Paediatric Physiotherapy

Paediatric Orthopaedic Physiotherapy

What is Paediatric Orthopaedic Physiotherapy

Paediatric physiotherapy is the delivery of physiotherapy services to children and youth, from birth to 18  years of age. Our paediatric physiotherapy services include a comprehensive assessment of a child’s gross motor function and posture, including strength, posture, gait, flexibility, balance, coordination, and sensory processing. Subsequent treatment can include manual therapy, hands-on facilitation, education, referrals to other specialists, and/or prescription of a home exercise program.

 

Infants, toddlers and young children who require physiotherapy intervention may not fully grasp the purpose or function of therapy services; as such, our paediatric physiotherapy sessions incorporate functional play and exciting motivators while creating a fun atmosphere to help accomplish therapy goals.

 

For youth and adolescents who have suffered an injury, we help them to understand their injury in a way that is easy for them to grasp and help them to feel valued throughout their rehabilitation process.

Who Can Benefit From Paediatric Orthopedic Physiotherapy?

Our Registered Physiotherapists can assess and treat your child for:

  • Flat head syndrome (Torticollis/Plagiocephaly)
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Delays in gross motor skills
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Musculoskeletal support for patients with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and other neuromuscular conditions
  • Acquired brain injuries including concussions
  • Low tone (Hypotonia)
  • Orthopaedic conditions
  • Weight challenges
  • Athlete injuries and development

What Kind Of Physiotherapy Treatment Will My Child Have?

Our physiotherapists use a hands-on approach to treat neurological and orthopedic conditions. Our approach to treatment programs is active movement and play-based therapy to improve function and mobility. We also use a number of other modalities (shockwave therapy, ultrasound, acupuncture, functional electrical stimulation) as well as treatment techniques such as taping, soft tissue release and exercise to optimize functional recovery.

Paediatric Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy

What Is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to a wide range of symptoms that can occur when the pelvic muscles are weak due a change in resting tone. Muscle tone can be lengthened resulting in low tone or shortened resulting in higher tension. Sometimes the muscle tone is normal but the purposeful contraction or relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles is not coordinated. As a result, your child may experience several pelvic conditions including:

  • Enuresis or bed wetting
  • Constipation
  • Overactive bladder (frequent need to urinate)
  • Underactive bladder (inability to empty bladder completely)
  • Urge incontinence (strong, sudden urge to urinate that is difficult to control resulting in leaks)
  • Postponement (avoiding using the washroom when needed resulting in leaks)
  • Dysfunctional voiding (squeezing or pain when voiding)
  • Stress or giggle incontinence (urine leakage when jumping, sneezing, playing, laughing, and other physical activity
  • Chronic low back or pelvic pain

What Is The Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor is made up of a group of muscles that attach from your pubic bone in the front to your tailbone in the back. They also run side to side from your two sit bones (ischial tuberosities). These muscles create a bowl of muscles that contract and relax.  This helps achieve the following:

  • Hold up and support the organs within the pelvic cavity such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum
  • Control the opening of the urethra and rectum thereby maintaining the ability to prevent leakage of urine and/or feces.
  • Have proper functioning of the pelvic floor muscles to support the stability of the hips and low back

What Is Paediatric Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?

Paediatric pelvic floor physical therapy aims to support and optimize your child’s bladder and bowel habits through the following methods:

  • Guided home exercises that aim to strengthen your child’s core and pelvic floor muscles
  • Biofeedback training which strengthens your child’s ability to understand and coordinate pelvic floor muscle contraction and relaxation
  • Educating your child to understand what is happening with their body, the anatomy and function of the pelvic floor muscles, and provide strategies at home and in school to help support optimal pelvic floor function
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy takes a child-centric approach to treatment to ensure they always feel safe, comfortable, respected, and an active participant in their rehabilitation program

What Is Paediatric Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?

