What is ‘W’ Sitting and How Can Pediatric Therapy Help?

As the parent, one of your main focuses is helping your child overcome physical obstacles that may be holding them back from being their best. One of the most common problems for children who see the physical therapist is “W” sitting. A physical therapy program can help resolve the problem of W sitting, but to get the help needed, you must first know more about it. Read on to find out what W sitting is and how pediatric therapy sessions with your physical therapist can help. You can also contact the office now to arrange a visit for your child.

What Is W Sitting?

W sitting is a sitting position in which your child sits while bending their knees and placing their feet splayed out from their hips. You can recognize this position by standing above your child while they’re sitting on the floor. If they’re in the W sitting position, you’ll be able to see the general shape of a W, with their body forming the middle of the letter and their legs making the outer part of the letter. Your physical therapist can help you recognize this sitting position.

The Consequences of W Sitting

W sitting is okay for short periods, but you should discourage your child from staying in the W sitting position for any extended period of time. Your physical therapist can explain more about some of the dangers of the W sitting position, including:

  • Dislocated hip: Some children in physical therapy programs already have hip issues, and the W sitting position can make it worse. Continued W sitting may even lead to a dislocated hip.
  • Poor core strength: Many children who need a physical therapy program have poor core strength, and the W sitting position can make it even worse. If your child sits in the W sitting position, they won’t be using their core muscles enough. Your physical therapist can help with other sitting positions that can actually enhance core strength.
  • Muscle problems: Children who enter a physical therapy program for issues such as hypertonia need to be especially mindful of avoiding extended W sitting. W sitting can cause even more muscle tightness and physical difficulty for your child.

How Your Physical Therapist Can Help With W Sitting

Your physical therapist can help with a physical therapy program that is specially designed to train your child into better sitting positions. Your child will learn many new things while in physical therapy, and they’ll have a good time while they’re at it. Pediatric therapy with a physical therapist is focused on helping both parents and children in a supportive and gentle way.

Your child’s physical therapist can recommend some measures to take at home to help prevent W sitting. These tips may include:

  • Reminder phrase: A simple reminder phrase like “fix your legs” can prompt your child to reposition themselves promptly when you observe them in a W sitting position.
  • New sitting options: Consider purchasing a new chair that your child likes, perhaps even allowing them to pick it out themselves. Your child will be much more likely to avoid W sitting on the floor if they have a chair that they love.
  • Reinforce physical therapy: You can reinforce physical therapy lessons at home. Remind your child of the new sitting positions that they learned from their physical therapist and help them practice these new positions at home every night.

Ready to help your child live their best physical life? Contact us today to schedule a physical therapy appointment.