Lynn

PAEDIATRIC PHYSIOTHERAPY by Lynn Newrick, Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist at Absolute Physio

absolutephysio kids

When I tell people that I am a physiotherapist who works with children, they often look a bit confused. They aren’t quite sure what to think. Often when people think of physiotherapists, they think of injuries and sprains, right?

Paediatric Physiotherapists treat babies and children, 0-18 years, with physical problems, and specialise in the movement functions of the body. These problems can start very early in life and range from musculoskeletal issues to neuro-developmental conditions.  Let’s look at some of the conditions which I assess and treat, starting with the young ones.

Torticollis is a condition seen relatively commonly in babies and is a severe tightening of the muscles in the neck (usually on one side). This causes problems for the baby in turning their head and can impact on feeding, so it is very important to address and provide early treatment.  Treatment includes education on stretching and handling.  For new parents, I run tummy time education sessions where I talk about the importance of supervised tummy time, how it links with meeting developmental milestones and we practice the ways to do this.  I also provide advice on handling and positioning for babies with a flattening of the head (plagiocephaly).

As they become a little older I often receive referrals to see children with a developmental delay, where they are not meeting their expected motor milestones. Physiotherapy can help children progress with their motor skills and involves teaching parents and carers the way to handle their child, what activities to practice and how to do these at home. I have created a whole host of fun games that are very effective in getting children to do the task we need!

Some school-aged children (5-6%) are affected by a condition called Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). These children may have problems learning new motor skills and with planning and sequencing movements. They may appear clumsy and have difficulties with PE and team games. In the classroom they may struggle with sitting still, handwriting, and organising their work.

There is a lot we can do to help children who have DCD including work to improve posture and gross motor skills as well as strength, flexibility, agility, and endurance. We often work together with an Occupational Therapist who will focus attention on fine motor control, hand function, handwriting, perception, and daily activities.

I also treat children with Hypermobility Syndromes who are more “bendy” than their peers. There are many symptoms associated with hypermobility but most commonly I see children with aches and pains, particularly in the legs.  Children who are hypermobile often have poor posture and struggle to sit still, have poor handwriting, and may frequently complain of being tired.  Physiotherapy helps by providing individualised exercise programmes, which focus on strengthening, stretching (if appropriate) and improving posture.  I also provide information, strategies, and resources for families to help manage symptoms and work on self-management with their children.

I also treat many other, more complex paediatric conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, genetic disorders, musculoskeletal problems….there are too many to mention but I hope this gives you an idea.

My approach to treatment is through play and therapy must be fun, age-appropriate, and meaningful!  I work closely with children and their families to promote development, progress skills, facilitate participation and improve quality of life. I create programmes and set goals, provide information and advice, and have a wealth of knowledge and resources to share.

I love my job and I love working with children! If you think your child may benefit from physiotherapy, please get in touch!

Muswell Hill Mums members receive 10% off assessment and treatment sessions.

Absolute Physio

Oakforest House

1-5 Summerland Gardens

Muswell Hill

N10 3QN

07840 977 453

lynn@absolutephysio.com

http://absolutephysiokids.com/

https://www.facebook.com/absolutephysiokids/

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