Kids/Teens

A Heart-Warming Service Project

A Heart-Warming Service Project

There’s no better way to celebrate Physical Therapy Month than by doing a fun service project. Earlier this month we assembled our team and made 16 blankets to donate to a local organization that supports children in need.

A Heart-Warming Service Project

D.A. Blodgett has been helping children by preventing abuse and neglect since 1887. Whether a child is living in their home, foster care, with their adoptive family, or in residential treatment, D.A. Blodgett is there to restore their happiness, dignity, and belief that their dreams aren’t out of reach. Their mission is so powerful, we felt genuinely compelled to donate our service project to their organization this year.

A Heart-Warming Service Project

“I love that we’re able to help a local organization that helps so many kids and families in times of crisis. We may not be able to hug all those families in need but these blankets can be a close substitute.” – Lisa Otterbein-Bolek, Physical Therapist

A Heart-Warming Service Project

National Physical Therapy Month was designed to raise public awareness of the many health benefits offered by physical therapy, to people across the United States and around the world. We love using this month as an opportunity to serve others. In addition, we enjoy getting our team together and giving our time to a worthwhile cause.

A Heart-Warming Service Project

“Being an adoptive parent myself, I know how instrumental this organization is for our foster kids here in Michigan, many times these kids don’t have many belongings so to be able to provide them with a new, warm blanket is something I know they will cherish.” – David Sefton, Physical Therapist & Area Director

A Heart-Warming Service Project

“A blanket serves as not just a source of comfort to many children, but as a source of love and security. To be able to provide kids with these feelings is something I’m honored to be a part of. Thank you, D.A. Blodgett, for allowing us to serve you and the many children you support!” – Shelby Ruiter, PC

A Heart-Warming Service Project

“This was a simple service project but those blankets may stay with some of these kiddos for a very long time!” – Gina Otterbein, Physical Therapist & Regional Director
A Heart-Warming Service Project

Thank you to D.A.Blodgett for allowing us to be a part of your wonderful organization. This was truly a heart-warming experience for our entire team.A Heart-Warming Service Project

If you have a young one who is in need of pediatric physical therapy, look no further than Northern. We have a special place in our hearts for children of all ages. Click to schedule a free screening today.

Please follow and like us:
A Heart-Warming Service Project

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

For the past few weeks we’ve been raising money for Crutches 4 Kids, whose mission is simple and high impact – to help children move. 50 million children around the world are in need of crutches but lack access to them.

Due to debilitating infectious diseases, chronic conditions, armed conflict, accidents, and natural disasters these children are unable to walk. Under these circumstances, when a child can’t walk they can’t attend school, play with friends, or access food and water without assistance.

Crutches 4 Kids works to bridge the gap between the abundant supply of crutches and mobility devices in the U.S. and the staggering demand globally. They’re working to liberate and empower children with physical ailments and disabilities around the world. These children are often victims of trauma, abuse, disease, or inadequate healthcare systems. By providing them with access to crutches, Crutches 4 Kids, enables self-sufficiency, increased participation in communal life, and an improved sense of self-worth.

When given the opportunity to volunteer with this awesome organization, the answer was a quick yes! For every $50 we raised, we could provide crutches and transform the lives of three children. To put our own spin on things, we decided to get creative with our fundraising efforts. At the end of the competition the entire organization raised $13,052.68 and collected over 650 sets of crutches and walking devices!

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 KidsAllendale had a bake sale and pop can drive.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Caledonia hosted a raffle to coincide with their one year anniversary party.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Cedar Springs had a bake sale.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Comstock Park performed exercises, chosen by their patients, for every dollar donated.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Coopersville hosted an ice cream social and walking taco bar.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 KidsNorton Shores collected donations while offering patients and friends a delicious milk and cookie bar.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 KidsSparta team members took a pie to the face, all to help the kiddos!

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Wayland did one burpee for every dollar donated. At the time this article was published they were up to 416!

Crutches are a rare and valuable commodity in many parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. As a result of high cost, lack of government planning and limited resources, inaccessible medical centers, and a lack of in-country supply, less than 10 percent of those in need of crutches in impoverished areas of the world have access to them.

Since inception, Crutches 4 Kids has collected over 10,000 crutches, canes and walkers and distributed them to over two-dozen countries including Haiti, Ghana, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Peru, Senegal, and Tanzania.

We’re so pleased to be able to help such a great organization. Learn more about them online at crutches4kids.org. And, if you have questions about physical therapy for kids and how we can help, we’d love to talk!

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

 

Read how two of our team members traveled to Guatemala to provide crucial physical therapy treatments to a number of people in remote villages. They were able to change the lives of adults and provide physical therapy for kids as well.

