How Does Physiotherapy Help Improve Coordination?
Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a movement (motor) skill disorder. It isn’t related to physical disorders such as cerebral palsy, or to any intelligence disorders. DCD usually affects school-going children. Children with DCD have poor coordination skills below the expected levels in regards to their age and intellect, and these movement problems significantly interfere in their overall schooling performance and everyday activities. DCD affects areas of the brain that help in learning or ‘remembering’ basic things which involve movement. Each motor task may seem new to the child, regardless of how many times it is repeated.
Signs and Symptoms of DCD:
Only parents can initially identify signs and symptoms of DCD in their child. However, signs and symptoms of DCD may not become apparent until the child reaches school age. It is only possible to identify when the child does not play during recess or takes too long to complete schoolwork. Children with DCD are unable to skip, run, jump, or hop on one foot. They take too long to get dressed, cannot write well or use other hand-held objects properly such as scissors, and are unable to throw or catch a ball accurately. They may express feelings of low self-esteem and show lack of interest in playing with other children.
How does Physiotherapy Help?
Physiotherapy can help in many ways by improving:
Muscle strength: When a muscle is weak, movement against gravity alone is strenuous. Professional physiotherapists exactly know which areas of the body needs to be worked out in order to improve the muscle strength of a particular body part. There are many forms of exercise that help increase muscle strength of different areas of the body. As muscle strength increases, resistance is gradually increased by using stretching bands or weights. In this way, muscle size and strength increases improving the overall endurance.
Coordination and Balance: Physiotherapists perform specific tests to determine the strength of motor development by asking you to walk on a straight line, or a balance beam. Various coordination and balance exercises can help people do specific tasks. The exercises involve repeating a meaningful movement that works more than one joint and muscle, such as picking up an object or touching a body part.
Ambulation (walking): Walking independently with appropriate coordination of all the limbs may be the goal of rehabilitation. Physiotherapist will first check if the person is able to balance properly while standing. To improve balance, you need to improve a joint’s range of motion or muscle strength before starting ambulation exercises.
A combination of range-of-motion, muscle-strengthening and ambulation exercises is used to counter the effects of poor body coordination. Our professional physiotherapists in Edmonton would make you perform general conditioning exercises which help improve cardiovascular fitness (ability of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to working muscles), as well as maintain or improve flexibility and muscle strength. So, if you’ve been experiencing dizziness, weakness, poor body coordination or difficulty balancing yourself while standing or walking, contact our physiotherapists today! They will outline specific plans to help you recover as swiftly as possible.