Paediatric pelvic floor physical therapy aims to support and optimize your child’s bladder and bowel habits through the following methods:

  • Guided home exercises that aim to strengthen your child’s core and pelvic floor muscles
  • Biofeedback training which strengthens your child’s ability to understand and coordinate pelvic floor muscle contraction and relaxation
  • Educating your child to understand what is happening with their body, the anatomy and function of the pelvic floor muscles, and provide strategies at home and in school to help support optimal pelvic floor function

Pelvic floor physical therapy takes a child-centric approach to treatment to ensure they always feel safe, comfortable, respected, and an active participant in their rehabilitation program

Who Can Benefit From Paediatric Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?

Incontinence and the above conditions, during the day or night, is a common paediatric condition and affects up to 1 in 7 school-age children. For many children and their families, these conditions are difficult to manage on their own as incontinence is often not within conscious control and as such, requires additional intervention to improve. Just like when other muscles of the body are not working as they should, physiotherapy can help your child!

Paediatric pelvic floor physiotherapy usually works best for children over the age of 5 but depending on the attitude and ability of your child, we may be able to treat younger patients.

If you are unsure if paediatric pelvic floor physiotherapy is right for you, we do offer a complimentary 15 minute session with our paediatric pelvic physiotherapist to determine if we can help.

What Happens During The Assessment?

Assessing your child thoroughly often involves gathering information and measures over the course of the first 2-3 appointments.

The beginning of the assessment focuses on getting to know your child better and to understand the symptoms they experience as well as learning more about their developmental milestones, school and home life, hobbies, and activities of interest. We try to encourage your child to be involved in this part of the assessment as much as they are comfortable doing so. Following this introduction, your physiotherapist will ask more specific questions related to your child’s bladder, bowel, pelvic pain, dietary/hydration habits, and behaviours.

During the assessment, you and your child will be provided with education on how the bowel and/or bladder works, and how it communicates with the pelvic floor muscles. We will discuss how this relationship can be disrupted and how paediatric pelvic floor physiotherapy can help.

If the physical therapist believes that biofeedback training is an appropriate tool for your child’s rehabilitation program, they will be introduced to the biofeedback training system. Biofeedback consists of a handheld computer with a screen. The screen provides a visual display of pelvic floor muscle contraction and relaxation capacity.

On the first assessment, this computer system is usually trialed on a larger muscle (such as the forearm) to help your child feel more comfortable with the concept. When the biofeedback is used for the pelvic floor muscles, small circular stickers are placed on the external skin near the anus. This helps the computer effectively measure the conductivity of these muscles.

The biofeedback system never uses any internal vaginal or rectal assessing methods. Surface electrode stickers remain external. Most children very much enjoy this part of treatment as the biofeedback system also includes fun games to keep them engaged and motivated.

The external physical assessment portion includes assessing your child’s movement patterns including but not limited to standing, walking, jumping, and balance. Your child’s range of motion and strength through their extremities will also be assessed. No internal examination or palpation (vaginal and/or rectal palpation of the pelvic floor muscles) will be performed for children.

The goal of the assessment is that you and your child have a better understanding of how the pelvic floor muscles work and to build a relationship with the physiotherapist so your child feels comfortable and even excited about starting treatment. Ultimately, we believe in a collaborative relationship between the physiotherapist, child, and family to best support the success of paediatric pelvic physiotherapy rehabilitation for your child.

Who Does The Paediatric Pelvic Floor Assessment?

Leeanna Maher is a Registered Physiotherapist and has taken extensive post-graduate training in paediatric pelvic health rehabilitation. She is passionate about working with children who have pelvic dysfunction to help them get back to being kids. Leeanna works with patients of all gender expressions and various pelvic floor dysfunctions.

 

What If I Have More Questions About Paediatric Pelvic Physiotherapy?

Please email us at info@alphahealthservices.ca and we will direct your email to our paediatric pelvic floor physiotherapist, Leeanna Maher. We are also happy to book a complimentary 15min phone consultation with Leeanna so she can help you answer any pre-assessment questions and determine if paediatric pelvic floor physiotherapy is right for your child.

 

 

Paediatric Concussion Rehabilitation

 

What Is A Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. The sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells. Injury to the neck, including soft tissue and muscle injury, as well as symptoms related to the vestibular system, are also common with concussions.

