A six year old girl was referred for general incoordination with mom reporting that she did not want to play outside and just wanted to do sedentary activities. After about two months at two treatments per week that included addressing respiration, her mom reported that she was playing on the playground with the boys (she preferred the boys over the girls-thought that was cute). Her swim teacher noted that her left leg, which had been lagging behind, was moving and coordinated with her other limbs.
Another young lady was referred because she had hit a plateau with her OT treatment and her mom suspected that there were some breathing issues. Indeed there were. She was using an inferior/superior breathing pattern with very tight neck muscles. In addition she had difficulty with anxiety. After just two sessions of working with her, she began to incorporate the breathing techniques at home when she began to feel anxious and found benefit.
With toe walkers we have been finding atypical breathing patterns to be an issue. Generally the rib cage is elevated in relation to their extensor pattern. I think it would be fascinating to do a study with toe walkers relative to breathing. We incorporate breathing strategies along with working on the feet and legs and mobilization of the trunk. We feel that addressing the breathing pattern is very helpful in resolving the toe walking.
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