Physical therapy will assist in determining the underlying cause for delayed or abnormal gait patterns and work towards regulating and initiating. Thru the use of exercise, equipment, and manipulation of the lower extremities, physical therapy can assist a child in reaching their least restrictive gait pattern and endurance.
Lower Extremity Coordination and Strengthening
Our lower extremities, or legs, are one of the most key components in mobility. Physical therapy works towards the coordination between the two extremities as well as strengthening them to allow for the best support during mobility.
Strengthening and Postural Control
Core strength is the foundation for an individual’s posture and support of their extremities. When a child is experiencing weakness in their core they are unable to properly support their lower extremities during mobility task.
A child that is struggling with weakness within their core and posture will exhibit behaviors such as difficulty maintaining a cross legged position on the floor, prefers to squat or stoop when interacting with items on the floor, and slouching back or to the side of their chair when sitting/walking. They will also have a difficult time utilizing playground equipment, riding a bicycle, and engaging in age-appropriate sports.
A child’s balance can be affected by their musculoskeletal system, vestibular system, or coordination. Physical therapy helps to pinpoint which of these areas are preventing a child from maintain balance during movement and will provide exercises, activities, interventions, and stretches to achieve a more stable and safe balance to allow for the less restrictive mobility.
Gross Motor Coordination
Gross motor coordination refers to the larger muscle groups within the body working together to allow the body to navigate within its environment. Physical therapy works directly on the motor neuron pathways within the body to increase fluidity and ease of movements to allow for increased endurance and ease in participation in such tasks.
Equipment Fitting and Recommendations
Our physical therapy team works directly with providers to help fit our kiddos with the best orthotics and mobility devices that they need to allow for maximized independence.