Our Concussion Rehabilitation Program at ALPHA Health Services

ALPHA’s concussion program was developed by Dr. Charlotte Anderson, PhD, Dr. Jim Niu, and Dr. Alex Francello. The program combines clinical research, a multidisciplinary medical approach to care, and years of experience working with patients suffering with acute or chronic symptoms post-concussion. The concussion program at ALPHA is recognized across Canada, and is proudly affiliated with the Orthopedic Rehabilitation Institute.

We understand that concussions can cause challenges with concentration so we take care to help youth and adolescents who have suffered a concussion to help them understand their injury in a way that is easy and simple for them to grasp and help them to feel valued throughout their rehabilitation process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need A Referral?

No, you don’t need a referral from your doctor for your child to be assessed by a physiotherapist. In Ontario, Registered Physiotherapists are considered primary healthcare practitioners. We do encourage open communication with your doctor(s) and you can let us know at your first visit if you would like them to be included in your correspondence.

Please note that if you have coverage for physiotherapy through an extended health benefit plan, the insurance company may require you to provide a physician’s prescription to receive coverage.

Can You Bill My Insurance Company Directly?

We are able to bill directly for most extended health insurance plans including but not limited to Sun Life, Manulife, Canada Life, Green Shield, Blue Cross, and many more. Please bring your plan information to the appointment and we are happy to set up claim submission for you.

In cases where your insurance plan does not allow for us to bill directly, you are required to pay us upfront and we will provide you with an official receipt with all the required information (including your therapist’s license number) to collect your reimbursement. If any other information is required by your insurance company, please let your therapist know and we will be glad to provide it. If you are unsure about your coverage, we encourage you to get in touch with your insurance company.

Note: we provide treatment for all motor vehicle accident (MVA) and WSIB patients.

Can I Get Paediatric Physiotherapy Treatment At Home Or In The Community?

Yes, our physiotherapists regularly see clients in the home and at locations in the community like public pools or parks. Please note that in-person paediatric pelvic physiotherapy appointments are only available in-clinic. For home or community visits, there is also a travel fee.

What Should I Bring To The Assessment?

Some appointments will require your child to exercise and move around. Please dress them in light, loose-fitting clothes that allow access to any injured areas(s) to the first physiotherapy appointment. Remember to bring a water bottle if you have one.

Please also bring any diagnostic imaging, test results, and doctors’ prescriptions/reports you may have. We also encourage you to email these documents to info@alphahealthservices.ca or fax to 416-545-1881 so we can provide these to your physiotherapist to review before the appointment, and who will review these documents with you during the initial assessment.

If you have extended health benefits, it is also a good idea to bring a copy of your policy details (card, booklet, screenshot from phone).

What If I Have More Questions About Paediatric Physiotherapy?

Please email us at info@alphahealthservices.ca and we will direct your email to one of our physiotherapists. We are also happy to book a complimentary 15min phone consultation with one of our physiotherapists so they can help you answer any pre-assessment questions and determine if paediatric physiotherapy is right for your child.

2024 Infant/Kids Physiotherapy Rates:

Infant/Kids Orthopedic Physiotherapy Rates:

  • 60min Initial Physiotherapy Assessment, $150
  • 45min Follow-up Treatment, $120

Infant/Kids Pelvic Physiotherapy Rates:

  • 60min Initial Pelvic Physiotherapy Assessment, $170
  • 45min Pelvic Follow-up Treatment, $150

Infant/Kids Concussion Rehabilitation Rates:

  • 60min Initial Concussion Physiotherapy Assessment, $190
  • 30min Concussion Follow-up Treatment, $115
  • 45min Concussion Follow-up Treatment, $130

** Physiotherapy is covered by most extended health care benefit plans.

ALPHA Midtown

40 Holly Street, Suite 901
Toronto, ON M4S 3C3

info@alphahealthservices.ca

416.545.1881

ALPHA East

14 St. Matthews Rd G.008 (Located within Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital) Toronto, ON M4M 2B5

infoeast@alphahealthservices.ca
647.670.3454