Is physical therapy suitable for children?
Children who exhibit difficulty in motor function are at a disadvantage as they are limited in exploring their environment. This ultimately affects their physical as well as intellectual development. With physical therapy intervention and treatment, maximal functional capacity for these children as well as optimal strength and flexibility will be the outcome.
Physical therapists who specialize in the treatment of children with motor dysfunction are known as pediatric physical therapists. They are well trained in the anatomy and physiology of children and can recognize deficits in motor function at any age of a child’s development.
Pediatric physical therapists will first perform an assessment on the child to determine range of motion, muscle strength and quality of movement. The child may have been born with a congenital deficit which would lead to a delay in achieving developmental milestones. In another instance, the child may not have a deficit, but the physical therapist can advise parents on appropriate footwear, toys and games and even certain types of play which can aid or enhance the overall development of the child.
As your child grows older, you may wish to consult a physical therapist concerning your child’s participation in sport, ways of maintaining or achieving proper weight and even choosing a backpack.
Physical therapy clinics for children are designed with equipment that appeals to children. Therefore children will be more inclined to perform exercises and be actively involved in their treatment.
Pediatric physical therapists are themselves trained in the right approach to set both the children and parents at ease. Early intervention by a physical therapist can prevent problems in posture and/or gait from occurring later on, correct deficits in the growing child and help the parents cope with care of a disabled child.
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