Yes, we can treat your littles too! Throughout the first few years of life, there are many gross motor milestones that infants should go through to help with ease of movement, increase independence, and improve coordination later in life.
Some conditions that our Pediatric Physiotherapists can treat are in babies are:
- Congenital muscular torticollis (tight neck) Learn more
- Brachial plexus injury (from birth)
- Neck, body tension and positioning related to lip and tongue ties, tongue thrusts (affecting speech)
- Head Shape Concerns (flattening of the head) Learn more
- Gross Motor Skill Development Learn more
- Pediatric Pelvic Floor Conditions (Ex. constipation)
- Pediatric Concussion Learn more
- Conditions that cause lower muscle tone (Ex. Down Syndrome)
- Conditions that cause increased muscle tone (Ex. Cerebral Palsy)
- Other Genetic and Congenital Conditions
Torticollis is a common musculoskeletal condition in infants which is caused by tight muscles in the neck. Commonly, parents will notice that their baby tends to always be looking in one direction and/or their head is tilted in one direction. An infant with torticollis may also struggle with nursing from one side.
Physiotherapy intervention for torticollis may include exercises and at-home positioning to stretch and strengthen the tight neck tissues and education to ensure your child continues to progress through their gross motor skills.
Head Shape Concerns
Are you noticing flattening on the back of your child’s head or maybe on just one side? The two terms used to describe head shape concerns are:
1. Brachycephaly is flattening of the back of the head.
2. Plagiocephaly is flattening of one side of the back of the head, which can occasionally cause changes in the symmetry of the eyes and ears.
If your child has been diagnosed with this or if you are noticing this, it is ideal to seek physiotherapy around the 3-4 month age or earlier. During the assessment, our physiotherapist will use a specialized tool to measure your infant’s head. From there, our team will be able to provide education and exercises aimed at alternative positioning and in some cases, will refer for a Cranial Remolding Orthoses (ex: helmet).
Gross Motor Skill Development
If you are noticing that your infant is behind on their milestones, or is “stuck” at a stage, Pediatric Physiotherapy can help! Some important milestones in the first two years are: holding their head up, rolling over, sitting, crawling, standing, and walking.
It is important for infants to reach each milestone throughout their early development. Many concerns arise from parents that developmental milestones are delayed, but sometimes this is okay, as there is an age range. That being said, we do not want them to get too far behind. Physiotherapists can help facilitate and motivate your baby to continue to reach their milestones.
A concussion is defined as a mild traumatic brain injury caused by either a direct blow to the head or a whiplash related mechanism. The rapid movement of the head causes the brain to move around or twist within the skull. Ultimately, this injury creates temporary chemical changes in the brain and if goes untreated may lead to long term problems. Anyone can sustain a concussion and experience associated symptoms such as, but not limited to, headache, dizziness, confusion, difficulty remembering, fogginess, and sensitivity to light.
A concussion within the first few days and weeks (acute concussion) requires specific assessment and management. When concussion symptoms last longer than 4 weeks in adolescents it is considered Post Concussion Syndrome. Even though a concussion can be treated at any point within the healing process, we encourage you to be assessed as soon as possible for optimal recovery.
After the completion of an assessment, the patient and parent will be thoroughly educated to ensure full comprehension of proper management of their concussion at home. During one on one management, the patient can expect more specific treatment to target associated symptoms. This could include vestibular and ocular retraining, manual therapy to focus on cervical soft tissue and exercise training. The therapists will give guidance on returning to daily activities, school and sports. To ensure a safe return, the patient will be guided through gradual Return to Sport and Learn protocols.