As parents, we constantly strive to provide the best care and support for our children, ensuring their health and well-being in every way possible. When it comes to their active lifestyles and participation in sports or recreational activities, it’s essential to prioritize injury prevention. In this blog post, we want to shed light on the importance of pre-habilitation (pre-hab) and how it empowers parents in safeguarding their children’s health and promoting an active lifestyle.

Understanding Pre-habilitation for Kids:

Pre-habilitation, or pre-hab, is a proactive approach to injury prevention that focuses on preparing children’s bodies for physical activities. It involves addressing muscle imbalances, improving body awareness, and optimizing movement patterns. By integrating pre-habilitation strategies into our children’s routines, we can equip them with the tools to minimize the risk of injuries and support their physical development.

The Importance of Pre-habilitation for Kids:

  1. Building Strong Foundations: Pre-habilitation helps children develop a solid foundation of strength, flexibility, and coordination. By targeting muscle imbalances and addressing any weaknesses, we can ensure that their bodies are prepared for the demands of sports and physical activities. This foundation sets the stage for improved performance and reduces the risk of injuries resulting from poor mechanics or muscle strains.
  2. Enhancing Body Awareness: Children are constantly growing and discovering their bodies’ capabilities. Pre-habilitation enhances their body awareness, enabling them to understand their limits, recognize warning signs of discomfort, and make adjustments to prevent injuries. With improved body awareness, our little ones can move with confidence and participate in activities more safely.
  3. Nurturing a Lifelong Active Lifestyle: By instilling pre-habilitation practices in our children’s lives, we lay the foundation for a lifelong commitment to an active and healthy lifestyle. Teaching them about injury prevention and the importance of pre-hab empowers them to make conscious choices, prioritize their well-being, and stay active for years to come.

How PlayWorks Physio Supports Pre-habilitation:

At PlayWorks Physio, our specialized paediatric physiotherapy clinic, we are dedicated to supporting families in their journey of injury prevention and promoting healthy physical development for children. Our team of experienced physiotherapists is trained in pre-habilitation techniques specifically tailored for kids.

When you bring your child to PlayWorks Physio, we take a personalized approach to pre-habilitation, assessing their unique needs and designing individualized exercise programs. We work closely with you and your child to improve muscle imbalances, enhance body awareness, and provide guidance on injury prevention strategies. By partnering with us, you can ensure that your child is equipped with the tools to thrive in their activities while staying safe and injury-free.


As parents, we play a vital role in safeguarding our children’s health and well-being. By understanding the importance of pre-habilitation and integrating it into their lives, we empower them to enjoy an active lifestyle while minimizing the risk of injuries. At PlayWorks Physio, we are here to support you and your child on this journey, providing specialized paediatric physiotherapy and expertise in pre-habilitation techniques.

Let’s prioritize injury prevention for kids, nurture their physical development, and empower them to lead healthy and active lives. Together, we can create a generation of strong, resilient, and injury-free kids.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about pre-habilitation for your child, feel free to reach out to us at PlayWorks Physio. We’re here to support you every step of the way. If you would like to book an assessment, click here.


FAQ’s about Pre-Hab:

  1. How does pre-habilitation differ from rehabilitation? Pre-habilitation focuses on proactive measures taken before an injury occurs, with the goal of preventing injuries and optimizing physical function. It involves exercises, activities, and strategies to strengthen and prepare the body for potential stresses and challenges. Rehabilitation, on the other hand, is the process of restoring function and recovering from an injury or condition that has already occurred.
  2. At what age should pre-habilitation for injury prevention begin? Pre-habilitation can begin at any age, but it is especially beneficial to start during early childhood and continue through adolescence. As kids grow and engage in various physical activities, pre-habilitation helps promote proper movement patterns, muscle balance, and body awareness, setting a foundation for injury prevention throughout their developmental years.
  3. Can pre-habilitation help prevent specific types of injuries in kids? Yes, pre-habilitation can help prevent a wide range of injuries in kids. It focuses on strengthening the muscles, improving flexibility, enhancing coordination, and promoting proper movement mechanics. By addressing muscle imbalances, optimizing body mechanics, and enhancing overall physical fitness, pre-habilitation can reduce the risk of common injuries such as sprains, strains, overuse injuries, and musculoskeletal imbalances.
  4. Are there any specific precautions or considerations when implementing pre-habilitation for children? When implementing pre-habilitation for children, it is important to consider their age, developmental stage, individual abilities, and any specific health conditions or previous injuries. It is recommended to consult with a paediatric physiotherapist or healthcare professional who specializes in working with children to develop a personalized pre-habilitation program tailored to their specific needs and goals.
  5. Are there any signs or symptoms that indicate the need for pre-habilitation? Signs that may indicate the need for pre-habilitation include recurring aches or pains during or after physical activity, limited range of motion, muscle imbalances, poor coordination, frequent injuries, or participation in high-risk sports or activities. If a child demonstrates any of these signs or experiences difficulties in movement or physical performance, it may be beneficial to consider pre-habilitation as part of their injury prevention strategy.
  6. Can pre-habilitation be beneficial for children involved in both sports and non-sports activities? Absolutely! Pre-habilitation can benefit children engaged in both sports and non-sports activities. Whether it’s participating in organized sports, recreational activities, or simply engaging in regular physical play, pre-habilitation helps improve overall physical fitness, movement quality, and injury resilience. It promotes healthy movement patterns, enhances strength and coordination, and reduces the risk of injuries across various activities and daily movements.


