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Physical and Occupational Therapies

Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Clinic

How can therapy services help with my child’s recovery?

Your child’s doctor will be recommending your child receive occupational therapy, physical therapy, or both therapy services in order to gain as much function in your child’s arm as possible.

Occupational therapy addresses fine motor skills, activities of daily living, and range of motion and strength of the upper body. Physical therapy addresses gross motor skills such as balance, coordination and posture. Your child’s doctor will determine the appropriate therapy services and frequency of these services based on your child’s specific needs.

Your child’s therapist will work closely with you and your child in order to address the use of your child’s arm in age-appropriate tasks such as playing with toys, self-feeding and dressing. The therapist will also recommend ways to incorporate movement, strength and functional use of your child’s arm into activities that you can complete with your child at home.

It is often suggested children with incomplete injuries receive occupational and physical therapy services before determining if surgery is required. Beginning therapy services soon after the injury occurred gives your child’s arm the best chance of functional recovery. If therapy services do not result in functional improvements with your child’s arm, such as your child being able to bring their hand to their mouth, your child’s therapist and doctor will collaborate to determine if surgical intervention is appropriate. Participation in therapy services is also essential after your child has healed from surgery in order to maintain range of motion, monitor scarring and increase focus on functional tasks.

Outpatient occupational and physical therapy services are available for children with brachial plexus and peripheral nerve injuries here at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. We offer state of the art equipment and interventions for the rehabilitation of your child’s brachial plexus and peripheral nerve injury including, but not limited to:

  • Custom splint fabrication
  • Modified constraint induced movement therapy (mCIMT)
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)
  • RT300 functional electrical stimulation bike

Your child’s therapist will help you determine which interventions will be the most beneficial.

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