No one wants to see their child struggle or have pain. So when a doctor recommends that your child visit a physical therapist it can seem a little scary.
However, physical therapy can be extremely beneficial to your child for a number of reasons.
Some common reasons a doctor may recommend physical therapy:
• Sports injuries
• Developmental delays (including low muscle tone or coordination issues)
• Cerebral Palsy
• Acute traumatic injuries
• Gait deviations
• Joint or muscle pain
• Trouble keeping up with peers
The goals of physical therapy might be to strengthen weak muscles, stretch tight muscles, change habits or patterns that are creating pain or discomfort, improve gross motor skills and coordination, prevent injuries or long term dysfunction or to reduce pain.
Some reasons people hesitate to bring their child to therapy:
• The child may complain that it’s challenging because they are not used to “exercise” outside of play.
• The parent or child may be fearful that the therapy will be painful.
• The parent may think that the child will grow out of the problem.
To address these issues, at PRO Sports Club Physical Therapy, we keep the therapy fun and play-centerer so the child doesn’t fall like he’s exercising or working hard. We even use a Wii system at our Willows Road facility to challenge a child while engaging him in the games.
We try to avoid pain when possible, using gentle approaches and distracting activities where pain is not a central component of the treatment. We work with the patient, parents, and other caregivers to develop an appropriate home program that’s reasonable for the child to perform and attains the goals set forth by the physical therapist and/or the child’s doctor.
It’s important to remember that experiencing pain is not normal. Children have not lived long enough to cause damage to their joints like many middle aged adults. A physical therapist can screen a child a determine problem or if another consultation is needed.
Don’t hesitate to seek physical therapy for your child. It could make the difference of a lifetime.