Physiotherapy is a variety of methods aimed at supporting motor development, restoring and maintaining fitness. In the case of children it is particularly important because developmental problems, if they are not solved at the earliest possible stage, tend to become permanent. For example, incorrect footing when learning to walk can cause many later problems.
When does a physiotherapist need to be consulted?
In the case of newborn babies and infants, the physiotherapist is often referred to a neonatologist, pediatrician or orthopaedist, who controls the correct hip system and development. Almost as a matter of routine, parents of premature babies go for a consultation - preterm babies born prematurely, even if they have no major health problems, need developmental support to "catch up" with their peers born on time.
Parents may also decide to visit the physiotherapist themselves if they are worried about their child's development. What to look out for?
- "In newborns and youngest babies, it is worth paying attention to the asymmetrical body position - when the baby bends into the shape of a croissant and clearly prefers to position the head in one direction, reacting by crying and bending to attempts to move the head to the other side. Another worrying symptom is the clenching of the fives - already month old children start to loosen their hands and more and more often they are tilted or quite open". - lists a child physiotherapist from http://fizjoterapeuta-dzieci.pl.
In the case of such small children, it is also an indication to visit the therapist that the child is stressed and has difficulties in dressing because of the stiffened limbs.
In slightly older babies, it is worth noting that they have acquired the ability to hold their head and try to lift it while lying on their tummy. In general, we may find it worrying that a child does not acquire new skills within the period indicated by the developmental standard. Importantly, this standard is very broad, so you should not be guided here by what children of friends of the same age can do. However, if the child's development does not fit within this framework, it is worthwhile to consult a physiotherapist to implement the appropriate therapy as soon as possible. The faster we start working with the child, the faster the effects will be visible.
In the case of older children, a visit to a physiotherapist may also be necessary. It is often revealed during a routine visit to the paediatrician on a so-called "balance sheet", which is regularly performed in children. Children with postural and foot defects are referred to physiotherapy. A common problem is also abnormal muscle tension and problems with motor coordination. Physiotherapy can also be a supplement to the treatment of childhood obesity, because excessive body weight often translates into difficulties in proper motor development.
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Physiotherapist as support for parents
What's important is that the physiotherapist works not only with the child but also with the parents. In many cases, he recommends sets of exercises to be done with the child at home and teaches how to do them properly. In the case of parents of the youngest children, the physiotherapist is the best source of information on how to carry the child properly, lay it down or pass it on to another person. The physiotherapist can also check if the baby is properly diaphored, because badly worn diapers can cause later problems with the locomotive system. The physiotherapist will also show how to put the baby in the sling properly, if we want to use it, he will also tell which accessories are harmful to the child's development and which support it.