Collaborating to Develop Pediatric Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Exercises
Physical therapy has many areas of specialization with different needs resulting in a wide variety of exercises prescribed by therapists for their patients. We were recently contacted by Dr. Meghan O’toole PT, DPT, Staff Pediatric Physical Therapists at Peak Physical Therapy and Sports Performance inquiring if we could add exercises into our library that they typically prescribe to their pediatric pelvic health patients.
We were excited at the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. O’toole who provided us with a written description and stick figure illustrations as reference guides for our exercises.
Utilizing Dr. O’toole’s guidance, we created a Pediatric Pelvic Health template (or protocol) that is available to all therapists who are clients of PT-Connect. Physical therapists can modify this template to create their own unique protocol of exercises to prescribe to their patients.
Some exercises included in the template are:
Child Captain America’s: Lie on your back with your legs straight and flat on the surface you are laying on. Squeeze your belly and bum muscles to push your lower back down on the surface you are laying on. While squeezing your belly and bum muscles, raise both your legs together straight up. Hold. Lower your legs together back down to the surface you are laying on while continuing to squeeze your belly and bum muscles keeping your lower back down. If your back starts to lift off the spot you are lying on, do not lift your legs as high. Repeat.
Child Single Limb Cone Tap: Place 4 or 5 cones, boxes, or other items that will stand up in a line. Stand behind the objects. Raise one leg to tap the top of the farthest object. Do not drop your raised leg so that you remain standing on one leg. Tap the top of each object gently going down the line until all of the objects have been tapped. Return your leg back down to the ground. Squeeze your belly and bum muscles to stay up tall and try to not lean to the sides when crossing your leg in front. Switch legs between sets.
Child Supine Hand/Foot Ball Passes: Lie on your back with a ball held between your feet, legs straight and with your arms extended above your head. Tighten your belly muscles lifting your feet off the floor, moving the ball with your feet. Simultaneously, reach forward with your upper body and arms to grasp the sides of the ball. Transfer the ball from your feet to your hands. Lower the ball over your head while bringing your legs back down to the ground. Repeat the motion but transferring the ball from your hands to your feet. Repeat.
Heather Hanson, P.T., Director of Pediatrics at Peak Physical Therapy and Sports Performance has this to say, “The exercises and template are a huge help for our pediatric pelvic health program- for the patients, families and our therapists.”
In addition to getting their prescribed exercises in printed form, patients can also download our free PT-Helper app, enter their unique HEP (Home Exercise Prescription) code, and download their exercises to their smartphone or tablet. PT-Helper assists patients with their exercises at home by walking them through their exercises while counting repetitions, sets and hold times.
A demonstration video of the Child Supine Hand/Foot Ball Pass can be seen below. The therapist prescribes the number of sets and repetitions that the patient should do while also entering the Hold time and Recovery time to adjust the pace of the exercise.