Balance & Gait Disorders
Gait refers to the way that your child’s walking stride, how fast they walk, and the way that their hips, feet, and legs move together to help them take each step. Pediatric therapy performed by a physical therapist can help your child walk better. Contact Endeavors Pediatric Therapy Services today to find out how physical therapy can make a difference for your child.
Leg Strength Is Just the Beginning
When you think about walking, you automatically think about your legs. In order to take a step, you need to have a certain amount of strength in your calf muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. However, your legs are only the starting point for the muscles involved in keeping you balanced, upright and mobile. To maintain a walking posture, you also need strength in your pelvic floor, back, abdomen and to a certain extent, your arms. In other words, you need a certain amount of total body strength in order to take a single step. If your child’s muscle development is slowed in any one of these areas, walking is difficult or even impossible. Fortunately, a physical therapist who specializes in pediatric therapy is an expert in movement. They can assess your child’s current level of strength, as well as areas they need to improve. Through physical therapy, your child can gain the strength they need to make walking easier.
Physical Therapy Can Improve Balance
Many kids have the strength they need to walk but lack the balance. Unfortunately, helping a child improve their balance is not as simple as it may sound. Balance is actually a complex system where the body makes millions of adjustments to your posture all day based on the feedback your brain receives. Some of these adjustments are predictive, others are reactive. Predictive adjustments happen all of the time when you walk uphill, see a rock in your path, step over a toy on the floor, or walk upstairs. Reactive adjustments happen when you unexpectedly trip, step on a building block, find an uneven spot in the grass or catch the edge of your bed with your toe. Both are vital in maintaining your balance when you walk. Fortunately, physical therapy can help your child learn how to make adjustments that keep them upright as they walk.
If your child is experiencing trouble with their gait or balance, contact an Endeavors Pediatric Therapy Services in Statesville, NC today. We can help them feel steady and confident on their feet so they can run and play like children should.