Most of us find illness and injuries to children uniquely distressing. We instinctively seek to protect children from harm and suffering. But we have to accept the reality that many pediatric disorders do occur. Fortunately, physiotherapy (physical therapy) can often help.
Among the many pediatric disorders, a few common examples are: scoliosis, torticollis, Osgood-Schlatter, sports and traumatic injuries, reluctant walkers, developmental disorders, cerebral palsy, and genetic disorders.
Physiotherapy for scoliosis - a curvature of the spine - consists of exercises to strengthen the back. Electrical stimulation is used for this type of pediatric disorders. The stimulation goes directly to the skeletal muscles. Chiropractic is also used in an effort to straighten the spine.
Torticollis is a type of pediatric disorder of the neck. There is a problem with one of the muscles of the neck so that the child is not able to hold his head up straight. The head will be tilted to one side. This chin will jut out on the opposite side of the neck. Physiotherapy can stretch this muscle so that the child can hold his head more normally.
Spinal cord injuries as pediatric disorders are difficult to treat. Children often do not want to do the work that is required to stay ahead of the deterioration that can be caused by this condition. Physiotherapy personnel are challenged to keep the child's spirits up as they teach them how to exercise with and without special equipment.
Brain injuries, including cerebral palsy and strokes are pediatric disorders that must be managed delicately. The neurological system is often not as sturdy as the skeletal or muscular systems. However, brain injuries also involve these other systems as well.
A new treatment for these pediatric disorders like brain injuries is using hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). In an atmosphere of high pressure oxygen, certain disfunctional areas of the brain may sometimes be revived.
Pediatric disorders such as sports injuries and traumatic injuries require different types of physiotherapy based upon the location and severity of the injury. If a child has repeatedly sprained the same ankle, therapy will necessarily focus on that ankle, as well as any body part that supports or counterbalances that ankle. Overall strength is important.
Traumatic injuries require a certain amount of psychological training, as the subject of the accident or other ordeal may bring on such distress that the child does not want to work. A good physiotherapist will be able to work with such a child. Traumatic injuries can also be severe enough that the physiotherapist plans a lengthy course of therapy to overcome them. Pediatric disorders like this require patience from everyone involved.
The list of pediatric disorders is long and varied. Not all of them can be helped by physiotherapy at this time. Presently, physical therapy can be used in many cases to relieve symptoms or even to reverse damage. Physiotherapy performs a valuable function in helping children live more normal lives.