Three Types Of Therapies Effective For Children With Heart Defects

You might be surprised to know that congenital heart defects are the most common types of birth defects in the world. In the United States 35,000 babies are born with a congenital heart defect each year. While many are simple conditions that can be easily fixed, others types of heart defects are more complicated and may require surgery, medication, and ongoing care. If your child has been diagnosed with a heart defect, here are three types of therapies that may be beneficial.

Physical Therapy

For children who have had multiple surgeries, have been bedridden during recovery, or are not as physically active as other children due to limitations caused by their heart defect, physical therapy may be beneficial.

This type of therapy focuses on developing and enhancing gross motor skills. For children with heart defects, attaining these skills might be difficult for various reasons. Sometimes they simply lack endurance or strength in their muscles due to inactivity for prolonged periods of time. Some ways physical therapy can help in these instances include:

  • Helps to improve range of motion
  • Helps to alleviate muscle tremors during movement
  • Helps the child learn how to change positions according to their stage of development

Physical therapy evaluations can be done in the hospital right at the child's bedside.

Chiropractic Care

Some children with complicated heart defects have spent many hours on the operating table or in bed during recovery. For these reasons, it's important to ensure their spine is straight and there is no interference throughout their nervous system. When the spine has no subluxations, the body's innate sense of healing gets activated. While this of course won't cure the child's heart condition, it will help give the body the best chance at being as healthy as possible. Other benefits of chiropractic care that can greatly benefit a child with a heart defect include:

  • Improves immune system
  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Relieves back pain and pain around surgical site

Massage Therapy

This type of therapy is known to have many benefits that can be advantageous for young heart patients. Some proven benefits include:

  • Improves blood flow and circulation
  • Improves range of motion
  • Stretches weakened muscles
  • Promotes tissue regeneration which can reduce scar tissue

It's important to note that patients who are on blood-thinning medication may have to avoid massage therapy.

If your child has been diagnosed with a heart defect or has needed heart surgery, these three types of natural therapies can help to improve their health and aid in healing.