Balance and Coordination Problems

All matter of balance and coordination issues can be observed in children with learning disabilities, central nervous system pathology, visual problems, hearing impairment, or developmental coordination disorder. Balance problems can also be secondary to muscle tightness, muscle weakness, limitation in joint range of motion, and poor posture.

The Difficulties Children Might Experience

  • Regular falls or being unsteady.
  • Problems with posture – children might regularly complain of aches and pains in different parts of the body.
  • Difficulty in activities requiring coordination of body segments, such as jumping or kicking a ball.
  • Limited ability to walk long distances.
  • Toe walking is observed in a few cases.
  • Less keen to participate in sports activities or outdoor games.
  • Difficulty completing tasks within a particular timeframe.

What Is the Role of Physiotherapy?

The initial assessment will help determine the severity of the problem and how it’s affecting your child in their day-to-day life. An exercise programme consisting of core, balance, strengthening, and motor coordination exercises will be provided. This will focus on improving their functioning in the environment. Depending on the severity of the problem, the programme may start with floor exercises, progressing to exercises in standing and using a gym ball and other equipment to improve higher levels of balance.

The sessions will also include demonstrating how daily activities can be performed more successfully. To measure whether the exercises have made a positive impact in the daily life of your child, we will carry out a repeat assessment. A school visit can be undertaken to discuss your child’s needs with the education staff and to incorporate these exercises into their PE sessions.

The Difficulties Children Might Experience

  • Regular falls or being unsteady.
  • Problems with posture – children might regularly complain of aches and pains in different parts of the body.
  • Difficulty in activities requiring coordination of body segments, such as jumping or kicking a ball.
  • Limited ability to walk long distances.
  • Toe walking is observed in a few cases.
  • Less keen to participate in sports activities or outdoor games.
  • Difficulty completing tasks within a particular timeframe.

What Are The Benefits?

  • Increased attention span and concentration in studies.
  • Improvement in posture, balance muscle strength, and flexibility.
  • Improved ability to perform tasks, fine motor activities, and activities of daily living.
  • Improvement in self-confidence and self-esteem, which will manifest as an increase in interaction with peers.
  • Increased willingness to join in school outings and sport activities.
  • Reduction in the frequency of falls.
  • Improvement in walking pattern and the ability to walk for longer distances, and a reduction in the frequency of aches and pains.
  • Reduction in the chances of injury, thus maintaining their confidence to be involved in physical activities.

What You Can Do

Ensure your child engages in as many physical activities as possible. Participation and enjoyment should be the key, not competition. Provide them with plenty of opportunities to practice activities that they find difficult.

What If This Is Left Untreated?

  • There is a risk of postural problems with growth, such as asymmetry and abnormal spinal curvatures.
  • Muscle weakness and tightness can cause pain, limiting the child’s daily activities.
  • It might affect their self-confidence and esteem as they realise the gap between themselves and their peers.
  • Limited participation in physical activities can contribute towards health problems in the long run.

Prognosis

The prognosis is dependent on the cause. With physiotherapy, many parents have observed improved self-confidence, an increase in interaction with peers, and improvement in balance and coordination.

Contact us now, in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, to find out how our paediatric physiotherapy assists with balance and coordination problems.