Children are not just mini-adults.
The most common reasons for a child to present to physiotherapy are generally as follows:
More often than not, this is usually due to an injury sustained during sport, playing, collisions or from a fall.
But did you know that there are many orthopedic, developmental, and neurological conditions specific to children and adolescents in which physiotherapy can be beneficial?
Previously our Physiotherapist Gary wrote an article regarding injuries and irritations to the growth plate (traction apophysitis) which related specifically to injuries of growing bones, generally through overuse and increased loads. These conditions are usually self-resolving and will heal once ossification of the growth plate occurs. Your physiotherapist can provide advice with these conditions and help to treat symptoms.
Often traumatic injuries can masquerade other pathologies, for example persistent and vague related knee pain after a fall that just doesn’t appear to be getting better, or if your child has suddenly developed a limp or changed the way they walk – can often be a sign or indication that something may be going on at the hip joint. In either of these cases, it is important to seek medical advice (GP / Physiotherapist) if you do notice a change or symptoms linger for longer than would be expected in a traumatic injury.
Common orthopedic presentations in children can include:
- Slipped upper femoral epiphysis (SUFE)
- Development dysplasia of the hip (DDH)
- Perthes disease
- Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, Sever’s Disease, Sinding-Larsen-Johansson disease (apophysitis)
- Pulled elbow
Whilst some of the conditions above will resolve as your child reaches skeletal maturity, it is important to address, treat and manage the hip pathologies early, as these can have lifelong consequences. Your physiotherapist is trained to perform an in-depth screening assessment for any of the conditions above and provide up to date, evidence-based treatment options to you and your child.
However, It’s not just sore muscles and aches and pains that your physiotherapist can help guide and treat, we are also specifically trained in helping to improve strength, increasing range of motion, improving gait and functional deficiencies and helping with co-ordination difficulties – all of which applies to people right throughout the lifespan!
This is particularly applicable to children as they develop, and physiotherapy can play an important role in many neurological and developmental disorders such as:
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Down Syndrome
- Global Developmental Delay / Developmental Coordination disorder
- Toe Walking
Your physiotherapist can help guide fun, interactive and meaningful exercises, and activities to be completed in clinic or at home, in line with the family’s and child’s goals. There is no one generic set of exercises and our physiotherapists are highly skilled in finding the right movements applicable to the patient. It is important to keep kids moving and active!
We can even offer home visits to take the stress out of having to come to our clinic!
If you would like to discuss your child’s development, pain, or diagnosed condition and to find out how physiotherapy may be of benefit to them – book in to see one of our friendly Physio’s for a chat and an assessment!
Written by Bodie Logan – Physiotherapist