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Physiotherapy and your child

Published: 30 October 2017

The saying: 'kids aren't just mini adults' might sound cliche but it couldn't be more true when it comes to physiotherapy.

It can be difficult to know when your child's pain is cause for concern - and that is where your physiotherapist can play a vital role. Physiotherapists have broad knowledge of injuries specific to children. 

1. Sporting Injuries

While you might think the management of injuries would be the same for children and adults, childhood injuries often require a tailored treatment plan to ensure a quick return to sport. It is also important to prevent injuries reoccuring in the future.

2. Growing pains

As kids get older, their bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments grow. At times, these various parts of the body can grow at inconsistent rates leading to pain and discomfort. It is important to see a physiotherapist to determine if the pains are just a normal part of growing up, or if there is something else going on.

3. Postural issues

Just like adults, kids too are spending more time sitting. With advancements in gaming systems, laptops and tablets being used at school, and even virtual reality, children are spending more time hunching over a screen. Sustained incorrect sitting posture puts strain on their neck and back just like it does adults. Identifying and addressing these problems is even more important in children to ensure they do not worsen over time.

4. Sport-specific training

If your child is aiming to excel at a particular sport, a targeted exercise program can help improve their skills. A physiotherapist's assessment can also identify areas of weakness or biomechanical issues that can be addressed to prevent future injuries.

5. Foot problems

Kids can suffer from flat feet just like adults. It can lead to injuries of the foot or further up the chain - in their knees or hips. Physiotherapists can provide advice on footwear and assess the need for orthotics.

6. Juvenile conditions

Conditions such as juvenile arthritis and scoliosis, as well as developmental issues such as cerebral palsy often require input from a team of medical professionals including a physiotherapist. Having a plan and setting goals can often make this process easier for parents and children and result in positive lifelong changes.

In addition to physiotherapy, clinical Pilates can be used to address various issues in children. Individual or group Pilates sessions provide fun, safe and functional exercises under the supervision of their physio. They receive an assessment and an individual program based on their needs and goals just like our grown-up Pilates attendees.

If you are not sure if we can help your child, you can book them in for a free assessment with one of our physios.

Your physio will outline all the available options and provide you with further information about courses of treatment.

Author

Zeb Ariaratnam - Physiotherapist at Back In Motion Mentone

Zeb grew up in Melbourne and graduated from La Trobe University. He has a keen interest in low back pain and the lifestyle and occupational factors which can contribute to it. He enjoys finding new and exciting ways to help clients get back to what they love. Zeb has worked as a sports trainer for a local football club for many years. This has enabled him to develop a greater appreciation of the rehabilitation process for sporting injuries and advance his clinical reasoning. Outside of work, Zeb loves watching and playing sport, particularly Australian Rules Football. He also loves meeting up with friends for dinner or a movie and going on summer road trips.