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Benefits Of Pediatric Physical Therapy

Apr 15th, 2018 | by NAPA Team
NAPA Team

NAPA Team

April 15th, 2018

Physical Therapy for Kids: What are the Benefits?

There are considerable advantages when undergoing physical therapy that may not only benefit a child physically, but mentally too. Pediatric physical therapy helps children learn to successfully and independently perform gross motor skills and functional mobility skills. As a child begins to successfully develop these skills, it creates a greater form of independence that helps contribute to achieving a higher sense of self-esteem. Though physical therapy for children provides a safer form of development and strengthening, it is also capable of being an essential preventative measure.

Physical therapy also helps young athletes in preventing injury by addressing any muscle imbalance or weakness as well as help them to return to play after injury. A variety of treatment interventions are used including: developmental activities, therapeutic exercise, balance and coordination activities, adaptive play activities, mobility training, safety and prevention programs, and activities to promote overall wellness.

Benefits of Physical Therapy

You are probably asking yourself, what are the main benefits that come with pediatric physical therapy? We have listed below the essentials involved our services, the benefits that come with it and the experience your child will get.

Physical therapy rehabilitation is extremely important after an injury and there is no question that those who go through physical therapy end up in much better shape in the long run and return to full activity much sooner. In fact, a great deal of the time those people that do not have a physical therapy plan after a surgery or an injury that is guided to healing their specific problem do not return to the level of activity that they had in the past. Because of this, it is very important to take any type of physical therapy with the utmost of importance.

What Can My Child Improve On?

  • Range of Motion – how far a joint can bend or straighten
  • Strength – strength against gravity
  • Balance – ability to maintain balance (tilting and righting responses) and to keep oneself from falling (protective responses)
  • Reflexes – automatic responses seen particularly in infants (palmar grasp, positive support, asymmetrical tonic neck reflex [ATNR] and labyrinthine)
  • Posture – alignment of the body in various positions
  • Tone – natural resistance in a muscle (increased tone is stiffness and decreased tone is floppiness)

What Do Your Pediatric Physical Therapy Services Include?

  • Stretching and strengthening activities and exercises to increase a child’s range and quality of movement
  • Establishing or reshaping movement patterns to follow normal development
  • Improving balance and equilibrium skills
  • Improving postural control
  • Gait training (walking)
  • Evaluating the need for adaptive equipment and orthopedic devices

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Physical Therapy?

  • They are not meeting the expected developmental milestones during the first year of life (ie. rolling, sitting, standing, walking).
  • They have a strong preference for turning their head to one side or using one side of their body.
  • They walk up on the balls of their feet or walk in an atypical/awkward manner.
  • They have difficulty keeping up with their peers during play.
  • They are not able to perform the same gross motor tasks (ie. hopping, jumping, skipping) as their peers.
  • They frequently trip and fall when walking.
  • They complain of pain when performing gross motor tasks.
  • They were injured and are not able to perform at their prior level of function.

What is Physical Therapy?

If you do not know what physical therapy is, it is essentially various workouts and exercises that focus on certain muscles and movements, which are aimed at strengthening muscles and tendons. Physical therapy is very similar to going to the gym and working with a personal trainer, although the physical therapists that you work with are well versed with dealing with all sorts of injuries and will take the necessary precautions to get a person back to full health as soon as possible. Physical therapy is not just for adults, as there is also physical therapy for children, which is all the more important. It is extremely important for children to follow their physical therapy routine as closely as they can, due to the fact that they are growing while they are likely going through the process of recovery. The fact that they are growing means that it is even more important to fix the things that are wrong with the body, so this should be taken very seriously.

What Should I Expect from a Physical Therapy Session?

Typically when you go to a physical therapy session, you will do some warm up stretches and will end up doing strengthening exercises. These may be with weights, or may be with specific equipment that is specially designed to deal with your type of injury or surgical recovery. The majority of physical therapy sessions also involve various massage sessions, which aim to break up scar tissue and to work out kinks in the muscles, after which is usually followed by a hot and cold bath. There is no question that getting the right physical therapy is crucial when it comes to dealing with any type of injury and although it may seem unimportant to some children that look at it as a task, it is something that absolutely has to be done.

About NAPA Center

NAPA Center’s physical therapists for children have a profound joy in helping children and their families achieve greater happiness. All of our qualified therapists work together as well as with the family members to assess the current functioning level and to create an individualized plan to help your child achieve optimal results. Contact us today for more information!

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