A child has developed the majority of their physical skills by the age of five. Consequently, any health conditions during this period can have lasting, negative implications on their physical health – this is where physiotherapy comes in. Physical therapy in children can help to promote healthy mobility and reduce limitations in their physical functions. With ‘normal’ functioning depending on the age of the child, physiotherapy will focus upon an infant’s development skills – bringing their physical functions into line with their age.
Types of mobility
A child’s abilities will consist of gross motor and fine motor skills;
Gross motor skills
- Gross mobility skills require large portions of the body to work in unison, therefore enabling the child to sit up, roll over and crawl. After a child has learnt to master these basic gross mobility skills, a physiotherapist will devise a tailored development program which will focus on more advanced actions. This program will look at improving balance and stability as well as aiming to prepare for or improve on walking skills.
Fine motor skills
- Fine mobility is a form of movement which requires the coordination of smaller muscles. Actions which rely on fine mobility include holding a pencil and brushing your teeth. As a way to develop these movements, physiotherapists will often tailor game play into their physiotherapy program – developing coordination and promoting a range of unsupported movements.
Who can benefit?
Although physiotherapy can benefit any child, certain applications can be particularly beneficial;
Children with physical defects
- Children born with physical deformities such as cerebral palsy can benefit greatly from physiotherapy. In these circumstances, not only can physiotherapists help the patient develop mobility through a carefully selected series of exercises and games, but they can also help teach valuable coping skills – maximising their potential.
Children obtaining an injury
- In a similar way to adults, physiotherapy can benefit children following an accident or injury. Common injuries such as sprains, brakes and fractures can be treated by a child’s physiotherapist who will tailor a series of exercises and massages to target not only the pain and inflammation of the injury but also work on developing and strengthening muscles.
Children recovering from surgery
- Following surgery, children may require treatment to promote healing discourage any long term effects of the treatment. For instance, if a child has had surgery on their leg or foot, a physiotherapist with guide their healing so to reduces the likelihood of long-term walking impairments.
With numerous, highly regarded treatment centres for physiotherapy in Doncaster, Nottingham, Peterborough and Oxford, why not introduce your little one the benefits of physiotherapy?
By Sarah-Jayne Culver; a Digital Marketing Consultant at http://www.fdcstudio.co.uk/ – One of the UK’s leading Digital Marketing Agencies