The aim of physical therapy at ENA is to help physically challenged children reach the highest possible functional autonomy and performance in their locomotion and in their participation in daily activities (self-care, play, school, society), as well as to improve the quality of life of the children and their families.

The physical therapy model adhered to at ENA is family-centred, where the proceedure for making clinical decisions, for the therapeutic plan and for the setting of goals and results to be expected from the intervention is developed in collaboration with the child and family, recognizing and promoting the needs, priorities and wishes of the child and the family in their every day life.

The guiding principle in the decision-making process at ENA is the authoritative, state-of-the art physical therapy evaluation and assessment.

The physical therapy evaluation and assessment, based on the organizational framework of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, examines and identifies – through observation, handling, special tests and measurements – the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems in stance and movement, as well as the functional limitations and the impediments of the natural environment in the performance of physical activities.

Through the process of physical therapy evaluation and assessment, the degree of functional mobility (classification system ICF, GMFCS, MACS, FMS), the prognosis for the level of improvement and the plan for therapeutic intervention are determined, always in accordance with the demands of the family and the newest research findings (evidence-based practice).

The focus of physical therapy intervention at ENA is the acquisition of kinetic skills and the optimization of kinetic performance, so that the child may function in various natural environments with the most effective and least energy-consuming way.

The physical therapy model at ENA has adopted, since its foundation, the philosophy of functional approach.

The functional, task-oriented or activity-based approach was developed by Roberta Shepherd and Janet Carr in the 1980s, by applying the newest theories of development of kinetic control and the principles of kinetic learning in neurological physical therapy practice.

The Physical therapist assumes the role of teacher or trainer in the kinetic performance of the child. The therapy is based on training through self-induced, goal-oriented functional activities via repeated practice in a motivational, game-like and challenging natural and psychosocial environment. Excessive therapeutic handling is avoided, as it may hinder the child in trying various kinetic combinations for the accomplishment of a functional goal.

The physical therapist provides verbal instructions and demonstrations, while handling the environment (objects, space arrangement) in order to direct the movement. Thus, the child is transformed from “passive receptor” to “active problem-solver” and learns how to work out on her own varied and flexible solutions for the achievement of her functional activity during learning. The parents, as well as community care providers (such as classmates, companions, teachers), under the encouragement and guidance of the physical therapist, actively participate in the intervention, affording the children opportunities to develop their kinetic skills in a variety of everyday conditions.

Included within the functional therapeutic model applied at ENA, are methods and mechanical devices such as the LiteGait® system and the Handimove Ceiling Lift, which are used in an eclectic way, with a view to the optimal coverage of all the individual functional needs of each child.

ENA is one of the first paediatric therapeutic centres in Greece to use the LiteGait® machine in the physical therapy procedure for gait training.

The LiteGait® and Handimove Ceiling instruments constitute an effective means of supporting body weight through suspension belts, which substitutes the static therapeutic handling and helps the child stand and walk independently and securely on the floor and/or treadmill.

Watch the video which shows LiteGait® and Handimove Ceiling:

With the experience and specialized knowledge of over 15 years and with continuous scientific validation, ENA is the first therapeutic centre in Greece to undertake the rehabilitation of children with CP after the SPML orthopaedic procedure. We have organized and applied the programme Kids2Walk for children from Greece and abroad.