What Is Intensive Physiotherapy & Which Conditions Can It Treat?

What Is Intensive Physiotherapy & Which Conditions Can It Treat?

Physiotherapy is an effective way to treat a child’s physical symptoms caused by an injury or condition, whether that be genetic, orthopaedic, developmental or neurological. But which type of physiotherapy is best? In this article, our team outlines what intensive physiotherapy is, which conditions it can treat, and how it differs from typical physiotherapy, as well as answering commonly asked questions.

So, what is intensive physiotherapy? Intensive physiotherapy would typically see you have physiotherapy for up to three hours a day for at least a week. On the other hand, typical physiotherapy is administered weekly in combination with an at-home exercise plan, however there are certain conditions which are better treated with a short but intense period of continuous physiotherapy.

What conditions can intensive physiotherapy treat? Intensive physiotherapy is typically used for people who have a long term condition, have undergone major surgery or have suffered from trauma. This could include conditions such as spina bifida, brain tumour, stroke, or cerebral palsy, to name a few. 

Read on to learn more about what’s involved in an intensive physio programme, which symptoms it can help treat, and the key benefits of intensive physiotherapy.

What Is Intensive Physiotherapy?

Ordinarily, physiotherapy is administered once or twice a week, combined with an at-home exercise programme tailored to the individual to achieve positive results over a longer period. However, some conditions demand a more vigorous programme of treatment – this is called intensive physiotherapy. Intensive physiotherapy is when an individual will undergo a short but intense period of daily physiotherapy. 

This would typically see your child have physiotherapy for up to three hours a day for at least a week – dependent on their goals. Intensive physiotherapy is used at Therapy Stars for children and young people diagnosed with a long term condition, those who have undergone major surgery, or have suffered from major trauma.

This type of therapy is commonly used to give your physiotherapist enough time to give the child dedicated attention to ensure goals are met in a shorter period of time.

Intensive physiotherapy is used for a range of conditions from spina bifida, to brain tumours, to stroke or cerebral palsy to name a few. We explore which conditions intensive physiotherapy is best suited to below.

Intensive Physiotherapy From Therapy Stars

At Therapy Stars, we understand that intensive physiotherapy can seem too intensive for some children and young people, but we tailor our packages to create reachable and achievable goals based on your child’s needs. This will be conducted through a range of techniques and activities to make sure it is both functional, effective, but also engaging. We pride ourselves in giving your child confidence in the methods, techniques and exercises they will learn during their time with us. We will lay a strong foundation so that you can continue physiotherapy at home once your intensive physiotherapy programme is completed. 

What are the Advantages Of Intensive Physiotherapy?

There are a myriad of benefits to intensive physiotherapy for your child. Suitable for most levels of ability, intensive physiotherapy is a proven method for improving movement, strength, and more:

  • Establish a successful relationship between therapists and the child and family
  • Allow an in depth assessment and treatment plan which identifies the missing pieces or skills that need to be focused on
  • Speed up rehabilitation after major or minor injury 
  • Reach developmental milestones and goals, which may be dependent on the diagnosed condition and ability
  • Improve overall motor skills as well as mastering particular skills identified at the beginning of the programme.
  • Improve strength of your child through regular and continued physical activity 
  • Build confidence in both the child and carer in their ability to continue at-home physiotherapy with the skills learnt once the programme ends. 

Which Conditions Benefit From Intensive Physiotherapy? 

Intensive therapy is ideal for children who are recovering from major trauma or recent surgery, those not reaching key developmental milestones, or children diagnosed with a genetic, orthopaedic, or a neurological condition. We’ve outlined a few of the conditions which intensive physiotherapy could help with below:

  • Stroke 
  • Joint / Muscle Injury
  • Traumatic/Acquired Brain Injury 
  • Spina Bifida
  • Cerebral Palsy (find out more about CP in our recent blog)
  • Developmental Delay 
  • Brain Tumour
  • Rett Syndrome

If you are wondering which course of treatment is best suited for your child’s needs, contact one of our friendly staff, who would be more than happy to help with professional advice. Alternatively, for more details on which conditions could be treated with physiotherapy, whether regular or intensive, explore one of our recent articles – ‘What Conditions Can Children’s Physiotherapy Treat?

Who Benefits the Most From Intensive Physiotherapy?

Intensive physiotherapy is beneficial for any child undergoing treatment for a range of conditions, due to the physical and cognitive benefits gained. This type of physiotherapy is also beneficial for the carer or parent of the child as well. Through intensive physiotherapy, you and your child will build confidence in yourselves to continue at-home therapy from the skills you have been taught throughout the programme. 

Our physiotherapists will give you the knowledge and information you need to continue therapy, including at-home exercises and a written report of everything covered within your programme, so you have a good understanding of your progress so far and can continue physio at home. 

Intensive Therapy From Therapy Stars

At Therapy Stars, we have an experienced team of professionally trained physiotherapists and hydrotherapists working with children diagnosed with genetic and mobility-limiting conditions. From birth, right up until the age of 18 and beyond, we have a range of excellent facilities and packages to offer tailored treatment based on your child’s conditions and needs. 

Contact us and book a complimentary call with one of our amazing team members to talk about your child’s needs, and to receive a tailored intensive physiotherapy programme. 

Intensive Physio FAQs

How Often Are Sessions in Intensive Physiotherapy?

When undergoing an intensive physiotherapy programme you will typically undergo 2-3 hours of physiotherapy every day for between 1-3 weeks depending on the child’s conditions and physical goals. 

What Might an Intensive Physiotherapy Session Look Like?

At the beginning of an intensive physiotherapy session, your child might begin with preparing for the activities, such as warming up, stretching and strengthening the muscles. Then they will move onto a range of activities to practise the skills they are aiming to achieve.. Goals might be to improve balance, coordination or functional movements such as walking or sitting. 

At Therapy Stars, we offer a range of functional and engaging activities to make the session more diverse and entertaining for the child with activities such as treadmill training, Flexi bounce and DMI therapy to name a few.  

If you are keen to learn more about Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) therapy, why not read one of our recent blogs – ‘What is Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) Therapy?

How Long Does Physiotherapy Take To Work?

The impact of physiotherapy is all dependent on the pre-existing injuries or conditions of the person and their level of need and progress. There is no set timescale for therapy input, however we would recommend doing intensive physiotherapy for at least a week and a minimum of 10 hours to see considerable results. To learn more about how long children might need to practise physiotherapy, read one of our recent blogs – ‘How Long Will My Child Require Physiotherapy?