Q: What’s the difference between Pediatric Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy?
A: In a nut shell, Physical Therapy works on gross motor skills (how are you going to get from point a to point b), while Occupational Therapy works on fine motor skills (what are you going to do when you get there). Just know, there is much more that goes into what we do, and it often overlaps between each discipline.
Q: Why kids shouldn’t sit in ‘w’ position?
A: This will be a future blog post because of all the information required to answer this question. But to keep it as simple as possible, it affects kids ability to transition to other positions, will stretch ligaments over time, and may cause other orthopedic problems down the line including poor posture, abnormal gait patterns, and IT band syndrome. To correct, have child tailor sit, sit sit, or sent in chair.
Q: Torticollis, head flattening, why would my kid need PT if they can walk just fine?
A: Torticollis is a condition in which the head becomes persistently turned to one side. One of the most common causes is tightness in the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle. This causes the child’s head to side bend to one side and rotate to the other. This typically happens when the child doesn’t get enough tummy time, always breastfeeds on the same side, and/or always sleeps in the same direction in the crib. The child develops a preference to see their environment, so if it’s always on the same side, they look that way. Head flattening occurs when the child is always laying, looking in the same direction, on the same side. These things need to be addressed as soon as possible, and is noticed prior to 6 months typically. PT is often a conservative treatment prescribed for torticollis to stretch and promote neck motion to both sides. So while PT is used for gross motor skills (crawling, walking, jumping, climbing, etc.), we also promote flexibility to allow movement through full ROM.
Q: What daily exercises/activities are recommended for a 6 year old autistic child who is developmentally delayed?
A: To answer this question, I would have to know more information about the child’s current level of function. Are they cruising, walking, jumping? Can they catch a ball or sit without back
support for 10 minutes. Exercises/actvities would be based off of their current level of ambulation, strength, balance, and coordination.
Q: What exercises can you do with a baby whose feet are turned outward they they can’t stand on flat feet?
A: My initial response would be to find the cause of the foot position and factors that inhibit flat foot stance. Treatment would be slightly different if it was a muscular cause or a sensory cause. If it is muscular, conservative options would include stretching, maintain certain positions to promote weight bearing on flat feet, and possible bracing to assist as well. For sensory modulation concerns, I would lead treatment with exposing them to several different textures. I would figure out if they tolerated certain pairs of shoes or socks. Because every child is different, each treatment is geared specifically toward their needs.