Pediatric Integrative Manual Therapy (PIMT) is a concept for the assessment and treatment in physical therapy of musculoskeletal and developmental disorders. It is not intended as a methodology or a technique. Its aim is to act as a conceptual framework to understand the relationship between structure and function in the development of infants and children. It is, in a way, a model that integrates pediatric manual therapy and developmental physical therapy.
PIMT is clearly an element in a biopsychosocial model that focuses on the families.
Manual therapy has shown over the last years a notable increase of evidence-based results through many scientific publications that have proven its benefits for many dysfunctions in the musculoskeletal symptoms. Although its results have been shown more often on adults than on children, some of its benefits, such as the increased joint range of motion or some effects on inflammation and pain can also be applied to the pediatric population. PIMT tries to develop mechanisms of assessment and treatment for newborns and children whose anatomical conditions require a methodological adaptation of the classical systems of assessment and treatment in manual therapy. Pediatric manual therapy is necessary in the treatment of different pathologies of children, such as congenital torticollis, and in areas as varied as traumatology, pediatric neurology, or sports medicine.
For its part, pediatric physical therapy also has supporting studies that endorse its assessment and treatment systems. There are reliable scales to observe the neurodevelopment of children, both in the population with neurological disorders and in children without any specific condition. There has also been an increased incidence of developmental disorders and attention and learning disorders in the pediatric population, which show sensorial and motor dysfunctions without any observable neurological damage in the imaging tests. In these children, a possible suboptimal neurological maturation is suspected, which leads to difficulties regarding coordination, balance, ocular motricity or vestibular balance, among others.
PIMT puts forward an intervention strategy in pediatric physical therapy based on sensorial stimulation, an improved motor control through motor and postural ontogenetic patterns, and the stimulation of automatismsthat are the basis of the optimal function of the nervous system. Of course, there is also a firm commitment to prevention and education for the familiesso as to create an enriching and stimulating environment for infants and children.