate with other disciplines, including nursing, medical social work, educational and care personnel, psychological and psychiatric teams, and occupational and speech therapists. The physiotherapist in such teams should be able to communicate the results of their assessments, observations, and treatment strategies to children, parents, and other team members. To work efficiently and effectively, the pediatric physiotherapist, along with his physiotherapy expertise, possesses an in-depth knowledge of the process of development in childhood, the basic reflex patterns, and pediatric disability and illness.
What type of treatment does your child receive from pediatric therapy?
Most of the time, physical therapy sessions for children are meant to be like playing. Physical therapy sessions are fun for kids. Games and activities that are appropriate for their age keep them interested and engaged.
PTs can help improve gross motor abilities (tasks that require big muscle groups, such as throwing and walking) by encouraging children to take on tasks like:
Use large exercise balls to increase the strength
Hop around and run to help increase their coordination
The balance beam on which you are balancing
Place one foot on each side.
Who will get benefited from it?
The physiotherapists for children are experts in the evaluation, identification, and diagnosis of the child’s movements and development. Pediatric physiotherapists possess highly skilled hands-on skills that we employ together with lots of enthusiasm, imagination, and fun to create individualized therapy programs for all clients. The programs for treatment are designed to improve each child’s well-being, health, and capacities to allow children to move and participate in daily activities like playing and learning, attending school, and becoming part of a community and family. Children with developmental challenges might have difficulty reaching the developmental milestones they need to reach by the date or at the age anticipated. The developmental milestones are things children acquire or master, typically occurring in certain age groups.
The kinds of movement disorders and problems that physiotherapists for children can assist with differ greatly and include, among others:
- Children and babies who are slow to reach these milestones of motorization, e.g., children who are too young to learn to crawl, sit or walk.
- Children and infants use unconventional ways to move, such as standing, shuffling their bottoms, or sitting, walking.
- Children who are struggling with motor skills, like the ability to jump/hop or ball skills
- Babies and toddlers who are awkward or uncoordinated
- Children who suffer from down syndrome or imbalance have trouble with muscle weakness
- Nerve anomalies in children, for example, Cerebral Palsy
At the beginning of your visit, during the initial visit, the PT will evaluate your child’s physical strength, growth, and how well they can stand or walk. They will determine whether there is any delay. In the event of a delay, they will determine its extent and possible cause. Then a PT will collaborate with you and your child to determine the best treatment strategy. Suppose children face complications related to the forearm and fingers and have gripping issues. In that case, pediatric physiotherapists may recommend parents let their child play with putty or squeeze balls, as they are the best hand-squeeze exercise tool.