Working with parents to help all our young patients reach their full potential
Physiotherapy for Children
Having your child diagnosed with a musculoskeletal, biomechanical or developmental problem can be very distressing; however, Paediatric Physiotherapists can achieve good results with a wide range of conditions experienced by children from birth to eighteen years. Commonly seen conditions at our clinic include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Global Developmental Delay
- Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome)
- Torticollis (wry neck)
- Biomechanical Problems (fallen arches, poor alignment of hips or knees)
Damage to the brain either during foetal development or after birth causes the Cerebral Palsy (CP), a group of chronic conditions affecting body movements and muscle coordination. It can occur before, during, or shortly following, birth.
Physiotherapy can help by facilitating normalisation of muscle tone, increasing joint range of motion, and by 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 their developmental milestones at an age-appropriate time. It is normal that children develop at different rates to their siblings and friends, and not always a cause for concern. However, some children do require intervention and help. They need to be stimulated to accomplish these milestones, which is where physiotherapy has a part to play.
Positional, or deformational, plagiocephaly refers to an asymmetrical shape of the head. In children this is often caused by repeated pressure to one side, or to the back, of the head. It may develop in utero or after birth, if an infant has a preference to lie on one side of its head. Simple exercises and care when positioning the child to sleep can help. Just ask us here at Physiotherapy Works.
Positional Brachycephaly refers to a condition where the head is disproportionately wide compared to its depth. It arises when the soft bones of the developing skull flatten due to prolonged pressure on the back of the head. Once again, we can help with exercises and with positioning advice.
Torticollis is a condition in which the head persistently tilts to one side, and the face 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 which runs from the chest to the chin.
Acquired torticollis occurs during early childhood and usually presents in previously normal children. There are many causes of acquired torticollis. Infants with torticollis have a high risk for plagiocephaly. If torticollis remains untreated, facial asymmetry is common. We have the expertise to help prevent poor outcomes.
Some children experience fallen arches, or have significant deviation, inwards or outwards, of their hip or knee joints. This can result in problems which may be obvious in childhood, but, more often, arise later in life with regards to knee, hip and lower back problems. Correction of these biomechanical issues may involve specific exercise programs and intervention through means such as corrective insoles and orthotics for the child’s shoes. We have the skills to remedy these biomechanical issues, which are often overlooked or down-played by the busy hospital system.