Physiotherapy with kids means staying current, talking their language and knowing what motivates them. It also takes creativity. Combining Physiotherapy and play can be so effective in getting repetitions of movements to create stronger muscles and better muscle memory. (Or it can be so distracting…sometimes it’s a fine balance).
American Ninja Warrior has certainly helped with that motivation factor! From training to obstacle courses (ANW style) and building trust by talking about Mighty Kacy and the WolfPack this has been a great Physiotherapy Tool for some kids.
We certainly don’t have a ninja course at Butterfly. Making a salmon ladder or a warped wall is not very realistic here. But many elements can still be used in therapy.
Ever Tried Body Prop?
Remember the “Body Prop”?…this also works by setting up a balance beam and benches (and it’s hard!). Hands walking sideways on the beam, while the feet walk sideways along the benches. This works upper extremity strength, core, and motor control. Even Isaac Caldiero and Brian Arnold had a hard time with this one but look at our little ninja go! Physiotherapy for kids is fun!
We can also work upper body and core using the zipline to glide or rope to swing (the rope juggle!). This takes control and practice and helps get those arms strong for walking with canes or a walker, and a stronger core helps with energy efficiency!
Even the stairs – climbing them sideways and calling it the “DoorKnob Arch” gets more effort than just walking up the stairs. It’s surprising to me how much adding a red buzzer at the end helps!
Creative Therapy in Action
And we can create obstacles too – ANW has nothing on being creative to address physio specific goals – “Wobbly Eights” walking in figure eight patterns using unstable obstacles as the only assistance for working on walking independence or burpees for training like the warriors while the kids learn to come to stand unassisted.
Whatever your issues, if your kiddo needs therapy, we work hard to find a balance between Physiotherapy and fun to really challenge them, to make change, and to find what motivates them! Give us a call at Butterfly (website link) at (905) 206-0300 or drop us an email at [email protected].