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The New Funky Furniture That Can Help Develop Your Child’s Motor Skills!

2At Physiocomestoyou we believe in making the physiotherapy treatment fun and interactive to help children reach their maximum potential and we have recently discovered a fantastic new range of therapy equipment from bObles. There are 7 pieces of funky furniture in the range that are uniquely designed to help develop your child’s gross motor skills, refine balance and build core stability. Each piece of furniture can be used in many different ways making therapy fun and interactive as it encourages imaginative play. We particularly love the Crocodile as it has endless play possibilities:

  • It can be used as steps to help increase leg strength
  • It can be turned upside down and used as a ramp or seesaw to help with core strength and balance.
  • You can use two as a pair of stilts to improve coordination and balance.
  • It can be used as a wedge for tummy time with small babies.

bObles furniture can be bought from the new online shop Blossom For Children which has been launched by Tree of Hope and they currently have it on sale throughout April 2014.

Is your child using  bObles?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Introducing the Firefly GoTo Seat – Transforming the Lives of Children with Disabilities

We are very excited to have recently discovered the Firefly GoTo Seat designed by Leckey.  This is a portable postural seat that can be used in many different situations for instance to enable your child to sit at the table in a restaurant, in a shopping trolley or even in a swing.  The seat can be attached securely to any type of chair and it has a harness and side supports to give your child the support they need.  It is perfect for children with mild to moderate postural needs, particularly children with low trunk tone such as children with Down’s Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy.  It’s lightweight, portable and washable making it easy to use and it enables your child to participate in all sorts of fun activities where they need additional postural support. Lots of the families we have recommended the product to have said it has changed their lives and they absolutely love it!   Take a look at Leckey’s video to see and hear real life stories from parents of children using the GoTo Seat:

Have you recently purchased a Firefly GoTo Seat?  Let us know the difference it has made in the comments section below!

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Top Tips for Resting Between Exercise Sets

Quads strengtheningResting during exercise and recovery are often an overlooked part of muscle training, however it is an important factor in your exercise program. There has been extensive research in how long you should wait between starting your next exercise set, with different theories providing an array of figures and times that you should rest. Some schools of thought suggest as little as 30 seconds or as much as 5 minutes whereas rest duration can change depending on the goals of your exercise and what type of exercise you are participating in. In this blog post, the examples used will be of high level athletes but your therapist can tailor this to suit you.

For athletes who are training for high intensity exercises which will be for a short duration (e.g. weightlifters and sprinters) it is advised to use a 3-5 minute rest period between heavy sets. This allows a full recovery in order for the muscles to provide a greater force for the short duration of the set.

For longer exercises and athletes who participate in endurance events (i.e. long-distance runners, swimmers, cyclists and football players), it has been shown that optimal rest period is 30-60 seconds. Short rest periods have been shown to correlate highly with muscle growth and improve endurance and stamina by increasing the threshold of lactate in the exercised muscle.

As mentioned previously, these are figures researched to benefit high-level athletes. Unfortunately, there is no “one-size fits all” component to calculating rest duration. Individuals who are just beginning to train particular muscle groups would have to rest more than those who already have some development in the same muscles. Athletes who have had some deconditioning or extensive periods of detraining either from injury or otherwise should also increase amount of rest between sets.

A hard-and-fast rule for rest duration is: “Lower Reps, Heavier Weight, Longer Rest” or “Higher Reps, Lighter Weight, Shorter Rest”. Here is a brief guideline of some recommended rest periods before starting the next set of an exercise:

1 to 3 reps: Rest for 5 minutes
4 to 7 reps: Rest for 2-3 minutes
8 to 12 reps: Rest for 1-2 minutes
13+ reps: Rest for 1 minute

Try changing your rest time from normal to some of the above suggestions and let us know how you get on in the comments section below.

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Specialist Seating Systems for Children with Special Needs – A Paediatric Physio’s Perspective

In this blog post, our Head of Paediatric Physiotherapy, Lindsey Hopkinson shares her experience and knowledge on specialised seating systems for children with special needs.

