A Form of Therapy in Northamptonshire Designed to Improve Movement

Movement therapy is a form of therapy in which children are engaged in performing functional activities or tasks through the use of appropriate handling and facilitation techniques. At Children’s Private Physiotherapy, in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, we analyse children’s movement and understand how to address all manner of postural and mobility issues. The aims of our movement therapy are:

  • For the child to achieve control of their posture and stability so movements take less effort.
  • To bring about a change in the way they perform an activity, so it’s performed as optimally as possible.
  • To provide them with movement choices so they can transfer their skills to different tasks and function as independently as possible in their day-to-day environment.
  • To inhibit abnormal movement patterns which impede the achievement of functional goals.
  • To engage them maximally in therapy so treatment is as active and dynamic as possible.
  • To ensure children continuously learn movement patterns and components of movements required for functioning in their environment.
  • To strengthen the weaker muscles by engaging them in appropriate activities. This is for preventing further deterioration as well as enhancing the quality and efficiency of movements.

How Is It Carried out?

During the initial assessment, the child’s current level of ability is determined by observing them playing or functioning in their environment. This provides vital information to the therapist regarding the way they move and factors which might be responsible for limiting their activities (e.g. limited movements in the joints due to tightness of the muscles or excessive movements due to decreased muscle tone etc).

After we discuss the assessment findings with parents or carers, goals are formed followed by a treatment plan to achieve them. Handling techniques are continuously adapted while the child is engaged in therapy with the aim of facilitating normal movement patterns and the recruitment of correct muscle groups. Assistance is meticulously graded for continuously challenging the muscles, resulting in the child receiving maximum benefit from the session.

In some cases, preparatory work in the form of joint mobilisations and myofascial release is done to enhance movement at particular joints. This mainly works by increasing the blood flow and by relaxing the muscles around the joints. In some cases, complex movements or tasks are broken down into simpler stages, with initial work taking place towards achieving each stage. This is because breaking down the complexity simplifies the learning process. Feedback is provided according to the child’s performance, as this is crucial for successful long-term retention and transferring learned skills to perform in different environments.

If your child uses any equipment or splints, it will be ensured that they are the right prescription and finely adjusted. This will make their muscles work as they will be unable to use equipment for support.

How Is It Followed up?

A programme consisting of various activities will be provided for working towards the achievement of goals. You will be observed facilitating movement patterns during therapy sessions and various strategies will be discussed for incorporating the activities into your child’s daily routine. It is advisable that activities are carried out in different environments to facilitate the transfer of skills and generalise learning wherever possible. A nursery or school visit can be carried out to discuss the physiotherapy programme with staff as well as training them to implement the various strategies.

What Are the Benefits?

Some of the primary benefits of movement therapy include:

  • Increasing the child’s sense of wellbeing, alertness, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
  • Increasing concentration in school and curricular activities.
  • Improving performance while participating in sports.
  • Improving their ability to communicate due to increased awareness of their environment. This is also due to increase engagement in activities and interaction with peers.
  • A positive effect on the respiratory and digestive systems, e.g. decreased episodes of chest infection and constipation.
  • Improving cardiorespiratory endurance, posture, muscle strength, flexibility, balance and coordination, dexterity, efficiency, and fluidity of movement. This will considerably reduce any chances of deterioration in posture with growth.
  • Improving in fine motor skills e.g. grasping, releasing, and exploring objects.

Contact us now, in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, for further details about children’s hydrotherapy, also known as aquatic therapy.