Happy Friday! Another week closer to receiving my White Coat and saying my goodbyes to Slippery Rock!
This week was a super fun week here in class. This is a rare occurrence in grad school, so I couldn’t help but sure my experience with you all and spread my knowledge!
As part of our Doctorate of Physical Therapy program we are allowed to choose from a variety of elective courses we’d like to take our last summer here in the program. I was lucky enough to be placed into the pediatrics elective. Pediatric physical therapy is an area which I have had minimal exposure and thought this would be a great opportunity to enhance my knowledge in this specialty.
This week in class we had the opportunity to not only learn about serial casting, but also practice among each other.
What is serial casting?
It is a process involving the use of fiberglass casting with padding to hold a joint in a position to stretch a tight muscle. These casts are applied weekly to the patient and maintain the muscle in its stretched position. Each week the therapist will gradually try to increase the degree of motion further with re-application of the cast.
Who benefits from serial casting?
Serial casting can be performed on any patient who presents with muscle tightness or limited range of motion. Such diagnoses may include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Brain or Spinal Cord Injuries
- Congenital Abnormalities
- Idiopathic Toe Walking
- Muscular Dystrophy
The goal of serial casting is a non-invasive approach to increasing an individual’s range of motion of a joint to improve their function.
Serial casting is a great conservative treatment option over having a child undergo surgery. As a physical therapist it is our main priority to ensure our patient’s are able to live their optimal lives, this becomes even greater when working in pediatrics. These little kiddos have their entire life ahead of them and as their therapist we have one of the greatest impacts in their lives.
Serial casting can make the world of a difference on a patient. It can allow a child to play, walk and interact with other children independently, which are all major factors in a child’s development.
Here’s a few picture of my classmates and I practicing this technique on one another, hope you get a good laugh!
I hope this gives you a brief insight into pediatric physical therapy. I think this is a field that deserves so much more attention and appreciation than it is given. If you are looking for more information on serial casting and other pediatric physical therapy insights, check out the link!