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Physiotherapist for children

25 February 2023

As a parent, it's essential to ensure that your child is in the best of health. Sometimes, your child may need medical attention, and one type of medical professional who can help is a physiotherapist. In this blog post, we'll explore what a physiotherapist is, why your child might see one, how to get a referral, what to think about before you see a physiotherapist, what the physiotherapist might discuss with you, what tests they might do, what they might diagnose, what treatments and therapies they might recommend, financial support available in Australia to see a physiotherapist, and how to look after yourself and your family.

What is a physiotherapist?

A physiotherapist is a healthcare professional who helps people with physical difficulties, injuries, or disabilities. They use their expertise in anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics to help improve movement and function, reduce pain, and increase mobility. In the case of children, a pediatric physiotherapist specializes in working with infants, children, and adolescents to help them reach their full physical potential.

Why might your child see a physiotherapist?

There are several reasons why your child might see a physiotherapist. They may have developmental delays or conditions that affect their physical abilities, such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, or spina bifida. They may have suffered an injury or have a chronic condition that affects their movement, such as scoliosis or asthma. Or they may have difficulty with balance, coordination, or posture.

How do you get a referral to a physiotherapist?

Your child's doctor or specialist may refer you to a physiotherapist. Alternatively, you can contact a physiotherapy clinic directly to make an appointment.

What to think about before you see a physiotherapist?

Before you see a physiotherapist, it's a good idea to prepare a list of questions or concerns you have about your child's physical abilities. You may want to think about any milestones your child has missed, any injuries or illnesses they have had, or any difficulties they have with movement or posture. You may also want to bring any relevant medical records or reports with you to the appointment.

What might the physiotherapist discuss with you?

The physiotherapist will likely ask you about your child's medical history and any concerns you have. They will also assess your child's physical abilities, including their posture, balance, and coordination. Based on their assessment, they will develop a treatment plan tailored to your child's needs.

What tests might a physiotherapist do?

The physiotherapist may do several tests to assess your child's physical abilities. These might include measuring joint range of motion, testing muscle strength, assessing balance and coordination, or evaluating walking or running gait.

What might a physiotherapist diagnose?

The physiotherapist will not diagnose medical conditions but will identify any physical issues your child may have that are impacting their movement, posture, or function. They may recommend further medical investigations or refer your child to other healthcare professionals if necessary.

What treatments and therapies might a physiotherapist recommend?

The physiotherapist will develop a treatment plan tailored to your child's needs. This may include exercises to improve strength, flexibility, or coordination, manual therapy, such as massage or joint mobilization, or the use of assistive devices, such as braces or orthotics.

What financial support is available in Australia to see a physiotherapist?

In Australia, physiotherapy services may be covered by private health insurance, Medicare, or the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Speak to your health insurance provider or the NDIS to find out what support is available to you.