Pediatric physical therapy interventions are various techniques and activities used by therapists to help children improve their movement, strength, and overall physical abilities. These interventions may involve exercises, games, and hands-on techniques that are specifically designed to address each child’s unique needs and challenges. The goal is to enhance their motor skills, coordination, balance, and mobility, allowing them to participate more fully in daily activities and reach their developmental milestones.
The Sensory DPT has experience/training in the interventions described below.
DMI - DYNAMIC MOVEMENT INTERVENTION
What is DMI therapy?
DMI therapy is a holistic approach that considers the individual as a whole, addressing both physical and cognitive aspects of movement difficulties. By targeting fundamental movement patterns and motor skills, it aims to improve overall movement abilities and enhance the child’s functional independence and participation in daily activities.
Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) therapy focuses on improving movement skills, coordination, and motor function in individuals, particularly children, who have developmental delays or difficulties with movement. It is commonly used by occupational therapists, physical therapists, or other professionals working in pediatric rehabilitation.
DMI therapy aims to address the underlying issues affecting a child’s movement abilities by targeting fundamental movement patterns and motor skills. The therapy sessions are typically structured and tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual.
DMI techniques are incorporated into the treatment plan of every child by the Sensory DPT as registered level Intro B certified (enrolled to complete level C in Winter).
*The use of DMI is contraindicated with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) & cautioned with Osteopenia diagnosis.
TASES - TASK-SPECIFIC ELECTRICAL STIMULATION
Pediatric Task-Specific Electrical Stimulation (TASES) is a therapeutic approach used in pediatric rehabilitation to improve motor function and enhance the development of specific tasks in children with neurological conditions or impairments.
Task-specific training involves repetitive practice of specific motor tasks relevant to the child’s functional goals. By combining this training with electrical stimulation, TASES aims to enhance the motor learning process and improve functional outcomes.
During TASES, electrical stimulation is applied to specific muscles or nerves using electrodes placed on the skin. The stimulation delivers electrical impulses that contract the targeted muscles, facilitating movement and enhancing muscle activation. This can help children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, developmental coordination disorder, or other neurological disorders that affect motor control and coordination.
Spinal stimulation for pediatrics involves using small electrical pulses to activate nerves in the spinal cord. It can help kids with conditions like spinal cord injuries or neurological disorders. The stimulation can improve muscle function, reduce stiffness, and potentially make it easier for them to move and live their lives. Beverly Reyes PT, DPT took Gerti’s Spinal Stimulation Course over the summer in order to provide access to this intervention in Jacksonville FL and surrounding areas.
Gerti Motavalli PT, MPT, and Dr. Gad Alon PT, Ph.D., worked together (2017) to create a spinal electrical stimulation program for individuals with Spina Bifida (SB). This program involves using an electrical stimulation unit that delivers electrical current through electrodes placed on specific areas of the body to stimulate muscle movement. Their research on this technique was subsequently published in the online research journal Child Neurology Open in 2019.
Read More about Spinal Stimulation.
WHOLE BODY VIBRATION (WBV)
Whole body vibration (WBV) therapy in the pediatric population refers to the use of vibrating platforms or devices to provide mechanical vibrations to children. The therapy is similar to WBV in adults but is adapted to meet the specific needs and considerations of children.
Pediatric WBV therapy may be utilized for various purposes, including:
- Physical development and motor skills: WBV can be used to facilitate motor development in children by stimulating muscle activation, coordination, and balance. It may be beneficial for children with developmental delays or motor impairments.
- Strength and bone health: WBV has the potential to improve muscle strength and bone density in children. It may be utilized as part of a comprehensive therapy program for conditions such as osteoporosis, low muscle tone, or rehabilitation after fractures.
- Neuromuscular conditions: Children with neuromuscular disorders, such as cerebral palsy, may benefit from WBV therapy to improve muscle tone, flexibility, and functional mobility.
- Rehabilitation and injury prevention: WBV can be utilized as part of a rehabilitation program for children recovering from injuries or surgeries. It may aid in muscle recovery, promote circulation, and reduce muscle soreness.
It’s important to note that research on the effectiveness and optimal protocols of WBV therapy in the pediatric population is still evolving.
Theratogs consists of a series of form-fitting garments that are worn directly on the body. These garments are made from a unique, stretchy material and are strategically designed to provide specific levels of compression and support to targeted areas of the body. The system includes various components such as shorts, vests, sleeves, and strapping systems that can be customized to meet individual needs.
The primary goal of Theratogs is to promote proper alignment, stability, and movement patterns by providing sensory input and facilitating improved muscle activation. It can be used to address a range of conditions, including but not limited to:
- Developmental delays: Theratogs can support and enhance motor development in children with delays in areas such as sitting, crawling, standing, and walking.
- Neuromuscular disorders: Individuals with conditions like cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or muscular dystrophy can benefit from Theratogs by improving postural control, muscle tone, and functional movements.
- Orthopedic conditions: Theratogs can provide support and alignment for individuals with issues such as scoliosis, joint instability, or orthopedic surgeries.
- Sensory processing disorders: The compression and proprioceptive feedback provided by Theratogs may help individuals with sensory processing difficulties improve body awareness and sensory modulation.
Pediatric reflex integration refers to the process of facilitating the maturation and integration of primitive reflexes in children. Primitive reflexes are automatic movements that are present in infancy and serve as protective responses to specific stimuli. They are controlled by the brainstem and are typically inhibited as a child’s nervous system develops.
In some cases, these primitive reflexes may persist beyond the typical developmental stage or re-emerge later in childhood. This can interfere with a child’s motor development, coordination, sensory processing, and overall functioning. Reflex integration therapy aims to help the child’s nervous system mature and integrate these reflexes properly.
The therapy involves specific exercises and activities designed to stimulate and challenge the child’s nervous system in order to promote the integration of primitive reflexes. These exercises may include movements, balance activities, sensory experiences, and coordination exercises. The therapy is typically carried out by occupational therapists, physical therapists, or other trained professionals who specialize in pediatric development.
By promoting the integration of primitive reflexes, pediatric reflex integration therapy aims to improve a child’s overall motor skills, coordination, balance, posture, attention, and behavior. It can be beneficial for children with various developmental delays, sensory processing disorders, learning difficulties, and neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy or autism spectrum disorders.