Pediatric physiotherapy is just as important as adult physical therapy. No one is spared from getting injured or contracting illnesses that result in limited mobility, even kids. In fact, they are more prone to injury. Naturally, children tend to be carefree. They see their immediate surroundings as their gigantic playground. As such, their curiosity might lead them to injuries such as falling, twisting, and others more.
The same is true with children more prone to diseases and illnesses which may restrict their movement. Since their bodies are more frail and sensitive compared to adults, they are at a higher risk of getting diseases that target their ability to function independently and move freely. This can give both the child and parents some level of anxiety, depression, and helplessness. Seeing other kids play while they are stuck at home nursing an injury or disease may take a toll on the child’s overall mental health.
Thankfully, this is where pediatric physiotherapy comes to play. Whether the disorder comes from physical injuries or other illnesses that limit movement and mobility, pediatric physiotherapy contributes to an overall improved condition over time. As the child will most likely follow what he or she is told to do, the greater responsibility and commitment lie on the parents’ shoulders. They need to be in control of the entire therapy process to give their child a better, functional, and more enjoyable life.
Do not be misconstrued. Pediatric physiotherapy does not only cover babies and toddlers. The age range is basically from birth to around 18 years (pre-adolescent to the adolescent stage). Those who belong to the pre-adolescent to the adolescent stage may at one point require some pediatric physiotherapy as competitive athletes. Regardless of how careful one tends to be, injuries are unavoidable and inevitable.
Conditions that can be treated with pediatric physiotherapy
Thanks to pediatric physical therapy, there are a good number of conditions that may be treated and effectively addressed with substantial and adequate repeated sessions. While injuries are part of it, other conditions can be healed with constant therapy sessions and medications (if needed).
Here are the conditions that can be treated with pediatric physiotherapy:
– Cerebral palsy
– Down Syndrome
– Muscular Dystrophy
– Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (yes, even children experience this and is not only limited to adults and the elderly)
– Cystic Fibrosis
– Pulmonary Disorders
– Spina Bifida or a birth defect where the spine and the spinal cord don’t form the right way. It is considered a neural tube defect.
Pediatric physiotherapy as mentioned can treat damages due to sports and other activities. Even some post-surgery treatment may need pediatric physiotherapy as part of the recovery process. Here are some of them:
– Traumatic Brain Injury
– Back pain
– Frequent muscular pain
– Poor balance
– Poor posture
– Orthopedic surgeries
Pediatric physiotherapist’s role
Simply put, a pediatric physiotherapist is considered a movement specialist. They can assist improve the motor skills of babies, children, and adolescents. It is similar to how treatments are done for Parkinson’s physio and physiotherapy for Multiple Sclerosis. It just changes on approach. Regardless of the reason behind a patient’s mobility limitation, a physiotherapist can:
– Have a further assessment of movement limitation
– Determine the root cause of the problem
– Come up with therapy sessions to gradually address the problem through:
- Movement training
- Strength exercises
- Motor learning and play
- And other intensive therapy programs designed to treat any motor-limiting conditions
Children deserve to live life to the fullest. They need to be out playing with their friends and enjoying what the world has to offer. Having mobility-restricting diseases and injuries brought about by certain activities take all of these away from them. As a result, their behavior changes. They become reclusive, even painfully shy.
Understand that injuries and diseases don’t only limit their movement. It also hinders their mental and societal development. Their condition also affects the parents and everyone else around them. This is precisely why it is essential to seek immediate professional help through licensed and expert pediatric PT.