Kids' Health

How Physiotherapy Can Help Disabled Children

Physiotherapy is a holistic form of therapy that is designed to help people who suffer from acute or chronic muscle and joint pain obtain relief. Children with disabilities need to be supported and feel loved and cared for.

As such, a unique approach is required to help disabled children who are suffering from chronic ailments. It should be noted that there are three major types of cerebral palsy. The good news is that all three types can be treated through physiotherapy.

Cerebral palsy is not a progressive disease, so physiotherapy can be used in order to improve the condition of the disabled child. Physiotherapy can help with strength, coordination, balance, posture, endurance, flexibility, and pain management in children that are disabled.

To achieve optimal results, the physiotherapist will use specialized equipment in order to facilitate and accelerate the healing and rehabilitation process. 

From weight shifting and adaptive play exercises to heat treatments and therapeutic massage, the physical therapist will make the necessary adjustments in order to accommodate the unique needs of your child.

Benefits of Physiotherapy for Disabled Children

Disabled children need to stay active whenever possible. Indeed, muscle atrophy is just one of the many problems that children with disabilities need to be aware of. Children of all ages and walks of life need to eat a healthy and balanced diet and exercise regularly in order to foster optimal cognitive and physical development.

Physiotherapy will also teach disabled children how to prepare for relapses or flare-ups that will occur in the future. As such, physiotherapy serves as a form of preventive medicine in order to teach people how to avoid recurring and maladaptive behaviour patterns. 

Moreover, the therapeutic modalities that are employed will help with pain management while enhancing the child’s range of motion. Motor skills will be augmented while also promoting optimal overall health.

Studies have shown that regular physical therapy exercises can help treat arthritis as well as chronic pain conditions. What’s more, if your child has experienced trauma or an injury recently, then their physical therapist will apply treatments that will accelerate their healing.

There has also been a clinical link between physiotherapy and enhanced mood, with many patients reporting lower levels of anxiety and stress. As can be seen, the benefits of physiotherapy are myriad and may help your child live a longer, happier, and more fulfilled life.

How does physiotherapy improve mobility and strength?

Body-strengthening exercises, such as strength training, will reduce abdominal fat, burn calories in a more effective manner, help patients look leaner, make bones and muscles stronger, and enhance self-confidence.

Endurance exercises for the muscles will help increase your child’s pain threshold and overall stamina levels. Your child will be trained to recover quicker from injuries and flare-ups so that they can quickly return to a semblance of normalcy.

Overall mental health and well-being will be boosted while helping manage blood glucose levels in the process. Heart health will also be ameliorated by enhancing optimal blood circulation and oxygen flow.

Lung capacity will be increased, and coordination and balance will also be improved in order to reduce the risk of accidents. Known as balance and fall prevention, your child’s agility, equilibrium, and core muscle strength will be augmented to protect them from serious injuries. 

Gait retraining may also be provided. Gait retraining is an interventionist training regiment that focuses on rectifying counterproductive running mechanics that lead to injuries.

Physiotherapy Treatment Options for Children With Disabilities

Spinal manipulative therapy focuses on making manual adjustments to the spine in order to help treat chronic migraines, shoulder pain, neck pain, and back pain.

Tapping therapy is a technique that is used in order to reduce stress. It has been shown to reduce the secretion of the stress hormone, cortisol. By tapping on meridian points, anxiety and stress are relieved and immune system functionality is restored.

Exercise programs will be custom-tailored to the mental and physical needs, as well as the mental and physical limitations, of your child. 

Electrotherapy techniques may be implemented, as well, such as TENS. Small electrical impulses are utilized in order to repair damaged tissue in the patient’s body. Muscles are stimulated through electrodes to stimulate muscles and increase muscle strength while increasing the overall sensations that the patient feels.

Biomechanical analysis may be incorporated into the specialized treatment approach for your child. This method involves analyzing how the human anatomy bears weight and moves. It helps identify the root cause of injuries so that prevention techniques can be implemented in order to avoid subsequent injuries.

The Quality of Life of Your Disabled Child Matters

Physiotherapy is designed to alleviate stiffness and pain, enhance mobility, and accelerate the healing process after an injury or operation. The end goal is to improve the overall health, happiness, and quality of life of the patient.

Children who live with disabilities may feel left out and depressed. Physical therapy helps children with disabilities feel welcome, loved, and capable of achieving great things. It boosts their self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-image.

Pain management is an integral component of physical therapy, allowing disabled patients to manage pain properly so that they can exercise, play, and enjoy a sense of normalcy and joy in their day-to-day lives.

Mobility will be enhanced so that performance will improve when your child plays sports with others. They may notice improvements in their core muscle strength, stamina, endurance, dexterity, and speed.

Many disabled children who engage in active physical therapy exercises on a regular basis also report lower levels of anxiety, stress, and depression, which will enhance their mood, quality of sleep, and concentration levels while at school.

However, you need to be selective when choosing a physiotherapist for your disabled child. The physical therapist should have experience working with children with disabilities in order to invoke empathy and build rapport with your child.


Author Bio: Erin Gregory is a blogger in Toronto. She is currently working as a Community Manager for several small businesses. She has graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.


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