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Upper Extremity Weight Bearing

For some kids, weight bearing does not come naturally, and it may be difficult for a variety of reasons. Your child may have difficulty weight bearing through the arms due to sensory, strength, or coordination deficits, or even poor reflex integration. Let your pediatrician know if your child resists weight bearing with activities and play time.

Check out some of these ideas to improve upper extremity weight bearing. These ideas are not all inclusive and you could also work on weight bearing via prop sitting, side sitting, and many other positions!

Start by weight bearing through the elbows, it is a lot easier since the baby only has to control the shoulder/elbow joints instead of shoulder, elbow and hand joints.

Start at a taller surface- this places less pressure through the hands for little ones that do not tolerate their body weight through the hands yet.

Once they can tolerate the above, start to find lower and lower boxes or toys that they can place their hands on until they are on the floor! This mat is about 2 inches off the ground, and our next step will be weight bearing on the floor.

Some kids have difficulty with weight bearing through the hands AND the legs. So for these kids, if we ask them to do both at the same time, it is too difficult. We want to separate it at first, so check out this idea to work on upper extremity weight bearing without any weight bearing in the legs!

Have you tried any of these? What has been successful for your little one? Stay tuned for another blog post coming soon on LOWER extremity weight bearing!

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