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Our 5 Favorite Tools for Your Child’s Home Exercise Program

Jun 04th, 2024 | by Nikki Rice, PT, DPT

Nikki Rice, PT, DPT

June 04th, 2024

Sometimes, it can be a challenge when you are trying to decide how to spend your time and resources at home to maximise your child’s home exercise program and carryover. What tools, modalities, or equipment should I invest in? How do I decide when there are so many things out there!? What will give me the biggest bang for my buck?! Read below to find out some of our favorite home exercise program tools!

1. Galileo Whole Body Vibration

The Galileo vibration plate is one of our favorite things! Although an expensive investment, it is such a great tool to have at home! This will be the biggest bang for your buck purchase, as long as you make sure to use it! The whole family can even use it as it’s great for anyone to work on their strength or balance. Galileo specifically has a range of frequencies to allow you to work on stretching, strengthening, muscle power, balance, spasticity reduction, and more! The best part – you only need to spend as little as 10-15 minutes on there, so it’s a fantastic way to sneak in some exercises on a short notice or time crunch! It will expedite your strengthening at a significantly faster rate than doing these exercises without the vibration plate!

2. TheraTogs

Alignment is crucial. Our children need to be in as best alignment as possible to ensure proper muscle activation and efficiency for moving. The more you can carry this over at home, the better! TheraTogs specifically are versatile in the ability to add in different strapping to facilitate certain muscle actions, while providing proprioception and body awareness, and ensuring proper alignment. They are machine washable, breathable, and can be worn under your clothes!

3. Abdominal Binder

Abdominal binders are a great, cheap, and easy way to reduce rib flaring and encourage core muscle activation. They are very cost-effective and simple. You can find these on Amazon, and they are super easy to put on!

4. Therapy/Stability Ball

Intensive pediatric therapy session with therapy ball.

Therapy balls can be great for all kiddos! Whether your child is working on head and trunk control, or if they are working on core strength or higher level skills such as getting ready for stairs at school or participating in sports, the therapy balls are perfect!

  • For head and trunk control, you can do activities while seated or lying down to encourage head/trunk righting, rolling, transitions to sit, and weight bearing in quadruped.
  • For the upright kiddo, you can use the ball to perform sit-ups, ball kicks/blasts in supine (lying on back), kicking in standing, or balancing while placing one foot on top to encourage higher-level strength and balance.
  • Bonus Video: 4 At-Home Activities with an Exercise Ball!

5. ESTIM – Chattanooga Continuum

ESTIM is recommended for at home exercise programs for children following intensive pediatric therapy at NAPA Center!

ESTIM is a really great tool, but has to be used properly! We particularly like TASES (task-specific electrical stimulation), and the Chattanooga Continuum unit is customisable. Learn about it in your therapy sessions to carry it over at home. It is an easy way to target specific muscle group strengthening and improve selective motor control, but make sure to use it with task-specific exercises. ESTIM is a tool that is great for the caregiver at home who has the time to learn, be diligent with, and use it frequently. A plus for a child who doesn’t mind a few tickles!

About the Author

Nikki Rice is a Pediatric Physical Therapist and Director of Rehabilitation at NAPA Centre Boston. She absolutely loves making a difference in the lives of the children and families she is fortunate enough to work with. Outside of work, she enjoys working out, spending time outside (especially on a warm and sunny day), and cooking!

About NAPA Centre

At NAPA Centre, our dedicated and highly trained physical, speech and occupational therapists use a diverse set of innovative tools and therapies delivered through intensive programs. These programs are customised specifically for each child based on their needs and provided at our centres in a playful and positive environment.

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