Physical therapy for children is one form of treatment given to children to improve motor function of the motion due to a disturbance in body and skeletal muscle after a fracture, or postoperative bone. Not only that, physical therapy is also known as physiotherapy is also provided for children with diseases associated with nerve, causing diseases such as wrong walking pattern and muscle weakness, patients who are experiencing peripheral nerve disorders, inflammation lining of the brain, blockage of channels in the brain, and others.
Proper physical therapy for children can minimize the side effects of oral medicine use in children. In the physiotherapy clinic, the therapist will teach young patients how to perform the correct body movements. Body movements that hat will be applied by the patients such as sit, stand, walk, run, and so on. This is useful to develop, maintain and restore the ability of motion and function optimally.
Types of Physical Therapy for Children
Before you continue to read about types of physical therapy for children, it is better to know definition of physical therapy. You can read our health article about What is Physical Therapy? Here are types of physical therapy for children:
Exercise Therapy as a Physical Therapy for Children
This physical therapy for children is intended to restore function and to provide reinforcement and maintenance of motion in order to return to normal or at least close to normal conditions. Exercise therapy as a physical therapy for children will be provided with holding exercises or move his hands and feet.
Once able, a physical therapy for children will proceed with mobilization exercises, starting with standing, stepping, walking, jogging and so on. In the case of a broken leg, exercise therapy will be done in stages, when the child should be able to tread a little stepping up to the full.
The exercises as a physical therapy for children are given aiming to maintain muscle strength and functional ability to maintain joints so as not to become rigid. This is necessary because a broken leg fitted with a cast that will generally experience muscle wasting, so that its strength was reduced. Through an exercise therapy is carried out while playing will be seen what parts are decreasing functions.
Heating Therapy as a Physical Therapy for Children
As a physical therapy for children, heating therapy harnesses the power of heat that is normally used in skin disorders, muscle, tissue and other body parts. This physical therapy for children is adjusted to the level of complaints. If a case just occurs in the skin only, the heating was reserved only for the skin by using Infra Red Radiation (IRR). When problem occur in the muscles then heating therapy will use micro diathermy. Meanwhile the problems arise in the deepest part of the body, heating therapy use short wave diathermy. In essence, a heating therapy for children must be applied according to a diagnosis.
Heating therapy is usually given in conjunction with other types of physical therapy for children. Like inhalation therapy for children with problems of mucus in the airway; on sore muscles and joints. If heating therapy is combined with other forms of treatment would be more useful because this physical therapy for children can minimize the dose of medicine that must be consumed by children.
Electrical Stimulation Therapy
Electrical stimulation therapy for children uses small-powered electricity is suitable to be applied to children who suffer muscle weakness due to a broken bone or muscle nerve damage. Electrical stimulation therapy put electricity on the muscles to overcome the pain. This physical therapy for children aims to maintain muscle mass and indirectly stimulate nerve regeneration.
In pediatric patients who suffer from respiratory disorders, electrical stimulation therapy can be used for treatment. In effect, the circulation of blood in the chest cavity and respiratory tract becomes more fluent, so it can aid in relaxation and helps remove mucus from the respiratory tract, so it will speed up the healing process.
Cold Therapy as a Physical Therapy for Children
Cold Therapy for children is usually given when the child is still an acute injury, so do not be a chronic inflammatory process. This physical therapy for children is generally reserved only for the muscles, usually due to falls and suffered bruising. Well, cold therapy is also useful to reduce swelling. That is why if a child fell and cause swelling in the body, parents often compress swollen with cold water. A cold therapy should be with strict supervision because if the acute phase is over but still continues the therapy, it can damage the tissue.
Children with symptoms of colds usually get chest physiotherapy is beneficial to clean the respiratory tract and improve air exchange. Included in this physical therapy for children are inhalation/ nebulizer, clapping, vibration and postural drainage.
Inhalation physical therapy incorporates drugs into the respiratory tract by inhalation. So the drug particles are broken down first in a device called nebulizer to be steam-shaped molecules. Vapor is then inhaled a child, until the drug will go directly to the respiratory tract. The advantage of this physical therapy for children is much smaller dose of medication that can reduce the side effects of drugs.
Inhaled medications are commonly given to relax the airways, mucus thinners, and NaCl as a moisturizer airway. While the duration of each inhalation enough for about 10 minutes. The next steps of this physical therapy for children will help mucus expenditures include clapping or a pat on the chest and back. It could be on the right side, left and front chest. Pat performed continuously and rhythmically. Accompanied also by setting the child’s position (postural drainage), such as child facedown with the head lower than body, until the mucus can flow into the main branch at the same time breathing easier for coughed. It would be advantageous because the child usually cannot spit.
For infants or children under the age of 2 years, if necessary, a physical therapy for children can performed suction mucus with a special instrument through the nose or mouth. Usually these actions are taken in babies where the cough reflex has not been strong enough to remove the mucus.
Hydro Therapy or Aquatic Therapy
Hydro therapy is very useful physical therapy for children who have been affected, particularly movement disorders caused by spasticity, eg in young CP (Cerebral Palsy). Whereas children who are late to walk, of course before they will be evaluated first treated with either of the age, ability level, or level of difficulty experienced. To be able to walk, the children of course have to go through the various stages that began with the prone, sitting, crawling to standing. Usually the child will not be directly taught to walk when the previous stage has not been able to do.
In children who have difficulty moving because of spasticity / rigidity, while in the water, generally they will be easier to move. It is hoped the child would be reduced spasticity relief in the form of encouragement given the nature of water that can flex gestures. Although not all children with the disorder can be given hydro therapy but this physical therapy for children can be used as an alternative.
Orthopedic and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Actually, orthopedic physiotherapy is done to overcome the bone and muscle disorders caused by a fracture, post fracture (fracture), joint arthritis, sprains, or sprains. Type of this physical therapy intended for the adult because the case is rare in children.
For infants, this orthopedic therapy will be used if the babies had undergone a process of shortening of the neck muscle (neck so oblique) due to swelling of the neck muscles that make her muscles pulled in one direction. A physical therapy for children is done in the form of motion exercises, massage, and stretching. It could also be coupled with ultrasound (sound wave frequency is higher than humans can hear) and heating to release the adhesions / lumps in the neck. Physiotherapy can be applied since the baby was 2 weeks.
As a physical therapy for children, rheumatoid arthritis physical therapy performed in children with complaints of leg swelling or faulty joints. To reduce pain, cold therapy is given during the acute and subsequent heat treatment given to the electrical stimulations therapy. This type of physical therapy for children can be performed on children aged 4-5 years depending on which attacked part.
Frequency of Physical Therapy for Children
There are no specific rules how many times a child had to undergo physical therapy. It all depends on the child’s condition. When you come in severe or chronic conditions will require longer treatment. Another case when the parents had anticipated early on.
Before you follow a recommended physical therapy for children, make sure that the doctor or therapist already knows your medical history and clinical records of your child. Therapists should work with the doctor concerned. If they already know the background of the disease, then chosen for physiotherapy is right for your child.