The role of physiotherapy in treating sensory processing disorder

Sensory processing disorder is a condition which affects the way information is sent from senses into the brain and interpreted there. It often has a negative impact in the quality of life, and may make some simple everyday tasks very difficult, or even impossible to do. Physiotherapy offers some solutions for these problems.

Gross motor skills

These are the larger, more pronounced movements you make with your body, for example walking, raising your hands, dancing. These movements are most affected by the vestibular system, which is responsible for your balance, and the sense of proprioception, thanks to which you know where the parts of your body are even with your eyes closed.

Sensory processing disorder may disrupt these senses and make your movements clumsy and your walk unstable. Physiotherapy can alleviate these symptoms by training your internal balance and teaching you awareness of your body parts.

Fine motor skills

These are smaller gestures, for example precise movements of your fingers, writing, but also chewing, and speech. Hand-eye coordination is very important for fine motor skills. When sensory processing disorder affects these skills, the movements may become less precise or just extremely tiring. Longhand writing, for example, may come out unintelligible, or may be exhausting to the writer.

Physiotherapy helps to hone these skills, train one’s hand-eye coordination, and motivates to overcome the difficulties by using fun and engaging exercises. A skilled, dedicated physiotherapist can do wonders!


  1. Dominic

    My daughter always has fun at her physiotherapy visits. She’s been going for a year and she’s making steady progress.

  2. Angela

    Does it mean that all doctors have SPD because they can’t write legibly?


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