Please follow and like us:
A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Treatment for Pediatric Constipation, Bed Wetting, & Leakage

Treatment for Pediatric Constipation, Bed Wetting, & Leakage

I never imagined that bowel movements and urination would become a daily topic of conversation. Then I had kids. It instantly became the norm to pay attention to whether the baby went poop each day, what it looked like, how many times, etc. As my child got a few years older the questions changed, but the topic stayed the same – do you have to go potty, does your stomach hurt, when was the last time you went, etc…

When your child is having issues with constipation or bed wetting, it can be difficult to properly diagnose. As a parent, you can’t help but wonder if this is just a normal part of growing up, or if you should be concerned.

By six years old, most children should have full control of their bowel and bladder function. Yet, it is estimated that up to 20% of pediatric healthcare visits revolve around bladder and bowel problems. And, up to 25% of children visiting a pediatric gastroenterologist experience bouts of constipation or encopresis (bowel leakage or soiled undies).

These issues can be frustrating for both parents and children. But, help is available through pediatric pelvic floor physical therapy – a safe and effective treatment options for infants, toddlers, and children.

Common pediatric pelvic floor issues include:

Pediatric bed wetting & daytime incontinence – Most children begin to stay dry the entire night between the ages 3 and 5. The primary reason for nighttime leakage is constipation, followed by not fully emptying during the day. Our bodies are designed to hold urine and children should not have to get up to urinate at night.

Pediatric Constipation – Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints among children, but can also be a contributor to urinary leakage or the urgency to go. Pediatric bladder and bowel dysfunction can continue well into adulthood so it’s important to get this taken care of early on. Contributing factors to constipation can include diet, emotional issues, and sometimes busy children simply ignoring the signs that they have to go.

Diastasis Recti – A common issue in infants, especially those born prematurely, diastasis recti is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which is the muscle that covers the front surface of the belly. This can also lead to poor trunk control, which can affect the bowels as well.

Other diagnosis that affect the pelvic floor in children – voiding dysfunction (when your child’s bladder is not emptying, or they are not urinating normally or fully), urinary urgency and frequency, vesicoureteral reflux (backflow of urine into the kidney), and pelvic pain.

Treatment for pediatric pelvic floor issues

Physical therapy can be a safe and effective way to help a child gain control of his or her bladder. By focusing on a group of muscles and soft tissue, called the pelvic floor, which support the pelvic organs and help control bladder function. When these muscles are too tight, too weak, or in spasm it can cause problems in children because the pelvic floor muscles aren’t working well with the bladder.

Children who are experiencing issues with bladder and bowel control may be more prone to bladder infections, constipation, difficulty sensing when the bladder is full, or other problems resulting from not completely emptying the bladder. This can also lead to urinary or bowel leakage and wetting during the day or night.

Pediatric pelvic floor treatment techniques may include:

  • Biofeedback – Helping children learn to strengthen or relax their pelvic floor muscles in order to improve bowel or bladder function and decrease pelvic floor pain
  • Behavorial and diet modification
  • Soft tissue mobilization – Using hands-on techniques on muscles, ligaments and fascia with the goal of  optimizing muscle function
  • Stretching and strengthening of pelvic floor and surrounding muscles
  • Relaxation techniques

Treatment for Pediatric Constipation, Bed Wetting, & Leakage

 

As a mother of two children, I’m passionate about pediatric pelvic floor issues and eliminating the stigma surrounding them. There’s a level of stress and embarrassment associated with these conditions, for both parents and children. It’s important to understand that pediatric pelvic floor issues aren’t normal, but they are treatable with the right help. If a child had ankle problems, you would address those problems with a specialist. The same should go for bowel and bladder issues – these are real problems that should be talked about openly so children can get the help they need.

Melissa VanKampen
Pelvic Floor Expert & Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapy may help if:

  • Child is 5 years or older and still wears pull-ups
  • Medication is needed for bladder or bowel control
  • Urinary incontinence or leakage
  • Bed wetting (nocturnal enuresis)
  • Laughing causes urine leakage
  • Frequent urination or overactive bladder
  • Infrequent urination or underactive bladder
  • Constipation/diarrhea, painful bowel movements, over/underactive bowels

With a parent present, a physical therapist with specific training in pediatric pelvic floor therapy will examine the muscles of the abdomen, pelvis, and pelvic floor area. Consultation and treatment often consists of muscle retraining, biofeedback, patient and family education, behavior and diet modification, soft tissue massage, stretching and strengthening of the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles, and a home exercise program. We have expert physical therapists on site who are specifically trained to work with this population.

If you feel your child may be suffering from any form of pelvic floor dysfunction, call our Coopersville office at 616.997.6172 or schedule a free consultation with Melissa VanKampen, physical therapist assistant and our lead expert in pediatric pelvic floor treatment. Melissa has taken numerous continued education courses in pediatric pelvic floor issues related to constipation and bed wetting.

 

Get more information about pediatric incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction from Herman & Wallace, the pelvic rehabilitation institute.

Please follow and like us:
Treatment for Pediatric Constipation, Bed Wetting, & Leakage