Three Reasons Your Child With A Heart Defect Will Benefit From Physiotherapy

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defects in the world. In Canada, one in 80 to 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect. If you are a parent of a child born with a heart defect, you may not realize the benefits physiotherapy has to offer your child. This is especially true if your child's defect requires surgery or they are bedridden. Here are three reasons it can be advantageous for your child to get involved in physiotherapy.

Identify Certain Physical Conditions

Some children who have a more complicated heart defect may spend a lot of time in bed or may not be able to engage in a lot of physical activity. Children who need to have surgery are also sometimes bedridden during their recovery. A physiotherapist will be able to identify certain physical conditions caused by inactivity. Some of these conditions include:

  • Lack of endurance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Limited flexibility
  • Poor posture

A physiotherapist will also be able to identify any abnormal patterns in your child's movement. A physiotherapy evaluation can usually be done right at the child's bedside.

Overcome Movement Limitations

Due to inactivity, your child might have certain limitations when it comes to how they move and use their muscles. They might also have limited gross motor skills. A physiotherapist can help your child to overcome some of these limitations by helping with the following:

  • Increase range of motion
  • Increase ability to move against gravity
  • Decrease muscle tremors during active movement
  • Increase ability to change positions

A heart defect means your child's heart is not functioning at a healthy capacity. This can cause them to be short of breath while doing certain activities and also have poor oxygen saturation levels. They might tire more quickly. A physiotherapist will address these concerns and help your child increase their movement and the amount of physical activity they are able to do.

Provide Appropriate Treatment

Even with the most complicated heart defects, there are many types of physiotherapy treatments available to help improve your child's function. Some of these include:

  • Sensory stimulation
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Positioning and gross motor activities

A physiotherapist will also assist you and your child to learn how to do functional activities such as transferring from a bed to a chair or walking independently without an assistive device. A physiotherapist may also help you get equipment for your home so that your child can function as independently as possible. Contact a company like Phoenix Physiotherapy Clinic kinesiology for more info.