Written by: Maegan Mak

What Is Paediatric Physiotherapy?

Welcome to PlayWorks Physio, a paediatric physiotherapy clinic dedicated to helping children reach their full physical potential. We understand that every child is unique and has their own set of physical challenges, which is why we offer specialized physiotherapy services tailored to meet each child’s individual needs. Our services are not limited to children with developmental delays or movement disorders, but also extend to young athletes who may have suffered sports-related injuries.


How Paediatric Physiotherapists Can Help

The role of a paediatric physiotherapist is to work closely with children and their families to identify any physical challenges that may be affecting their quality of life. These challenges can include developmental delays, muscular and skeletal disorders, neurological conditions, injuries, concussions and sports-related injuries. Once identified, the physiotherapist will develop an individualized treatment plan designed to help the child improve their physical function and mobility.


Physiotherapy for Sports Injuries

Sports injuries are common among young athletes and can range from minor sprains to more severe injuries such as ligament tears or fractures. A paediatric physiotherapist with expertise in sports injuries can help athletes recover from their injuries and return to their sport as quickly and safely as possible. Some of the key areas that a paediatric physiotherapist can help with include:

  1. Injury assessment: The physiotherapist will evaluate the extent of the athlete’s injury, determine the underlying cause, and develop an individualized treatment plan.
  2. Pain management: Pain can be a major barrier to recovery. The physiotherapist will work with the athlete to manage pain through various techniques such as manual therapy, stretching, and exercise.
  3. Rehabilitation exercises: The physiotherapist will develop a rehabilitation plan that includes exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. These exercises will be tailored to the athlete’s specific injury and level of fitness.
  4. Return to sport planning: Returning to sport too soon can increase the risk of re-injury. The physiotherapist will develop a plan for safely returning the athlete to their sport, which may include a gradual increase in activity and sport-specific training.


At PlayWorks Physio, we have a team of experienced and highly trained paediatric physiotherapists who are experts in youth sports injuries and pain. Our goal is to provide young athletes with the highest quality care and support to help them recover from their injuries and get back to doing what they love. We also offer injury prevention programs designed to help young athletes reduce their risk of injury and stay healthy.

If your child has suffered a sports-related injury or is experiencing pain, we encourage you to schedule an assessment. Our team of physiotherapists will work with you and your child to develop a personalized treatment plan that will help them recover and return to their sport as safely and quickly as possible.


Written by: Maegan Mak, Physiotherapist

A Swim-pressive Sport

Competitive swimming is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, endurance, speed, and agility.  Training includes repetitive drills to develop effective stroke techniques.  Most swimming injuries are caused by overuse and/or faulty stroke mechanics.

A Deeper Dive into Swimming Injuries

Common injuries include:

  • “Swimmer’s Shoulder”: injury to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, or cartilage in the shoulder joint
  • “Swimmer’s Knee”: injury to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, or cartilage in the knee joint
  • Neck and low back pain

Water the Causes of Swimming Injuries?

  • Overtraining
  • Poor stroke mechanics
  • Poor breathing technique
  • Poor flexibility or range of motion
  • Decreased muscle strength
  • Poor core strength or stability

How Can Physiotherapy Help Your Rehab Go Swimmingly?

