Although there are over 80 autoimmune diseases, some are more common than others. There are no cures for autoimmune diseases, but there are therapies to help.Continue reading
ASD affects each child differently, and therapy varies. Physical therapy is used to help a child with ASD gain control of movements and feel less anxiety.Continue reading
Although they sometimes share similar symptoms, ADHD and ASD are two different disorders, and it’s important to understand the differences during diagnosis.Continue reading
It’s hard to predict how a child with Down syndrome will develop mentally and physically—every child is different. Usually, however, we see a slower development of gross and fine motor skills. Your doctor will ask questions and evaluate the child to see how they’re doing. Often, physical therapy—along with other therapies—is used to help a child with Down syndrome progress. In this article, we’ll discuss how Down syndrome affects gross and fine motor skills and how physical therapy can help.
What Are Motor Skills?
Before we discuss how Down syndrome affects gross and fine motor skills, we need to understand what motor skills are. Gross motor skills involve the large muscle groups and the movement of the whole body. Walking, standing, kicking, and running all use gross motor skills.
Fine motor skills, on the other hand, use smaller muscle groups and more intricate movements. Grasping a pencil and tying shoes require fine motor skills.
Doctors analyze both types of motor skills as children grow to evaluate their developmental progress.
Down Syndrome and Motor Skills
A child with Down syndrome is likely to develop both gross and fine motor skills at a different rate than a child without Down syndrome. Certain common characteristics of Down syndrome may inhibit or slow the development of these skills:
- Ligamentous laxity, which is the looseness of ligaments, causes an increase in flexibility in the joints and a decrease in muscle strength.
- Hypotonia is a condition causing low muscle tone in children with Down syndrome.
Thankfully, most children with Down syndrome are eager to push their motor skills to the limit, as they want to do what others are doing. Even with the aforementioned characteristics, physical therapy and support from others usually help a child with Down syndrome use their motor skills efficiently.
There is a downside to an active and anxious child with Down syndrome who pushes themselves: they often overcompensate, which can lead to painful feet and, sometimes, incorrect walking patterns.
As we mentioned, physical therapy is an important part of the process of helping children with Down syndrome improve and develop their motor skills. Working together with a doctor, a physical therapist uses special exercises and equipment to help a child develop and successfully use their gross and fine muscle groups.
Many other therapies are helpful in the life of a child with Down syndrome, including occupational, recreational, and speech therapies.
At Chariot Innovations, we believe in improving the lives of those with Down syndrome with a combination of therapies, including Down syndrome physical therapy. We developed the MiraColt™ for the use of hippotherapy, which takes inspiration from the natural gait of a horse to improve strength, balance, and overall well-being. Contact Chariot Innovations and see how we can improve the motor skills of children with Down syndrome.
The purpose of physical therapy is to help patients regain their strength, balance, coordination, muscle control, and ability to function as close to normal as possible in their daily lives. In this article, we’ll look at common reasons for physical therapy and how it can help to help you understand who can benefit from physical therapy and how it works.
What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy has many purposes and usually takes place after some testing and a recommendation from a doctor. Physical therapy can help lots of people for different reasons. So, let’s look at the many reasons why someone may need physical therapy.
Some people experience the frustration of chronic pain, often with no solid diagnosis as to what causes it. Physical therapy uses methods to improve soft tissue and joint movement, which often helps alleviate pain completely or, at the least, manage it better. With good results, physical therapy might help a patient avoid using medication to manage pain. People with Arthritis may find physical therapy helpful.
An Alternative to Surgery
Not always, but sometimes an issue that would usually require surgery is instead repaired with physical therapy, avoiding surgery. This alternative needs the doctor’s approval, of course. An example might be a meniscal tear in the knee or a lower back condition. Avoiding surgery saves money, surgery pain, and downtime after surgery.
A physical therapist analyzes each patient to determine if they are prone to certain injuries. This may include practicing balance to prevent falling or strength training to avoid broken bones. Injury prevention is a great way to predict what could happen and then stop it from happening. Elderly patients benefit from this type of therapy as they begin to lose the balance they once had, making them prone to falling. Their bones can become brittle, making them prone to breaks.
Better Balance and Mobility
Physical therapists use certain exercises and equipment to help patients maintain and increase their balance and mobility. Balance and mobility issues cover a wide range of people, including stroke sufferers, cerebral palsy patients, and patients who’ve gone through surgery.
Diabetes and Vascular Management
Exercise is critical for those with diabetes or vascular conditions. Physical therapy is a safe way to exercise properly and improve these conditions, and hopefully, lessen the need for insulin in diabetes patients or heart surgery for vascular patients.
There are many reasons why someone may struggle with daily activities and routines that many of us take for granted. Conditions that can cause daily activity struggles can include autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, stroke, or old age. Physical therapy helps patients gain more freedom in their everyday activities.
Devices Used in Physical Therapy
Physical therapy comes in many forms, and the equipment and devices used help move treatment along. Let’s look at the equipment and how they can help.
Treadmills help the therapist check a patient’s gait and balance, and they’re also the perfect way to get the blood flowing.
