Exercises for Children with Neurological Conditions: Strengthening (Trunk - Active)
Strengthening exercises are important to maintain and improve functional strength in the core muscles and the lower limb joints. It also assists with overall circulation and encourages functional mobility.
Safety precautions when exercising
Ensure that you had been taught the recommended exercises by a physiotherapist before carrying them out.
Ensure the child is near a supporting surface or an attentive adult during exercises especially balance activities.
Observe for signs of pain or discomfort – if pain occurs, stop and check in with your physiotherapist before continuing further.
Your exercise regime
as recommended by your physiotherapist – check in with your therapist on the recommended number of sets per day
Ensure adequate rest and hydration between sets
Trunk strengthening exercises (independent)
Aim: To improve your abdominal strength.
Instructions: Position yourself lying on your back, keep your knees bent and your back and feet flat on the mat. Slowly lift your torso and sit up. Return to the starting position by rolling down on your spine slowly. Repeat the exercise until set is complete.
Aim: To strengthen your shoulder, hip and trunk muscles.
Instructions: Position yourself lying on your stomach, propped on your elbows. Practise lifting your hips off while pushing weight on the balls of your feet to maintain a plank-like position.
10 seconds for
Aim: To strengthen shoulder girdle, abdominal and pelvic muscles
Instructions: Position the child kneeling on all fours on the floor and instruct the child to hold. You can make the exercise more challenging by instructing the child to reach out one arm while maintaining this position.
15 seconds for
Aim: To strengthen the muscles at the front of your shoulder and chest.
Instructions: Position yourself lying on your stomach. Practise doing push-ups through your hands so that your hips lift off the bed. Ensure that your body is kept horizontal.
Check out other articles on seizure and epilepsy in children:
Epilepsy and Seizures: Causes, Types and How to Manage
Seizure and Epilepsy Action Plan
Epilepsy: Treatment and Diet Tips
Child Neurological Conditions: Care Tips Resource
Epilepsy Exercises: Upper Limb Stretching
Caring for a Special Needs Child: Tips to Avoid Burnout