At PlayWorks Physio, we can help provide education on proper warm up and cool down strategies, to improve or prevent injuries. Our physiotherapists can create a plan to improve flexibility, strength, endurance and improve stroke mechanics. Addressing all of these areas can help prevent future injuries and pain. In addition to the repetitive nature of swimming, kids are constantly growing and their bodies are changing. This makes them more prone to different types of pain and injuries! We always suggest addressing pain sooner, to have faster recovery and prevent more severe injury.

If you have a swimmer who is experiencing pain, has a current/recurring injury or you want to be preventative, you can book your Initial Assessment here.


Written by: Melanie Touhey, Interim Physiotherapist

Did you know that toe walking is something that can be treated at a paediatric physio clinic? 

When you bring your child in for an initial assessment at PlayWorks Physio, this is typically what you can expect:

  • Your physiotherapist will go over a detailed history of your child’s development (including pregnancy history, early development, toe walking habits as well as other medical history)
    • Why is a history important ?
      • If you know the root cause of the issue, then you’ll have more success in the treatment outcome. There are a few different reasons kids walk on their tip-toes:
      • 1) Neurological cause 
      • 2) Genetic cause 
      • 3) Sensory cause 
      • 4) Muscular cause  
      • Knowing the cause of the toe walking will help the physiotherapist create the most specific, and successful treatment approach for your child.
  • Watching your child move (and play)! It’s one of our best-kept, “not-so-secret” secrets. Kids are smart, when they hear “the physio is going to watch you walk,” they’ll change their pattern to walk to what they think is better. Your physio will encourage them to play around the treatment room, getting them to walk, run, skip, jump, squat, crawl, spin and bend. This will allow your physio to watch and analyze your child’s usual movement patterns.
  • Next, your physiotherapist will discuss the recommendations to fit your child’s (and family’s) individualized needs. This may include:
    • a plan for future physio sessions (if needed) 
    • exercises to work on at home 
    • orthotics (some kids need extra support to help your child achieve an appropriate walking pattern. Not all kids need this support, and the goal of these is typically a short-term solution to help achieve a normal walking pattern).
    • referral to any specialists if needed

Scroll down to see some examples of kids who are working on toe walking and some before/after pictures. Our goal is to get their heels to “strike” the floor when they take a step. In the examples below, you can see the progress made with coming to physio and following a home program!

Example A:

  • This kiddo has been coming to physio since January 2020 (even virtually through the pandemic!) and his treatment plan includes weekly physio, custom orthotics, and a gait-retraining program. He’s very close to being completely discharged from physio. This family was extremely dedicated and were gold star patients in following the plan. As a result he’s had a change of 16 degrees of ankle range, and we’re not stopping yet!



Example B:

  • Kiddo B has been intermittently coming to physio, and her physio plan includes exercises to do at home, and shoe recommendations. The before/after picture was taken in the same session! 



Example C:

  • Kiddo C has been coming to physio once a month to work on her goals. Her plan also includes home exercises and custom orthotics. 



If you’re interested in what we can do for your kiddo’s toe-walking habits, email us at: or book your assessment here.

One of the most recurring comments a paediatric physiotherapist gets when a family brings their child in for assessment of toe-walking is, “everyone told us it will go away and it hasn’t”. The fact of the matter is if doesn’t go away right away, it likely won’t resolve on it’s own and will continue to get worse. Idiopathic toe-walking occurs when children walk on their toes without a neuromuscular, or sensory cause.

So why do some kids learn to walk on their tip-toes?

The calf muscle is a primary postural control muscle, meaning it helps us to control our balance when standing upright. When children are first learning to walk they haven’t mastered their balance and as a result, kids can compensate by activating their calf muscles, resulting in them walking on their tip toes. In typical development, a child should have enough core and glut strength that they are able to maintain an upright position without having to compensate with their calves.  When kids learn to walk before they’ve developed sufficient core strength, toe-walking results.

In some instances, a child will be able to learn how to turn off their calf muscles and begin activating their core appropriately. However, if a child doesn’t learn how to stop their compensation; their core muscles will become weaker, and their calf muscles will continue to get stronger. Over time this compensation becomes much more resilient, is much harder to break, and the toe-walking gets worse.

So how do we ensure kids develop a strong core before they learn to walk?

