Form Before Function: Why Physical Therapy for Babies Creates a Foundation for Success
When many of us consider physical therapy, we tend to think of rehabilitation after an injury. But physical therapy is used every single day all over the world in order to optimize the function of the body - whether or not it has been hurt! In the same sense, physical therapy is utilized for babies and children to help them establish correct positioning, postures, movements and strength so that, as they grow, each part of their body can function properly. Indeed, it is necessary to introduce the correct form before a body part can do what it’s supposed to do.
If this concept is confusing, think of it this way… Imagine you are getting ready to drive a car, but the steering wheel is crooked. If the form is off-kilter, how will the steering wheel provide its intended function of guiding your car’s tires in the correct direction?
It can’t! Or rather, it can’t in a way that’s safe or reliable! The same concept can be applied to physical therapy. Let’s take a look at why this is so crucial for the developing bodies of babies and children. Physical therapy for babies is a form of therapeutic intervention aimed at improving a child's physical abilities and overall development. The therapy can involve exercises and techniques that promote the child's movement, coordination, and strength, as well as their sensory and cognitive development. Additionally, therapy such as Craniosacral Fascial Therapy (CFT) is a form of bodywork that focuses on the manipulation and release of tension in the craniofascial system which includes tissue, muscle, bones and fluids.
You already know that the early years of a child's life are critical for their physical, emotional, and cognitive development. By enhancing these areas through physical therapy, a child can build a strong foundation for future success. After all, many issues take more work when they are left alone vs. when they are proactively supported.
Here are some of the ways that physical therapy for babies can create a foundation for success: Better healing after birth: While all babies are innately gifted with the knowledge of how to move through the pelvis and birth canal, many birthing scenarios leave both baby and mother in need of some physical and fascial unwinding. Physical therapy is a gentle way to support the baby’s body towards realignment after birth.
Better and more-reliable eating and digestion: Perhaps one of the ways physical therapy can bring the most peace of mind to new mothers especially, is in its direct support of helping babies establish a good eating and digestion routine. With an assessment of head and body positioning, latch and baby’s swallow, therapists can support both mother and baby in proper feeding and eating techniques that they can rely on for months and years to come.
Improved motor skills: Physical therapy helps babies improve their motor skills, such as crawling, standing, and walking. This can help them become more physically active and develop better balance, coordination, and control of their body movements.
Better communication skills: Physical therapy can also help babies develop better communication skills, such as making eye contact, responding to sounds and voices, and using gestures and facial expressions to express themselves.
Increased cognitive development: Physical therapy can stimulate a baby's brain and promote cognitive development by engaging them in sensory activities and tasks that require problem-solving, decision-making, and memory recall.
Enhanced socialization: Physical therapy can help babies learn how to interact with others, which can improve their socialization skills and help them develop positive relationships with peers and caregivers.
Reduced risk of future problems: Early intervention through physical therapy can help prevent or reduce the severity of future health problems, such as muscle weakness, joint stiffness, and motor impairments.
Overall, physical therapy for babies can provide numerous benefits that can help them build a strong foundation for success in all aspects of their lives. By promoting physical, emotional, and cognitive development, physical therapy can help babies reach their full potential and lead happy, healthy, and successful lives.
To start your little one with one of our loving practitioners, reach out today at (205) 634-2115.