Our bodies are constantly changing. This is true for everybody, but it’s especially true for a child. They grow at a much faster rate than adults. This means they need to upgrade their wardrobe a lot more frequently and have to adjust to new capabilities. This fast-changing reality can have its ups and its downs, but it’s an inherent part of being young.
Another aspect of being young is that children are able to heal much faster than adults. Scrapes, cuts, and broken bones heal themselves quickly and efficiently if given the proper conditions in which to do so.
But when it comes to growth issues, this fast-changing reality can have negative consequences. A small problem can soon grow into a large problem that requires more drastic solutions. The good news is that there are many effective tools that can be used to treat these issues.
Pediatric bracing helps guide a child’s body back toward a more natural and healthy manner of growing. This can mitigate negative effects and occasionally directly treat the condition. Here are a few of the many ways pediatric bracing can help your child.
Cranial Remodeling Helmet
Babies are quite malleable when they are first born. Their skulls are not fully-formed which means they are quite soft. This can occasionally lead to problems like plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, or scaphocephaly. These conditions are occasionally referred to as “flat head syndrome.”
Quite literally, the symptoms are a flattening of a particular part of the baby’s head. This can be a result of a few different scenarios. Perhaps the baby was lying in one position too long and the pressure created a flat spot on their head. Or perhaps they weren’t able to move around enough in the womb. This could be a result of a lack of space in the case of twins or triplets.
But whatever the reason or the specific result, it can be addressed with a cranial remodeling helmet. This form of pediatric bracing is made from a mold of the child’s head to create a specifically-tailored helmet. This helmet is worn to reshape the head back to a more natural shape before the skull becomes fully-formed and solid.
Visit Bulow Orthotics & Prosthetic Solutions in the Nashville area today and see how pediatric bracing can help you!
Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine. It usually shows up just before puberty. The symptoms of scoliosis are usually fairly mild, although spine deformities can begin to grow in more advanced cases.
Severe cases of scoliosis can become quite painful over time as the spine continues to become more curved. The timing of the emergence of scoliosis means that a child is just about to experience a great change in their body. Puberty normally sees the largest growth spurt of a person’s life. And if there is a problem with the way they are growing, the problem can quickly become much larger.
Scoliosis bracing is specifically fitted to each individual patient. The goal is to slow the continuation of the curvature as a result of scoliosis. This can save the patient from reaching the point of debilitating symptoms.
Pediatric ankle-foot-orthoses (AFO) is the most commonly used form of pediatric bracing. It is used to treat a variety of issues that affect the foot and the ankle. These issues can lead to problems walking, running, and balancing.
The pediatric AFO is used to support the ankle and the foot to protect against further development of these issues. This includes supporting particularly weak joints, working to control the exacerbation of deformities, and providing corrective support to otherwise debilitating issues.
The AFO is specially fitted for each patient. This helps address their particular problem as well as avoiding any negative consequences from using the brace. An ill-fitted brace can rub against the child’s skin, making it quite uncomfortable. The AFO should be continually refitted and adjusted to avoid these negative consequences as well as to give the child the best chance at successfully addressing their problem.
Functional Electrical Stimulation
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is used to treat similar issues as an AFO. FES makes use of gentle electrical pulses to stimulate the muscles of the patient. It can also be used to treat patients that have experienced paralysis as a result of injuries to their nervous system.
The professionals at Bulow Orthotics & Prosthetic Solutions use FES as an alternative to AFO for treating issues with the lower limbs of children. This helps them walk with a more normal gait and give them the mobility they might not have previously enjoyed.