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Physiotherapy for Children
Paediatric Physiotherapy may cover a range of conditions seen in children. Commonly seen conditions at our clinic include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Global Developmental Delay
- Plagiocephaly [more commonly known as flat head syndrome]
- Torticollis [as known as wry neck]
- Biomechanical Problems [fallen arches, poor alignment of hips/ knees]
Cerebral palsy [CP] is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movements and muscle coordination. It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development or infancy. It also can occur before, during or shortly following birth.
Physiotherapy can help by facilitating normalizing of muscle tone, joint range of motion and facilitating the accomplishment of developmental milestones e.g. rolling, crawling and walking which may often be delayed in conditions such as CP.
Global Developmental Delay
Global Developmental Delay has some similarities to CP in that children affected by it may not accomplish developmental milestones. Some children may take extra time to learn to crawl and walk etc. However some children need to be stimulated to accomplish these milestones which is where physiotherapy has a part to play.
Positional or defomational plagiocephaly refers to an asymmetrical shape of the head caused by repeated pressure to one side of the back of the head
Positional Brachycephaly refers to a condition where the head is disproportionately wide compared to it’s depth. It is caused by prolonged positioning on the back of the head.
Torticollis is a condition in where the head persistently tilts to one side, and the head is usually turned to the opposite side. It is also called “wry neck”. It can be caused by congenital muscular torticollis or it can be an acquired torticollis. Congenital muscular torticollis can be caused by birth trauma or intrauterine position and results in a shortening or tightness of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Acquired torticollis occurs because of another problem and usually presents in previously normal children. There are many causes of acquired torticollis. Infants with torticollis have a high risk for plagiocephaly. If the torticollis is not treated, facial asymmetry is common.
Some Children experience fallen arches or have significant turning in or out of their hip or knee joints. This can result in problems presently or, often, later in life with regards to knee, hip and lower back problems. Correction of these problems may involve specific exercise programs and intervention through means such as corrective insoles and orthotics for the child’s shoes.