Pregnancy, Pain and Self-Healing

A week ago today I sat on the floor crying because I couldn’t find a position to get up that wasn’t excruciating.  As a physical therapist it is inevitable that the professional will at some point become the patient.  I’ve been there several times before.  Once for a whiplash injury, another time for chronic vertigo and a third time for a shoulder problem.  My last pregnancy I had a lot of pain in my back, pelvis and legs.  There were many times that I could barely walk and trying to work through this was rough.  I almost passed out one time from excruciating pain while walking in a store. Advice from my OB and physical therapist friends didn’t help.  After several months I found a chiropractor that gave me some relief, but I was dependent on my visits and it was expensive. Read more

Ambucs: Free Therapeutic Bikes for Children!

I spent the day watching the faces of children light up as they received their new bikes. Their parents were also filled with joy for their children and were so grateful for the donations that led to free therapeutic bikes for their child. These children were all different ages and had various special needs. Read more

Flat Feet: To Ignore or Not?

I am asked about flat feet all the time. I’ve even gotten our OTs in the habit of looking at their client’s feet. Over and over again parents take their child to the orthopedic surgeon and ask about orthotics for their child’s flat feet. Each time the physician says no. The orthotic will not change anything. You are wasting your money. Flat feet don’t cause pain. My orthopedic books all say the same thing. Read more

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How Can Physical Therapy Affect Social Skills?

If you have a child who has difficulty with social skills and I asked you what kind of therapy could help your child develop these skills, what would you say?

I can guarantee physical therapy wouldn’t be on that list.  Not even on the bottom of the list.   Read more

Trunk Strengthening for Kids

Trunk or core strengthening is a need for children of various diagnoses, including coordination disorders, low tone, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. In fact most child with developmental differences regardless of diagnosis will benefit from strengthening to the trunk muscles. Read more

NDT In Action

An NDT-based session will have a session goal that is a mini-version of a short-term goal. The sequence of the session is to elongate and align body structures and then activate movement patterns for a functional skill. The idea is that in order to achieve a functional goal, such as crawling, walking or jumping, certain movement patterns need to be coordinated. Muscles and coordinated movement can occur best when the body is properly aligned. The mini-goal is broken down into movement patterns that have to occur for that action to occur. Read more

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Part 2: What Is the Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) Approach?

NDT is a problem-solving approach used by physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech and language pathologists to improve the abilities of child and adults with nervous system pathologies face during their daily lives. It is not a prescribed series of techniques, but a dynamic approach to planning and implementing treatment. Read more

Part 1: NDT and the Physical Therapy Community

I am writing this series on NDT in response to a few different interactions I have had with parents and a couple of physical therapists who are teaching physical therapy students.

A physical therapy instructor (NOT a therapist with experience working with adults or children with neurological disorders) asked me why I pursued my NDT certification? He wasn’t just being inquisitive, but his tone was expressing “why in the world would I pursue that?” Read more

Part 3: Vestibular Rehab for Children

This is the third part of The Balance Series. In the first part we reviewed the components of balance. In the second part we discussed the various vestibular dysfunctions that can occur in children. In this last article we will look at the different components of treatment. Read more

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Part 2: Childhood Vestibular Disorders

As discussed in The Sense of Balance there is an important sense that may not be part of our daily consciousness, but is integral to everything we do. The vestibular system plays a role in posture, balance and vision. Read more