When you hear the words "physical therapy" what comes to mind? For most Americans, they would assume you are talking about a rehabilitative treatment for adults following an injury or surgery. However, did you know that many children need physical therapy? Even babies as young as a week old can receive physical therapy treatments, as long as their doctor is a certified pediatric physical therapist. There are many reasons why your child may need physical therapy, some of which are as follows.
Torticollis is a condition where a child has a tendency to tilt their head to one side and turn it to another. Torticollis can lead to more conditions if it is not treated, such as a flat spot on the head called plagiocephaly. This condition is basically an overtightened neck muscle usually caused by a child's position in their mother's womb, though it could also be due to a difficult or challenging childbirth. If your child deals with torticollis, pediatric physical therapists will work to teach you and your child stretches and strengthening methods in order to overcome the overtightened muscle.
Spina bifida is a congenital condition where the spinal cord does not form properly. Many children who suffer from this disorder have difficulty walking or a loss of feeling in the legs and feet. While in the past children with spina bifida were basically confined to a wheelchair, many advances in medicine have advanced treatments of this disease. Physical therapy for spina bifida can make a great difference by helping to increase balance and strengthen muscles so that children can have as much independence as possible.
Gross Motor Delays
If your child is not meeting their milestones on movement, they may have gross motor delays. It is true that every child learns at a different rate. However, most children's progress can be monitored on a rough scale of what they should accomplish by their age. If your child is a couple of months late on a few milestones, no big deal. If they are several months late on big milestones like rolling, crawling, and walking through, you should maybe get them checked out by a physical therapist. Therapists can teach them to improve their body awareness, helping them to understand the connection between movement and their body.
In conclusion, your child may benefit from physical therapy if they have any of the aforementioned challenges. Talk to your doctor for referrals to a pediatric physical therapist near you.
For more information about physical therapy, contact a physical therapy treatment center.