OPTC Intensives Are Here!

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OPTC is now offering another tool to help your child succeed: Physical Therapy Intensives! The sessions are currently provided by Certified Pediatric Specialist Abby Harris, PT, DPT, PCS.

PT Intensives are perfect for a child who isn’t meeting certain milestones such as crawling by 10 months or walking by 15 months. PT Intensives are designed to help a child meet those goals in a faster pace than traditional weekly therapy sessions. The program is a four week program, with three visits per week and two hours per session. With consecutive days in therapy, children can build on gains made daily and achieve the next level of independent functioning.

We utilize the Universal Exercise Unit (UEU), which includes a pulley system and spider cage. The pulley system uses weights and pulleys for isolated strengthening of weak muscles to eliminate learned compensations. The spider cage portion of the UEU is a body weight support system that decreases the amount of body weight a child must move against gravity when performing functional activities. With reduced weight against gravity, the child can perform more controlled and independent movements, which decreases pathological and neurological reactions that affect mobility.

Physical Therapy Intensive Sessions are comprised of a warm-up, strengthening exercises, and functional tasks. The warm-up is intended to prepare the body for several hours of work and includes massage, myofascial release, and stretching. 

Benefits of Intensive Therapy:
During a session of intensive therapy, children are exposed to numerous repetitions of exercise, developmental movements, and functional skills. Kids with neuromuscular deficits require this focused approach to master developmental skills such as sitting, crawling, or walking. Repetition gives the brain an opportunity to learn or re-learn using the theory of neuroplasticity to form new neural pathways.  Intensive therapy has also proven beneficial when a child has reached a plateau in traditional therapy or after another intervention (Botox, serial casting, surgery). After an intensive session, families are encouraged to take a 2-3 month break from therapy with a home exercise program. Intensive sessions should be repeated 2-4x per year as needed.

If you wanted to train for a marathon, would you run 1 mile, 1x per week for a year? NO! You would train several days a week and build on gains you made the previous day. We are asking these kids to run a developmental marathon! Let’s give them the best training protocol to set them up for success!

Contact our office today for more information!

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