Children First: Girl rebounds using trampoline for physiotherapy - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Girl rebounds using trampoline for physiotherapy

Trampolines can be a great summer pastime for kids, but it can also have health benefits you may not be aware of.

For Danielle Valentine of Spearfish, it provides more than hours of play time. Her mom Nicole said when the 9–year–old was born; the bones in her feet didn't develop properly.

"She used to walk on the inside of her ankle bone, with her feet probated in severely," Nicole said. “That was one of the reasons why she didn’t walk until she was several years old.”

Nicole said Danielle was about 12 to 18 months old when they noticed it. When she was 4 years old, Danielle had two double foot surgeries. She then started working with a physical therapist.

Moon Hemeyer is a physical therapist at the Regional Rehabilitation Sports Medicine in Spearfish. She said she started seeing Danielle about three years after her foot surgeries. “When she was still having difficulties doing things a kid her age should be able to do,” Hemeyer said.

They started do different jumping exercises on a small trampoline. Seeing the benefits, Nicole decided to buy Danielle a large trampoline for their backyard.

“Each time we’ve gone to physical therapy, they would do different jumps on the smaller trampoline to help build up her core strength and her leg strength,” Nicole said. "So we thought if a little trampoline was a little bit of fun, why not buy a big trampoline and have it be a lot of fun.”

"It was real exciting because I felt like I was higher off the ground,” Danielle said. “Usually I really don't get to jump that high."

Studies show that the versatility and benefits of trampoline exercises are why so many physical rehabilitation programs are now including this type of workout for a number of their patients.

The bouncing motion can be gentle or intense.  And exercises can be tailored to suit a patient's physical needs.

"It’s a great for pre–jumping skills, it's a great proprioception, or core activity, great for early joint compression,” Hemeyer said.

"It's been great. She's had various other injuries along the way,” Nicole said. “she's stable and she's fine with it.“

Danielle's mom says the trampoline is also a great summertime activity, but she always makes sure that she’s is safe when using it.

Always check with your doctor or physical therapist before starting any type of new exercise.

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