I have worked with children with special needs for seven years and have a working knowledge of various seating systems used at home and within community settings. I often try to attend The Kidz South Exhibition which exhibits various resources and equipment for children with special needs, and new innovations arise yearly.

everyday-activity-seatThe main companies that I use are: Leckey, JCM Seating, Jenx and R82.

My clinical reasoning when trialling a chair depends on the following:

  • Age of the child
  • Diagnosis
  • Prognosis
  • Aim of the chair in terms of functional use
  • Aim of chair in terms of the child’s postural requirements
  • Environment that the chair will be used in
  • Parental and child preference
  • Child’s pelvic and spinal alignment
  • Head control
  • Trunk control
  • Child’s range of motion at their hips and knees
  • Child’s specific movement disorder
  • Specific chair modalities such as tilt in space etc.

As you can see, there are lots to consider when finding the correct seating system to improve a child’s function in sitting and to provide appropriate postural management. Every child is different and it’s important to ensure each child has a chair that is fitted to the child’s needs.

Are you looking for a specialist paediatric physio to assess your child and recommend a seating system?  Our physios are able to see your child at school or home and we can even arrange the first appointment within 24 hours.  Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email us at info@physiocomestoyou.com.

 

 

Worried About Your Child’s Weight?

The World Health Organization (WHO) regards childhood obesity as one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century. Obese children and adolescents are at an increased risk of developing various health problems in later life, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Excess weight on the body puts an increased pressure on joints, and this can lead to joint pain, as there is additional strain on the ligaments and other supporting structures.

obese-child-on-scaleExcess weight can also lead to muscle weakness as children may become more and more sedentary due to difficulties with mobility. In addition to the day-to-day problems of obesity, children may also experience psychological problems; low self-esteem, low confidence levels and feeling isolated are commonly reported.

Increasing activity levels is one aspect of weight management; physiotherapists are experts in prescribing exercise and supporting people to change their lifestyle.

Here are some ideas from the Medical Association to help your child become more active:

  • Ensure activities are fun for your child.  For example, set up an obstacle course in the garden.
  • Set aside a specific time for physical activities.
  • Be active as a family: walking, biking, swimming, trips to the zoo or park, roller skating, or anything else that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
  • Involve children in household activities such as car washing, dog walking, lawn mowing or other active household chore
  • Walk more! Walking to school or getting off the bus a stop early is an easy way to help lose weight.
  • Limit the amount of time your child spends watching television and on electronic devices.
  • Encourage your child to take part in a sport that they enjoy.

Our physiotherapists can devise an individualised programme that will aim to increase cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength as well as help with gradual weight loss and adopting a health lifestyle. If you are worried that your child has a weight problem, then please contact us to arrange an assessment and devise a management programme. Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email us at info@physiocomestoyou.com.

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The Long Awaited Firefly Upsee is Here – Helping Disabled Children Walk and Play!

upsee-full-shotFinally the long awaited Firefly UpSee has been launched and is available to order now.  The UpSee is a harness that is worn by a child and attaches to a belt worn by an adult.  The child also wears special rubber sandals that are then fastened to their parents’ feet. This allows the children to stand upright and walk in sync with their parent.

The idea behind the UpSee is to optimize social inclusion and family participation as it allows the child to be on the same level as their peers and leaves their hands free for play, exploration and learning. The physical benefits are that the child is in a weight bearing position which can help with hip development and the repetition of stepping can also encourage the child to start initiating the movement purposefully. The parent can also control the steps to prevent scissoring of the legs, which is often a problem for children with Cerebral Palsy.  The harness can be adjusted and the amount of support gradually reduced to work on trunk and head control and increase weight bearing. The harness can also be used in therapy and is a great idea for making physio fun and functional!

The UpSee costs £269, including shipping and Firefly suggests that delivery may take up to 12 weeks.  The UpSee is suitable to use for most children, regardless of the severity of their problems. However, there are some contraindications for its use and the company recommends an assessment by a therapist before purchasing the product, as it only available online and you cannot trial it before buying.  If you are considering buying an UpSee, please contact us first to book an assessment in order for us to advise you on its suitability.

To see how the UpSee has changed one little boy’s life, Jack, watch this short video from Firefly here:

Physiocomestoyou Comes to Bristol!

physio_cropped_logoFollowing the overwhelming success of the London branch, Physiocomestoyou has now launched in Bristol!  We have strong connections with leading consultants in the area including Mr Jonathan Webb, Orthopaedic Knee Consultant, as well as strong links with The National Osteoporosis Society after supporting their successful Shine Campaign last year.

