Melbourne Paediatric Specialists

 

Paediatric Physiotherapy

Managing children with a range of conditions affecting their physical development, mobility and ability to participate in activities of everyday life

What is Paediatric Physiotherapy?

Paediatric physiotherapists are therapists who have expertise and skills in managing children with a range of conditions affecting their physical development, mobility and ability to participate in activities of everyday life.

Paediatric physiotherapists offer a range of assessment, treatment and programs to children aged from the new-born to the young adult.

From the initial assessment, the physiotherapist will advise you of the most appropriate management plan for your child’s needs.

The physiotherapist interviews children and their families, and uses physical examinations to diagnose the source of the child’s movement difficulties. Therapists work to improve children’s motor development, strength, range of motion, endurance, gait difficulties, balance, coordination, heart and lung endurance, and delayed motor development.

Goals are developed in consultation both child and family, and progress is evaluated each visit. Treatment approaches are specific depending on the child’s condition. This might include exercises, gait retraining, neurodevelopmental therapy, splinting and positioning, cardiorespiratory intervention and education.

Standardised assessment techniques and outcome measures such as Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMs), Movement ABC II, Neuro Sensory Motor Development Assessment (NSMDA), GMFM, and Bayley III can be used to evaluate progress or provide a formal report of your child’s abilities.

The physiotherapist may also recommend the involvement of other specialties. When required we will arrange for referral to other health professionals for consultation.

Paediatric physiotherapists manage a broad range of conditions affecting children.

Here are some common indicators for intervention and diagnoses seen:

Rehabilitation

  • Rehabilitation after orthopaedic surgery – including multi-level surgery
  • Rehabilitation for tone management – Botulinum Toxin
  • Rehabilitation after major medical illness
  • Acquired Brain Injury (including traumatic brain injuries, strokes and other causes of ABI)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

Orthopaedic conditions

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Sports injuries and musculoskeletal pain
  • Postural variations e.g. flat feet, knock knees, in-toeing, scoliosis
  • Recovery from orthopaedic surgery including corrective surgery for the spine and lower limb

Developmental / Early years

  • Developmental Delay
  • Delayed motor milestones
  • Coordination issues / Clumsiness / Falls
  • Plagiocephaly
  • Torticollis (wry neck)
  • Toe Walking

Neurological

  • Neurological conditions, including
    – peri and post-natal trauma
    – neurosurgery
    – spinal cord injuries
    – tumours.
  • Neuropathies, including
    – Guillane-Barre Syndrome and multiple sclerosis,
    – muscular dystrophies and atrophies.

Paediatric physiotherapists currently practicing and available for patient consultations at Melbourne Paediatric Specialists include: Richard Wu, Julianne Pegler and Susan Fehring