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Paediatric Physiotherapy In Singapore

Understanding the delicate nature of a child’s development is crucial in healthcare. Children are not mini-adults and their bodies should not be treated simply as smaller versions of an adult’s body. Treatments that may work on adults may not necessarily be as effective in a small child, and in fact, may even backfire and cause harm if performed incorrectly.

At Rapid Physiocare, we understand how important it is to protect a child’s childhood years. Whether it is regaining motor control, managing pain, or rehabilitation after injury, early intervention is the best option to restore a child’s mobility, movement, and ability to participate in everyday activities. As such, we have included paediatric care in our comprehensive list of services to care for children with a wide variety of needs.

We recognise that children are distinct from adults in their physiological and psychological makeup, necessitating specialised care even for what may seem like a simple and straightforward condition. Our team of specialist paediatric physiotherapists has years of experience working with children and their parents or carers in a variety of settings that allow us to deliver nurturing and science-based care and support.

What Does A Paediatric Physiotherapist Do?

A paediatric physiotherapist is a specialist trained to improve the quality of life for children facing various physical challenges due to congenital issues or injuries. They may employ tailored strategies to enhance motor function, promote musculoskeletal development, and facilitate independence in everyday tasks. No two paediatric physiotherapy regimes are the same, as they are tailored to meet and address the child patient’s unique needs and circumstances.

In Singapore, such professionals play a pivotal role in the early intervention process, optimising a child’s physical abilities and contributing to their overall developmental progress. Paediatric physiotherapists work closely with parents and medical professionals such as paediatricians, General Practitioners (GPs), and Occupational Therapists (OTs) to support a comprehensive path to recuperation, rehabilitation, and recovery.

Areas That Paediatric Physiotherapy Can Improve

Paediatric physiotherapy can help to address a wide range of issues in young children including:

  • Range of motion: how far a joint can bend or straighten
  • Strength: strength in bones and muscles
  • Balance: ability to maintain balance (tilting and righting responses) and to keep the child from falling (protective responses)
  • Reflexes: automatic responses, particularly in infants (palmar grasp, positive support, labyrinthine and asymmetrical tonic neck reflex)
  • Posture: alignment of the body in various positions
  • Tone: natural resistance in a muscle

Conditions That Paediatric Physiotherapy Can Address

There are many familiar childhood disorders and diseases that present with movement dysfunction and motor skill issues, including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Cystic Fibrosis, and more. Fortunately, paediatric physiotherapy can alleviate some of their symptoms, particularly ones that inhibit motion.

Neurological conditions

Neurological conditions like Cerebral Palsy or Epilepsy encompass a range of disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord, or nervous system. These can lead to significant challenges in a child’s movement, speech, learning, and behaviour. Muscle tone and coordination can also be affected, impacting a child’s ability to perform basic tasks. Paediatric physiotherapy can help to enhance motor skills, improve strength and coordination, and increase overall function and independence.

Delayed milestones

Sometimes a child’s development may not follow the typical age-related trajectory in areas such as walking, talking, or social interaction. This delay can resolve on its own, but may also signal underlying issues that might need medical attention. Early intervention is regarded as the best approach possible in situations of developmental delay, as it provides children with key support and resources. Paediatric physiotherapy also plays a crucial role in supporting children to reach these milestones through targeted exercises and therapies that encourage movement patterns and stimulate motor development.

Chest physiotherapy

Chest physiotherapy is a method used to clear mucus and secretions from the lungs and improve respiratory efficiency. This makes it especially relevant to children with conditions like Cystic Fibrosis or Pneumonia. It incorporates techniques such as postural drainage, vibration, and tapping on the chest to help loosen and mobilise secretions, facilitating easier breathing and reducing the risk of respiratory infections.

Oncology conditions

Oncology conditions in children, such as leukaemia or tumours, can be debilitating, affecting not just their health but also their ability to engage in normal childhood activities. Post-diagnosis, paediatric physiotherapy helps in managing the physical side effects of cancer treatment, improving mobility, and building strength. It’s a compassionate approach to care that can significantly improve a child’s comfort and ability to participate in play and daily activities.

Post operative rehabilitation

After any type of surgery, children require special care to return to their pre-operative state. Post-operative physiotherapy focuses on recovery, aiming to reduce pain, restore function, and prevent complications. A paediatric physiotherapist will be able to guide the child through appropriate exercises and activities, aiding in a quicker and more complete recovery.

