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  • Writer's pictureDr. Savannah Wise, PT, DPT

Reflux, Feeding Issues and Gross Motor Development

Acid reflux can have a significant impact on a child's gross motor development. When left untreated, it can cause muscle tightness and imbalances, leading to difficulty in developing age-appropriate gross motor skills. Fortunately, there are solutions available to help address these tightness and imbalances.


When a child has acid reflux or other feeding issues, they will often demonstrate specific posturing to alleviate the pressure or uncomfortable feeling in their tummies. This can look like: arching in all developmental positions, whole body tightness or rigidity, difficulty maintaining tummy time, difficulty lying flat on their backs. Another common trait in children with reflux is torticollis. This is shortening of the muscles in the neck, creating tightness on one side, and too much length on the other. This can cascade into flat spots, and skull deformation if left untreated. While it all sounds super scary, there are ways to help!


Utilizing physical therapy, helps to address issues of muscle tightness and imbalances as a result of acid reflux. Through a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan, we focus on improving gross motor skills using manual techniques and exercises. These exercises help to improve posture, flexibility and muscle tone, which can help to promote gross motor development.

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