Bringing out the child in you

By Dan Skulavik - Contributing columnist

Children undergo a number of ailments and injuries during their developmental years, some minor, while others can significantly impact the quality of their daily lives. These can include genetic, neurological (such as cerebral palsy) and orthopedic disorders.

Physical therapists are trained to diagnose a variety of developmental problems in children. They work closely with other healthcare professionals (like pediatricians) to design effective treatment plans that provide holistic approaches to many of the challenges faced by children during their developmental years. They treat and manage a number of disorders involving bone (skeletal), muscle (muscular) and nerves (neurological), as well as such conditions as muscles spasticity, spina bifida and torticollis in infants, toddlers and children.

The primary focus of the physical therapist is to help enhance the rehabilitation process, restore health and normal functioning. The therapist may utilize several different devices to improve joint mobility, spinal support devices and a variety of exercises that will increase muscle strength, improve posture and enhance overall health. On occasion, more specialized treatment therapies such as ultrasound treatment may be offered.

Having a physical therapist as a part of the team providing treatment to children is extremely valuable. Their input into the care of the child provides valuable insights into what the long term outlooks are, and how parents themselves can work with their children to help in treatment and rehabilitation. Physical therapists provide a roadmap that helps parents to promote their child’s independence along with enhancing their motor ability and function. This overall care allows the parents to be actively involved, with the additional benefit of increasing the confidence of the child to try more activities. Parents are also more assured that the care provided is improving their child’s overall health.

Physical therapists are committed to ensuring the holistic development of the child by improving motor function and coordination, increasing confidence and promoting independence on the part of the child. They collaborate with parents, physicians, other healthcare providers and child-centric organizations to ensure that the care and treatment provided is consistently delivered to the child.

After all, every child deserves to be independent and have the ability to pursue and achieve their dreams. Pediatric physical therapists help achieve that goal.

A pediatric physical therapist can make a substantial contribution to the development of a child. Their thoughtful insights and valuable input in shaping a child’s care may be under-recognized by the community at large, but healthcare professionals have realized their importance and now actively involve them in their multi-disciplinary teams tasked with looking after children. Call us today and we will show you what physical therapy can do for you and your children.

By Dan Skulavik

Contributing columnist

Dr. Dan Skulavik is the physical therapist at Advanced Physical Therapy in the Food Lion shopping center.

Dr. Dan Skulavik is the physical therapist at Advanced Physical Therapy in the Food Lion shopping center.