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Children's Physiotherapy for Brain Injuries and Neuromedical Illnesses

Brain shape with lit-up nerve structures

The specialist physiotherapists within the Acute Paediatric Neuroscience team provide an inpatient service to children following a newly acquired brain injury or an acute neuro-medical illness that leads to a disturbance in the child’s ability to move, balance or co-ordinate movements. 

This includes

  • stroke
  • head injury
  • after neuro-surgery
  • spinal cord injury
  • meningitis
  • epilepsy
  • Guillain Barre
  • acute demyelinating conditions

Where needed, we also assess and put together programmes for inpatient infants with neurological or developmental concerns.  

We work closely with children and their families to ensure goal focussed treatments that address the individual’s identified problems.  

Physiotherapy treatments

We aim to make sessions as fun as possible and use games and toys to promote physical activity and movement. Treatments include:  

  • Moving and stretching arms and legs  
  • Recommendations for day and night positioning  
  • Use of equipment to enable early sitting and standing  
  • Provision of simple insoles or referral for specialist orthotics (insoles)  
  • Balance and co-ordination exercise/play  
  • Strengthening exercises and play  
  • Re-introduction of functional movement skills  
  • Gait re-education  
  • Aquatic therapy  
  • Functional Electrical Stimulation

Where we work

Physiotherapy will be delivered in a variety of locations such as:

  • the child’s bed space
  • therapy specific area
  • hydrotherapy pool
  • hospital stairs and corridors
  • therapy garden and
  • hospital grounds.  

For children with longer rehabilitation needs we work closely with the family, Occupational Therapy and other Medical Diagnosis and Therapy colleagues to try to facilitate weekend leave to allow family time together and to identify new therapy goals to work towards.   

We carry out joint sessions with colleagues from other paediatric physiotherapy specialities, as well as Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists. We have a key role within the Neuro-Rehabilitation Team, liaising closely with community therapists to ensure safe discharge home or to more local hospitals.


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