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Health & Wellness

CHILDHOOD OBESITY:

How Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Can Help

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n society today, the prevalence of obesity in children can be traced to various factors. The grocery store is filled with items that are especially enticing to children. Fast food is another culprit which contributes to obesity in children. Obesity in children can lead to life-threatening conditions such diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep problems, cancer, musculoskeletal impairments, and other problems which can be emotional or psychological, including anxiety and depression, as well as antisocial tendencies. Obese children are also more likely to be obese as adults. The percentage of obese children has increased to 17% over the last few years and continues to steadily increase. As children are living a more sedentary lifestyle, obesity remains a problem which is reaching epidemic proportions. Occupational/Physical Therapy can help put the fun back into your child’s physical activity. The occupational/physical therapists at Vital Energy Therapy can work with your child to increase the physical activity levels through interactive, fun exercises that won’t seem like exercise at all. Each Plan of Care for your child is personalized to help ensure your child will avoid injury to themselves. Obese children who start including exercise into their daily routines without having a professional and personalized plan established for them risk injury to themselves and/or tend to give up on their plan all together. Parents are given an at home program to utilize between therapy visits to assist them in their child’s improvement. Increased physical activity, in conjunction with a proper diet, will assist your child in losing weight, improving their health, and improving their self-esteem. As your child learns new ways to have fun through exercise, along with an at-home exercise program, this will help reduce depression

and a low self-esteem which is often associated with obesity. There are approximately 300,000 adults in the United States each year that have been associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. Here at Vital Energy Therapy it is our goal to assist individuals who are struggling with their weight. We are able to assist children, youth and adults with their weight, whether they need to lose only a few pounds or suffer from severe obesity. The obesity program at Vital Energy offers a thorough evaluation of the person for the following: • BMI assessment • Type of body format and shape (i.e., mesomorphic, apple, pear) • Weight distribution/proportion causing higher risk on certain joints • Muscle strength • Myofascial restriction • Joint flexibility/soft tissue mobility • ROM of joint • Functional mobility/strength/ endurance • Cardiovascular strength • BP/Pulse/O2 monitoring • Appropriate exercise prescription based on evaluation • Manual therapy

As children are living a more sedentary lifestyle, obesity remains a problem which is reaching epidemic proportions. • Physical/Occupational Therapy modalities to help control pain • Hydroworx pool with underwater treadmill walking, avoid pressure on joints • Nu-step – A non-weight bearing exercise bike • Progress to land exercises • Parallel bars to assist with land exercises • Increase strength with isometric exercise vs. isotonic to protect joints till patient can decrease body weight • Our equipment, plinths, chairs, exercise equipment all meet the needs of an overweight patient. Our educated and experienced staff, along with our state of the art facility, help the patient to shed off weight without injuring themselves. This, in and of itself, keeps them motivated.

• Healthy lifestyle changes for eating, drinking, sleeping, working and recreation is taught to the patient. Nutritional advice, learning healthy food choices and how to shop for these choices is offered to each patient. • Yoga and relaxation techniques are taught to keep stress away and improve self-esteem and self-image. The therapists at Vital Energy will also educate parents on proper exercise and nutrition to help their child obtain the maximum benefit. The programs offered at Vital Energy are focused on the child and their well-being. Please contact Hima Dalal, OTR/L and Owner at (803) 359-1551 for more information or to schedule an evaluation. Most insurance plans accepted. www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

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A complete guide of resources for women, by women.

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