Physical Therapy can Help Kids Too
When you think of physical therapy, you might think of an injured athlete, someone recovering from surgery, or someone with a chronic medical problem. However, we’re here to let you know that physical therapy can help kids, too! Physical therapists are trained to work with patients of any age. At MOSAIC, we have some that specialize in pediatrics. Here are a few things PTs can help kids with.
Coordination Disorders and Gross Motor Delays
Some children are delayed in hitting their gross motor milestones. Therefore, things like sitting up on their own, rolling, standing, walking, jumping, and running. Other children show difficulty with coordination. This can be activities like hand motions to “wheels on the bus”, moving awkwardly or slowly, or even tripping or bumping into things a lot. Physical therapists can help encourage development of gross motor skills and coordination to help these kids get back on track.
Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood. The symptoms can vary from moving a little awkwardly to being unable to walk and needing assistance for most activities. There are also different types. The most common causes stiffness in the muscles, but other types affect control of movements, balance, or coordination. No matter the type or severity of cerebral palsy, a physical therapist can help with things like stretching, exercise, bracing, and equipment like a wheelchair if needed.
Physical Therapy can Help Kids with Torticollis
Torticollis is a postural issue that usually becomes noticeable shortly after birth. Babies with torticollis typically hold their heads tipped one direction and rotated towards the opposite side. This is caused by a tight neck muscle. Research has shown that early referral to a physical therapist is a VERY effective treatment. At MOSAIC, we have PTs who have tons of experience and additional training in the treatment of torticollis. Our PT will show the baby’s caregivers ways to gently stretch the neck, activities to encourage the baby to move their head into a more neutral position, how to position for sleep and other activities, and ways to encourage symmetric development of motor skills.
Pelvic Floor Issues
People might not think pelvic floor issues in children are common. But, it may be a surprise at how common they are. The most common symptom is chronic constipation. Pelvic floor problems can also show up as urinary incontinence, bed wetting, or needing to go to the bathroom frequently. A physical therapist can help with education for the child and their family and exercise. Additionally, sometimes even the use of biofeedback to help the child learn to better control their pelvic floor muscles.
Physical Therapy can Help Kids with Pain and Injuries
Although kids have a list of problems specific to them, don’t forget about regular old pain and injuries. Your PT can treat an ankle sprain, painful joint, or athletic injury in a child just with an adult.
Sometimes kids and even babies need some help with movement. From now on, when you think of your physical therapist, remember that physical therapy can help kids too!