We’re sure you’ve heard about physical therapy. You’ve probably heard about it as something you do after knee replacement surgery or other times like that. But do you know about all the wonderful things it can do?
Physical therapists are movement system experts. What is a movement system? It’s anything that moves! This can include movement in your musculoskeletal system, your neurological system, cardiovascular system, or even your integumentary system, which is your skin!
Gross Motor Development
Here at Cutting Edge, we tend to focus more on your muscular system, your neuromuscular system, and your cardiovascular system. All of these things come together to affect your child’s gross motor development.
Gross motor development encompasses movement like walking, running, and jumping. It also has to do with things like whether or not they are able to sit still at their desks, whether they can cross a midline in their activities, or how their posture is.
Gross motor development affects the other domains as well, such as social development, cognitive development, and even fine motor development.
One way that gross motor development can affect functional and social development is through eating! Before they can eat solid food, babies need to be able to sit unsupported for 20 minutes with good head control and be able to bring both of their hands and their feet to the middle so that they can feed themselves.
If babies have low muscle tone and are weak, this can affect when they are able to start their speech production.
How Physical Therapy Complements Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy and physical therapy make a great team because PT works on gross motor development while OT works on fine motor development. With our sensory integration kids, if their bodies really need to move but they don’t have the physical ability to do some of the movements like jumping and running, then they might stay dysregulated. Plus, in order to have the fine motor skills needed for OT, they have to have cross-motor stability. They have to have their core strong and stable before they are able to go out to produce fine-muscle movement with their fingertips.
If you’re reading this and thinking that your child might need help with some of these abilities, talk to your medical doctor about it. He or she can give you a referral to us for PT, OT, and/or speech therapy. We can do a screening for you, or, depending on what you and your doctor have seen and what your needs are, we can go ahead and begin an evaluation.
Remember, screenings are free here at Cutting Edge! We screen the kids for free, and then if you need further evaluation we can do that. We offer free screenings because we don’t think that you should have to pay if you don’t know what therapy your child needs, or if they need therapy at all. We want everyone to be able to see if their child needs any help.
Your Next Step
If you think your child may need some help with their skills but you’re not sure, we have a developmental checklist on our website at https://cuttingedgepediatrictherapy.developmentchecklist.com
You can also email Shelby or Felicia, our wonderful Physical Therapists, at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be happy to answer any questions you might have about physical therapy or screenings!