Neuro Rehabilitation & Stroke Rehabilitation

Sometimes, children develop problems with their posture or musculoskeletal (muscles and bones) system. Depending on their age and problem, this may result in pain or limited mobility skills.

Physiotherapists at Child First Paediatric Therapy are experienced in working with children and their families.  The assessment process includes a comprehensive examination of your child’s posture and movement difficulties using a range of standardised and non-standardised assessments.  Taking time to learn about the concerns and difficulties your child encounters in everyday life also forms an important component of our assessment.

Not all children assessed will require ongoing therapy, in these instances our paediatric physiotherapists are here to give you peace of mind and assure you your child is developing normally.  Regular reviews can be arranged as your child matures.

If therapy is required, the program for your child will be fun.  Our specialist paediatric physiotherapist will work closely with you and your child to tailor an individual treatment program based on the specific needs of your family.  Types of intervention include:

  • Challenging physical activities
  • Education on positioning, handling, stretches and exercise
  • Splinting and casting
  • Advice on play and sport activities
Babies

Musculoskeletal problems can occur as a result of the position of your baby in the uterus, during delivery or due to postures adopted as a new born.  Other factors such as genetics, congenital or chromosomal abnormalities impact these problems which may affect the development of your child.  Common problems include:

Club Feet/Foot or Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (CTEV)
  • Physiotherapy is an integral component of treatment for talipes
  • Casts, stretches and exercises are used to assist with normalising the foot posture from birth
Flat Head Syndrome or Plagiocephaly
  • The back or side of a baby’s head becomes flat due to pressure from the cot mattress.  The skull of a new born is very soft, so sometimes the shape of the head can become affected.  Premature or multiple birth babies are more at risk
  • Our specialist paediatric physiotherapists will be able to advise you on the best techniques to help your babies head develop normally
  • Flat Head Syndrome can be an indicator of developmental delay; it is recommended you seek medical advice so any problems can be identified.  Remember, all babies develop differently, our physiotherapists will be able to advice you if there is a problem
Wryneck or Torticollis
  • Approximately one in 250 infants are born with a torticollis.  10 to 20% of those babies with also have hip dysplasia which is malformation of the hip joint
  • Torticollis is caused by tightness of the sternocleidomastoid muscle which may have been caused by the position of your baby in the uterus or due to muscle damage during delivery
  • The tight muscles pull the head sideways towards the shoulder, turns the face to the other shoulder and brings the head forwards to the chest
  • Torticollis restricts the ability of your baby to turn their head to interact with the environment.  Lack of interaction can lead to delayed or asymmetrical development
  • It is important babies with torticollis are assessed by a health professional.  Physiotherapy will assist your baby with positioning advice, treatment and home exercises
  • Very occasionally, congenital torticollis may be caused by abnormalities of the bones in the neck (Klippel-Feil syndrome), inherited or due to a more serious underlying condition.  It is therefore important you seek appropriate medical and therapy attention
Toddlers & Young Children

As your child grows and develops, you may notice them having difficulties with some movement activities.

Variations of foot and leg posture are normal and often correct spontaneously over time.  If improvement is slow, our specialist paediatric physiotherapists can provide advice and treatment.  Common problems include:

Flat Feet
  • Most children develop the arch in their foot by age 5 or 6.  Flat feet in young children before this age are normal
  • If you child experiences pain or stiffness in their feet, or often roll over on their ankle, we recommend they are assessed by one of our paediatric physiotherapists
Knocked Knees
  • Knock knees usually resolve by age seven, and are normal in children aged between 3 and 6.  However, we recommend you see a physiotherapist if you are concerned
  • If your child has a combination of flat feet and knocked knees, we recommend they are assessed by a Physiotherapist at Child First Paediatric Therapy
Tip Toe Walking
  • Many children simply grow out of the habit of tip toe walking.  However, if your child cannot stand with their heals on the ground or movement is restricted by stiff ankles, we recommend an assessment by one of our Paediatric Physiotherapists
  • If the toe walking persists, or your child rarely stands with their feet flat on the ground, we also recommend you see one of our Physiotherapists
Clumsy or Poorly Coordinated Children
  • Clumsiness is normal as children explore the word and learn new motor skills.  Some children fall over more than expected, or take longer than their peers to learn new movement skills.  This should be investigated by a Child First Paediatric Therapy Physiotherapist
  • Physiotherapists are experts in analysing movement activities and understanding why your child may be experiencing difficulties.  If required, treatment can then be tailored to target the specific problems
  • Commonly a child with difficulty might withdraw from physical activity, not engage in play and may become disruptive.  It is important you act now to enable your child learn the positive experience of movement and energetic play
  • If you are concerned, click here to read more in our Developmental Co-ordination Disorder section or contact us to make an appointment
Older Children & Adolescents

As children grow, their posture and musculoskeletal system are subject to ever changing demands.  Growth spurts are a physically stressful time for your child’s developing body.  For most children and teenagers, these physical stresses are transient and their bodies quickly accommodate to their new size and character.  In some cases, problems can persist longer than you would expect and may require additional assistance from a Physiotherapist.

Growing Pains
  • Growing pains generally occur in the legs and are more common at night
  • Pain is thought to be caused when there is a miss match between the growth speed of the bones which happens quickly and the surrounding soft tissues which take longer to catch up
  • Pain occurs due to stretching of the soft tissues.  Muscle imbalance can also occur when some muscles are too strong and others are too weak causing increased risk of injury during sport.
  • Our specialist Paediatric Physiotherapists will identify the cause of the pain and make sure there is no other problem.  Should a diagnosis of growing pains be made, you can expect treatment to involve; stretches, targeted strengthening, injury prevention and pain management advice
Excessively Bendy or Double Jointed (Hypermobility Syndrome)
  • It is normal for young children to be flexible, however as they get older, the muscles and joints should tighten up to provide protection during more challenging movement activities
  • Children who remain excessively bendy often experience poor core stability, poor co-ordination or pain whilst exercising.  This leads to an increased risk of sustaining injuries during sport
  • There is a link between hypermobility syndrome and urinary incontinence (leaking) in women.  If she is very flexible, it is possible your daughter may experience similar problems, particularly when exercising
  • Our specialist paediatric physiotherapists will be able to assess establish if your child has a tendency towards hypermobility or displays the symptoms of Hypermobility Syndrome
  • Treatment focuses on improving core stability to develop postural control, advice on safe exercise and sport, advice on pain management and reducing the risk of injury