What can be expected from treatment at realPerformance Physical Therapy?
Often, if the reduction of the joint is uncomplicated, then as mentioned above, most children require no additional treatment and they are simply just encouraged to use the arm normally. If, however, your child continues to suffer from pain or lack of range of motion after the joint has been reduced (and a fracture has been ruled out,) Physical Therapy is recommended. realPerformance Physical Therapy provides services for Physical Therapy in Cleburne.
Initially, the treatment we provide will be focused on relieving any pain your child has. In the clinic we may use modalities such as ice, heat, or taping and will educate you on the use of these modalities at home as well. Taping the elbow can assist in modifying the alignment of the joint and in doing so, decrease the pain your child feels when using the elbow or being active. We may also use other electrical modalities to help treat the pain if we feel it is necessary.
The next part of our treatment will focus on normalizing any deficits that may have developed in the range of motion and strength of your child’s elbow joint. Your Physical Therapist at realPerformance Physical Therapy may assist in stretching your child’s elbow while in the clinic and, if necessary, will ‘mobilize’ the joint. This hands-on technique encourages stiff joints to move gradually into their normal range of motion. In addition to the hands-on treatment in the clinic we will also prescribe a series of stretching exercises that we will encourage your child to do as part of a home exercise program. Being that the most common age to suffer nursemaid’s elbow is from two to eight, these exercises will be simple activities that you can incorporate into the everyday activities of your child. For example, if your child is very young, your Physical Therapist may show you some simple games that you can play to encourage your child to improve range of motion with daily activity. If they are older, we may teach them a few specific but simple exercises that will again be encouraged throughout regular daily activity.
Similarly to the range of motion deficits, strength deficits will also be addressed. Again, your Physical Therapist at realPerformance Physical Therapy will show you how to incorporate strengthening exercises into your child’s normal activities such as playing or eating. Even regular playing with toys, for example, can be used to strengthen your child’s elbow and upper limb.
The final part of our realPerformance Physical Therapy treatment will be ensuring that your child’s coordination of the limb has returned to normal after the dislocation. Even a short period of abnormal joint use can cause the coordination and proprioception (the ability to know where your body is without looking at it) to decline in function. Exercises, such as weight bearing through the hand, ball tossing, and rotating the forearm will be encouraged throughout playing and everyday activities once your Physical Therapist determines these are safe activities to undertake. Activities that cause further traction on the elbow, such as pulling a door open or lifting a bag, will be discouraged until full ligamentous healing has occurred, which can take up to 6 weeks depending on the severity of injury.
Education is a fundamental part of our treatment at realPerformance Physical Therapy therefore It is worthy to mention that parents of small children are cautioned to avoid pulling or lifting by the hand to prevent injuries or re-injuries of this type. Young children should always be picked up under the arms, especially if they have previously had a nursemaid’s elbow injury. Children should never be forcibly pulled, lifted or swung through the air by the hand or wrist.
Fortunately, gaining lost range of motion, strength, and coordination goes quickly after suffering from nursemaid’s elbow. You will notice improvements in your child’s elbow function even after just a few treatments with your Physical Therapist at realPerformance Physical Therapy. If your child’s pain continues longer than it should or therapy is not progressing as your Physical Therapist at realPerformance Physical Therapy would expect, we will ask you to follow-up with your child’s doctor to confirm that there are no complications that may be impeding your child’s recovery. Generally, however, children respond very well to the Physical Therapy we provide at realPerformance Physical Therapy. Under the supervision of one of our Physical Therapists your child should be back to the daily activities they enjoy in no time.
realPerformance Physical Therapy provides services for Physical Therapy in Cleburne.
Portions of this document copyright MMG, LLC.