Product Review: Thera-Togs
by Stacy Menz, DPT, Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist
In the pediatric therapy world there are a plethora of tools, equipment, gadgets and other devices designed to be therapeutic and helpful when working with kids. One of these items that we frequently use with the kids we work with is called TheraTogs.
Unless you’ve seen TheraTogs, they may be a little hard to explain. They are a soft, breathable, slightly stretchy material that is cut such that you can create a vest and shorts to put on the kids. When we use them during therapy sessions we put them on over the kiddos clothes, however they are designed to go directly next to the skin, and are even cut such that you can put a diaper/underwear on over them so they can be worn throughout the day.
I would say the group of kiddos that we use TheraTogs the most with are ones who have low muscle tone. What I like about using them with this group of children is that it gives their muscles a little boost. In addition to the vest and shorts there are various straps that can be used to help a kiddo get a little more abdominal assist or back extension or glut activation. Sometimes just the vest and shorts themselves are enough to give that little extra oomph they need to start to be successful at the task they are trying, whether its crawling, sitting, standing, walking.
Another group of kiddos that we use TheraTogs for are kiddos that are working on postural alignment. That’s where the strapping can come in handy. We’ve used it with kiddos whose leg bones may not have finished ‘unwinding’ as they’ve developed so they aren’t in the optimal position. With the straps we can provide a gentle force in the direction we want to assist so that as they are moving and continuing to grow they can slowly help their body to make the corrections that are necessary. (A word of caution – make sure that you are taking accurate measurements before attempting this so that you know you are applying the forces appropriately and safely.)
TheraTogs have also come in handy when we have kiddos that need some sensory input. They can have a proprioceptive or deep pressure effect that some kids need to help organize their sensory system. With these kiddos though make sure that you aren’t leaving them on excessively because we want to make sure that they aren’t don’t become too tolerant of it so that it no longer has a therapeutic effect.
I know I’ve given just a general overview but I, and the therapists I work with have found TheraTogs to be pretty versatile and effective with the kiddos we see. Often times we play around with what is going to work best and collaborate together, but we’ve seen some great results when we’ve added their use to our treatment protocol. What are some of the ways you’ve used TheraTogs?
Featured Guest Columnist: Stacy Menz, DPT, Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist
Stacy, Starfish Therapies’ founder, is a pediatric physical therapist with both a Masters and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Boston University and is a board certified pediatric clinical specialist. She stumbled into this field when she realized she would get to play with kids all day long! In reality, she loves making a difference in the lives of kids and their families. In addition to doing rehabilitative work with kids, she also promotes overall wellness and prevention of developmental delays through education. Stacy is actively involved in her professional organizations and is on the editorial board of Impact, the publication of the Private Practice Section of the APTA, and serves on the education committee of the Pediatric Special Interest Group for the California Physical Therapy Association. Stacy and her colleagues are also actively involved in research and have an article submitted for publication.
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