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Overview

Pediatric Physiotherapy

Pediatric Physiotherapy

What is Pediatric Physiotherapy?

Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents with the age limit usually ranging from birth up to 18. Pediatric physiotherapy assists in early detection of health problems and uses a wide variety of modalities to treat disorders in the pediatric population.

Pediatric physiotherapists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infants, children, and adolescents with a variety of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, or acquired disorders/diseases. Pediatric physiotherapy not only benefits children but their families as well.

Why Might Your Child Need Physiotherapy?

If you’re infant, children, or adolescents require an improvement in: balance and co-ordination, functional activities of daily living, gross and fine motor skills, movement, musculoskeletal posture issue, strength and endurance, play based learning skills, sensory issues, delayed social skills, cognitive and communication skills.

Who Might a Pediatric Physiotherapist Treat?

A Pediatric physiotherapist will often treat infants, children, and adolescents that are exhibiting delayed motor development, children with neurological disorders, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or infant torticollis.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term denoting a group of non-progressive] non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, CP is neither genetic nor a disease, a vast majority of cases are congenital, coming at or about the time of birth, and/or are diagnosed at a very young age rather than during adolescence or adulthood. It can be defined as a central motor dysfunction affecting muscle tone, posture and movement.

Spina bifida is a birth defect. It occurs when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) do not form properly around part of the baby’s spinal cord. In severe cases, it can make walking or daily activities hard to do without help.

Infant torticollis or congenital muscular torticollis. Literally means “twisted neck” in Latin. In newborns, torticollis can happen due to positioning in the womb or after a difficult childbirth. This results in a baby with a tilted head or difficulty turning his or her neck. Some babies with torticollis also have developmental dysplasia of the hip, another condition caused by abnormal positioning in the womb or a difficult childbirth.

Treatment

Pediatric physiotherapy is the treatment for children needing improved strength, postural co-ordination and range of motion.  Improvement in these areas will increase a child’s quality of movement and gross motor development. A pediatric physiotherapist will complete a treatment plan that emphases improving gross and fine motor skills, improved balance and coordination, increased strength and endurance as well as cognitive and sensory processing and integration. Physiotherapy will help promote the child’s activity level and participation in everyday routines will increase their functional independence. Their goal is to support improved motor development leading to increased mobility.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rabeya Afroz Shomi

- Written by the Priyojon Editorial Team

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