Covenant Health Therapy Center – Tazewell Offers Pediatric Physical Therapy

Child’s Play with a Purpose

Jensen Rains is a typical kid with a big imagination and lots of energy. But Jensen has spent the first part of his young life working through an uncommon and complicated situation.

As an infant, Jensen was diagnosed with cerebral ataxia, which most often results from damage to the part of the brain that controls muscle coordination. Jensen’s mom brought him to Covenant Health Therapy Center – Tazewell for help.

“Jensen has been in physical therapy since before he was a year old,” says Savannah Dunsmore. “It has helped him so much, from learning to hold his head up on his own, crawling, walking, now running even.”

Lauren Wilson, DPT, specializes in physical therapy for children and says the biggest difference between her younger patients and the adults she works with is the level of energy and creativity kids bring to every session.

“Kids will work harder than adults without even knowing they are working,” Wilson says. “You make as much of it as possible playtime for them.”

Physical Therapist with pediatric patient Jensen Rains
Lauren Wilson, DPT, therapist at Covenant Therapy Centers – Tazewell, smiles with her cutest patient.

Equipped for Children and Adults

Covenant Therapy Center – Tazewell has four treatment tables, parallel bars, a total gym, a mini trampoline and a spacious gym. Individual rooms are equipped with high-low tables to provide a private place for evaluation and treatment.

Along with standard tools like weights and therapy bands, patients have access to specialized equipment, including a BAPS board, an NK table, and a Triton traction table.

But the facility includes a special room just for kids. Young patients like Jensen also have access to the large gym where there’s plenty of room to play, learn and grow.

Since the cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls coordination and balance, Wilson started with balance beam activities. At first, there was a lot of hands-on assistance. Jensen can now walk on a balance beam without help. He’s also mastering the art of throwing, catching and even jumping.

“For the longest time, he had great difficulty even coordinating the necessary components to do a jump,” Wilson says. “We started working on the individual components and then on combining them into an actual jump.”

Competent and Compassionate

Covenant Health Therapy Center – Tazewell offers physical therapy, occupation therapy and speech therapy. Patients can make appointments for evaluation and treatment without a physician referral, so help for the pain and limitations of musculoskeletal or neuromuscular issues is just a phone call away.

The therapy center also offers personalized care that’s compassionate with a focus on patients that builds trust and, in Jensen’s case, can even be fun.

“Jensen is the best hugger and one of the sweetest children you’ll meet. He is personality-plus,” Wilson says. “He is a joy to work with and it is always extremely rewarding to see any patient improve their quality of life and level of independence. That is the best part of this job.”

Navigating the challenges of cerebral ataxia hasn’t been easy for Jensen or for his mother, but Dunsmore says her little boy and his physical therapist make a great team, working together in a phenomenal way.

Lauren Wilson, PT, works with Jensen Rains on balance and mobilization.
Lauren Wilson, DPT, works with Jensen Rains on balance and mobilization.

“Having a child with delays can be intimidating, sometimes frustrating, but through the process of physical therapy I’ve watched Jensen grow so much, not just in his physical abilities but as a person,” Dunsmore says. “He’s developed his own personality through this that is full of determination. I could not be more proud of him throughout his physical therapy journey.”

For more information or to find a Therapy Center location, visit the Covenant Health Therapy Centers website.

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