Child physiotherapy focuses on the developmental issues in children. The most common cause of mobility issues in children is muscle weakness. At InHome Physical Therapy & Massage, our team of pediatric physiotherapists are well-versed in the needs of children and provide customized physiotherapy programs to best suite them. There are different types of conditions in children which lead to muscle weakness and mobility issues. Some common conditions requiring child physiotherapy are cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Down Syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, and sever’s disease. Our physiotherapists use different types of strengthening exercises to improve the core strength of the child and in some cases, it can help to increase mobility in children with developmental disorders. Some of the exercises are mentioned below:
The best way to train for improved muscle strength is by doing resistance exercises. These exercises require you to perform body movements against some form of resistance such as resistance ropes, and external or body weight. They help in increasing muscle bulk.
Plank: With this exercise, children are made to lie on their stomach on the floor. Then, they are made to stretch their hands at the shoulder level, facing the floor. With their toes on the ground, they push their body up and hold that position for a few seconds.
Hip Extension Exercise
Children suffering from motor neuron dysfunction tend to have weak hip extensors. This can be rectified with regular hip extension exercises.
Bridging: This exercise requires your child to lie on their back with their knees folded and feet flat on the floor. In the next step, the child will have to raise their bottoms off the floor by pushing through their heels. While doing this, the child has to keep his/her head and shoulder on the ground and hold the position for a few seconds. This will help them strengthen their hip extensors.
Spinal Extension Exercise
Spinal extension exercises are useful for children with weak spinal extensors. This weakness usually results in a bad posture and alignment, which leads to further problems.
Superman: In this exercise, the therapist makes the child lie on the floor. The child then has to lift his upper body and legs from the ground with their stomach on the floor. The child is then asked to hold that position for a few seconds. Once the child gets well-versed with this exercise, there other advanced versions of Superman which can be taught to them.
These were a few child physiotherapy exercises for muscle strengthening in children. If you wish to book an appointment with us, get in touch with our experts at InHome Physical & Massage.
Chest physical therapy is a term for a group of treatments designed to improve efficiency in the respiratory system and promote expansion of the lungs.
It primarily involves removing of secretions from the lungs. For some, it is a short-term treatment, while for others it may be a long- term treatment that involves performing certain techniques regularly.
Common ailments requiring chest physical therapy
There are many lung related diseases, which if not treated properly can lead to serious problems. These include cystic fibrosis, asthma, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and various immunodeficiency disorders.
Such diseases can also further lead to recurrent episodes of inflammation, respiratory infections, lung damage, increased production of excess mucus, and airway obstruction. Consequently, the treatment involved aims to make the patient efficient to breathe without exerting too much effort.
Purpose of chest physical therapy
Chest physical therapy is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of an inefficient clearance of airway secretions. Through chest physical therapy, physiotherapists aim to remove excess mucus and help patients breathe more freely.
Thus, depending on the seriousness of the situation, chest physical therapy can be used as a treatment method for anyone from children to adults.
Techniques used in chest physical therapy
Positioning the patient correctly from side to side permits lung expansion. Thus, positioning of the patient plays an integral role in recovery.
Generally, a person should be positioned every two hours for a period of three minutes. If the patient is bedridden, the head of the bed can also be raised to promote better flow.
Deep breathing and coughing
When in treatment, deep breaths once in a while is necessary. This promotes expansion of lungs and also strengthens cough.
Coughing, on the other hand, helps to break up secretions in the lungs to create a path for mucus to be suctioned out.
Both deep breaths and coughs are repeated several times a day, to get rid of mucus out as fast as possible.
Postural drainage is a process of removing mucus by using the force of gravity. This involves draining secretions from small airways into the central airway, where it is either coughed or suctioned out.
Here, positioning is necessary because in this process cough is released through the biggest airway. Thus, if the patient is not positioned correctly, only small quantities of mucus can be coughed out. This further increases the duration of treatment.
Very often, percussion and vibration are performed in conjunction with postural drainage.
Percussion is the process of rhythmically striking the chest wall with cupped hands. This helps in breaking up thick secretions that are stored in every segment of the lungs and generally takes about 2-3 minutes.
Nowadays, mechanical percussors are also used, especially in cases involving children.
Vibration is usually performed using mechanical devices or manually. When done manually, the person performing the procedure places his or her hands against the patient’s chest and creates vibrations by quickly contracting and relaxing arm and shoulder muscles.
This process is done to further break down lung secretions and is often combined with percussions.
Flutter valve is a mucus clearance device that looks like a pipe containing an inner core of steel. It is generally used to create vibrations in the airway walls to loosen secretions.
This process is not applicable in all conditions and thus is performed only on patients above the age of five.
Thus, chest physical therapy is a proven form of physiotherapy that has not only cured people of their ailments but has also helped in preventing them from recurring.