Many parents often ask me when is a good time for their baby to visit the physiotherapist for the first time. My answer is always the same: the earlier, the better. The baby must have its first physiotherapy check-up in the first months of life. Still, it is advisable to take the baby to the physiotherapist in the first month of life, especially if the birth was long or traumatic or if some instruments were needed for the delivery.
Prevention is the key to good health, which is why I think health education in families is especially important. I believe that if we «treat» babies from a very early age through management and habits at home, we can improve and enhance the baby’s development almost without any treatment.
On the other hand, if the baby suffers from some pathology, physiotherapy will allow us to alleviate possible ailments, balance dysfunctions, and prevent sequelae to avoid future compensations that could have been unnecessary or treatable from an early age.
What is the objective of a first check-up?
The first physiotherapy assessment is vital, checking that everything is in order. With an early diagnosis, we will be able to detect possible pathologies or dysfunctions and treat them correctly and on time.
This first assessment is divided into two essential parts: the first thing we will do is take a good medical history where we will ask many questions that will provide us with much information (type of pregnancy, type of birth, baby at term, how is the feeding going, how are the parents feeling…). Next, we will carry out a physical examination of the baby, paying attention to the following:– The musculoskeletal, cranial, motor, cognitive and sensory systems.
– Their digestive and pulmonary systems.
– The child’s neurodevelopment corresponds to their age.
All this will give us information that will help us to structure what the baby needs.
The manual techniques are gentle, careful, non-invasive, and highly effective, with which we get to know the baby’s nervous, muscular, and sensory systems. All of this will be done with the parents in the front, always watching their baby and seeing what the physiotherapist is doing.
What alterations can we treat with paediatric physiotherapy?
Thanks to this review, during the first months of life, we can establish if the baby needs some therapy or stimulation to minimize the consequences of different ailments, postural alterations, pathologies, etc., that we can find in the newborn:
- Difficulties in breastfeeding and feeding
- Infant colic
- Congenital torticollis
- Cranial deformities
- Developmental delays
- Respiratory problems
- Musculoskeletal disorders (hip dysplasia, baby feet)
- Neuromuscular and congenital conditions (Duchenne, Down’s Sd.)
- Neurological conditions (cerebral palsy, obstetric brachial palsy, hemiparesis).
If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact me. At TaruCare, I aim for parents to be the best physiotherapists for their babies.