Operation: Alignment

lower extremity alignment

Working with children of all ages, as Pediatric Physical Therapists we always need to keep in mind the fundamental components of alignment, weight bearing and balance. Here are some tips and tricks to achieve success throughout development!

1) Visual Cues 

lower extremity alignment

Footprint cutouts promote narrowed base of support during walking & jumping tasks

lower extremity alignment

Footprints assist with motor planning and alignment during sidestepping

lower extremity alignment

Tandem stance with footprints to promote balance and alignment

lower extremity alignment

Footprints also assist with alignment while promoting reciprocal stair negotiation

lower extremity alignment

Colorful spots offer visual cues for foot placement & sequencing

lower extremity alignment

The floor ladder, used in conjunction with spot markers & tape, can be used for alignment, during directional stepping and jumping tasks!

lower extremity alignment

Sit to Stand with colorful tape to promote alignment during important transitional movements help to strengthen muscles and promote efficient movement patterns

lower extremity alignment

We can use colorful tape on the trampoline to encourage lower extremity alignment during vertical jumping.

2) Tactile Cues

lower extremity alignment

Tactile discs or tactile stepping stones offer sensory input to help promote symmetric weight bearing 

lower extremity alignment

The Dyna-disc is a great tool to encourage alignment, promote strengthening and balance reactions all while offering helpful tactile feedback!

lower extremity alignment

The incline wedge offers tactile input as well as active range of motion component while encouraging narrowed base of support in standing

3) Spatial Cues

Lower extremity alignment in children

Stepping stones offer spatial awareness cues to reinforce narrow base of support

lower extremity alignment

Bucket Bridge with colorful tape to promote body/spatial awareness during alignment, balance & motor planning challenge!

lower extremity alignment

Balance Beam can be used to promote alignment and narrowed base of support while addressing body & spatial awareness

lower extremity alignment

Stepping across narrow balance beams assists with lower extremity alignment, motor planning & balance!

We can utilize these components with attention to child’s base of support and aligned lower extremity as we challenge child’s trunk and upper body strength. With a strong and stable base, the child will be at a greater advantage for fun and function!Lower extremity alignment in children

Check out “What a Difference a Shoe Makes” with Footwear Ideas to Further Promote Lower Extremity Alignment here!

Learn more about Dinosaur Physical Therapy!

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