How Youth Physio Can Help Your Child
Youth physio, also known as children’s or pediatric physiotherapy, is a specialized area of treatment focused on the unique needs of babies, children, and young adults. Youth
Pediatric Physiotherapists undergo additional training in order to meet the physical, mental, and education needs of children.
These Physiotherapists can assess and treat a wide range of childhood conditions including developmental, neurological, respiratory, and musculoskeletal difficulties. These conditions can result from illness, disability, or injury.
They work closely with parents, doctors, and teachers to gather as much information as possible to help identify areas that need improvement and determine a treatment plan and exercise activities most effective for the child.
Youth physio can involve a wide variety of different activities tailored to the child’s therapy goals. These include:
- Movement and exercise
- Respiratory care
- Manual therapy
- Splinting and orthotics
Pediatric Physiotherapists work with children in a variety of environments including at home, in school, and in daycares. In some cases, children may need to have their physiotherapy carried out in a clinic or hospital.
When your child is first referred to youth physio, the Pediatric Physiotherapist will conduct an initial assessment to get to know your child as well as learn of any concerns or goals that you may have.
This is followed by a physical assessment to determine the best treatment plan for your child’s unique needs. At this point, the Physiotherapist may initiate a home exercise program and schedule your child for a follow-up visit to track progress.
The type of intervention will depend on the needs of your child and the Physiotherapist will teach you and your child’s caregivers who to help your child in the home, school, and other community settings.
If your child requires monitoring on a more regular basis, the Physiotherapist can train someone else to carry out the physiotherapy plan and keep in close contact with them throughout the duration of treatment.
Pediatric Physiotherapists will also consult with parents, caregivers, daycare staff, and school staff to address your child’s needs in each environment and provide everyone with a program to follow.
Collaboration and education are important parts of achieving maximum results.
If your child suffers a physical injury such as a sprain, pull, or concussion, they should always visit with a Physiotherapist to ensure the injury is completely healed.
Otherwise, there are certain pediatric conditions that can benefit from youth physio:
Children with autism can often have difficulties when it comes to fine and gross motor skills and sensory development. Youth physio can help a child with autism increase their motor skills, gain independence, and increase their participation in school and at home.
Depending on the degree of symptoms when it comes to posture and movement, youth physio can help children with cerebral palsy regain some strength, posture, and motor control. This can greatly expand the range of things they are capable of doing.
Physical symptoms of Down syndrome include loose ligaments, low muscle tone, and decreased strength. Physiotherapy can ensure that the child’s motor skills are developing and that their movement patterns are efficient and not putting extra strain on their bodies.
There are times when disease or injury are not the cause of motor skill development delays – your child may simply be missing their milestones. Physiotherapy can help your child improve their balance, strength, and motor skills.
Neuromuscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy, can be addressed with physiotherapy. Physiotherapy can help maximize the child’s capability and quality of life during the course of the disease.
Depending on the type of spinal cord injury, a child could end up facing paralysis, muscle weakness, breathing issues, and loss of bowel and bladder function. Depending on the severity of the injury, physiotherapy can help the child build muscle strength, increase mobility, and improve balance.
Children who suffer from a traumatic brain injury or pediatric stroke often forget how to complete normal physical tasks. Physiotherapy can help rehabilitate those with brain injuries by helping them relearn the lost movements and skills.
Although children heal faster than adults, the reduction of pain may create a perception that they are adequately healed before they truly are. This means that may return to sports or activities too early and increase the risk of re-injury.
Having your child see a physiotherapist can ensure that the injury is properly treated and that complete healing is verified before they resume their regular activities.
Physiotherapy is not simply reserved for those who suffer an injury. It can also have a positive impact on children who live with more serious conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, and other genetic conditions and neurodevelopment disorders (such as autism).
Youth physio can offer effective treatment plans to suit your child’s unique needs and extend the potential of their physical capabilities.
When it comes to childhood restlessness, there may be underlying issues that affect your child’s ability to sit still. The physical inactivity experienced during the school day can lead to discomfort which can, in turn, negatively impact cognitive performance and sleep.
As a treatment, youth physio can help your child return to a state of physical comfort and improve their classroom performance.
Youth physio can help your child learn about how their bones, muscles, tissues, tendons, and ligaments work together – this will give them the knowledge and skills to better identify when they are injured or sick.
They will also learn how to properly move their bodies when physically active to prevent injury and improve their performance.
Whether your child is suffering an injury or facing a lifelong struggle with a physical or cognitive disorder, youth physio can help make significant improvements in your child’s life.
Speak with your medical practitioner or contact a registered Pediatric Physiotherapist for more information.