Our service will offer the same benefits offered by the London team with high quality care in the convenience of your own home or office, avoiding travelling into the city through heavy traffic, finding a parking space and taking time off work.  Alternatively, we do all of the legwork for you and travel to you at a similar price to clinic-based treatment.

We provide all the equipment needed to treat every condition and our therapists are all highly qualified with years of experience in their specialisms.  Our ethos is to gather all the information necessary from your GP or consultant and to combine this with our experience and knowledge to provide you with high quality care and a quick recovery.  Our highly skilled administrative team will talk you through your options for treatment and ensure you are passed on efficiently to a specialist therapist appropriate for your condition and individual needs.  A highly respected physiotherapy business, Physiocomestoyou consistently receives excellent client feedback and we are delighted to be serving the Bristol area!

Are you looking to book a physiotherapy appointment at home or work in Bristol? Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email us at info@physiocomestoyou.com.

 

Disability Sports Coach – Creating a Lasting Legacy for Disability Sports Clubs in England

There are around 11 million disabled people in the UK and according to the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) only 2 in 10 disabled people in England are currently active.  It is a well-documented fact that everyone benefits from a healthy and active lifestyle to keep us physically and mentally fit.  The benefits of physical activity for children with physical disabilities include:

  • Improvements in muscle strength, coordination, and flexibility.
  • Improvements in exercise endurance and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Better body awareness.
  • Improvement in behavior, self-confidence and social interaction.
  • Reduction in the risk of secondary health complications.

Children with physical disabilities face many challenges that may prevent them leading an active lifestyle.  Disability Sports Coach (DSC) is a registered charity, which provides high quality sporting opportunities for disabled people.  The community clubs provide access to exciting, enjoyable, active and safe two-hour sporting sessions on a weekly basis for people with any disability aged 11-25.  Sports include boccia, sitting volleyball, goal ball, judo, racket sports, athletics, trampolining and many more!  These are played in clubs across London including Kensington and Chelsea, Wandsworth, Southwark, Hillingdon, Islington and Westminster.

DSC

 

Disability Sports Coach provides great opportunities for young adults to get active and to try many different sports coached by professionals. The price varies between £1 and £3.50 a session depending on the club.  To get involved, visit: http://disabilitysportscoach.co.uk/clubs/ and click on the link of your nearest club.  Then scroll down to the bottom and click on “Participant Registration Form” to enter and submit your details.

Have you (or someone you know) trained at a Disability Sports Coach session?  We’d love to hear about how your chosen sport training benefitted you.  Tell us all about it in the comments section below!

What Everybody Ought to Know about the Healing Times of Wounds and Tissues

wound_healingHave you recently had surgery or injured yourself and are you now wondering how long it will take until you are fully recovered? Consultants normally use the following time scales to estimate a full recovery: By 6 weeks you should feel fair, by 3 months you should feel good, by 6 months you should feel great, and by a year’s time you should be fully recovered. This is as long as you receive the appropriate treatment via your consultant and/or physiotherapist.

There are 4 stages to the healing process of an open wound and 4 stages to the healing process of tissue damaged by inflammation.

The healing process of a wound involves:

1. The Clotting Phase.
This is when a clot is formed around the open site in your skin to stop the bleeding and to reduce the risk of infection. Once this has happened, white blood cells are sent to the area within 3 to 24 hours to engulf any bacteria that may have got through. New skin cells will then be laid down after 24 to 48 hours.

2. The Inflammation Phase.
More white blood cells are released to ensure that all bacteria is killed, damaged tissue is removed and new tissue and more small blood vessels are produced to form a tight seal at skin level. This takes up to 6 days.

3. Proliferative Phase.
In the proliferative phase, granulation tissue is formed. This is new connective tissue and tiny blood vessels, which form on the surface of a wound and fill the gap in the wound from the borders towards the centre. As the tissue matures it is able to contract and reduce the size of the wound. This phase takes up to 4 weeks.

