Recently in the media there has been a bit of controversy surrounding chiropractors and their treatment of infants. As a result, a number of health organisations have responded with statements in relation to this.
One of the biggest questions I get asked as a physiotherapist who treats babies, infants, children and adolescents is ‘what do you actually DO?’ or ‘why does a baby need physiotherapy’? In fact I’m pretty sure my partner STILL doesn’t really get what I do.
The Australian Physiotherapy Association have published an article that supports the treatment of babies and infants by physiotherapists and outlines a bit about our role. It’s a great step forward in raising awareness of the role of physiotherapy in this patient group… so please have a read 🙂
So in saying that, what do I do?
- I monitor and assess babies born prematurely to track their development and identify any early signs of concern, as babies who are born prematurely can be at an increased risk of certain issues.
- I treat babies with ‘flat heads’ or tight neck muscles (also referred to plagiocephaly and torticollis).
- Provide play and exercise ideas for babies that are delayed in their development, to help them reach milestones like rolling, sitting, crawling and walking.
- I treat children with pain or injuries, or after they’ve had surgery.
- I have worked in hospitals treating children in intensive care, or who have lung problems requiring specific treatments.
- We see babies and children who might ‘walk funny’, with their legs/feet turning in or out, ‘bow-legs’ and ‘pidgeon-toed’, or who walk on their toes.
- In the past I’ve also worked with kids who’ve have strokes or brain injuries, been in accidents, and even worked alongside doctors to help manage children with burns.
And this is just a part of what physiotherapists can do in working with kids!
I hope this has opened your eyes a little bit as to what we do in our jobs… I’m very lucky to make a difference however big or small in the lives of children and families I work with!
Stay tuned for blogs in the future that give some tips and tricks on babies’ development, and what to do if you have concerns.