How Long Will My Child Require Physiotherapy?
One of the questions that we get asked a lot by parents is whether we can tell them how long their child will need to have regular Physiotherapy for. The truth is that it is often difficult to say, as all children require different input from our team, and also respond in different ways. However, we always strive to plan with a family to ensure the most effective Physiotherapy input for each child.
So, how long will my child require physiotherapy? We would always recommend a minimum of 3 sessions for any child who requires Physiotherapy. This allows for a thorough assessment, a review to check how the family is getting on with any programmes given and then a follow up to progress the activities and advice given.
Read on to learn more about children’s physiotherapy, and how long you might expect your child to be in treatment.
How Long Will My Child Require Physiotherapy?
Length of Child Physiotherapy treatments will initially be dependent on the nature of a child’s visit. For those who need rehabilitation after injury or surgery, their visits to Physiotherapy may be over a shorter period of time than those who have long-term neurological diagnoses. For example, a child who has just broken or damaged ligaments in their ankle may benefit from a 6-week graded programme to increase the load bearing, proprioception and twisting activities that are introduced.
For those children who benefit from regular, longer term Child Physiotherapy, we would always work alongside families to create a plan and a package of care that suits the child and the family’s needs. This may involve visits during term time and then focusing more on a home programme in the school holidays to allow for family time. Or, it may work better to have more intensive Physiotherapy during the holidays but with a programme in place for school and home during term time.
We would always recommend a minimum of 3 sessions for any child who requires Physiotherapy in order to allow for a thorough assessment, a review to check how the family is getting on with any programmes given, and then a follow up to progress the activities and advice given.
You may contact us but not be sure if your child even requires Physiotherapy, so how do you know how long they might require treatment for? If this is the case we would recommend that you book one of our Complimentary Phone calls so that you can discuss your concerns with one of our specialist Child Physiotherapists. Often, based on what you may share with us, we can advise you regarding whether Physiotherapy is indeed the right path, and in which case what level and length of input your child may require.
Perhaps, your child has an injury or has just required surgery for a specific issue; how long will they need Physiotherapy? Once they have the go ahead from their Consultant to commence Physiotherapy, we would be keen to hear if there are any restrictions on certain movements or activities.
Due to the nature of some injuries/surgeries, Consultants will occasionally put extra precautions in place for anything that may delay any healing. With that all in place, Child Physiotherapy sessions will aim to rebuild your child’s muscle strength, joint range of movement and their confidence in order to restore their function to pre-injury/surgery levels. This may depend on the complexity of what your child has undergone, but for more common injuries such as broken bones or damaged ligaments, we would aim in most cases for their rehab to be complete by 12 weeks. For more complex cases, this may take longer, but that is something that we would discuss with you when you initially contact us or during your child’s assessment.
You may be contacting us because your child has been diagnosed with a long-term condition and you feel that they may require Child Physiotherapy. In these cases, Physiotherapy often becomes part of a child’s life for the long haul unfortunately.
However, the team at Therapy Stars can often offer packages of Physiotherapy that may meet a certain need at a specific time and we are always here to help. For example, your child may have been trying to master a specific skill for some time but can’t quite get the hang of it.
Evidence has shown that an Intensive blast Physiotherapy (which can be daily for a week, or weekly for a 6-week block for example) will often be the extra motivation and help that they need to finally achieve it. It may be that you feel your child needs a top up during the school holidays in order to take advantage of the family having a little more time available (we all know how busy school term time can be!). As such appointments could be booked weekly over the long summer holidays. We also have many families that understand that their child needs regular monitoring and sessions, and for these we offer long-term packages of Child Physiotherapy that allow for 48, 24 or 12 sessions over a 12-month period.
What Does a Physiotherapist Do For a Child?
So how can Child Physiotherapy help your child and what are the benefits?
