Paediatric physiotherapy is concerned with the development and health of infants, children and adolescents. It focuses on the reduction of pain and achievement of gross motor milestones in order to aid function and development throughout growth.
Paediatric physiotherapy may be potentially required for the following children:
- Those diagnosed with neurological disorders such as Cerebral palsy, sensory disorders such as Sensory processing Disorder
- Those that appear seemingly healthy, however, display delay in reaching appropriate developmental milestones
- Those who report pain as a consequence of rapid growth
The conditions treated by a paediatric physiotherapist will often vary depending on the age of child attending treatment. Below is a list of common childhood conditions treated by a physiotherapist and the corresponding ages of treatment. It is important to remember that the cause of each of these conditions may vary and may therefore require different interventions.
Under 9 months of age
- Positional Plagiocephaly (flattened spot on the back and side of the head)
- Torticollis (Benign lump found in the neck)
- Unusual foot posture
- Delay in milestones e.g rolling, holding head up
- Developmental Hip Dysplasia
9-17 months of age
- Unable to crawl
- Unable to walk
- Walking on tiptoes
- Turned in feet
- Pigeon toes or knock knees
- Juvenile Arthritis
17 months- 5 years of age
- Delay in gross motor milestones (not keepingup with peers)
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Toe walking
- Juvenile Arthritis
5 years and older
- Sporting injuries
- Growth disorders (Severs Disease, Osgoodschlatters Syndrome)
- Poor gross motor abilities
- Rehabilitation post orthopaedic surgery
The treatment a child receives from a physiotherapist will be unique to the age of the child and the condition being treated. Treatment for children under 17 months of age will typically involve parental education regarding positioning and purposeful play, to encourage appropriate movement patterns. Older children may receive hands on treatment, taping and dry needling to encourage correct biomechanics and loading patterns. These treatments are provided in conjunction with a home exercise program to rectify muscle imbalances and restore joint range of motion.
The main purpose of paediatric physiotherapy is to assist children in overcoming physical difficulties interfering with their ability to function at home, school or on the sporting field. Treatments will vary depending on the age of the child and the goals of intervention. If you would like your child assessed by a physiotherapist you can contact us or book an appointment online.