Musculoskeletal conditions

Musculoskeletal conditions, such as Clubfoot or Torticollis, affect a child’s bones, muscles, and joints and can significantly impede their mobility. Paediatric physiotherapists employ specialised musculoskeletal physiotherapy techniques to correct these conditions, with the aim of reducing the need for more invasive treatments and improving the child’s ability to move and explore freely.

Bed wetting

Bed wetting, or Nocturnal Enuresis, is a common issue for children and can be distressing for both the child and parents. Beyond the age where nighttime control is expected, it could potentially indicate an underlying dysfunction. Paediatric physiotherapy can help with pediatric incontinence by teaching pelvic floor exercises and bladder training, providing strategies to manage and overcome this condition and restoring confidence in affected children.


Constipation can occur for various reasons, and is a painful and uncomfortable condition that affects a child’s appetite, mood, and overall health. Paediatric physiotherapy for childhood constipation can offer abdominal massages, exercises, and education on diet and fluid intake to help alleviate symptoms, promote regular bowel movements, and improve the child’s digestive health.

Colic pain in newborns

Colic in newborns, characterised by prolonged periods of intense, unexplained fussing and crying, can be taxing for infants and parents alike. While the exact cause of colic remains unknown, paediatric physiotherapy can offer techniques such as gentle abdominal massage and movement exercises to provide relief, ease discomfort, and soothe the infant.

Baby Massage

Baby massage is a therapeutic practice that involves gently massaging an infant’s body, which can enhance the bond between parent and child, stimulate growth and development, and promote relaxation and sleep. Research suggests that baby massage can also have positive effects on a wide range of conditions including gastrointestinal problems, preterm infant growth, and chronic illnesses. Paediatric physiotherapists can instruct parents on safe and effective massage techniques tailored to their baby’s needs and conditions.

Your child does not necessarily need to have any of the aforementioned conditions to be eligible for physiotherapy. There are different types of paediatric physical therapy available in Singapore, each catering to the needs of the child. Those who wish to improve their balance and motor skills can also engage with a trained physiotherapist and their services.

What to Expect on Your Visit to our Paediatric Physiotherapy Clinic in Singapore

Our trained physiotherapists offer comprehensive consultations to assess your child’s suitability for paediatric physiotherapy.

Upon visiting Rapid Physiocare’s paediatric physiotherapy clinic in Singapore, you can anticipate a welcoming and thorough process that prioritises your child’s care and comfort above all else. Our approach begins with a friendly conversation, followed by keen observation of your child’s movement, comprehensive assessments, and an in-depth analysis to form an individualised treatment plan.

Following a thorough assessment of your child’s condition, an appropriate treatment plan can be suggested in tandem with any other necessary input from parents and partnered medical professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions About Paediatric Physiotherapy

Is physiotherapy good for children?

Absolutely, paediatric physiotherapy can be an essential support for a child’s optimal physical development. Through customised therapeutic exercises and innovative treatment strategies, paediatric physiotherapy empowers children with congenital conditions, injuries, or diseases, to reach their developmental milestones and engage more fully in daily activities. It can significantly enhance the quality of life for young patients by fostering growth, independence, and confidence.

Why would a baby need physiotherapy?

A baby may need paediatric physiotherapy for several reasons, including signs of developmental delays or being born with congenital conditions that could affect movement, such as Cerebral Palsy or Brachial Plexus injuries. Physiotherapy can assist in strengthening their motor skills, ensuring they develop the necessary muscle control and coordination to reach developmental milestones like crawling, sitting, and walking.

Why do babies cry during physiotherapy?

Babies may cry during paediatric physiotherapy sessions primarily due to discomfort or the unfamiliarity of being handled by a therapist. The new environment and stimuli of a physiotherapy clinic can be overwhelming to their senses. Additionally, exercises and movements required during therapy may be challenging for them, causing frustration or discomfort. However, paediatric physiotherapists are skilled in creating a calm and comforting atmosphere and will work gently to minimise stress and discomfort for the baby.

When should I see my baby physio?

You should consider seeing a paediatric physiotherapist if you observe that your baby is not meeting developmental milestones within the expected time frames, such as holding their head up, rolling over, sitting, or walking. Additionally, if a baby is diagnosed with a physical condition that impairs function or if there are concerns about their muscle tone and movement patterns, a professional assessment by a paediatric physiotherapist can be invaluable in creating an appropriate treatment plan to support their development.