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Paediatric & Adolescent Physiotherapy

Active Eight’s highly experienced Paediatric and Adolescent Physiotherapist is skilled in paediatric movement analysis, as well as, musculoskeletal, sporting injuries, postural reactions, neurological, infant patterns of movement/primitive reflexes, and sensory-motor assessment.

Treatment encompasses traditional physiotherapy, with a strong focus on engagement and participation in activities to enhance quality of life. Early intervention to enhance development, in clinical and natural settings including individual and small group sessions. Treatment strategies can include: massage, joint mobilisation, stretching, strengthening, kinesiology-taping, return to school programs, return to sport programs, sport-specific development, home programs, education and advice, play-based exercises, infant patterns of movement integration, handling techniques, vibration therapy, and cardiovascular exercise.

At A8 we can provide personalised, innovative and industry leading physiotherapy services for the following:

Co-ordination and Motor Skills

  • Delays or disorders in gross or fine motor skill acquisition, including fundamental motor skills (e.g. rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, stair climbing, holding a pencil etc.)

  • Problems with coordinating motor skills 

  • Poor balance/clumsy, frequent tripping and falling

  • Sensory dysfunction

  • Sensory and motor problems impacting on learning at school (e.g. difficulties sitting and attending in class, ADHD) and community participation

Specialised Interventions

  • Concerns of infant head shape (e.g. plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, scaphocephaly)

  • Torticollis (e.g. your child is unable to move his/her head easily or has short neck muscles)

  • Leg and foot orthopaedic conditions (e.g. toe walking, walking with toes pointing inwards/outwards, leg length differences)

  • Walking (gait) disorders (e.g. walking on tip toes/toe-walking, walking with toes pointing inwards/outwards - out-toeing, pigeon toe/in-toeing, speed and agility)

  • Upper limb orthopaedic conditions (e.g. brachial plexus injury/Erb’s palsy etc.)

School, Sport and Wellbeing

  • School-readiness screening

  • Sport-specific screening and safe exercise guidelines

  • Fitness and weight management

Joints and Muscle Conditions

  • Low tone (floppiness in your child’s arms , legs etc)

  • High tone (stiffness in your child’s arms, legs etc)

  • Bone and joint conditions (e.g. hyper mobility, joint hyper mobility syndrome, joint dislocation, scoliosis -abnormal spinal curve)

  • Arthritis and rheumatoid syndromes of childhood

Pain and Injury Management

  • Acute and chronic pain and injury management (e.g. post injury/surgery/fracture - including rehabilitation post casting, growing pains, hip/knee/foot pain, complex regional pain syndrome)

  • Acute and on-going sporting injuries including growth plate injuries (e.g. overuse injuries, strain, sprain, Severs disease, Osgood Schlatters)

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Dr Kristy Nicola

BaHSc(Hons), MPhtyStudies, PhD, APAM

Director, Physiotherapy Services

Dr Kristy Nicola first graduated with an Honours Degree in Health Sciences, then studied at The University of Queensland for her Masters in Physiotherapy Studies. Dr Nicola is a registered physiotherapist with over 10 years of clinical experience working in private practice, special schools and on an outreach team as an interprofessional team member delivering family-centred assessment and management of children of all ages with various neurodevelopmental disorders and delays. Dr Nicola is viewed as an expert in physiotherapy management of children with severe language disorders who delivers professional development workshops to paediatric physiotherapists and is one of a few qualified Neuro-sensory Motor Developmental Assessment Instructors who has delivered workshops internationally.

Dr Nicola’s clinical experiences and desire to support children and adolescents to reach their individual potentials led to her perseverance to return to The University of Queensland and graduate with her PhD in 2014. Dr Nicola’s PhD contributes to the understanding of the neuro-sensory motor presentation, and impact of these challenges in children with specific language impairment framed within the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health – Child Youth. As an award-winning researcher, Dr Nicola explored the presentation, fitness, participation levels, and quality of life of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. In attempts to narrow the gap in service delivery to children residing in rural and remote Australia, Dr Nicola’s research further investigated the validity of using Telerehabilitation in paediatric physiotherapy assessment and management.

Dr Nicola is an award-winning lecturer at both The University of Queensland, and Australian Catholic University, lecturing into paediatrics, cardiothoracics and musculoskeletal undergraduate and postgraduate programs, as well as supervising student research projects with the aim to equip students with the skills to support children and adolescents.

Dr Nicola advocates for children and their families and continues to share her expertise by sitting on many committees including: Executive Board Member of the International Organisation of Physical Therapists in Pediatrics (subcommittee of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy); Ex-officio member – WCPT/International Representative of the Australian Physiotherapy Association Paediatric National Group Committee; Deputy Chair of the Queensland State National Paediatric Group (Australian Physiotherapy Association); and Committee Member of the Paediatric Scientific Committee for the 2019 National Conference (Australian Physiotherapy Association). 

Assessment and Report

An initial Clinical Assessment or Active Eight Assessment is a collaborative process that outlines your child's needs, strengths and supports the development of a program that is best suited to them.

Progress updates and Consultations

Consultation with teachers or other relevant team members. This includes progress letters and reports for families or other stakeholders. 

Individual intervention

Intervention involves working closely with you and your child, towards specific goals by harnessing their unique strengths and interests. 

Extra-curricular Program Support

Support to participate in group/extracurricular programs offered by Active Eight.