While all of our physiotherapists are able to treat children, Brea Cranage is passionate about providing paediatric physio services, and has completed her Paediatric Level 1 training. She runs a number of hydrotherapy classes for children, as well as tailoring individual exercise programs to meet the varying needs of her paediatric patients. Brea is also registered to provide physiotherapy services under the NDIS scheme, funded by the Federal Government. Paediatric physiotherapy can be of benefit for a wide range of paediatric conditions including:
• Sports injuries
Children can suffer from a number of sports injuries, including sprains and strains, stress fractures and tendinitis. Physiotherapy can assist with treatment of, and rehabilitation from, a wide range of sports injuries.
• Wry neck/Torticollis
Torticollis (or wry neck) is a common complaint in both children and adults. Congenital muscular torticollis usually appears in babies aged 1-4 weeks, and commonly presents as the head tilted towards the painful muscle, with the chin pointed in the opposite direction. Acquired torticollis can result from a number of causes, and most commonly presents as a “stiff neck”. Both congenital and acquired torticollis can be effectively treated with physiotherapy, including stretches, active exercises and postural work.
• Plagiocephaly (flat spot syndrome)
Plagiocephaly is characterised by an assymetrical distortion of the skull (flattening of one side/back), and is caused by remaining in a supine position (head and torso facing up) for too long. Specialised paediatric physiotherapy can assist with postural improvements, such as “tummy time”, as well as positioning advice, both of which can prevent and potentially improve the distortion caused by plagiocephaly.
• Developmental delay
This is a descriptive term used when a young child’s appears to be delayed in one or more areas when compared to other children. Paediatric physiotherapy can assist with advice and treatment of gross motor and fine motor developmental delays, by allowing children to reach their own level of functional motor skills, such as sitting, walking, grasping, etc. The physiotherapist will use specialised methods, such as toys or games, to encourage the development of the child’s motor skills.
• Hydrotherapy and Pilates for improving strength and gross motor skills
Specialised water and land based exercise programs can help to improve motor skills and strength. Programs are tailored to each individual child, ensuring that they get the most benefit from their physiotherapy intervention. Sessions are generally one on one, allowing the physiotherapist to closely monitor exercise technique and improvements.
• Toe Walking
As the name would suggest, toe walking is a condition where a person walks mainly on their toes, without putting much weight on any other part of the foot, including the heel. Although toe walking is common in toddlers, if a child continues to walk on their toes past the age of three, evaluation may be beneficial. Children may walk on their toes for a variety of reasons, including habit, a congenital short Achilles tendon, muscle spasticity, or conditions such as cerebal palsy or muscular dystrophy. Depending on the cause, paediatric physiotherapy can assist with assessment and treatment of toe walking in a number of ways, including a watch and wait approach (as the child may naturally outgrow the condition), or the use of a brace or splint which helps with stretching the tendon and prevents walking on the toes.
• Recovery from fractures/surgery
Like adults, children may benefit from physiotherapy intervention when recovering from fractures or from surgery. Treatments may include exercise prescription, as well as hands on and electrotherapy.