"Providing Developmental Building Blocks"
PEDIATRIC PHYSICAL THERAPY
Many times, children can benefit from physical therapy. At Mizuta & Associates our highly trained therapists have experience in pediatric assessment and treatment. We specialize in seeing infants, children, and adolescents that are facing challenges such as developmental delay, trauma at birth, orthopedic disorders, spinal problems, limb length discrepancies, cerebral palsy, sports injuries, and rehabilitation from orthopedic surgeries. Our therapists are certified in torticollis and plagiocephaly treatment. We incorporate fun activities into rehabilitation programs to keep the pediatric patients engaged in their programs. Read below for more information regarding some of the most common reasons that we see pediatric patients.
Cerebral Palsy is a collection of disorders that arise from damage to the cerebral cortex (brain) that cause a palsy (paralysis). Every patient that has cerebral palsy has different problems that may include difficulty walking, problems with the arm/hand, speech difficulties, depth perception issues, and cognition problems. Children that exhibits signs and symptoms early on in life will typically have developmental delay in multiple areas of their life.
Physical therapy for children, adolescent, and adults focuses on maximizing function. While cerebral palsy is permanent, it is no progressing. Physical therapy programs are customized per patient depending on the problem that the patient is having. Some of the typical treatments for cerebral palsy include stretching, balance training, strength, coordination, gait training, and training with assistive devices.
Developmental delay in infants and children is classified as not meeting developmental milestones at the normal rate (as defined by the components of normal movement and pediatric testing). This could include not rolling, sitting, crawling, or walking in a younger child or a developmental delay in an older child including stair climbing, running, jumping, or throwing a ball. We see developmental delay in many types of children including patients with torticollis and plagiocephaly, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, muscular dystrophy, autism, hip dysplasia, scoliosis, toe walking, and many others.
Pediatric patients will be assessed on their first visit using an appropriate test depending on their age. Some common tests are the AIMS and Peabody assessment scales. After the assessment is complete, the therapist will have a better idea of the areas where the child is delayed. A play based therapy program will be designed for the child in order to promote normal movement and increase strength in order to meet goals. The child and parent will be given a series fun exercises in order to meet their goals and increase their function.
Torticollis and Plagiocephaly
Torticollis and plagiocephaly are two conditions that are seen in infants and usually diagnosed soon after birth. Torticollis is a tilting of the head to the side and plagiocephaly is a flattening of the back of the head (typically). Both torticollis and plagiocephaly can happen independently or together. Fortunately both conditions are easily treated by physical therapy. A typical course of physical therapy will include an initial evaluation and measurements of the torticollis and plagiocephaly. The parents are then taught a home exercise program which may include stretching or massage techniques, positioning, and exercises. The key to treating torticollis and plagiocephaly is consistent follow through with the program by the parents.