Exercise Right for Kids

Meet our Superstar Kai


Kai first came to us presenting left sided Legg-Calves-Perthes disease (LCPD). This rare, idiopathic, self-limiting disease is a result of decreased blood supply to the femoral head leading to avascular necrosis. In a small percentage of those with the LCPD, there is a bilateral presentation. Shortly after Kai’s initial consult with us, he had follow up X-rays which revealed he was developing LCPD of his right femoral head also.


Kai’s teacher noticed he grew agitated when asked to sit cross-legged on the mat. This lead to further investigation. At the time, Kai was 4 years old and an active and adventurous boy was told he was no longer able to run, jump and kick.


Due to the varying presentation of LCPD, there are no consistent and reliable guidelines for treatment and management. From a musculoskeletal point of view, we have been aiming to improve Kai’s hip range of motion, particularly into abduction. We have aimed to keep Kai moving as much as possible in his pain free range of movement whilst avoiding high impact activities to reduce pain and stiffness.


Kai is now 5 years old; through our PAEDS program, we have been able to prevent secondary delays in several of Kai’s fundamental movement skills. He has become a confident modified basketball goal shooter, baseball hitter, ten-pin bowler and his throwing and catching skills are progressing ahead of his age group. Kai has been given the opportunity to develop these skills in a safe environment under the care of an AEP and an AEP student. We are optimistic that at the resolution of the disease, Kai will have the confidence and acquisition of skills to excel in playground activities.



Kai recently had an orthopaedic review from which Kai was allowed to run again, he ran as fast as he could from the car park into our office to tell us! Any indication of pain was the only limit on how much running or scootering he could do because his latest x-ray had shown ongoing ossification on the left femoral head, and no collapse or fragmentation on the right. The smile on his face was priceless and we spent the following hour having running races on the grass.


Story from Rosie Sciacca, Accredited Exercise Physiologist – Curtin University

Exercise Right For Kids

Amazing Aaron!


Aaron started working with The Next Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Centre in July 2014. For a then 9 year old boy, he presented incredibly well with independent mobility in his manual wheelchair. But despite this, he was getting older and it was the goal of both himself and his family for him to become stronger and more independent.


Aaron attended exercise sessions here with our Accredited Exercise Physiologists two days per week for a one hour each session. During these sessions we focused on working on fundamental movement patterns, transfers, functional mobility and general education on appropriate sitting posture and alignment.


Initially exercises such as Bosu Ball Balance, crawling forward and backwards, hip ROM (range of motion) and assisted bridging were used to focus on postural awareness and pelvic stability – These exercises may sound boring, but we were sure we made them all made fun with associated games and prizes including playing basketball as a reward, his favourite game!


It wasn’t long before we began to see major improvements in Aaron’s independence with the completion of his first independent car transfer on the 26th of September 2014!


From there, our main focus became increasing his strength and coordination in preparation for standing and potentially… walking.


Aaron showed promising signs of strength through his glutes, however the tightness in his hip flexors (a common problem for those with Spina Bifida) was something we really needed to work on. SO his new homework – begrudgingly completed on top of his normal school work – became stretching his these as often as possible! While they may never reach the flexibility we would like to see, he showed significant improvements which were easily identified when we got him standing with a gutter frame. After many months of stretching and strengthening his lower limbs, increasing his hip stability and working on foot placement for walking, on the 22nd of July 2015 Aaron took his first steps – EVER! While he still required assistance for foot placement and movement of the gutter frame we couldn’t be more proud!


Aaron continues to progress with us here at The Next Step, with his new goal to walk with forearm crutches… seeing the amazing improvements he’s already made over the past two years, you just never know what this amazing boy could achieve!


Story from Stacey Hynes, Senior Accredited Exercise Physiologist – The Next Step, Spinal Cord Recovery.

Exercise Right for Kids

James the Great!


James was referred to Rehab Training by his GP in September 2015, for a program to assist in improving his lung capacity and better manage his asthma. James had suffered atypical pneumonia in August 2013 and had continued to struggle with fatigue and exercise induced asthma with low-moderate exercise.


James had always been active and played various sports both in and out of school. When he first came to Rehab Training he was finding it hard to continue with his usual sporting activities due to his asthma. He was taking a preventer twice daily and required Ventolin several times per day. He found within a few minutes of exercising he had to stop due to breathlessness and a tight chest. After ceasing exercise he would need to take Ventolin and it took some time for his symptoms to ease. James’ initial exercise program following his assessment included a gradual increase in aerobic exercise up to twenty minutes four days per week, diaphragmatic breathing exercises, and exercises to assist in strengthening the muscles that are activated during inspiration and expiration.


Within one month James was not requiring Ventolin often, he was able to get the next level in the beep test at school, his thoracic expansion had increased by 3cm and his peak flow had significantly improved. Following his one month re-assessment, his exercise program was progressed to include interval training at a moderate intensity, postural correction exercises and a progression with his breathing exercises.


By January 2016 James was no longer using Ventolin, he was able to complete sixty minutes of aerobic exercise without any asthma symptoms, his peak flow had improved further, and his thoracic expansion had improved by 4.5cm from his initial assessment. James continues with a maintenance program and is back taking part in his sporting activities.


Emma Sansalone- Accredited Exercise Physiologist- Rehab Training www.rehabtraining.com.au