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Sumita Dave


Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents.

Physiotherapists provide treatment for children with neurological and developmental problems. Neurological conditions arise from damage to the central (brain and spinal cord) and /or peripheral nervous system. This can lead to difficulties with movement, muscle tone, strength, sensation and balance. Developmental problems can cause delays in the achievement of milestones. Physiotherapists take care of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, rheumatological and orthopedic conditions. They ensure optimal physical function and development and are concerned with movement, co-ordination, posture and the cardiorespiratory system.

Neurological pediatric conditions treated by physiotherapists include:

  • Cerebral palsy – from mild hemiplegia to severe quadriplegia
  • Developmental delay – due to hypotonia and may be gross motor or global
  • Head Injuries
  • Disease of the spinal cord
  • Cancers of the brain or spinal cord
  • Inherited diseases like muscular dystrophy
  • Peripheral nerve injuries
  • Syndromes and other genetic conditions
  • Spina bifida and neural tube defects
  • Muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy
  • Brachial plexus lesions
  • Juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA)
  • Visual handicaps
  • Premature babies with dystonia
  • Postural problems – torticollis, scoliosis, talipes, metatarsus adductus, or idiopathic toe walkers
  • Respiratory problems such as cystic fibrosis or asthma
  • Osteogenis imperfecta
  • Minimal cerebral dysfunction.

Physiotherapy treatment will help:

  • Make movements easier to achieve
  • Train normal patterns of movement
  • Improve ability with everyday activities
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Increase range of movement
  • Improve gross or fine motor skills
  • Improve posture
  • Increase balance
  • Lengthen tight muscles to help decrease spasticity and reduce contractures
  • Increase confidence with tasks
  • Increase independence
  • Achieve maximum potential.

Physiotherapy treatment includes:

  • Exercises based around everyday activities to increase muscle strength in the trunk and shoulders which will help improve balance and coordination
  • Stretching to lengthen muscles and reducing contractions
  • Leg exercises to increase mobility or learning to walk and stand without an aid
  • Correcting posture and positioning. For example, supporting your child in sitting to develop weight shifting, rotation, coordination and balance
  • Mirror imaging to increase your child’s awareness of where their limbs are in space at rest and during movement (proprioception)
  • Promoting involvement in new activities to increase independence and confidence and improve interaction with peers
  • Advice and support on how to continue exercises at home or in the classroom.

Advice will be given on appropriate handling, positioning and treatment through play and/or exercise. Physiotherapists help to maintain and develop functional skill level and range of movement in order to minimize joint contraction and postural deformities. They encourage children to partake in a wide range of activities at school and in the community to maintain physical fitness and provide opportunities for socialization with their peers.

Not only this, babies and children need special attention and proper care, when it comes to common illnesses. Dysentery, vomiting, fever, weak immune system, cold and cough are few to name that are major concerns of parents for their little ones these days. Regular checkup and in time vaccination for children is must. I will recommend Child Specialist and Pediatric doctors of Newtown clinic, at New town, Rajarhat, Kolkata, for your child’s well being and healthy living.

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