When it comes to the health and well-being of our children, we want nothing but the best. But what happens when our little ones experience physical challenges or injuries? That’s where paediatric physiotherapy comes in. This specialised branch of physiotherapy focuses on helping children overcome physical limitations and improve their overall quality of life.
Paediatric physiotherapy is a vital aspect of healthcare for children. It involves various techniques and interventions tailored specifically for young patients, considering their unique needs and developmental stages.
From infants to adolescents, paediatric physiotherapy is crucial in promoting optimal physical development and assisting children in overcoming physical challenges.
What does a paediatric physiotherapist do?
A paediatric physiotherapist is an expert in the development of children, especially in their movement. Paediatric physiotherapy involves treating and caring for infants, children, and adolescents aged 0 to 19 years. Paediatric physiotherapists provide their physiotherapy expertise, expert knowledge, and experience in child development and developmental impairments.
Paediatric physiotherapy addresses a wide range of health concerns. It helps children to improve their motor skills, strength, range of motion, endurance, gait issues, balance, posture, coordination, heart and lung endurance, recovery from trauma and surgical procedures and delayed motor development.
Goals are established with the child and the family, and progress is assessed at each visit.
Who needs paediatric physiotherapy?
If your child is not achieving developmental milestones, is floppy or lacks coordination, has a musculoskeletal injury, or prefers to look to one side, you should consider scheduling an evaluation with one of our paediatric physiotherapists at Enhance Physio.
We frequently observe the following range of conditions affecting movement and motor development:
- Poor tummy time tolerance
- Genetic syndromes (e.g., Down Syndrome)
- Postural and gait concerns
- Neurological disorders (e.g., Cerebral Palsy)
- Developmental delays
- Orthopaedic conditions
- Premature infants
- Common newborn conditions musculoskeletal conditions (e.g., plagiocephaly and torticollis)
- Sporting injuries
- Childhood cancer
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Neuromuscular diseases
- Gait (walking) concerns (e.g., in-toeing or walking on tippie toes)
- Rehabilitation after surgery
- Complex medical conditions
The benefits of paediatric physiotherapy
Children are amazing; they can learn and develop physical skills that impact their daily lives. Paediatric physiotherapy is crucial in helping children reach their full potential by providing strategies, interventions and guidance to help them manage medical conditions and improve their physical health.
The following are some of the benefits of paediatric physiotherapy:
- It improves posture and integrates the child’s reflexes.
- It makes movement easier by training more common movement patterns.
- Enhances gross motor abilities.
- Enhances functional mobility.
- Muscle balance and strength are improved.
- Balance and coordination are improved.
- Enhances range of motion.
- Muscle tone is improved.
- Gait improvement/training.
- Addresses respiratory issues.
- Aids in the treatment of learning disabilities.
What to expect at your first paediatric physiotherapy appointment
At Enhance Physio, we understand that each child is unique and needs can change over time. Our physiotherapists are committed to providing tailored, evidence-based interventions to achieve the best outcomes for your little one.
A collaborative approach is essential when it comes to paediatric care. Therefore, we actively involve parents or caregivers in assessing and treating their children.
At your first appointment, we will take a detailed history of your child’s medical history and current symptoms. We will also perform a comprehensive physical examination to understand your child’s condition and develop a treatment plan tailored to their needs.
After the initial assessment, our paediatric physiotherapists will discuss the findings with you and develop a personalised treatment plan to achieve your child’s goals.
Treatment may involve manual therapy, exercises, play activities, education and advice on managing symptoms at home as well as trial and prescription of specialised orthotics, splints, or equipment to support your child’s development.
Our paediatric physiotherapists may advise you about lifestyle habits to help your child manage their symptoms, such as suitable activities, ergonomic seating and positioning, and other strategies to promote overall health and wellbeing.
Regular follow-up appointments are essential to monitor progress and adjust treatment as needed.
Final thoughts on Paediatric Physiotherapy
Children are incredibly resilient, but they are not immune to physical ailments. Paediatric physiotherapy can provide the necessary support and interventions to help children reach their full potential, whether it’s a developmental delay, a sports injury, or a chronic condition.
Early intervention has been proven in studies to enhance outcomes for children with developmental disabilities. If you are concerned about your baby’s or child’s development, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled paediatric physiotherapists.
Children can build strength, improve mobility, and restore physical function with proper guidance and treatment.