What is Paediatric Physiotherapy?

Paediatric Physiotherapy aims to optimise your child’s physical function and maximise their ability to participate in movement activities at home, school and in the community.

Movement is essential to your child’s normal development. If your child’s movement ability is restricted they can be limited in their ability to play, learn and socialise. As a result, without timely physiotherapy intervention, they risk delays in all areas of:

  • Social and emotional development
  • Approaches to learning new tasks and challenges
  • Thinking and problem-solving
  • Communication, language and literacy

 

If your child is faced with limitations in their ability to move, early physiotherapy intervention can help manage the extent of subsequent developmental delays.

Your child’s treatment will be individually tailored to address their unique needs, abilities and interests. A typical consultation for your child may involve:

  • musculoskeletal, posture, gait and movement skills assessment
  • play-based exercises to facilitate motor skill development; strengthen weak muscles or stretch tight muscles; improve balance and coordination
  • provision of equipment to improve physical function such as taping, orthotics or walking aids
  • parent and carer training
  • provision of a program detailing specific play ideas for home/school so that your child continues to develop their movement skills in between physiotherapy sessions

 

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Frequency of physiotherapy treatment will vary depending on your child’s needs and goals. Therapy may involve a block of weekly sessions to target a specific need or perhaps regular monthly sessions for children who benefit from less frequent, ongoing therapy input. After your initial consultation, Sarah Jay Paediatric Physiotherapy will prescribe a treatment plan, based on your child’s needs, designed to achieve your child’s goals.

Our physiotherapy service is centre-based in Adamstown. However, after your initial consultation, therapy can be arranged in the home, school or community environment as is best suited to your child and family needs.

When should you seek advice from Sarah Jay Paediatric Physiotherapy?

As a general rule, if you believe something seems odd or wrong to you about the way your child moves, book an appointment and ask about it. After all, you know your child best!

 

You should certainly seek advice if you are aware of any of the following:

Infants

  • Your baby’s movement development is delayed/they are not achieving motor milestones at the same rate as most babies their age (see resources for information on normal milestones)
  • Your baby has a flat spot on their head and/or they prefer to look to one side
  • Your baby feels particularly floppy or stiff when you are handling them
  • Your baby is not tolerating tummy time
  • Your baby was born prematurely (<34 weeks gestation)
  • Your baby has not yet had their regular hip checks at one week after birth, at 6 weeks after birth, at 6 months after birth and when they begin to walk
  • Your baby demonstrates preferences of left or right limb usage

 

Children:

  • Your child’s movement development is delayed/they are not achieving motor milestones at the same rate as most children their age (see resources for information on normal milestones)
  • Your child has an unusual walking pattern or posture
  • Your child seems clumsy/uncoordinated when walking, running, jumping, climbing or throwing/catching/kicking balls
  • Your child complains of joint/muscular pain
  • Your child requires equipment to help them move/participate in movement activities
  • Your child is overweight and you would like exercise ideas to target weight loss

Common Paediatric Conditions

Sarah Jay Paediatric Physiotherapy aims to optimise your child’s physical function and maximise their ability to participate in movement activities at home, school and in the community.

If your child is faced with a condition which limits their ability to move and participate in their everyday activities, they will benefit from physiotherapy support.

Listed below are some of the conditions we commonly see:

 

Developmental Delay

  • Delayed motor milestones
  • Low muscle tone
  • Hypermobile joints

 

Musculoskeletal conditions

Infant Conditions

  • Misshapen head (plagiocephaly)
  • Directional head turn preference
  • Foot position abnormalities (talipes/clubfoot)
  • Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH)

Postural variations

  • Flat feet
  • Toe walking
  • Knock knees/bow legs
  • In-toeing gait
  • Leg length discrepancies
  • Scoliosis of the spine
  • ‘Slouched’ posture

Injuries and pain

  • Sports injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Joint and muscle pain

Orthopaedic surgery requiring rehabilitation

Hip pathology

  • Perthes disease
  • Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE)

Juvenile arthritis

Connective tissue dysplasia

 

Neurological Conditions:

  • Brain injury
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spina bifida
  • Low muscle tone
  • Long-term follow up of obstetric brachial plexus palsy – Erb’s Palsy

 

Neuromuscular Conditions:

  • Such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

 

Syndromes:

  • Chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Joint Hypermobility Syndrome

 

Skin Conditions

  • Pressure injuries
  • Long-term rehabilitation following severe burns

 

Childhood Obesity

  • Weight management for children with movement difficulties
  • Weight management for children with Type 2 Diabetes