Aims of Children’s Physiotherapy
Our specialist Child Physiotherapists are all highly trained to assess and treat babies (from newborn), toddlers, children, teenagers and young adults. Our aims are to improve function, aid development, decrease pain and discomfort and increase the quality of life for each and every client.
Where possible we also encourage self-management and independence by promoting the benefits of Child Physiotherapy and finding ways for children, teenagers and young adults to access activities that align with the aims of their Physiotherapy such as horse riding, trampolining, dance class or attending the gym.
Benefits of Children’s Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy can offer many benefits to all of our clients. These include:
- Working on improving/maintaining joint range of movements
- Flexibility and joint health
- Muscle strengthening
- Developing movement skills such as rolling, jumping or sitting
- Promoting independence
- Improving circulation
- Reducing muscle tone
- Spasticity management
- Improving muscle control and posture
- Improving balance and coordination
- Increasing confidence
- Helping with digestion
- Generally improving an individual’s functional skills
Common Child Physiotherapy Treatments
We offer a large range of Child Physiotherapy treatments, depending on the goals for your child. These may include undertaking specific activities/exercises, therapeutic handling and positioning advice, whole body vibration, electrical stimulation, Flexi Bounce (trampolining), advice and provision of Lycra garments, treadmill training, strength training, muscle stretching and strengthening and gait re-education.
We will always tailor Child Physiotherapy treatments to the individual needs of your child.
When Should a Child See a Physiotherapist?
For some children, Physiotherapy may be recommended at a specific time by a Doctor or Consultant following an injury or surgical intervention. For other families it may be that your child has received a diagnosis, or you suspect them of being at high risk of developing a movement disorder.
We offer full packages of Child Physiotherapy for those families who are already confident that their child or young adult requires long-term Physiotherapy involvement. In particular we have many clients who have a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, Acquired Brain Injury, Developmental Delay or a genetic condition that prefer to take up this option.
Your child does NOT need a diagnosis in order to benefit from our Child Physiotherapy services. In truth, if you have any concerns about the way that your child is moving, or you are anxious that they may not be developing their movements at the correct time or in the correct way, your child would benefit from a Physiotherapy assessment so that we can check them over thoroughly and advise you how to help to promote their development going forwards.
How Often Should a Child See a Physiotherapist
This is another frequently asked question! The answer is….it totally depends on the aims of Physiotherapy for your child. It also depends on what other input your child may already be having. Do they have an NHS Physiotherapist? Do they already have a programme set up at home or in school? Are they attending activities such as swimming or horse riding? These are all things that can be discussed with our team at the outset so that we can advise you more specifically about your child and what might work best.
Ideally, for regular Physiotherapy, we would like to see our clients weekly, or at least fortnightly, with a programme in place in between. All Physiotherapy is most effective when it is little and often, so we like to work with families in order to try to interweave as many Physiotherapy activities into their normal routines and daily life. For more intensive programmes with a specific goal or skill in mind, daily sessions have proven to be the best way to get results.
But, for some families, coming weekly or fortnightly may not be possible. In these cases we work alongside other members of a team that may include:
- NHS therapists
- Care and support workers
- School staff
- Medical professionals and family members
This is in order to advise and educate everyone in your child’s life on what they may benefit from, so that they can still receive regular Physiotherapy outside of the clinic.
Children’s Physiotherapy in Wrexham
Therapy Stars offers a range of packages to suit all clients and their needs. We have a fully-equipped Physiotherapy clinic just outside Wrexham where we can offer innovative treatment approaches from our highly specialised team of Child Physiotherapists.
If you have concerns about your child or young adult, take the first step-why not book a free, no-obligation phone call with one of our specialist Physiotherapists? They can then advise you about the services we offer and how they may be suitable for you and your child.
We offer both long and short-term packages of Physiotherapy depending on your child’s needs. We also have a highly recommended Hydrotherapy service which runs in 6-week blocks on Saturday afternoons.
We will alway be happy to offer advice, so why not contact us today and find out if we can help you and your child.
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