Physiological and therapeutic effect of physical factors depends significantly on the age, reactivity of the body, the functional state of its individual organs and systems, constitutional features, etc.
Anatomical and physiological features of children’s organism not only markedly affect the action of therapeutic physical means, but also determine the need for compliance with a number of conditions when carrying out physiotherapeutic procedures in children.
- Physical therapy in children should be more strictly combined with nutrition and diet therapy, staying outdoors, with educational and training activities.
Physical therapy procedures should be carried out no earlier than 1 hour after meals, and no later than 30-45 minutes before the next appointment. With physical or mental overstrain, fatigue required child rest before conducting physical therapy procedures.
- When treating children with physical factors should monitor both local and general (sleep, appetite, weight gain, mobility, etc.) reactions, individual tolerance of procedures.
- To avoid overtiring the child during the day assigned only one general procedure and only if absolutely necessary (eg, skin diseases, diseases of the musculoskeletal system) at intervals of 2-3 hours on the same day shall perform general and local physical therapy procedures.
- In children, adaptation is slower and the effects of therapeutic physical factors lasts longer, so repeated courses of physiotherapy should be assigned at longer intervals than for adults. As a rule, the same method is repeatedly prescribed for the same area after at least 2 months.
- Because of the high lability of all systems of the child’s organism and in order to prevent maladaptive reactions in children it is strictly necessary to follow the principle of gradual intensification of the influence of physical factors: the treatment should begin with minimal doses and gradually increase them to the optimum.
- The total energetic load of physiotherapeutic procedures in children should be less than in adults. To meet this requirement in children (as compared to adults):
- reduce the intensity (dosage) of exposure to physical factors, use balneotherapeutic procedures at lower concentrations of salts and gases;
- reduce the duration of physiotherapeutic procedures;
- use only portable devices; reduce the area of exposure, avoid general physiotherapeutic procedures;
- Reduce the number of procedures per course of treatment;
- Increase intervals between procedures (children usually every other day).
- In children there are some restrictions on the choice of location for physical therapy procedures. As a rule, the following areas (zones) of the body are not affected in a child: bone growth zones, heart area, parenchymatous and endocrine organs, places with disturbed or poorly developed blood circulation.
- Anatomical and physiological peculiarities of children’s bodies and peculiar dynamics of formation of their individual systems somewhat expand (as compared to adults) contraindications for physical therapy in pediatrics. In particular, physical factors should be refrained from use if the child has sharply reduced adaptational capabilities, changes in the reactivity of the organism, there is a danger of dissemination of the disease.
- General contraindications for physical therapy (except for those generally accepted) in children are also low body weight, increased bleeding, high body temperature.