It is common knowledge that newborns need plenty of rest and good nutrition in order to grow and develop properly, but what about physical therapy? Believe it or not, newborns can also benefit from physical therapy. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the reasons why physical therapy may be necessary for a newborn and provide some examples of the types of treatments that may be used. We hope that this information will help you better understand the importance of physical therapy for newborns!
- 1 Why Is Physical Therapy For Newborns Important?
- 2 What Are Some Examples Of Physical Therapy For Newborns?
- 3 What Are The Benefits?
- 4 What Are The Limitations?
- 5 Conclusion
Why Is Physical Therapy For Newborns Important?
Physical therapy is considered a vital part of the care for all newborns. Newborn babies are still developing their motor skills and need help learning how to move their bodies. They may also need help with feeding and other basic functions. Physical therapy can help them develop these skills and reach their full potential.
There are many reasons why a newborn may need physical therapy. Some common reasons include:
Low birth weight
It is a common reason that a newborn may need physical therapy. Low birth weight babies are more likely to have problems with their motor skills and may need help learning how to move their bodies.
Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects a person’s ability to move and control their muscles. Physical therapy can help people with cerebral palsy learn how to move their bodies and improve their muscle control.
One of the most common reasons newborns need physical therapy is muscle weakness. This can be due to a variety of factors. Muscle weakness is described as “floppy” or “limp.” The medical term for this is hypotonia. It can be present at birth or develop later.
If the baby is premature then there is definitely a need for physical therapy. Babies who are born early often have undeveloped muscles and may be unable to control their own body movement. They may also have trouble eating and sleeping. Physical therapy can help the baby learn how to move properly, eat and sleep well.
Sometimes, a newborn baby has issues with movement and development that require physical therapy. For example, a baby who was born early had a low birth weight, or spent time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is at risk for developmental delays. These delays can cause problems with feeding, sitting up, rolling over, crawling, and walking.
Finally, this is one more common reason why a newborn baby might need physical therapy. When a baby has Down syndrome, it means that they have an extra chromosome. This can cause a variety of different issues and problems, including low muscle tone. Low muscle tone means that the muscles are weak and floppy.
So, these are some common reasons why you should consider physical therapy for your newborn baby. If you have any concerns or questions, be sure to speak with your doctor or pediatrician. They will be able to give you more specific information and advice.
What Are Some Examples Of Physical Therapy For Newborns?
There are many different types of physical therapy that can be used for newborns. Some examples include:
This is one of the foremost techniques that is used in physical therapy for newborns. Massage can help to soothe the baby, relieve pain, and promote healthy circulation. You can do this by gently rubbing the baby’s back, legs, and arms. Also, you can use a light touch to massage the baby’s head.
This is another common physical therapy technique that is used for newborns. Traction involves gently pulling on the baby’s limbs in order to stretch them out. This can help to improve the range of motion and flexibility. It is believed that this type of therapy can also help to improve the baby’s muscle tone and strength.
Doing exercises with your baby can help to strengthen their muscles and improve their coordination. It can also help to relieve any pain that they may be feeling. There are several types of exercise that you can do with your baby, such as:
- Tummy time: This is where you place your baby on their tummy for a short period of time. This helps to strengthen the muscles in their back and neck.
- Bouncing: You can hold your baby in your arms and bounce them up and down. This helps to strengthen their leg muscles.
- Rocking: You can hold your baby in your arms and rock them from side to side. This helps to soothe them and can also help to improve their balance.
Cold and hot compresses
It is a good idea to keep a couple of bottles of water in the fridge, one hot and one cold. You can use these to make compresses for your baby. The cold will help reduce inflammation and swelling while the hot will help relax muscles. Just make sure that you test the temperature on your own skin before applying it to your baby.
Finally, this is a type of physical therapy for newborns that is not as commonly known but can be hugely beneficial. This type of therapy involves stimulating the baby’s senses through different activities. This can help them to develop properly and learn about the world around them in a safe and controlled environment.
One example of this is using a light board. This is a board with different colors and patterns that the baby can look at. The board is placed in front of the baby and they are encouraged to look at it. This helps to stimulate their vision and improve their eye development.
What Are The Benefits?
There are many benefits of physical therapy for newborns. It can also help to prevent injuries, and improve their overall health. Some of the specific benefits of physical therapy for newborns include:
- Improved muscle strength: Physical therapy can help to improve the strength of a newborn’s muscles, which can in turn help them to develop better coordination and balance.
- Improved coordination and balance: By improving muscle strength and range of motion, physical therapy can help a newborn to develop better coordination and balance. This can help to prevent falls and injuries.
- Increased range of motion: Physical therapy can help to increase the range of motion in a newborn’s joints. This can help to improve their ability to move and explore their environment.
- Improved breathing: Physical therapy can help to improve the strength and efficiency of a newborn’s respiratory system. This can help them to breathe more easily and reduce the risk of respiratory problems.
- Improved feeding: Physical therapy can help to improve the strength and coordination of a newborn’s muscles used for feeding. This can help them to eat more comfortably and efficiently.
- Reduced pain: Physical therapy can help to reduce pain and discomfort from conditions such as torticollis (a condition where the neck muscles are tight and cause the head to tilt to one side) and hip dysplasia (a condition where the hip joint is not properly formed).
- Improved development: By improving a newborn’s muscle strength, range of motion, and coordination, physical therapy can help to improve their overall development.
Overall, these are just a few of the many benefits that physical therapy can offer to newborns. Be sure to discuss with your doctor if physical therapy is right for your baby. With the help of a trained physical therapist, they can develop and grow to their full potential.
What Are The Limitations?
There are certain limitations to physical therapy for newborns. Some of the common ones include:
- Limited assessment of muscle tone and posture
- Difficulty in determining causative factors for a physical problem
- Lack of safe movement practice opportunities
- Inability to complete tasks that require higher levels of coordination
In addition, there is the challenge of administering physical therapy within a very short period since newborns are typically seen only once or twice a week. It is also difficult to track progress over time since the frequency of visits is limited.
Despite these limitations, physical therapy can still be beneficial for newborns. So if you want to provide your newborn with the best possible care, it’s important to consider physical therapy as an option.
In conclusion, physical therapy for newborns is often overlooked, yet it is an important part of their development. By providing physical therapy to newborns, parents and caregivers can help them reach their full potential while keeping them safe. It can also be beneficial to the parents as they will have peace of mind that their baby is developing properly.
Physical therapy for newborns is something every parent should consider investing in for the benefit of their baby’s growth and development. With the help of a qualified physical therapist, parents can ensure that their newborn is getting the best possible care for their developing bodies.
Physical Therapy has always been proven to help patients recover from pain. Hence, if you’re experiencing Back pain, Shoulder pain, Knee pain, Neck pain, Elbow pain, Hip pain, or Arthritis pain, a physical therapist at MantraCare can help: Book a physiotherapy session.