Learning that your infant or toddler has spina bifida can be an incredibly stressful and confusing experience, however, with the right help, you can learn to properly care for your child and ensure that he or she is on the best possible track for growth.
The skilled team of pediatric therapists at Resolve Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation in Siler City and Archdale, NC understands the importance of your child meeting his or her milestones, and we want you to know we’re here to help!
If your child has been diagnosed with spina bifida, contact our clinic in Siler City and Archdale, NC to learn more about how our pediatric physical therapy programs can help get their growth on the right track.
What Is Spina Bifida?
According to ChoosePT, “Spina bifida is a birth defect that develops when an infant's spinal cord does not completely close during the early stages of the mother's pregnancy. Spina bifida is diagnosed in approximately 1,500 babies born in the United States each year. The birth defect may cause both physical and intellectual disabilities.”
The good news is that most children born with spina bifida reach their full potential, however, therapy is often recommended for babies with spina bifida.
Causes and symptoms of spina bifida
Spina bifida can be caused by several factors, many of which are not entirely understood by medical professionals. According to Healthline, some of the suspected reasonings behind the condition include a lack of folic acid during pregnancy, genetics, environmental factors, obesity, or unmonitored diabetes.
Three different types of the condition are as follows:
Children can experience difficulties with incontinence as well as trouble moving legs and feet. Children with this condition often experience seizures, have uneven hips that affect their gait, or develop scoliosis.
Spina Bifida Occulta (SBO):
This condition has been coined as “hidden” spina bifida because it often doesn’t show symptoms (until the child is much older) or result in disabilities. However, some symptoms include a small dimple or patch of hair on a baby’s back at birth, as well as a gap in vertebrae.
The spinal cord does develop properly with this condition, and there are little to no symptoms at birth other than a small opening in the child’s back at birth, and a visible sack of fluid.
How Can Resolving Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Help Children With This Condition?
Resolve Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation pediatric physical therapists can work with you to teach you how to exercise your child’s legs to increase strength, flexibility, and movement. Our integrated care team will also create an individualized plan for your baby that will further help him/her reach optimal results.
As your child gets older, our integrated care team can work with him/her to address the physical challenges that a life with spina bifida presents. Our physical therapist’s #1 goal is to help encourage your child’s overall strength, coordination, and balance, as well as help you understand your child's needs.
Physical therapy can help both children with spina bifida improve mobility, coordination, muscle strength, and flexibility.
Your child’s pediatric therapist will do a full assessment of their condition, review their medical history, and ask you questions related to their health. They will also determine their levels of muscular strength, flexibility, and coordination through motor development tests.
From there, a comprehensive, customized treatment plan will be created for your child’s needs to ensure that they’re on the right track for improvement.
This treatment plan will likely include strength exercises and targeted stretches, as well as the use of assistive technology such as braces or walkers to help increase functional mobility.
Call Resolve Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Today For An Appointment
You and your child are not alone in your journey towards managing their condition. We want to help make life as easy and comfortable for your little one as possible. Contact our clinic today to learn more about our therapeutic interventions for children with spina bifida. One of our staff would be more than happy to set up an appointment for you!