Resistance bands are simple but so useful. Therapists use them to improve muscle strength slowly. Each set of bands has its own resistance strength, so increasing the amount of resistance needed is simple, without the need for actual weights.
Exercise balls often aid in stretching and balance practice. They are easy on the joints, and patients can use them at home as well.
Equine therapy, or hippotherapy, is a type of physical therapy that involves the use of a horse or a machine that mimics a horse. Hippotherapy is used to improve balance, gait, and core strength. It also has many other benefits, such as improved emotional health.
A treatment table is similar to a massage table. Its several uses include performing a massage, chiropractic therapy, and other forms of hands-on manipulation to improve the health of physical therapy patients.
The stationary bike is an overall healthy solution for physical therapy patients. It strengthens the cardiovascular system, reduces stress, and increases flexibility and mobility.
These forms of equipment used in physical therapy are the most common, but there are others as well. Physical therapy, like all medical fields, is constantly improving and evolving with exciting new innovations.
Can Physical Therapy Help You or a Loved One?
If you suspect physical therapy might help you or someone you care for, there’s a good chance it will. Still, never start a physical therapy program without your doctor’s approval. As we mentioned, this type of therapy helps a wide range of people, from recently injured to those born with an incurable condition. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about physical therapy and how it can help you or your loved one.
Physical therapy is often in combination with other forms of therapy to achieve the desired result. The following are examples of conditions that might require a combination of therapies because symptoms vary widely in each patient:
- Down syndrome
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscular dystrophy and other autoimmune diseases
Some combinations include speech therapy, hippotherapy, and any other type of physical therapy.
Understanding the common reasons for physical therapy and how it can help is important. We must recognize when we may need it in our own lives. Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal themselves, but they seldom do so without proper assistance, such as physical therapy.
At Chariot Innovations, we understand the many unique needs of those needing therapy. They go beyond physical and often include therapies, such as speech, mental, or emotional support. That’s why we designed the physical therapy device, MiraColt®, to assist those who can benefit from equine therapy but don’t have access to a horse. The MiraColt® offers hippotherapy for patients to use in their homes and for clinics to provide hippotherapy onsite. Contact Chariot Innovations, and let’s talk about how we can improve your therapy methods, whether you’re a therapist yourself or in need of treatment.
The symptoms after a stroke vary by individual; however, a common symptom is a lack of balance. Implementing balance therapy after a stroke is the best way to get that balance back to a level that improves the quality of life. In this article, we’ll look at the different forms of balance therapy used by therapists and some methods to use at home.
Physical therapy is used in many ways after a stroke, and one of these ways is to help the patient regain their balance. A physical therapist often implements the following methods during balance therapy:
- Dynamic standing balance techniques: Dynamic balance refers to our ability to stay in one position while moving—for example, staying upright and on course while walking or running. Physical therapists use things like balancing boards to practice dynamic balance.
- Hippotherapy: Hippotherapy, also known as, equine therapy, is highly effective when implementing balance therapy after a stroke. It involves the use of a horse to improve gait, posture, balance, and all-around emotional well-being.
- Practice daily routine movements: After a stroke, the simple movements we take for granted, such as moving from our bed to a chair, become difficult. During physical therapy, the patient will practice those daily activities that require balance.
Therapy at Home
A physical therapist will give homework to their patients, requesting they continue building up their balance with exercises at home. Those exercises might include:
- Heel raises: Holding onto the end of a chair or table and raising the heels is a simple way to begin to regain balance. After improvement, the patient may be able to do heel raises without holding on to anything.
- Heel-to-toe walking: Practicing purposeful walking with exaggerated heel-to-toe movements.
- Squats: Squats using an exercise ball on the back against a wall are a gentle but effective way to improve balance.
Occupational therapy focuses on daily life skills. Most of us hop out of bed in the morning and get on with our day. After a stroke, those small daily tasks are often difficult. The goal of occupational therapy is to regain the skills lost from the stroke, such as getting dressed, going to the restroom, feeding oneself, and making something to eat. Occupational therapy works on these goals by practicing the following:
- Eye-hand coordination
- Gross and fine motor skills
- Managing emotions
- Life skills
Normalcy is often possible after a stroke, but it takes patience and time. Always follow your doctor’s orders and your physical therapist’s instructions. At Chariot Innovations, we understand the frustration after a stroke and the desire to get back to your daily routine. We created the MiraColt® so everyone could experience the benefits of hippotherapy. The MiraColt® is a horse riding simulator exercise machine that greatly improves balance and other skills for those who have experienced a stroke, along with helping others with movement disorders. Contact Chariot Innovations to discuss how hippotherapy can improve balance therapy at your own home or in your clinical setting.
Cerebral palsy isn’t a hopeless diagnosis thanks to advances in physiotherapy, which is an integral part of improving the lives of those living with CP.Continue reading
Autism spectrum disorder is often misunderstood because it has many variations. Diagnosis varies depending on where one is placed on the spectrum.Continue reading
Cerebral Palsy affects a person’s movement and speech, along with causing other issues. Thankfully, several therapies help those who suffer from the disorder.Continue reading
Autoimmune diseases vary greatly, and there’s no one-size-fits-all way to cope. Still, there are a few things that should help everyone manage their disease.Continue reading