4. Maturation Phase.
During this phase, unnecessary tissue is removed, but you will still be left with a scar. This phase can last for a year or longer.

The healing process of damaged tissue (eg. muscle, tendons, ligaments) involves:

1. Recall Phase
The adrenal glands (the endocrine glands that sit at the top of the kidneys) increase the production of your body’s anti-inflammatories.

2. Resolution Phase
In this phase your white blood cells remove damaged tissue and red blood cells in the inflamed area. If this phase is completed it will trigger the tissues to become inflamed again.

3. Regeneration Phase
Blood vessels are repaired and damaged cells are removed and replaced with new cells. Depending on where the inflammation is, it can be a slow process.

5. Repair Phase
During this phase new tissue is generated by the release of growth hormones, but it requires a balance of anti-inflammatories and pro-inflammatories to be present. This is to promote production of tissue, but also to ensure they are not damaged.

These time scales and healing phases will determine what you can perform during your treatment sessions and when you can get back to your regular sporting activities, so ask your consultant and physiotherapist about where you are in your healing process.

Are you looking to work with a specialist physiotherapist to help you recover? Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email us at info@physiocomestoyou.com.

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Early Diagnosis of Neuromuscular Disorders is Key, Know the Signs!

Neuromuscular disorders can be inherited or acquired and include a wide a range of conditions.  Neuromuscular disorders are caused by an abnormality within the peripheral nervous system and are classified depending on where the defect occurs. The peripheral nervous system includes:

  • The nerve cells (anterior horn cells) found in the spinal cord which control the muscles.
  • The peripheral motor nerves in your arms, legs, neck and face.
  • The neuromuscular junction where the nerves and muscles meet
  • The muscles and muscle fibres.

Neuromuscular disorders are, “rare but are generally progressive and will lead to muscle weakness, fatigue and physical disability” (www.muscular-dystrophy.org). In some cases children will also have a reduced life expectancy, this varies depending on the disease and its severity but is usually as a result of heart and respiratory problems.

Prader WilliExamples of Neuromuscular Disorders include:

  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • Becker Muscular Dystrophy
  • Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy
  • Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
  • Charcot Marie Tooth
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Juvenile Myasthenia Gravis

Signs to look out for:

Any Developmental Delay.
Children may miss their gross motor milestones e.g. not sitting at 6 months, not standing by 12 months or not walking by 18 months.

Language Delay
Children should be babbling by 10-12 months.

Difficulty with Eating or Feeding
Children may be slow at sucking, swallowing or chewing. They will generally take longer to feed and will tire quickly.

Low muscle Tone
A baby may be described as ‘floppy’.

Fatigue
Children may get tired quickly when walking or playing.

Frequent Falls or Tripping
Children may not be able to pick up their feet properly, or their legs give way due to muscle weakness.

Abnormal Gait
Have you noticed your child’s gait changing?  For instance, have they started walking on their toes?

Any Regression in Gross Motor Skills
This is a cause for concern e.g. if they start finding it hard to get up off the floor, have difficulty climbing the stairs, or are unable to run or jump.

Children with neuromuscular diseases require a multidisciplinary team and a holistic approach to care to ensure coordinated treatment and timely referrals.  A physiotherapist will be able to develop a treatment plan and modify it accordingly in anticipation of changes during periods of growth and development.  Muscle weakness can lead to muscle shortening, joint contractures, chronic pain, postural deformities and reduced ability to walk.

How Can Physio Help?

Maintain Muscle Strength.
It is well documented that “strengthening exercises will not prevent muscle wasting and in some cases can cause further damage to the muscle cells” (Stokes, M. (2004). Physical Management in Neurological Rehabilitation.). Physiotherapists will be able to advise on appropriate exercises and activities.

Manage Muscle Shortening and Joint Contractures
Physios can advise on an individual stretching programme and the use of splints. They can also closely monitor and manage the spine as well as promote mobility with the provision of walking aids, orthotics and/or wheelchairs at the appropriate time.  Physios can also help the management of any respiratory complications.

Our paediatric team are dedicated to making physiotherapy treatment fun and functional in order to help children reach their maximum potential and optimal quality of life.  To book an appointment with one of our paediatric physios, contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email us at info@physiocomestoyou.com.

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