Different Equipment May Be Prescribed for Use in Pediatric Physical Therapy

In pediatric physical therapy and occupational therapy, therapists use different technologies and equipment to aid a child in his development. Most people in Houston are familiar with equipment like exercise balls, resistance exercise bands and ramps with regards to therapy for adults other tools can also be used for therapy sessions with children. After all, adults and children have very different needs.

Nevertheless, the goal of the treatments remain the same: to help the patient reach their highest level of independence. Therapists may even resort to non-traditional approaches to achieve this. For instance, using equipment not used otherwise in conventional physical therapy may be explored. Of course, as technology continues to advance and the field of physical and occupational therapy continue to evolve, more innovative and effective approaches will emerge.

Modalities and assistive devices are essential in therapy sessions. Of course, whatever a therapist uses for treatment would largely depend on the child’s needs and current physical situation. Equipment that will be used will also hinge on the kind of treatment program a therapist designs for a specific patient. Here are some examples of equipment that may be prescribed by a therapist in Pasadena or anywhere else for pediatric occupational therapy or physical therapy sessions:

Wheelchair: to provide an appropriate seating surface for clients in order to improve posture, and head control. It may also contribute to ease of transport either independently or with assistance.

Power mobility: increases independence

Manual Mobility: ease of transport, may also increase independence depending on the type

Positioning devices: these could include braces for hands, feet, legs, backs, etc. They are designed to keep the specific body part in the optimal position for function, prevent further deformity in the presence of spasticity and high tone, and/or improve upright posture, head control, and tolerance to positions.

Mobility devices: (crutches, gait trainers): these allow from more independent mobility, often in conjunction with positioning devices.

Standers: allow for focus on upright posture, improve circulation and breathing, provide a prolonged stretch in the presence of tight muscles due to spasticity, and can improve bowel and bladder function and other body systems.

It is imperative that any equipment ordered be used as prescribed in order to prevent deformity, malalignment, contractures, pressure sores, breathing difficulties, and/or postural abnormalities. Parents who are aiding in therapy through continuing exercises and treatment at home should remember this as well. Specific instructions from the child’s therapist should also be followed to the letter to avoid any complications.

Presented/Written by:___Carrie Hanis PT,
NCS____________________________________________

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