Milestones are such a crucial part of development because the previous milestone sets the foundation for the next milestone. For example; a baby rolls first, then builds enough strength to push up and move around on their tummy. Then they have enough strength to get themselves into and out of sitting, and they start crawling. Next, a child will have enough strength they can pull themselves into standing, and cruise along furniture. Eventually, they take their first independent steps without holding onto support. A developing baby is ready for the next milestone when they can do it themselves! Babies won’t crawl if they don’t have enough strength in the same way that adults can’t run a marathon if they haven’t trained for it! If a baby is encouraged to walk before they’ve developed adequate strength, they will turn on their calf muscles to help compensate, and voilà! They toe walk.

It is normal for a child to toe-walk when they are learning to walk, so long as they come down onto flat feet after 2-3 steps. If they remain on their toes for more than the first few steps, that is not normal, and they are compensating. The sooner you can correct this compensation, the easier it is to reteach the brain the proper motor pattern!

 Crawling, cruising and more crawling!

Crawling is such a crucial milestone to develop core strength, glut strength, coordination and shoulder stability (to name a few). It is a stage that should not be rushed, nor skipped! Many athletes and children with recurring knee/ankle/hip pain that never had a specific injury tend to be early walkers when we ask parents! Parents are often so excited their child walked early, however these kiddos tend to have weaker core control, and are more likely to compensate when they are active and participating in sports- even if they never walked on their toes!

So how do we know when they’re ready to walk?

When they can do it on their own! Create an environment that’s easy for babies to pull themselves into standing and cruise on their own. For example, chairs, coffee tables, flipped over laundry baskets, boxes and toys, which provide lowsupport. Surfaces that are too high will encourage them to reach up and go on their toes. Similarly, if your baby is walking holding onto your hands, keep your hands low(at their waist level) so they are not encouraged to reach high and activate their calves!

When in doubt – ask a Physiotherapist!

If you’re unsure about your child’s development it’s always great to ask! It’s never too early – the sooner you can get on top of the suspected compensation, the easier it is to re-teach that sneaky brain! Most of the time, a Physiotherapist can give you guidance, tips and tricks to try at home without having to come into physiotherapy sessions regularly!

Written by: Karly Dagys






Pre-habilitation and injury prevention

At this time of year, your kids most likely just started their sporting season. During these busy times of practices, we often see athletes coming in with all kinds of injuries. Injuries can happen for many reasons, however there are ways to prevent them! This blog post will introduce you to pre-habilitation, and how attending physiotherapy can be beneficial!

Preventing injuries in the fall when activities are back in full force.

  1. When kids grow, their bones lengthen first and then their muscles need to lengthen as well. If muscle length is not addressed it could lead to muscle strains, especially with lots of activity and training.
  2. Addressing muscle imbalances ensures that your child will be moving optimally and prevent injuries that result from poor mechanics, alignment and muscle strains due to lack of strength.
  3. Physiotherapy can treat minor issues so they do not progress into more serious problems. Catching little aches and pains at the beginning of the season gives your child an opportunity to rehab earlier in the season and limit the time missed during the regular season.

Physiotherapy can help your child become more body aware and learn their body’s limits.

  1. When kids grow their body awareness often lags behind, as they need to re-learn their “body dimensions.” Improving body awareness will help your child excel in all their activities.
  2. Becoming more body aware and learning how their body moves can improve coordination and their movement efficiency.
  3. Everyone’s body is different and moves in different ways. It is important for kids to become familiar with how their body functions to prevent injuries, master certain skills and boost their confidence!

A great example!

I have been treating a young dancer who dances 12-15 hours per week. Her mother wanted her to learn more about how her body moves and its’ limitations. She noticed how hard her daughter was pushed at dance and wanted her to learn proper techniques to prevent pain and injuries. My patient was also complaining of slight heel pain during the initial assessment. I determined that the heel pain was most likely an early start of Sever’s Disease. I had found that one of her calf muscles was over-working for her hip muscles. After one week of treatment and home exercises, the heel pain had resolved. If the heel pain had been left unattended it would have worsened and she most likely would have had to take several weeks off to recover. We also have been working on proper form for various stretches – core strength and leg strength – that are commonly performed in the dance class. This parent was proactive and helped fixed an early issue before it became a problem! Her daughter is also learning how to stretch and strengthen her body safely, to help her excel in dance for the remainder of the season.

The body of this article originally appeared in just dance! Magazine