Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fun Activities with Therapy Balls!

Here is the next installment of Fun Activities, courtesy of all the wonderful pediatric PTs in the Facebook group, Pediatric Physical Therapists. This time, we're talking about therapy balls!

Babies/Infants/Toddlers:
  • Tummy Time practice - super helpful for kiddos who don't tolerate tummy time well and need help with lifting their head against gravity 
  • Head Righting - great for kids who have torticollis to develop neck strength against gravity!
  • Sitting - good to develop and work on core strength for sitting balance 
  • Protective Extension - not the most fun for some kiddos, but necessary to develop in order to protect themselves from losing balance 
  • Prone on palms - roll therapy ball towards them and they hit the ball - good for upper extremity strengthening and unilateral weight bearing
  • Jumping - place therapy ball in a corner and use it as a trampoline for beginner jumpers while you support them at the trunk, pelvis, or arms
School Age:
  • Prone walkouts - good for upper extremity and core strengthening, may play bean bag toss or complete puzzle to promote unilateral weight bearing
  • Carry therapy ball overhead - perform while walking/skipping/jogging - good to work on walking stability and upper extremity strength 
  • Roll therapy ball up against wall - good for motor planning, upper extremity strength and balance 
  • Sit on ball while raising one leg at a time - good for coordination and core strength/balance
  • Lay on back, propped on elbows - roll or bounce therapy ball towards them and have their legs up in air to kick ball away. Excellent for leg and core strengthening!
  • Kicking ball - good for beginning kickers who tend to overshoot and miss a regular sized ball and for single leg balance training
  • Antigravity jumping - lay down on the ball on back, push feet off wall - great for beginner jumpers!
  • On a yoga mat, stand on opposite sides of the therapy ball and push other off end of mat - great for strengthening and super fun for the kiddos!
  • Back ext to pick something up behind them and sit back up - a more fun version of sit-ups for kids!
  • Knees on ball while hands on table to play - excellent core workout!
  • Standing on a balance board, bouncing/dribbling therapy ball - good for standing dynamic balance training
Are there any exercises that I missed? Please feel free to comment!

DISCLAIMER: "The San Diego Pediatric PT" claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please contact me via e-mail at veronicaglendpt@gmail.com with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Fun Activities with a Foam Roller/Bolster!

As a pediatric PT, you have to figure out some creative ways to make therapy fun for the kiddos. You can have Plans A-Z, and find that you need even MORE ideas! This is why I joined the Facebook group, Pediatric Physical Therapists, in hope that I could get more intervention ideas. Holly Quinn, DPT, has been so awesome and posting every week a picture of a piece of equipment and having people comment and share their favorite interventions. So I decided to compose a list of them and put them all in one place that is easily accessible for everyone!

For this week, here are some fun activities to do with a foam roller/bolster:

Babies/Infants/Toddlers:
  • Tummy Time - use small bolster under chest to promote propping on elbows or hands during tummy time
  • Sidelying position - to stimulate head righting - great idea for kiddos with torticollis!
  • Side sitting position - can place arms on bolster for support

  • Kneeling - can place arms on bolster for support, or place bolster under bottom to assist with tall kneel
 
  • Table top position - place under torso to promote weight bearing through hands and knees
  • Trunk rotation in sit - have kiddo sitting on bolster and rotating left and right to reach for toys 
  • Short sitting - work on sitting balance - great idea for our "W" sitters!
  • Sit to stand - straddling bolster, work on leg and core strength to go into standing from sitting position
School Age:
  • Standing balance - works on proprioception and balance to maintain standing on uneven surface
  • Step over bolster - to improve single leg balance and proprioception
  • Kicking - have kiddo practice their single leg balance by standing on one leg to roundhouse kick the bolster
  • Wheelbarrow walk - use the bolster as a target for the kiddos to knock over at the finish line as they wheelbarrow walk
  • Prone walk outs - have child walk out on their arms as they roll over the bolster and have them place a puzzle piece on toss a bean bag to promote arm strength
I know there are a ton more ideas, so please comment with any other ideas you may have that I missed!

DISCLAIMER: "The San Diego Pediatric PT" claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please contact me via e-mail at veronicaglendpt@gmail.com with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Monday, September 19, 2016

What is Physical Therapy? Why do children need PT?

Many times when I tell someone I am a physical therapist, they will start off by saying  "I used to go to PT when I hurt my shoulder" or they may even say "How cool! You know, I've been having this low back pain for quite some time now..."

When I tell them I actually work with children, they get a puzzled look on their face and ask "Physical therapy for kids? How does that work? Is it for sports injuries?" While physical therapy can help with sports injuries for children, physical therapy can help in so many other ways to help your child's development.

Before I even answer that question, I need to answer this question: "What exactly IS a Physical Therapist and what do they do?" According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Physical Therapists are:
  • Highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility - in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.
  • Teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. 
  • Examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability.
  • Work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
Now that we have an idea of what a Physical Therapist does, how does this relate to children? In a nutshell, pediatric physical therapists work to maximize each child's functional level of independence in their home, school, and their community.
 

Pediatric PT's will help your child improve their range of motion, strength, endurance, balance, coordination, and motor planning to promote independence and enhance learning opportunities. From helping your child reach their developmental milestones, to increasing their ankle range of motion to prevent them from walking on their tip-toes, to providing and advising families on proper positioning and adaptive equipment, pediatric physical therapists are licensed and trained to help your kiddo with whatever they may need to maximize their functional level of independence.

What many people don't realize is that PT isn't just for adults or for the elderly, it's for the entire lifespan! Some diagnoses that a pediatric PT may commonly see include:

Arthrogryposis
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Burns
Cancer
Cerebral Palsy
Congenital Muscular Torticollis
Cystic Fibrosis
Developmental Delay
Down Syndrome
Genetic Abnormalities
Gross Motor Delay
Hypotonia
Idiopathic Toe Walking
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Spina Bifida
Spinal Cord Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury

As time goes on, this list will continue to grow. As I continue to post in this blog, I will have posts designed specifically to inform people about each diagnosis. Always remember that each child is unique and there is no "cookie cutter" presentation for each diagnosis!

I hope this helps people who are still confused about what physical therapy is and why children need it. Click here for the ABC's of Pediatric PT from the APTA Section on Pediatrics and check out their Fact Sheet.

Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have!

DISCLAIMER: "The San Diego Pediatric PT" claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please contact me via e-mail at veronicaglendpt@gmail.com with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Welcome!

Aloha, everyone! Welcome to my blog!

I started this blog to talk about my passion - pediatric physical therapy. I will be posting about different diagnoses that I see, treatment interventions, and whatever else you all want to learn more about. I want to make sure all families, to-be therapists, and anyone who wants to learn more have easily accessible information and resources to benefit their child.

I began my pediatric journey at Roosevelt Children's Center (RCC) in New York City as my final internship in PT school. RCC is a pre-school that serves children with multiple disabilities who may be medically fragile, sensory impaired, and Augmentative Alternative Communication users. Along with the educational curriculum, the children receive physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech therapy (ST). The nine weeks that I spent there were the most rewarding weeks of my life. I was able to watch all these children learn how to move and access their environment with the help of their therapists, and I knew that pediatric PT was the job for me.

I moved to San Diego in the summer of 2016 and I am working as a pediatric physical therapist at Kara Dodds & Associates. It has been such a rewarding experience, and I am excited to start connecting with people around the world through this blog and sharing my knowledge and experience.

Thank you for checking out my blog!